1st Montreal Open Backgammon Tournament

MONTREAL OPEN BACKGAMMON TOURNAMENT, September 14-17, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, Canada – Results from chicagopoint.com

Chris Knapp_2017 Montreal
Photo Karen Davis

OPEN (25): 1-Chris Knapp, 2-Larry Shiller; 1C-John Klein, 2C-Ed O’Laughlin; 1LC-Frank Talbot, 2LC-Mel Leifer.
ADVANCED (28): 1-Liam Henry, 2-Marcy Kossar; 1C-Chen-Fu Yu, 2C-Omar Shah; 1LC-David Kozak, 2LC-Robert Caldwell.
NOVICE (7): 1-Maxime Bilodeau, 2-Estelle Plante, 3-Kian Ghazian.
$500 CONCORDIA JACKPOT (11): 1- Karen Davis, 2-Roberto Litzenberger.
$250 HOCHELAGA JACKPOT (13): 1-Robert Caldwell, 2-Mourad Wahba
QUEBEC DOUBLES (12): 1-Gary Koscielny & Mike Valliere, 2-Estelle Plante & Kathy Weiner.
QUIKIES (32): 1-Roberto Litzenberger, 2-Herb Roman
BLITZ (32): 1-Herb Roman, 2-Garry Kallos.
SENIORS TOURNEY #1:1-Alan Grunwald, 2-John Pirner.
SENIORS TOURNEY #2: 1-Patrick St-Laurent, 2-Karen Davis.
JACQUES CARTIER PRE-TOURNEY (8): 1-Karen Davis, 2-Gary Koscielny.

USBGF Intermediate Divisional XXX

FB pic Joost _sm

Congratulations (again) to Joost Van Schijndel, winner of the Intermediate Divisional XXX. Joost defeated Jaime Obregon in the 13-point final. Oscar Quiroz and Kevin Jones finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration to enter the tournament.

USBGF Intermediate Divisional XXXI

FB pic Joost _sm

Congratulations to Joost Van Schijndel, winner of the Intermediate Divisional XXXI. Joost defeated Shannon McKinney in the 13-point final. Oscar Quiros and Karl Sours finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration to enter the tournament.

USBGF June Monthly Circuit

JanCerny

Congratulations to Jan Cerny, winner of the USBGF 2017 June Monthly Circuit. Jan won this single elimination tournament by defeating Eusebio Blasco in the 17-point final match. Ralph DeSimone and Scott Ward finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final match.

See the Online Circuit Leader Board posting here.

SILICON VALLEY BACKGAMMON OPEN

SILICON VALLEY BACKGAMMON OPEN, September 1-4, 2017; San Jose, California – Preliminary Results from chicagopoint.com

(Preliminary results)

Jeremy Bagai-2017Silicon

OPEN (57): 1-Jeremy Bagai, 2/5-Ed O’Laughlin / Odis Chenault / Al Hodis / Jesse Jestadt, 6/7-Mark Ferrin / Jeb Horton, 8/11-Art Benjamin / Sean Garber / Lynn Lusk / Steve Sax.
ADVANCED (32): 1-Mike Mannon, 2/6-Kevin McDonough / Frank Bennneyan / Brian Draper / Aaron Foust / Gary Koscielny, 7/8-Glenn Nunez / Kathy Weiner.
NOVICE (5): 1-Corky Normart, 2-Dirk Olsen.
49ER GOLD RUSH MASTERS (25): 1-Mark Andrus, 2-Fred Kinder, 3/4-Steve Sax / Ted Chee.
LIMITED JACKPOT (32): 1-David Kettler, 2-Mark Ferrin, 3/4-Carl Blumenstein / Jesse Jestadt
TED CHEE BOUNTY 2-POINTERS (72): 1-Patrick Gibson, 2-Art Benjamin
DOUBLES (8): 1-Ray Fogerlund & Aaron Foust, 2-Lynda Clay & Allen Tish.
BLITZ (64): 1-Sam Ahmed, 2-Howard Markowitz
OLDER & WISER (16): 1-Karen Davis, 2-Carol Joy Cole
YOUNG GUNS (20): 1-Michaela Olsen, 2-Ted Chee
OLDER & WISER VS YOUNG GUNS PLAYOFF: 1-Karen Davis, 2-Michaela Olsen

Three New USBGF Corporate Sponsors — See How You Can Benefit!

