Backgammon

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
A FINAL look at this year's World Championship final. In this position Granstedt (black), leading Carmelli (white) by 8-0 in a match to 25, doubled. Carmelli took. Black won a single game, to hold a 10- 0 lead.

Despite being 8-0 behind, Carmelli should have passed. White's plan is predicated on establishing a good holding game or a 2-4 back game. He must build up his home board (currently non-existent) to contain any hit men.

This is a reasonable plan. The problem is that white doesn't get to execute it all that often. Black has a powerful attack, a 54 pip lead, and white will often end up a losing a gammon, his home board still undeveloped. Most of black's numbers play well and some of his doubles, e.g. 44 or 66, give him excellent blitz potential.

Carmelli was loath to give up this position, influenced by the match score, but had he analysed it calmly he would have passed. It is consistently recognising when to take and when to pass that separates really good players from the rest. You will not find them panicking and taking for the sake of it. Their decisions will be based on accurate analysis of the key factors of the position. Double world champions Robertie and Meyburg have this capability. Granstedt also has it and throughout this year's final he constantly chose exactly the right psychological moment to double Carmelli and exert the maximum pressure - a worthy champion indeed.

Comments