John Klein vs. Frank Raposa, Match 2, August, 2012

The second of two matches between John Klein (“66fromthebar”) and Frank Raposa (“Frank Raposa”), from the 2012 USBGF National Team Championship, played online in August, 2012. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, with an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.

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John Klein vs. Frank Raposa, Match 1, August, 2012

The first of two matches between John Klein (“66fromthebar”) and Frank Raposa (“Frank Raposa”), from the 2012 USBGF National Team Championship, played online in August, 2012. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, with an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.

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Bob Koca vs. Grant Schneider, August, 2012

The match between Bob Koca (“BobKoca”) and Grant Schneider (“VaGrant1”), from the 2012 USBGF National Team Championship finals, played online in August, 2012. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, with an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.

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Barry Silliman vs. Alfred Mamlet, August, 2012

The match between Barry Silliman (“SillyBaz”) and Alfred Mamlet (“amamlet”), from the 2012 USBGF National Team Championship finals, played online in August, 2012. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, with an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.
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Cohn-Geier vs. Nunez, San Francisco, January 2012

The 15-point match between Matt Cohn-Geier and Justin Nunez, San Francisco, California, January 2012. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, with an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.

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Falafel vs. Nuniyants, Los Angeles, June 2011

The match between Falafel Matanzon and Stepan Nuniyants, Los Angeles, California, June 2011. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon, courtesy of Neil Kazaross, and an extensive commentary by Marty Storer.
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PrimeTime Backgammon, November/December, 2011

 

Stepan Nuniyants at Los Angeles, 2011

Stepan Nuniyants

The U.S. Backgammon Federation presents the November—December, 2011 issue of its bi-monthly electronic magazine, PrimeTime Backgammon. In it, you’ll find articles by leading backgammon players and authors.

Falafel Matanzon, Los Angeles, 2011

Falafel Matanzon

Selected contents include:

  • Marty Storer–The Backgame: Theory in Practice
  • Tara Mendicino–The Olympics of Backgammon
  • John O’Hagan–Sylvester and Rockwell Big Winners in Peoria
  • Robert Wachtel–Wactation: Shorthand for Recording Positions
  • Mary Hickey–Starting Off Right
  • Robert Wachtel–The World’s Revenge, Part 2
  • Karen Davis–Michigan and Ohio State Battle It Out

USBGF News:

  • Justin Nunez–Stacking Up in Las Vegas
  • NY Metropolitan Open and USBGF National Championship
  • Barry Silliman–The Leading USBGF Players
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • September—October 2011 Tournament Results
  • Backgammon for the Young-at-Heart
  • Perry Gartner–Update on the US Backgammon Federation

This issue of PrimeTime Backgammon, and other analytic articles, are restricted to Premium, Youth, and Founding Sponsor members. Join now, and you’ll enhance your playing experience–and have more fun! For those of you who have joined, again, many thanks for your confidence in us, and enjoy this 39-page action-packed, fun-filled issue.

[Read more…]

MathFest 2011 Backgammon Quiz

In August 2011, over 1000 mathematicians gathered in Lexington, Kentucky for MathFest 2011,  the annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America. MathFest 2011 featured “Backgammon Night,” a free social event offering backgammon group lessons, a backgammon quiz designed especially for top-level mathematicians, and a backgammon tournament to test their newly-acquired skills.

The quiz, which we are presenting here, poses ten problems, with some weighted more highly than others, so that a perfect score nets 13 points. Art Benjamin, math professor at the Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, and a member of the USBGF Board of Directors, constructed the quiz. Art, along with Jennifer Quinn, math professor at the University of Washington, Tacoma, gave a post-quiz lecture, explaining the answers.

You can see the quiz, with answers, by downloading the PDF version (about 627 kB):  MathFest 2011 Backgammon Quiz.

