Rising Sun - Setting Checkers

by Jake Jacobs
18 December 2015

Jake Jacobs

The final of the Japan Open once again pitted two gaijin against each other.

Representing England was Jericho Eric McAlpine, a player whose name has begun to appear with regularity when tournament results are published.

His opponent was Razi Bobrov of Israel.

The final would be to seventeen points, streamed live.

I was unfamiliar with either player's game, but found Razi to be extremely conservative with the cube during the early games. He missed a series of doubles, some passes, before cashing game one, and waited to cash in game two. Then came game three.

Black (Eric) doubles trailing 0-2 to 17

This is a correct, albeit aggressive early game double. Razi passed. It would be a pass with the ace made; here passing is a major blunder.

White (Razi) leads 3-1 to 17

Should White double the position above? The five-pip lead says "yes," but the extra checker and the gap on the 3pt are worrisome. Nevertheless, Razi should have doubled, though the take is clear. He rolled 62, and Eric 43, after which Razi correctly cashed.

White (Razi) leads 4-1 to 17

The very next game saw a very similar position. The race is slightly shorter, White's lead is one pip greater, and the gap is less troubling. Given all that the question isn't whether this is a redouble, but whether Black has a take. He does, but it is right on the border. Razi waited once again, and cashed the next turn.
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