 We’re delighted to let you know that the USBGF has three new corporate sponsors: Gammon Stuff, Cook Travel, and GameSite 2000. These corporate sponsors bring significant benefits to USBGF members – please check them out!
 
We express our appreciation to these generous sponsors and their leaders – John Pirner, CEO of Gammon Stuff, distributor of FTH backgammon equipment; Nick and Blake Fleetwood with Cook Travel; and Xavier and Michelle Dufaure de Citres, creator of GameSite2000 and its popular products eXtreme Gammon, XG Mobile, and Gammon Site backgammon server. Criteria for corporate sponsorship are shown below. Please contact Karen@usbgf.org if your organization would like to become a USBGF corporate sponsor.
 
Gammon Stuff
 
Gammon Stuff has offered to provide a free FTH backgammon board set (including cups, cube, precision dice, and travel bag) to all ABT tournaments in 2018 with 100 or more entrants in 2017 (plus the Viking Classic in his home state of Minnesota). 
 
Two options for award of the backgammon set prize are currently under consideration for discussion with ABT directors:
·         USBGF added money side event – backgammon board set would be added to the “prize pool” for the USBGF added money side event; must be USBGF member to win board and added money
·         A separate FTH/USBGF backgammon board set jackpot side event with the board as a prize and cash second place prize.

FTH will also produce a customized USBGF board with USBGF logo and name which will be listed for sale in the USBGF website BG Shop.
 
Cook Travel
 
USBGF member Blake Fleetwood and his son Nick Fleetwood have arranged airline travel discounts for USBGF members of 2-5% on economy tickets and 10-30% on business/first-class tickets on Delta and American domestic flights. 
 
These discounts are not just for traveling to ABT tournaments or USBGF events. Cook Travel has enabled us to offer airfare discounts for other travel as well. For international tickets costing more than $800, the savings will vary between 10-30%. These discounts are on Turkish Airlines, Delta, American, and Lufthansa.

Cook Travel has been around for more than 40 years and specializes in discounted first and business class travel. Cook has been recommended by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and was an affiliate of American Express for 20 years before becoming independent.
 
GammonSite 2000 ltd
 
GammonSite 2000 ltd is the maker of eXtreme Gammon and XG Mobile software and hosts the GammonSite backgammon server. GammonSite 2000 provides a 20% discount to USBGF Premium members for first-time purchase of XG (off list price of $59.95) and $14 annual fee for use of the GammonSite server (discounted from list price of $20) for all USBGF members.
 
Geoffrey Parker Games
 
These sponsors join Geoffrey Parker Games. which provides doubling cubes to USBGF Prime Benefactors who support our added money initiative for Prime Tournaments. They also provide a Championship prize backgammon board at select ABT tournaments.
 
Founding Sponsors receive a doubling cube specially designed by Lawrence Sonné at Backgammon Elegance

The USBGF has ended is corporate sponsor relationship with P-40.
 
USBGF Corporate Sponsor Criteria

Criteria for USBGF corporate sponsorship include:
Company/organization corporate sponsor is recognized as providing quality products/services
Owners, directors, officers, and management have good reputation/standing in the community
The sponsor does not require an exclusive relationship with the USBGF
The sponsor provides a significant benefit to the USBGF, ABT tournaments, and/or members
These include discounts on goods and services or provision of free goods/services such as backgammon equipment, software, publications, or airline travel/hotel accommodations.

USBGF Members Ratify Tournament Rules

I’m delighted to let you know that USBGF members have ratified the 2018 Tournament Rules with 81% voting in favor of adoption. As the Board agreed, these are now the official USBGF Tournament Rules, and will be required for use at all tournaments on the American Backgammon Tour beginning in 2018, with a limited set of rules options available to tournament directors who provide advance notice. The Rules may also be used by tournament directors at their option in 2017. The Rules are recommended for use by all clubs and players in the USA. Links to the pertinent documents are below:
 
  USBGF 2018 Tournament Rules
  2018 Tournament Rules Options
  Public Comment Summary
 
We especially appreciate the partnership of the USBGF Tournament Advisory Committee chaired by Jeb Horton and including Ken Bame, Ted Chee, Carol Joy Cole, Dennis Culpepper, Patrick Gibson, April Kennedy, Troy Longman, and Kathy Weiner. Their feedback and assistance were critical in putting forward a revised Rules set that has proven to be acceptable to the backgammon community.