Jonas vs. Kazaross, San Francisco, May, 2011

The finals match between Ralf Jonas and Neil Kazaross, San Francisco, California, May 15, 2011, for the championship of the 1st Golden Gate Open. The download file includes a complete analysis by eXtreme Gammon and a detailed commentary by Neil Kazaross.
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USBGF Ohio State Quiz

By John O’Hagan and Phil Simborg


You can view the problems and answers below, and see how well you do.

The Problems:



O’Laughlin vs. Fogerlund, Fort Lauderdale, January 2011

A record of the match between Ed O’Laughlin and Ray Fogerlund in the fifth round of the Championship division of the 3rd U.S. Backgammon Open, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, January 2011. This record features an analysis of the entire match by eXtreme Gammon, and a written commentary by Marty Storer, with over-the board thoughts from both players.

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March/April 2011 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon!

Marty Storer

Marty Storer

Marty Storer provides annotated commentary on a U.S. Open match for a slot in the Play-offs between two of America’s top players, Ray Fogerlund and Ed O’Laughlin, complete with analyses by eXtreme Gammon software and comments by the players in the just-released March/April, 2011 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon.

Don’t miss details in this issue of lots of playing opportunities at upcoming USBGF-sponsored events, including the Tournament of Stars, USBGF National Championships, and World Best Player Quiz in Los Angeles June 9-12, 2011. These action-packed four days are being held in conjunction with the Gammon Associates LA Open.

Another exciting event is the USBGF Online National Club Team Championships which will commence in April.  Local club teams should register at clubs@usbgf.org by March 31, 2011, and bring the traveling trophy home to their club. Winners will be recognized at the Tournament of Stars banquet in LA on June 11.

The USBGF is making a concerted effort to reach out to college students, with over a dozen university backgammon teams receiving coaching and assistance from USBGF members, under the tutelage of USBGF Education Adviser Phil Simborg. An online National Collegiate Backgammon Championship is scheduled for April 23, organized by co-directors Joe Russell and Justin Nunez. Students on the winning team will win scholarships, and be honored at the Tournament of Stars banquet in LA on June 11.

There’s something for everyone in this issue of the magazine, regardless of playing level. Two-time U.S. Open champion, Mary Hickey, provides tips for beginners and intermediates on the importance of making defensive points on your opponent’s side of the board. Harvey Gillis, former USBGF Board Chairman and adjunct professor at the University of Washington MBA program, summarizes the skills backgammon cultivates that prepare students for business careers, investing, and personal lives. Carol Joy Cole shares her secrets to successfully founding and running the Flint Area Backgammon Club, and publishing Flint Area BackgammoNews for 33 years. Jake Jacobs highlights 4900 years of backgammon history and four generations of his family’s history in five fun-filled pages. Steve Sax captures the ambience of the New Mexico State Championships in Santa Fe in January. A profile of Ed Bennett, a USBGF Gold Founding Sponsor, explains how he climbed to the top of the backgammon world, just as he mastered the game of tennis in his youth. Gus Contos explains how to interpret the eXtreme Gammon checker play analysis tables.

This issue of PrimeTime Backgammon, and related analytic articles are restricted to Premium, Youth, and Founding Sponsor members. Join now, and you’ll enhance your playing experience–and have more fun! For those of you who have joined, again, many thanks for your confidence in us, and enjoy this 42-page action-packed issue.

Chuck Bower’s Monte Carlo Quiz, Part 2

Chuck Bower

Play Along at Monte Carlo, Part 2

By Chuck Bower


This is the second and final piece of a two part Magriel-Gartner Quiz. Part 1, with an introduction is found here.

