The Art of Seizing the Moment (Slava vs. Lars Part III)
This article in the November/December edition of Prime Time Backgammon completes my treatment of exploration of the cube strategies of Lars Trabolt and Slava Pryadkin in their 2013 World Championship finals match. It covers in detail the closing fireworks of that most exciting match while exploring the psychological dimensions of backgammon match play. Read in tandem with the earlier articles, it presents something of a manual for a bold, but weaker player to tackle some of the game’s greatest performers in a high pressure, high stakes long match. You can read the full article by clicking here.
Trailing by a significant margin, Lars had difficulty deviating from his predetermined match strategy of grinding it out (i.e., conservatively doubling and redoubling, while eschewing gammonish volatility). His checker play continued to be better
than Slava’s, but he was not able to really use the cube to his advantage. This was partly the fault of the dice and partly the result of Slava’s counter strategy of seeking to increase volatility…..
For all of you readers who aspire to win the World Championship, Slava gave us a perfect example of how to do so in style: by throwing double fives, scoring 12 points by backgammoning one of the world’s best players. This is certainly a glorious way to win…. Lars, of course, was a perfect gentleman, and within a few minutes was looking over rollouts and discussing with spectators like me if he should have recubed to eight earlier in the game. That is the greatest lesson we can learn from this match: how to handle victory and defeat with equanimity. To read the full article click here.