Almost Xactly As I Remember It

by Jake Jacobs
15 November 2016

Jake Jacobs

The year 1996 was a good one for me. I cashed in almost everything I entered, and I entered a lot of tournaments. I won the Thai Open and the US Open. (I am still working on the Japan Open.) I won the Midwest Championships, and ... Oh, a lot of things. In those days one of the best tournaments every year was the Labor Day tournament in Indy. It was held at a nice hotel with reasonable rates, which was located right off the highway, for those of us driving down, in a large shopping complex called Keystone at the Crossing, which had a food court inside, and a lot of interesting restaurants surrounding it. Butch and Mary Ann Meese kept it all running smoothly. It is sorely missed.

Coming off my US Open win, I went to Indy on a high note, and was confident good things were in store. Friday night got off to a bang. I played in the Master's, and had two sensational matches against Malcolm Davis, winner of the World Cup, and Paul Magriel, winner of the World Cup Consolation. Even better, I had them recorded. Unfortunately my amanuensis stayed up late in the smoking room (remember those?) watching her boyfriend play in the chouette. Around four they went to bed, leaving her notebook behind. Some nameless janitor owns the only copies of two of the most interesting matches ever set to paper.

Several days later I got a do over. Paul and I faced each other in the finals of the Consolation, and the match was recorded. As a sendoff to the Indy newsletter, I did an article entitled "X Marks the Spot." This was the introduction:

We commenced at 1:42 p.m. EST, by mutual agreement. After the usual preliminaries -- picking dice, discussing the cosmological significance of the number 137, debating whether "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" should be attributed to Emerson or Hobbes -- we got underway. Here is something from the third game.

I'll get to that position. Recently I came across a copy of the match online. Has it really been twenty years? Back then, we didn't have eXtreme Gammon. Today we do, so let's see how our play then measures up now.

The first error came early. I opened with 43 -- 24/20, 13/10 -- and Paul rolled 53, making his 3pt. Really? He did that back then? People use to slot with those back then. Hitting was and is right. I followed with a 53, making my 5pt, and spent the next few turns on the roof.

X-22 (White) doubles Jake tied 0-0 to 11

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