To mark the start of UKBGF formally having members, a special auction was held at the recent Scope charity tournament – and the prime lot was the honour of being our first ever member. We are delighted to report that James Ramsey won the auction with a fantastic bid of £1700, becoming Member No. 1 and being granted lifetime membership – as well as helping a very deserving cause.
Having observed the relative sparseness of backgammon clubs in some parts of the country in an earlier post, I’m delighted to pass on the news that Cornwall now has its own. Launceston Backgammon Club launches on Thursday 16th April at “Firebrand” in the town centre, and plans to meet every two weeks after that.
Organiser Paul Shaw is keeping a blog about the club here and you can find up-to-the-minute news from the club on Twitter at @lansongammon. Please do support the club as they get started, and we wish our youngest organisation every success – we hope we’ll even see some members at the UK Open!
Fourteen players gathered at East Midlands Airport this weekend to get the first British tournament in the BMAB’s Masters Series underway under the watchful eye of Rick Janowski. As we reported earlier, the aim is two-fold – to win games, of course, and to play with as low an error rate as possible. To make that possible, every game is recorded on video, transcribed and analysed. And that gave the tournament a different feel from the start – instead of a wide variety of personalised boards of varying sizes, we arrived to find standard sized boards with high contrast pieces and tape marks on the tables to position them exactly for the array of cameras positioned above. Players were also shepherded to specific boards with nameplates so that none could end up on the wrong video by mistake, with Rick watching in on an impressive array of laptops…
Or “Division 2 London Player does surprisingly well against Danish Champion”
UKBGF’s Raj Jansari was over in Denmark this weekend for the Munkebjerg Championships – a regular event run in association with the Danish Backgammon Federation. It features a very strong field in the main division, and plenty of action with generous prizes right down to beginner level.
In recent times the tournament world seems to have settled largely on knockouts, either plain or double-elimination, with reasonably length matches of odd numbers of points, as the format of choice. One year ago, the inaugural Ides of March Cambridge Invitational tournament broke this mould with an innovative approach. A select group of 8 leading players – Peter Bennet, Julian Fetterlein, John Hurst, Jason Pack, Lawrence Powell, Tariq Siddiqi, and Sean Williams, together with eXtremeGammon – played out a round robin of increasing-length matches, starting with a 2-pointer and progressing up to an 8-pointer.
At the end of this process, the top two played a final 11-pointer, with a twist – bringing home more victories in the round robin, and a victory against the other finalist, would earn head-start points in the final. Ultimately Sean would triumph and claim not only a substantial cash prize but also a backgammon-themed painting – an unusual and delightful alternative to a trophy. (I can’t help wondering what eXtremeGammon would have done with a cash prize, perhaps we shall never know!)