Obviously, no set of rules for tournament backgammon can possibly be developed such that every person will like every rule. However, the open and transparent process including a 30-day period of public comment and ratification by the members has gone a long way to achieving acceptance and legitimacy as a community consensus rule set.
 
We are committed to continuing to engage directors and players, with an open mind, regarding potential future revisions to these Rules. We will monitor the effectiveness and difficulties of various rules and consider adjustments based on the evidence. Let us know what is working and what is not, along with any other suggestions you may have. The goal is to make tournament backgammon manageable for the directors and enjoyable for the players. Together, we have taken a major step in that direction.
 
Thank you to everyone who voted and contributed ideas that helped shape this decision and to those who worked diligently to see that all ideas were carefully considered..
 
Best regards,

Joseph Russell
Chairman, Board of Directors
U.S. Backgammon Federation

Colorado State Championships — $500 Added Money for USBGF members!

The Colorado Backgammon Association is sponsoring the Colorado State Championships, Sep. 22-24, at the Holiday Inn-East, Denver, CO. Rooms are $109 (king) or $119 (2 queens). Make your reservations early by phone (303) 371-9498 or online Holiday Inn-East Reservations. Register for the ABT events, as well as the side events: Continental Divide, Royal Gorge, Doubles, Quickie Knockout and Blitz. Don’t miss the auction on Saturday morning. $500 additional money is available for USBGF members, so join or renew your membership before you go. All Novice entrants will receive a book prize from the U.S. Backgammon Foundation and first-time Novices will receive an introductory free one-year membership. Do encourage local club players and family members who are new to tournament play to give it a try. Join us for exciting backgammon in the Mile High City. Details at Colorado State Championships.

In addition to the Colorado State Championships, the USBGF is offering added money for members at upcoming ABT tournaments:

Silicon Valley Backgammon Open, Sept 1 – 4, 2017, at the Courtyard by Marriott Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, with $750 added money.
Montreal Open, September 15 – 17, 2017, at the Marriott Courtyard, Montreal Airport, with $500 added.
Florida State, October 5-8, 2017, at the Westin, Fort Lauderdale, FL with $500 added.
Connecticut State, Oct. 20-22, 2017, Doubletree Hilton, Windsor, CT with $750 added.
Las Vegas Open, Nov. 15-19, at the Flamingo, Las Vegas, NV with $1000 added.
California State Championship, Dec 1 – 3, 2017, at the Hilton LAX with $1000 added.

Online Match Series Expert Panel — Come Join the Fun!

We’re delighted to announce the USBGF Online Match Series Expert Panel which will provide commentary on members’ decisions in the USBGF Members versus All-Time American Backgammon Tour leader Neil Kazaross. The members of the Expert Panel include:
·         Grant Hoffman – see the profile of Grant in the Summer 2017 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon. He’s reinvigorated the backgammon scene in New Zealand and has to his credit not only multiple Championship wins in the New Zealand Championship and the Australia Open, but tied for second in his first foray in the ABT at the 2017 Chicago Open Championship with a win-loss record of 8-3 in the Swiss format event, and winning the After Tournament of 16 players.
·         Steve Sax – Steve is the #9 rated Giant of Backgammon, and a BMAB ranked Grandmaster Class Two.  He has won 24 titles over the years including ABT main events or consolations, jackpots, and club championships. He won the 2017 Cherry Blossom Jackpot, is a three-time winner of Gammon Associates ABT tournaments, was a finalist in the Dual-Duel event at the 4th Texas Backgammon Championships in February 2016. Steve has been voted to the “Giants of Backgammon” list seven consecutive times beginning in 2001. In 2002, he was the ABT Player of the Year. Steve is a prolific author and first-rate photographer – check out his articles in PrimeTime Backgammon.
·         Paul Weaver — Paul is currently ranked #17 on the Giants of Backgammon list. He has been awarded Grandmaster Class 3 status by the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body. He is one of only seven who have been on all twelve biennial Giants lists since they began in 1993. With Nack Ballard, Paul co-authored the ground-breaking work on opening theory, “Backgammon Openings, Book A,” published in 2007. He is a frequent contributor to the USBGF PrimeTime Backgammon magazine.

