29th May 2020 update: Social distancing rules still prohibit virtually all live backgammon and there is currently no target date for its resumption. As previously announced:
The 2020 UK Tour, both Masters and Intermediate, is cancelled and the 2021 TWI event will not take place.
While live play is suspended there are of course many online options. Some of these are listed here on our ‘Resources’ page, with a more detailed discussion about the technical requirements here. The UKBGF rated match policy generally precludes the inclusion of online match results but, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, some pre-authorised, time limited exceptions to this rule have been granted. We do not anticipate granting any further exceptions during the pandemic and, in any case, no online match played after 30th June 2020 will be rated, even if within the scope of an allowed exception.
Backgammon is one of the world’s truly great board games. Versions of the game have been played for about 5,000 years – a testament to its enduring fascination. Hundreds of people play live games regularly in the UK and thousands play regularly online.
If you are new to backgammon you can learn how to play by downloading and reading Chris Bray’s ‘Introduction to Backgammon’ which is one of the Newcomer’s Guides on our Resources page. If you are familiar with the game, but are hesitant about visiting a club or entering a tournament, other guides in this section might also be helpful, such as A Beginner’s Introduction to Tournaments and Tournament Etiquette for the Uninitiated. The Resources page also has a link to the current version of the UKBGF Tournament Rules, as well as other useful links.
There are many live tournaments throughout the year which you can enter, either weekly or monthly, at the growing number of backgammon clubs throughout the UK. Most of these clubs submit results to the UKBGF ratings system, enabling you to keep track of your progress in relation to the 1900+ other players in the live national ratings. As you progress you may also want to enter some of the larger annual tournaments, both in the UK and abroad.
The UKBGF oversees the annual UK Open and the UK Clubs Championship and also coordinates the UKBGF Tour, comprising about a dozen tournaments around the UK. All of these can be found on our UK Backgammon Calendar. Some include both ‘Masters’ and ‘Intermediate’ flights, and some also have separate competitions for beginners and inexperienced or ‘social’ players. Live streaming of matches from UK tournaments is becoming more common, and these can be followed on the UKBGF twitchtv channel. To see the UKBGF archive of match recordings from previous tournaments visit the UKBGF YouTube channel. A selection of photos from these and other tournaments can be found in the UKBGF Flickr account.
Backgammon is a friendly and social game. If you are new to the scene you will find a very warm welcome at any UK club night or tournament. You don’t have to be one of the 500+ UKBGF members to play in a UKBGF-affiliated club, but please consider joining to support our efforts to publicise and grow the game.
Click here for details of UKBGF membership benefits, fees and how to join. Please note that UKBGF membership is completely free for all full time students of any age and for all players under the age of 21.