At the end of February, the UK took on Germany in a friendly match. There were twelve players on each team. This was the UK team: Gaz Owen, Oliver Squire, Rick Janowski, Chris Bray, Aref Alipour, Julian Fetterlein, Sebastian Wilkinson, Tim Cross, Jon Barnes, Lawrence Powell, Charles Hill and Steve Bibby. Chris Rogers was the non-playing captain with overall UK captain, Martin Barkwill, providing assistance.
Back at the start of August the UK took on the USA in an online backgammon match. There were twelve players on each team and four different formats were used over three days of very competitive play. However, before we look at the 2020 match, we need to use a Tardis to step back forty-seven years to 1973 to find the origins of the match
The 1973 Match
In October 1973 the Clermont Club in London’s West End hosted a match between the UK and the USA. [Read more…]
Twenty-five years ago I submitted an article entitled “Backgammon: Quo Vadis?” to all the national newspapers to see if there was any interest in publishing it. I heard nothing whatsoever and so reverted to writing short articles for the members of the Double Fives Club, run by George and Diana Sulimirski, where I played most of my backgammon.
Three months later an editor at The Independent found my article at the bottom of his in-tray and called me. [Read more…]
Last Monday (5th March 2018) one of the founding fathers of modern backgammon, Paul Magriel, passed away at his home in Las Vegas at the age 71. I had known Paul for thirty-five years and this article is written in tribute to him and all that he did for the game of backgammon.
Paul was the son of Paul Magriel Sr. (1906–1990), an art collector and author, and Christine Fairchild Magriel. He leaves a son, Louis Fairchild Magriel whom he had with his third wife, French poker player, Martine Oulés.
The Backgammon Masters Series (BMS) Group organises and facilitates live tournaments in which all matches are clocked, recorded and transcribed, conferring mastership titles and certifying proficiency levels with the fundamental goal of promoting Backgammon as a leading international mindsport. BMS (UK) under the direction of Rick Janowski is the UK branch of this international group and is supported and promoted by the UKBGF. Contact Rick for more details of these tournaments (the next of which is the weekend of 6-7th June) at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of last month I attended my first Backgammon Masters tournament. The format of the tournament is to have 16 players who each play six matches over the weekend. Each match is recorded on video and subsequently analysed using Extreme Gammon.
There are two ways to win. You can win more matches than anybody else or you can achieve the lowest Performance Rating (PR). Your PR is determined by XG where the lower the number the better the player you are. A PR of zero would indicate you are a perfect player (they don’t exist!!). Realistically if you can play to a PR of around 4.0 you are a very good player. If you can play to a PR of around 3.0 you are a very strong player indeed – world champion material. I would estimate that there are no more than ten players in the world who can consistently play to a PR of 3.0 and it may well be fewer than ten. [Read more…]