The Online Match Series, where members vote on plays against the All-time American Backgammon Tour champion Neil Kazaross, is one of the great benefits of USBGF Membership. The record to date is Neil Kazaross 3 – USBGF Members 3.  If you haven’t joined in, now is a great time to start participating. Match #7 has just started. Positions are posted every couple of days, members vote, the votes are tallied with majority rule, and commentary follows from a member of our Expert Panel.

The USBGF will offer a prize to one lucky participant of the current match of the USBGF OLM.  The winner will receive a $50 USBGF BG shop credit or a one-year extension of their Premium membership (winner’s choice).  At the conclusion of the match, we’ll select a winner at random from the participants.  Each person will be weighted in the random drawing according to how many times they submitted a (legal!) move in the match.  The more often you vote, the better your chances are!

We’re grateful to Mary Hickey, noted backgammon author and two-time U.S. Open Winner (2010, 2011), who has most recently served as Guest Expert, and to Jason Lee who serves as Online Match Series editor.

If at any time, you’d like to vote on the current move in the USBGF OLM, just go to USBGF.org and find the most recent “USBGF OLM” link in the “What’s New” section at the top of the page.  All Premium, Novice, and Basic members of the USBGF are eligible to vote.

To get on the list for notification of each new position up for voting, either vote and check the box at the bottom of the page, or drop an email to Jason Lee at USBGF OLM Editor. If you have any questions, do send an e-mail.

Come join the fun! Get in the Game!

USBGF Intermediate Divisional XXIX

Ken Indart_int_div-2017

Congratulations to Ken Indart, winner of the Intermediate Divisional XXIX. Ken defeated Konstantin Kresteliev in the 13-point final. Carlos Pulido and Garret Dequesne finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final.

The Intermediate Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration to enter the tournament.

Request for Membership Vote on 2018 USBGF Tournament Rules

Link to the Voting Poll and Associated Documents for the Proposed 2018 USBGF Tournament Rules: Voting Poll

Proposed USBGF 2018 Tournament Rules: http://usbgf.org/docs/rules-proposed-2018.pdf

2018 Tournament Rules Options: http://usbgf.org/docs/rules-options-2018.pdf

Public Comment Summary: http://usbgf.org/docs/rules-proposed-public-comment-summary-2018.pdf

After assessing and incorporating changes received through a public comment period, the USBGF Board of Directors is recommending the 2018 Rules for member ratification and has agreed to abide by the member ratification decision. If ratified, these Rules will be the official USBGF Rules, and will be required for use at all ABT tournaments effective January 1, 2018 (with some Rules Options for directors). We ask all members to vote to indicate your support for, or opposition to, the 2018 Rules during the voting period from August 13 to August 23.

The Rules were developed in partnership with the USBGF Tournament Directors Advisory Committee and have its unanimous support. We would particularly like to thank Jeb Horton (chair), and its members Ken Bame, Ted Chee, Carol Joy Cole, Dennis Culpepper, Patrick Gibson, April Kennedy, Troy Longman, and Kathy Weiner for ensuring that concerns of tournament directors were addressed in the revision. We also thank tournament directors and players who tested the 2016 USBGF Rules and provided us with the benefit of their experience. The final set of Rules have benefited significantly from the thoughtful ideas and suggestions provided by players throughout this process of revision of the 2016 Rules, without which we would not have this final set of Rules that we now recommend for adoption.

Finally, we extend our appreciation to Richard Munitz, Frank Talbot, and Neil Kazaross on the 2017 USBGF Rules Committee, who have led the work in synthesizing and assessing the merits of the extensive comments received from players and directors, as well as preparing the Rules for consideration by the USBGF Board and membership. We also acknowledge a debt to Dorn Bishop, Vice-Chairman of the USBGF Board of Directors, and distinguished members of the backgammon community Chuck Bower, Patrick Gibson, Neil Kazaross, and Kit Woolsey for their work on the initial Rules set.

