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.
In the 1980s he spent several months in London and played at the Double Fives Club. Myself and Barry ‘Bigplay’ McAdam were lucky enough to have had lessons from him while he was here and our games improved in leaps and bounds. His enthusiasm for the game remained throughout his life despite having a somewhat complex and colourful personal life. Analysing matches and positions with Paul was as fascinating as it was instructive. The term genius is overused but I would say that the term correctly describes Paul.
He gave a lot of time to the game and it was always a pleasure to spend time with him. Two years ago we started to collaborate on “Backgammon 2” but sadly the work ground to a halt due to his health. I still have the notes and may yet do something with them.
The picture above shows Paul in happier times at Monte Carlo in 1982 with his second wife, Aileen.