Reports & Results

10th Mind Sports Olympiad

August 26th to 3rd September 2006

 

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Beginners' Tournament

Report

London Cup

Report - Results

1 Point Wipeout

Report - Results

Biba Challenge

Report - Results

The Blitz

Report - Results

English Open

Report - Results

Olympiad Championship

Report - Results

Amateur Championship

Report - Results

Biba Grand Prix Points

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Beginner's Tournament 26 August

 

The 10th Mind Sports Backgammon got off to a damp and drizzly start as the streets of London glistened thanks to an early shower of fine, misty rain; spitting - the sort that wets you more according to Peter Kaye. Although the light rain kept the dust of the City down it did nothing to dampen down the sultry heat. The air-conditioning (windows!) in the playing room proved ineffective in keeping the temperature down and it only let in warmer air and the muted sound of the traffic as it crawled along Marylebone Road. Baker Street, the famous home of Sherlock Holmes is just around the corner but it wouldn't have taken his acute powers of observation and deduction to realise that once again there were no entries for the Beginner's Tournament. Why?  Does it mean that no one is learning to play backgammon nowadays? Or is it because no one wants to be identified as a beginner? If it's the latter then there's not going to be much of a market for my book, 'Teach Yourself Backgammon'! Perhaps next year I'll not include a Beginner's Tournament . . . . that'll ensure we get a few entries!

 

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London Cup (19) 26/27 August

The London Cup (19) was a better event. It got off to a good start on the first day for five players who were each on 2/2 going into the 3rd Round: Jan Stastna vs Mahmoud Jahanbani, Crispin Duke vs Steve Rimmer, and Nicky Check vs Richard Biddle (elevated to make an even draw). With an entry of 19 there wasn't a guarantee of anyone getting 6/6 so 5/6 could win a medal, even the Gold. Jan, Crispin and Nicky all made it to the second day with 3/3. Jan and Crispin came through the 4th Round unscathed but Nicky went down to Richard. Going into the 5th we had just two on 4/4, Jan and Crispin, with four more on 3/4 - Nicky vs Jakub Selmr and Jeff Barber vs Jimmi Wong - from which Jakub and Jeff came out the winners.

 

Jan emerged as the only one with a clean sheet, 5/5 and it fell to Jakub Slemr to see if he could keep him on that score and thus open up the field for the top position. The match between Crispin and Jeff (4/5) guaranteed us another 5/6 - an encounter which Crispin won. Jakub went on to beat Jan and we were then left with three on 5/6, Crispin, Jan and Jakub. Head-to-head tie-breaks then further reduced that to: Jakub, Gold; Jan, Silver and Crispin, Bronze.

 

It might not have been the biggest turnout, but it was certainly a triumph for the Czech Republic as they took Gold and Silver, with England taking the Bronze. Well done all of you.

 

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London Cup Positions (19)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur
Grand Prix

1
2
3
4
4
4
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
14
14
16
16
16
19

Jakub Slemr
Jan Stastna
Crispin Duke
Jeff Barber
Stephen Drake
Uldis Lapikens
Cliff Connick
Chris Johnson
David Startin
Jimmi Wong
Nick Check
Peter Durrans
Steve Rimmer
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Richard Biddle
Graham Parlour
Paul Gilbertson
Tomas Kosicka
Stephen Cole
5
5
5
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
0
94.44
94.44
94.44
77.78
77.78
77.78
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
25.00
25.00
11.11
11.11
11.11
0.00
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.
.
9.29
9.29
9.29
6.19
.
6.19
6.19
6.19
.
6.19
4.13
4.13
.
2.58
.
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#1-Point Wipeout 28 August


Points are accrued thus:
Points are awarded thus:
Normal win = 1 point,
gammon = 2 points,
backgammon = 3 points.
Lose normal game = ½ point,
lose gammon or backgammon = - 1 point.

It's a game of two halves, 'arry, know what I mean? No, not football, the beautiful game - that's all about millionaires kicking a bag of wind around for 90 minutes, I'm referring to backgammon, where (some) bags of wind throw dice around for a few hours.

With an entry of just ten, we decided on an all-play-all x 2 format. In the first half, leading the field after winning all his games was Jan Statsna with 11 points, his nearest rival was Alexander Baron with 9 points. Just behind Alexander was Jeff Barber and Richard Biddle on 8 points each. Last year's winner of the 1-point Wipeout, Steve Rimmer was trailing well behind after losing seven of his nine games with just 6.5 points. Charles Heppell, a Junior playing in his first event was yet to win a game and stood at -3 points . . . .. but things were about to change - for several entrants including Charles.