A widely-adopted, uniform set of rules will help promote fairness and consistency, reduce complexity and confusion, and provide greater comparability of statistical results across tournament experiences. We have built upon and appreciate the leadership of national backgammon federations around the world in moving toward a uniform set of rules. Longer term we will be working with the international backgammon community to further the game we all love.

Joseph Russell
Chairman, Board of Directors
U.S. Backgammon Federation

Omnium de Montreal Open — $500 Added Money for USBGF members!

The Montreal Open is set for Sept 14-17, 2017 at the Marriott Courtyard Montreal Airport Hotel. Make your reservations by August 15 to secure the $129 USD daily rate; call 1-888-339-5339 and ask for the Backgammon Group Rate. This new ABT tournament includes all Open, Intermediate and Novice events, along with the Hochelaga Intermediate Jackpot, Concordia Jackpot, Alouette Super Jackpot, Iroquois Blitz, Jacques Cartier Pre-Tourney Quebec Doubles, and the Old Montreal Seniors. Only CAD currency is accepted. All on-site fees must be in CAD cash. $500 additional money is available for USBGF members, so join or renew your membership before you go. All Novice entrants will receive a book prize from the U.S. Backgammon Foundation and first-time ABT Novice players will receive a free one-year trial membership. Do encourage local club players and family members who are new to tournament play to give it a try. Come to Montreal’s first ABT tournament to profiter de la vie. Details at Montreal Open.

In addition to the Omnium de Monteral Open, the USBGF is offering added money for members at upcoming ABT tournaments:
Silicon Valley Backgammon Open, Sept 1 – 4, 2017, at the Courtyard by Marriott Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA, with $750 added money.
Colorado State Championships, Sep. 22-24, 2017, at the Holiday Inn-East, Denver, Colorado, with $500 added.
Florida State, October 5-8, 2017, at the Westin, Fort Lauderdale, FL with $500 added.
Connecticut State, Oct. 20-22, 2017, Doubletree Hilton, Windsor, CT with $750 added.
•Las Vegas Open, Nov. 15-19, at the Flamingo, Las Vegas, NV with $1000 added.
California State Championship, Dec 1 – 3, 2017, at the Hilton LAX with $1000 added.

2nd Silicon Valley Backgammon Open — $750 Added Money for USBGF members!

The Silicon Valley Backgammon Open, , Sept. 1-4, is at the Courtyard by Marriott Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA. Reserve your room by August 10 to get the special tournament rate of $110 single (king bed), $130 double (two queen beds). *NOTE THE REDUCED PRICING IN ROOM RATES* In addition to the Swiss Format ABT events, the Masters 49ers Gold Rush, Limited Jackpot, Doubles, Older and Wiser vs. Young Guns, Blitzes, and Ted Chee Bounty Mini-matches are scheduled. $750 additional money is available for USBGF members, so join or renew your membership before you go. All Novice entrants will receive a book prize from the U.S. Backgammon Foundation and new ABT novice entrants a free one-year trial membership. Do encourage local club players and family members who are new to tournament play to give it a try. So make your way to San Jose for an exciting Labor Day event. Details at Silicon Valley Backgammon Open,

In addition to the Silicon Valley Backgammon Open, the USBGF is offering added money for members at upcoming ABT tournaments:
Montreal Open, September 15 – 17, 2017, at the Marriott Courtyard, Montreal Airport, with $500 added.
Colorado State Championships, Sep. 22-24, 2017, at the Holiday Inn-East, Denver, Colorado, with $500 added.
Florida State, October 5-8, 2017, at the Westin, Fort Lauderdale, FL with $500 added.
Connecticut State, Oct. 20-22, 2017, Doubletree Hilton, Windsor, CT with $750 added.
•Las Vegas Open, Nov. 15-19, at the Flamingo, Las Vegas, NV with $1000 added.
California State Championship, Dec 1 – 3, 2017, at the Hilton LAX with $1000 added.

Omnium de Montreal Open – Sept. 14 – 17, with $500 added for USBGF members