Peter Hallberg
World Backgammon Champion 2004

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December 2008

The flu and an earth quake - What a week

Dec 20th by Peter Hallberg

After a week in bed with the flu I'm more or less back up on my feet again. Most of the time since last blog has been spend on WotLK and poker. The only exiting thing I can report about is the biggest earth quake in Denmark since 1917. It was so big that you could actually feel it! It lasted for 5 seconds and it shook the house approximately double as much than a big truck passing by. It was measured to 4.7-4.9 on the Richter scale. As Carter Mattig wrote to me: 'I wouldn't move just yet ;-)'

I finally managed to get to level 80. Now the hunt for epics has begun. So far I've accepted that I don't have as much time to play WotLK as needed to gear up cheap. I spend half of my gold on Auction House (AH) where I bought reasonable good epics. Still I sucked in a 25-man raid where one of the tanks did more DPS than me ?

My losses was turned into +10 buyins but lost it all again in two days. Heads Up (HU) is extremely volatile and I need to learn to accept that fact. The good side of this is that I still enjoy to play this high paced game where you only have to zero in on one opponent. I still believe that December will turn out profitable.

The team tournament is on Christmas break and we are currently holding the 2nd place in our division with the same number of points as the leading team. This time I want to show you the backgammon quiz we had at our Christmas dinner party closing the season in Hatten. There were 6 problems. See the first 3 problems below. I'll give you my solutions and the last 3 problems in my next blog.

Problem 1: Match to 11, score is 0-0
Blue to move 5-4


Problem 2: Match to 11, Blue leads 2-0
White to roll or double?


Problem 3: Match to 11, Blue leads 2-0
White to roll or double?

Games, games and more games

Dec 3rd by Peter Hallberg

We have finished the first half of the Danish backgammon team championship (Danish: Holdturneringen) where my team is participating in the 2nd division. We are ranked to be playing for advancement to 1st division and we are currently placed number one just one point ahead of number two.

A team consists of 4 players (+ substitutes) that will be playing 22 matches to 17 points against players from other teams during a season. The winners of each division will advance next season and of course the losers will drop down a division nest season as well.

This year we have 91 teams participating and almost every active player in the Danish Backgammon Federation (DBgF) are on a team. What makes this special is that it's almost free to participate because there's only a registration fee to cover the expenses for administration. Second, even though there is no prizes almost every single top player are participating. It is very prestigious to do well in this event.

Last week we (my team 'Hatten' meaning 'the hat' originating from a word puzzle) won 3-1 in an exiting match. The following position came up and it certainly got a debate going - after the match of course.

Match to 17, White leads 15-13
Blue to roll or double?
GNU Match Id: cAkgAvAAaAAA

Our player has the white checkers and he was leading 15-13/17 and didn't want to lose doubled gammon. Now blue doubled from the bar and Clement thought for a while and accepted! Believe me when I say a few players from my team spilled coffee and beer when they saw this, including myself. Clement (white) won the game and the debate started.

I don't think anybody (except Clement) thought this was a take until GNU Bg told us it was a triple blunder not to take.

Let's take a look at the position. Blue is on the bar and in really good shape I he enters immediately. White has two checkers trapped on the 24 point and he is on the verge of crunching his home board. There are just a bunch of things that can go wrong for white. On the other hand blue is still on the bar and white as quite a few roll that will put blue back on the bar if he should enter. I think that what tricked most of us is how hard it is for blue to escape with his last checker while trying to close his 4-point. I did some manual rollouts which clearly showed me how many chances white will get to win the game.

I asked a former giant 32 player and he thought the position was closer to being too good for blue than a take for white.

Well done Clement!

Through December and January I have some spare time which is going to be spent at the poker tables. Currently the stakes are really low and my preferred game is No Limit Hold'em cash game $100 buy-in, max 6 players. Unfortunately I started out by losing 3 buy-ins yesterday but I'm sure it will turn around.

:: Backgammon ::

* Dansk Bg Forbund (DK) 

* eXtreme Gammon

* Bg World Championship

* DBgF on Facebook (DK)


:: Poker ::

* Pokernyhederne (DK)

* (DK)

* Texaspoker (DK)

* PokerHistory


:: Chess ::

* Dansk Skak Union (DK)

* ChessBomb

* K41 (DK)

* ChessTempo