We broke for lunch after which Jan suffered his first loss, a gammon loss resulting in -1 points! Later, Steve Rimmer also took a gammon off him, and he lost games to Charles, Alexander, Mahmoud Jahanbani and Alan Berlyn! His medal hopes were dashed as he increased his points to 15 in the second half. Alexander faired no better - just adding 2.5 points to his previous total. Steve Rimmer did a complete reversal and won seven of his nine games - pushing himself into the Silver position. Just pipping him by half a point was Jeff who also won seven of his games and it was enough to get him the Gold. Bronze was a play-off between Richard (whose strategy in the fist half was to win gammons) and Mahmoud; an encounter from which Mahmoud emerged the victor. Charles came last overall but he had stunning victories over much tougher opponents: Stephen Gardener, Richard, Jan, Alexander and Alan Berlyn. Charles demonstrated that you just never give up; you keep trying and when you succeed, victory is so much sweeter.

It was an exciting event and one which I always enjoy working on. I am already looking forward to next year.

 


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1-Point Wipeout Positions (10)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur

1
2
3
3
5
6
7
8
9
10

Jeff Barber
Steve Rimmer
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Richard Biddle
Jan Stastna
Alan Berlyn
Alexander Baron
Stephen Gardener
Tomas Kosicka
Charles Heppell
19.0
18.5
15.5
15.5
15.0
12.5
11.5
10.0
8.0
2.5
100.00
88.89
72.23
72.23
55.56
44.44
33.33
22.22
11.11
0.00

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Biba 1-Day Challenge 29 August


Wow, what a challenge it turned out to be! Jeff Barber challenged everyone and beat 'em all! He gathered up an armful of wins and went straight into the Gold with 5/5; and took his second successive Gold. Steve Rimmer, true to form took his second successive Silver; but alas, this is Steve's final appearance this year - he flies off to sunnier climes and back to work. This leaves Jeff as favourite to clinch this year's Amateur Backgammon Championship - go Jeff, go Jeff, go Jeff!

Bronze was a nightmare, five players had 3/5 and it was down to the tie-breaker. Head-to-heads sorted it out inasmuch as two players had between them beaten all the other 3s and had lost only to the Gold and Silver winners. These two were Martyn Hamer and Jon Barnes. It was Jon who emerged the victor leaving Martyn without a medal.

This was quite a hectic little event and it was touch and go for Jeff in his final match against Jon. Had Jon won it might have made deciding the medal winners a little easier . . . . but then Jeff wasn't sure of the Gold . . . .

 

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Biba 1-Day Challenge Positions (14)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur

1
2
3
3
3
3
3
8
8
8
8
12
12
12

Jeff Barber
Steve Rimmer
Jon Barnes
Jimmi Wong
Martyn Hamer
Stephen Drake
Sean Williams
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Martin Thompson
Richard Biddle
Zoe Cunningham
Andrew Havery
Ron Havenhand
Stephen Gardener
5
4
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
100.00
92.31
69.23
69.23
69.23
69.23
69.23
34.62
34.62
34.62
34.62
11.54
11.54
11.54

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The Blitz 30 August


With an entry of just ten it was decided to make the event an all-play-all instead of a Swiss format. When we decided to do this I had no idea what 'trouble' it'd land me in later! TJ got off to a good start and won his first four matches - not bad for someone that doesn't play backgammon! However, he didn't do so well after lunch and he only managed to win one more. By the last round it was clear there was going to be a draw - but it wasn't clear between whom. I was approached by one player to work out some, 'what if' scenarios but I refused to do so. It's hard enough sorting it out when you have to let alone doing it when you don't!

Eventually the final round was played and we had three on six wins: Jimmi Wong, Stephen Gardener and Martin Thompson. The criteria for MSO10 tie-breaks is:

1. Head-to-head encounters
2. Shared opponents and wins against them.

When I applied head-to-head it worked out that each had beaten one other and they all came out equal. On the shared opponents the result was also a draw. During my deliberations I was barracked by two of the three players and accused of changing the rules. This was totally untrue and I was offended by it. In the past tie-breaks had been: head-to-head and then sum of opponents' wins. The latter has never been popular so for MSO10 is was replaced by the victories over shared opponents. Having exhausted my authority on tie-breaks I had to go the Chief Arbiter for his ruling.

The Chief Arbiter tried several ways in which to divide the three into 1st, 2nd & 3rd but the only fair solution he came up with was, all-play-all again. I offered this solution to the three and the same two kept harping on about rule changes and that it wasn't fair. I pointed out that a decision had been made and eventually the dissenting pair decided they'd play - by which time an hour had been lost due to their continued arguing; because of this I offered them 1-point matches or 3-point matches and put it to the vote. One voted for 1-pointers and one voted for 3-pointers and the third abstained. I had made it clear before the vote that my choice was 1-pointers and that's what I chose . . . . and then the abstainer kicks in and moans about the decision! I gave him the choice, play or drop down to Bronze and the other two can playoff for Gold and Silver - he played.

The outcome was, Jimmi - Gold, Stephen - Silver and Martin - Bronze. By this time there was no-one to hand out the medals and this is why there are no pictures either. To find out why, please read The English Open.

NB: If anyone has any pictures of the medallists, please send them to me.


