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.
Chris Bray writes:
Very sadly, Paul Magriel passed away yesterday afternoon. (5th March).
Paul was one of the founding fathers of modern backgammon. His definitive work, “Backgammon” published in 1976, is still considered to be the bible of the game. He was World Champion in 1978.
We are very sad to report the passing of Nigel Merrigan on the 20th January, aged just 51. Nigel was a regular player from the nineties onwards, and he won the BIBA British Open Championship twice, in 1993 and 2006, although he doesn’t seem to have played much tournament backgammon for the last five years or so.
The photo shows Nigel (left, foreground) enjoying dinner with a few backgammon friends at the Nordic Open in Copenhagen around Easter 2012. Nigel’s family is with him on the left, and on the right (from far end) is Stuart Mann, Yan Kit Chan and Fai “North” Chan from Hong Kong. I was the photographer! (Fai’s life was sadly also cut short a few years ago.)
It is with great sorrow that we report the passing away well before his time at age 47 of one of our non-UK based members, Martin Birkhahn, last Friday, 3rd February in his home nation of Germany.