Over the summer I was delighted to win my largest tournament to date, and probably the one that means most to me… and for a while I had loads of thoughts about who to pick as our 2021 charity. It wasn’t long after, though, that my mind was rather made up for me; Anna and I have routine scans every couple of years, and a few days later the dreaded call came through for her: “we’ve seen something a bit odd and we’d like to take a closer look”. That was the cue for six months of gruelling cancer treatment (with all the complications of COVID on top), and while the end is in sight with a positive outcome very likely now, it is an experience you would never wish to go through. You may have noticed I’ve been rather absent from live backgammon and rather subdued online recently, this is why. So, our 2021 charity is Macmillan Cancer Support – we’ve been through some very scary times but having ready access to people who have long experience of it, to get good information, practical advice, and many times just a friendly face to talk to, has been invaluable along the way. Please do sign up and play, have a lot of fun, and make a real difference.
So, I’m delighted to now be able to start registering players for the 2021 Charity Challenge! Registration is open now and closes at midnight on Christmas Eve. This year we’ll be adopting the same format to last year’s Challenge with multiple-elimination, starting with five lives. Each round involves an 11 point match. The first five rounds will start with random draws on December 28th 2021 – or possibly the day after if I have a really long run in the Worcester Christmas tournament! – and you’ll have five weeks to play those matches. Lose a match, lose a life! After that, we pair people up with opponents who have similar numbers of lives left; everyone still with lives intact gets another opponent every two weeks until we are left with just the one champion. Entry is open to all – you don’t need to be a UKBGF member.
Entry costs just a £10 donation to our cause – and every entry really will make a difference. The trophies are being donated by myself as usual, and I’m repeating my challenge to you to sign up: if we can reach 100 players like last time then there will be an extra £100 heading over to Maggie’s Centre, Cambridge who have been an absolutely invaluable support to me on many visits to Addenbrookes as well as keeping me full of tea. Please sign up now! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get payment details, and you can find full information on the tournament here. The format is pretty relaxed and everyone gets a good amount of play; last year it was around in the summer that we had our final round.
There will be an optional £10 side pool again, just mention it when you register!
“Nothing can really prepare you for the first time you hear the C-word, yet a startlingly large proportion of us will be in that position at some point in our lives. We are fortunate to live in an age where there are likely to be paths to recovery, but navigating those paths will impact every aspect of our lives – our physical and emotional health, family, friends, jobs, interests. Having someone expert available at any time to talk through the pros and cons of treatment options, sources of practical help, or just be a supportive listening ear when the journey gets tough, has been absolutely invaluable to us.”
Nominations are now open for the British Backgammon Awards 2021
Stop press: Nominations have been extended to December 31st 2021 so the December tournaments will be included in the 2021 Awards. Voting will therefore happen in January.
The UK Women’s team has been busy during the lockdowns, playing a whole range of opposition in friendly but still very competitive fixtures. Meanwhile, in the Clubs Championship this year, the Scottish Ladies team entered and put up a good fight. It was inevitable, therefore, that a challenge in the spirit of our earlier Four Nations tournament would be issued, and so this weekend we see the first England v Scotland match.
Taking place this Saturday, there will be a five-round round robin between the two teams, and we’ll be streaming all five rounds live with commentary by Geoff Hall – and I’ll be taking a break from playing to be in the commentary box with Geoff helping out with statistics and keeping an eye on the live chat. Rounds start at 10:00, 11:00, then after lunch 13:00, 14:00 and 15:30. You can watch them all on our Youtube channel here.
Lining up for England:
- Rachel Rhodes
- CJ Uttley
- Dorothy Lee
- Anna Price (c)
- Sarah Jolliff
- Ana Mancino
with Sarah and Ana making their debuts at this level. Meanwhile for Scotland we have:
- Alice Taylor
- Jenny COoper
- June Williamson
- Karen Slawek
- Kirsty Mason
- Brenda Rafferty (c)
Like London buses, you wait for some tournament announcements and today you get three…
P-40 and Gammon Village Sponsor a new live event in London – and registration is open to UKBGF members!
Backgammonlondon, run by David Potter and Andrew Selby are delighted to announce that Registration is open for The London Masters 2022.