There were some very intense battles over the boards last night. See the pairings and winners of Round 4 here.
One sample that determined one of the main matches was:
In the 17-pont match between Henrik Veje and Matvey “Falafel” Natanzon with Falafel leading 15 to 11, and after being cubed to 2, a hitting fest occurred that left Falafel stranded on the bar with four checkers in a sure gammon loss situation and an over-hanging sensation if impending doom of the triple backgammon.
And although the #4 player in the world managed to saved the triple, he did lose in the following game after Veje rolled a 5-5 in a holding position, followed by a second 5-5, to scurry into his home and take the match (despite a valiant effort by Falafel with a 6-6 and other rolls that showed hope of rescue the game).
On another table, a half an hour earlier, in the 17-pointer between Alex Lehmann and Torsten Haase, with Lehmann leading 13 to 10, Lehmann has three checkers to bear off, one on his 2 point and 2 on his 1 point, he ships the cube back to 4 with Haase looking at his last two checkers sitting on the 5 and 4 points. After long thought, and even some friendly chatter with Lehmann, Haase takes, (cube action correct on both sides according to post analysis) Lehmann rolls a non-double and Haase sends the cube back to 8 and shakes his dice with a prayer and rolls a 4-1. Lehmann goes to the money round!
The action continues this afternoon in quarter-finals (Round 5) and then again in semi-finals tonight in Round 6 that will leave only two players to dispute the final tomorrow, for the biggest amount of money to ever be paid in a backgammon tournament - $600,400 for the PartyGammon Million Champion and another $144,096 for the Runner-Up.
Keep tuned to the GammonLife Tournaments section where you can find the list of payouts and links to all the coverage so far, as well as more that will be add tonight and over the next couple of days.