26 November 2014
A clash of the titans in the most recent ABT event. Akiko Abe Yazawa, the latest winner of Monte Carlo, first female to make crack into the top 32 of the Giants list jumping from virtually nowhere to #17, and part of Japan's assault on the world of backgammon faced off against an omnipresent on the Giants list Kit Woolsey. Kit needs no introduction having run various popular online backgammon sites and written a great deal of excellent work about the game. It has baffled me as to why Kit has never had any real success on the ABT. He seems to constantly cash in the Super Jackpot events but rarely for the frequency of his tournament partipation over the years and strength of play in general makes a dent in ABT points. All time he just passed me this year and I barely played on tour but 3 or 4 years. For this reason, my money was literally on Kit. While I highly respect both players and would be happy to see either of them be successful, I thought Kit was 'due'. Not that I believe in 'due' either but that's another article...
I have picked out what I found as the more interesting problems in this 11 game match. There a few problems I won't include because they have already been posted on my forums but I will link to them at the end so you can jump over to that discussion in case you missed it. Without further ado, scroll slowly as per usual the XG analysis immediately follows the diagram.
|to play 51|
|1.||XG Roller++||20/15 6/5||eq: +0.306|
|2.||XG Roller++||20/15 9/8||eq: +0.236 (-0.070)|
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.206.pre-release, MET: Kazaross XG2
It is interesting watching live matches because we get to see things we can't see in a match file. I picked this play out for two reasons. There's the obvious reason that we need to decide if it's worth it to leave the back of the prime slotted. The other reason is that Akiko spent no time on this decision over the board. This happens to all of us. We can understand why in this position. She has a solid 4 prime already with two of Kit's checkers trapped behind it and can play safely still covering the outfield. It seemed natural to lift the slot since she didn't cover it.
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