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The Blitz Positions (10)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur

1
2
3
4
4
4
7
7
7
7

Jimmi Wong
Stephen Gardener
Martin Thompson
Alexander Baron
Dan Rosen
TJ
Jeff Barber
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Richard Biddle
Stephen Cole
6
6
6
5
5
5
3
3
3
3
88.89
88.89
88.89
55.56
55.56
55.56
16.17
16.17
16.17
16.17

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English Open 31 August  / 1 September


Throughout the week I had been suffering from a severe head cold and by Wednesday evening it had become unbearable; it was for this reason that I left the MSO on Thursday morning and returned home to be nursed by my lovely wife, Sharen!

Tony Corfe arranged cover for me and (reluctantly) I left it in his safe hands. The only drawback with this is that I wasn't present to write a proper report nor to take pictures of the medal winners. I do know that by Round 6, the final round, Bijan Mehdinejan had done enough to win it, it was then down to whomever took Silver and Bronze. Alexander Baron came out in 2nd place with 5-5 to take home the Silver and Paco Garcia took the Bronze after the application of tie-breaks.

 

I have added an archive picture of Bijan and Paco (sorry, but I cannot find one of Alexander).

This is the second time Bijan has won the English Open, having won it in 2003. Not bad for a guy that doesn't take it too seriously! I keep asking him to join Biba but he keeps telling me he's not good enough!

Paco

Bijan Mehdinejad

English Open Champion 2003 & 2006

(archive picture)

NB: If anyone has any pictures of the medallists, please send them to me.

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English Open Positions (22)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur
Grand Prix

1
2
3
3
3
3
3
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
15
15
15
18
18
18
18
22

Bijan Mehdinejad
Alexander Baron
Paco Garcia
Chris Berrell
Jeff Barber
Luis Lantaron
Uldis Lapikens
David Startin
Jimmi Wong
Martyn Hamer
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Michael Main
Sean Williams
Tomas Kosicka
Kevin Stebbing
Richard Biddle
Stephen Gardener
Edward Leighton
Martin Thompson
Peter Durrans
Stephen Cole
Alan Farrell
6
5
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
0
100.00
95.24
80.95
80.95
80.95
80.95
80.95
52.38
52.38
52.38
52.38
52.38
52.38
52.38
28.57
28.57
28.57
11.91
11.91
11.91
11.91
0.00




9.29

9.29
6.19
6.19

6.19
6.19
6.19

4.13
4.13




2.58
0.00

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Olympiad Championship 2/3 September


As you might have guessed, no report from this one either. Sorry about this but I really was feeling bob! If any player present would like to contribute a little report I'd be very grateful - and if you have any pictures . . . .

This was a very poor turnout, due no doubt to the reduced number of points played to because of time restrictions on the Sunday. On the first day it was increased from 5 to 7 but it was too little, too late. I will have to re-think the schedule for next year.

It was Jeff Barber that came out on top with 5-6; enough for his third Gold of the games . . . and with it the Amatuer Title. Coming in at 2nd place for the Bronze (to add to his previous Gold) was Jimmi Wong, and my old mate, Alan Beckerson took the Bronze. It appears from the positions that the were decided on tie-breaks; if any one can confirm this I'd appreciate it.
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Olympiad Championship Positions (12)
Pos
Name

Pts

Amateur
Grand Prix

1
2
2
2
2
6
6
8
8
8
11
12

Jeff Barber
Jimmi Wong
Alan Beckerson
Uldis Lapikens
Peter Durrans
Richard Biddle
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Stephen Cole
Monica Beckerson
Alain Dekker
Paul Gilbertson
Mehmet Ozerkman
5
4
4
4
4
3
3
2
2
2
1
0
100.00
77.28
77.28
77.28
77.28
50.00
50.00
27.27
27.27
27.27
9.09
0.00
9.29
6.19
6.19
6.19

4.13
4.13
2.58

2.58
2.06

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Olympiad Amateur Championship 2006

This event is based upon the top four points out of six using the MSO Pentamind scores to determine the Champion. Out of the 39 possible entrants only five managed to gain points in four or more events. Jeff Barber won it by a good margin of almost 100 points, a remarkable achievement.

Jeff Barber

Amateur Backgammon Champion

 

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Amateur Championship

1

2

3

4

5

Jeff Barber
Jimmi Wong
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Richard Biddle
Stephen Gardener
380.95
287.78
209.23
185.42
151.22

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Grand Prix Points 2006

The London Cup, English Open and the Olympiad Championship all qualified for Biba Grand Prix points. The points below will be added to the tables here and will come into effect after the Backpacker tournament.

 

 

Biba Grand Prix Points
Jeff Barber
Uldis Lapikens
Mahmoud Jahanbani
Richard Biddle
Jimmi Wong
David Startin
Stephen Cole
Paul Gilbertson
Monica Beckerson
Stephen Drake
Alan Beckerson
Cliff Connick
Michael Main
Nick Check
Sean Williams
Steve Rimmer
Kevin Stebbing
9.29
9.29
4.13
4.13
6.19
6.19
2.58
2.58
2.58
9.29
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.19
4.13
9.29
9.29
4.13
4.13
6.19
6.19
2.58
2.06
9.29
6.19
6.19
4.13
6.19