I’ve just spent a very pleasant weekend watching the live streaming from the Nordic Open, and in particular today’s final between Henrik Bang (Denmark) and Elias Kritikos (Norway). Many congratulations to Henrik for winning the tournament – one of the toughest – and to both for playing better than PR 4 over a very long match. Sadly there wasn’t a lot of British success to shout about this time. It’s notable that the Nordic leads the way in live streams with top quality broadcasts, all streamed matches available on Youtube after the event, expert commentary right from the opening round, and interviews with the players after the match.
It’s double helpings of positions this week as I managed to screengrab two consecutive moves both of which the players thought a long time over, and both of which caused a lot of interest in the chatroom. At this point Henrik (Blue) leads 19-12 in the 21-point match, is holding a 2-cube, and appears to be in a strong position:
Elias (Black) had a good long look at a whole range of moves – including clearing the 8-point with a double-slot, while the kibitzers speculated about the possibility of getting a workable backgame. Decide on your choice before reading on!
The actual move was to clear the bar point. Then we get:
Henrik (Blue) has a good roll, and there are three immediately plausible candidates – run one man, complete the prime and hope for a quick 6 or 3, or point on the odd back man. Again, what’s your move?
Henrik’s choice was to make the prime. What happened next was a remarkable turnaround – three times he hit loose on the 2-point, three times his man went back; then Elias rolled all the 1s and 6s he needed to escape and run to a highly improbable gammon while Henrik struggled to bring five men around. Fortunately for Henrik the dice were much more tame in the following game as he wrapped up the title 21-16.