Club Champion: Alex Zamanian

Finalist: Dan Chicoine

Points Race

1    Alex Zamanian            490
2    Greg Jukins              409
3    Tom O'Riordan            349
4    Dave Metz                276
5    Herb Gurland             256
6    Dan Chicoine             212
7    Eric Wicklund            211
8    Jacob Mashak             159
9    Walter Trice             146
10    Gil Evans               103
11    Phyllis Seidel           94
12    Doug Roberts             92
13    Antoinette Williams      92
14    Ed Ahola                 88
15    Roger Rondeau            76
16    John Smidt               71
17    George Saba              65
18    Mark Houser              61
19    Philip Hodson            54
20    Julius High              43
21    Mark Chicoine            40
22    Eric Sulkala             39
23    Jerry Padova             38
24    Gerhard Roland           27
25    Jim McKenna              25
26    Al Cantito               20
27    Tom Meyer                18
28    Jamie Evans              18
29    Anne Bidner              11
30    Jeff Holt                11
31    Dave Boulay               9
32    Dave Karjala              9
33    John Racoosin             9
34    Howard Coffman            2
35    Jim Gebhardt              2
36    Aaron Levesque            2
37    Howard Peele              2
38    Wanda Roberts             2
39    Paul Sciaraffa            2
40    Marty Storer              2
41    Nate Jackson              2

Tournament & Playoffs Results


The top 7 in the points race qualified for the playoffs, with the points race winner, Alex Zamanian, earning a bye. The other first round match-ups:

Erick Wicklund defeated Greg Jukins
Dan Chicoine defeated Tom O’Riordan
Herb Gurland defeated Dave Metz


Alex Zamanian defeats Herb Gurland
Dan Chicoine defeats Erick Wicklund

Finalist: Dan Chicoine
Champion: Alex Zamanian


May’s Bonus tournament was won by Greg Jukins, with Tom O’Riordan taking second place — a fitting conclusion to an excellent season for the players who finished 2nd and 3rd in the Points Race.
1 Greg Jukins
2 Tom O’Riordan
SF John Racoosin
SF Jacob Mashak
1C Ed Ahola
2C Dan Chicoine


Antoinette in April
It was an all New York finals, with Antoinette Williams defeating her travelling companion Julius High to take First Place. (Incidentally, if you are planning a visit to NYC, be sure to check out for their club news and event schedule.) Semi-finalists were Herb Gurland and Eric Wicklund. Tom O’Riordan and Roger Rondeau were 1st and 2nd in the Consolation.
With visitors taking most of the glory home, the top seven in the points race are the same as last month, the only change being that Eric Wicklund moved up a notch into sixth place, demoting Dan Chicoine to seventh. Since Dan has 169, it looks like anyone in the top 25 at this point has some chance of qualifying.

18 players
1 Antoinette Williams
2 Julius High
SF Herb Gurland
SF Eric Wicklund
1C Tom O’Riordan
2C Roger Rondeau


Jukins Wins January Tournament
Greg Jukins improved on his December 2nd-place finish by winning the NEBC’s January tournament, defeating Herb Gurland in the finals. Walter Trice and Eric Wicklund were semi-finalists, while Alex Zamanian won the consolation flight over Tom O’Riordan.
Jukins’s first win for the season moved him up to third in the annual points race. Meanwhile Zamanian’s consolation prize allowed him to recapture the lead — again — from Dave Metz. Remarkably this now makes four straight months in which Dave and Alex have alternated the lead. Herb Gurland, relieved for once of the burden of directing, managed his best result of the season to move into fourth position, while Dan Chicoine, wintering in Florida, drifted down to fifth. Tom O’Riordan, clearly a player to watch, stayed among the contenders at sixth with his third third-tier (SF or 2C) finish, with Jacob Mashak rounding out the top seven largely on the basis of his September win.

16 players
1 Greg Jukins
2 Herb Gurland
SF Walter Trice
SF Eric Wicklund
1C Alex Zamanian
2C Tom O’Riordan


Roberts Returns to Win in December
For the first time in several years Doug Roberts made the trip from Amherst to play in the club’s December Monthly, and won it, defeating Greg Jukins in the finals. For those who have not met Doug before, he was the Club Champion in 1984 and, perhaps even more significantly, holds third place in the all-time American Backgammon Tour standings. Semi-finalists in the main flight were Dave Metz and Eric Wicklund, while in the consolation Herb Gurland took first over newcomer Mark Chicoine.
Metz’s semi-finalist result nudged him into the top spot in the annual Points Race, and he now leads Alex Zamanian by 19. In other minor shufflings among the top 7, Greg Jukins moved up to 4th and Herb Gurland entered the list of playoff prospects at 6th place.
Roberts’s appearance would have been memorable even if he had not won the tournament, since he and his wife Wanda surprised the whole club by bringing a unique cake to celebrate Walter Trice’s 60th birthday. Aside from such conundrums as whether the marzipan checkers were as tasty as the dark chocolate points, the cake posed a tough backgammon checker-play problem, taken from a recent lecture by Mike Corbett.

21 players
1 Doug Roberts
2 Greg Jukins
SF Dave Metz
SF Eric Wicklund
1C Herb Gurland
2C Mark Chicoine


Zamanian Beats Metz in November Finals
For the second consecutive month it was Alex Zamanian vs. Dave Metz in the finals, but this time Alex won. November’s extra bonus points have put Zamanian on top of the Points Race (by a mere 6) despite Metz’s otherwise slightly better record. Both players have had spectacular results in the first three tournaments of the season: Each has a first and a second place, and in September Dave won the consolation while Alex was a semi-finalist. November semi-finalists were George Saba and Tom O’Riordan. In the Consolation flight Dan Chicoine took first over Phyllis Seidel.

21 players
1 Alex Zamanian
2 Dave Metz
SF Tom O’Riordan
SF George Saba
1C Dan Chicoine
2C Phyllis Seidel


New Guy Wins!
Who is Jacob Mashak? His romp through the field in our September season opener had me scanning lists of winners and finalists at Monte Carlo and other major tournaments, but I did not find his name there. In the Age of Google, however, anonymity is, at most, optional, and I quickly discovered that Mr. Mashak is an up-and-coming composer and conductor of classical music currently doing graduate study in Boston.
Two old guys managed to finish in the money. Dan Chicoine made it to the finals before maestro Mashak composed his finale, and Alex Zamanian was a semi-finalist. The rest of the glory was scooped by last year’s new guys. Greg Jukins finished as a semi-finalist in the Main flight, while Dave Metz took first in the Consolation over Tom O’Riordan.

16 players
1     Jacob Mashak
2     Dan Chicoine
SF    Greg Jukins
SF    Alex Zamanian
1C    Dave Metz
2C    Tom O’Riordan