Bagai Wins USBGF Grand Championship

Jeremy Bagai wins the U. S. Backgammon Federation 2012 Grand Championship, defeating Ed O’Laughlin. The 7-point Grand Championship finale played in San Francisco on August 18 included 4 complex games, full of high drama (details in upcoming issue of PrimeTime Backgammon).  Ed made a valiant effort, winning the USBGF Championship East division at the NY Metro in January, and narrowly losing to Jeremy in a hard-fought finals match of the USBGF Championship West at the LA Open in June. Congratulations to both!

The Grand Championship finals match was chock-full of excitement. Jeremy recounts:

Game 1:  I have two on the roof against Ed’s five-point board, while my position is underdeveloped.  I manage to bring them in and hit a shot as Ed is coming around, then build my prime and cube.  Ed passed what looks to be a close take.

Game 2: I’m gammoning Ed, but he hits my 15th checker and only loses two points.

Game 3: I chicken out and pass a scary attacking position where I lose a lot of gammons, but also win a lot of games.  Was big take.

Game 4: This game had everything.  After a positional struggle, Ed has two of my men behind his four-prime and is shooting at another blot.  However, he also has six men back.  Good D-T for money, but when leading 4-0 I should let this one go.  I take, and scramble around.  I know his takepoint on the 4-cube is around 11 percent, so I have to play on deep into the game.  He takes my recube to 4, but only had 8% winning chances, so that was the last cube error.  I take his recube to 8, and two rolls later I am forced to leave a game-losing shot for the match.  But Ed misses, and I take the trophy.


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