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Chuck Bower’s Monte Carlo Quiz, Part 1

Chuck Bower

Play Along at Monte Carlo, Part 1

By Chuck Bower


   

Introduction


The move-by-move type of quiz I am presenting here was invented by the great theoretician and teacher Paul Magriel. It is also a favorite of USBGF chairman and master instructor Perry Gartner, who long ago recognized its value as a learning tool. To use it most efficiently, please follow these guidelines:   1) Work through the entire quiz, making all of your play or cube choices before looking at the scoring and commentary section.
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Al Tesoro Memorial Quiz

USBGF Al Tesoro Memorial Quiz and Lecture

By Karen Davis and Rochelle Hasson    

Al Tesoro, a beloved member of the Florida backgammon community for almost three decades, was no intellectual lightweight. Born in Rome, Italy, he moved with his successful business-oriented family to New York at age 4. He returned to Europe for his education, acquiring a bachelor’s degree in Geneva, and then came back to the USA to complete the process, getting his Masters and Ph.D. in physics from Columbia. His 1967 doctoral dissertation was entitled “On the Production of Neutrino Pairs by the Annihilation of Two Photons.”    

After teaching for a few years, Al focused his intense intellectual curiosity upon games. He loved everything from cards at the Mayfair to chouettes in New York and Fort Lauderdale bars to pick-up chess games on the sidewalks or in the parks of Manhattan. His best backgammon event was the doubles, where he teamed up with Dr. Bob Hill, coming in first or second in 2001 (Florida State); 2002 (Mid-West Championships), and 2004 (Florida), and taking fourth place in the Michigan Open in 2003. But Al would always be a “pre-bot” player. He had worked hard to learn the game before software existed to point out the “right” play, and continued, to his dying day, to study the game “au natural.”

PrimeTime Backgammon, Sep/Oct, 2010


Read the inaugural issue of PrimeTime Backgammon, the official bi-monthly magazine of the USBGF. This inaugural issue is being provided on a complimentary basis to all. Future issues will be available to Premium and Youth members only, as well as Founding Sponsors. Please join and make sure you receive future issues.

 

Download the September/October, 2010 issue

(Please note: Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, this download could take from 30 seconds to several minutes.)

Selected contents include:

  • Kit Woolsey, To Double or Not to Double
  • Malcolm Davis, Mortal Combat in Michigan
  • Lessons in Life and Backgammon, Sybil and Sandra Sha
  • Joe Russell, UCLA Chess and Backgammon Club
  • Randee Simborg, USBGF Howard Ring Memorial Quiz
  • Phil Simborg, Interview with Bob Wachtel
  • Founding Sponsors Spotlight on Patrick and Carla Gibson
  • Patrick Gibson, USBGF Ratings Information
  • USBGF Presents Honorary Membership to Tennis Star Ana Ivanovic
  • Welcome to U.S. Backgammon Federation by Perry Gartner
  • The Founding of the USBGF

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Woolsey vs. Rockwell — Novi, MI: July 2010

eXtreme Gammon record and analysis of the Masters semi-final match between Kit Woolsey and David Rockwell, Novi, Michigan, July 2010
[Read more…]

To Double or Not to Double

Kit WoolseyKit Woolsey annotates game 3 of his match against David Rockwell at the 35th Michigan Summer Backgammon Championships.

An expanded version of the article from the September/October issue of PrimeTime Backgammon.

Read: To Double or Not to Double

Mortal Combat in Michigan

Malcolm DavisMalcolm Davis analyzes nine positions from his match against Karen Davis in Novi, Michigan.

From the September/October issue of PrimeTime Backgammon.

Read: Mortal Combat in Michigan by Malcolm Davis

Lessons in Life and Backgammon

A View of a 13 Year Old and Her Mom

By Randee Simborg

The 30th Chicago Open, held over the Memorial Day weekend, attracted a number of young hopefuls to its children’s event: six in the main and ten in the novice division. The US Backgammon Federation applauds Howard Markowitz and Rory Pascar, the co-tournament directors, for taking the lead in designing an event especially for young players. We urge other organizers to follow their example.

The idea was to keep the younger set busy. The tournament itself was a round-robin event, and then there were the special features: Herb Roman entertained the kids with yo-yo lessons between matches, and Phil Simborg  dazzled them with his demonstration of the exciting new software (subsequently endorsed by the USBGF) eXtremegammon. Ed O’Laughlin and his son Austin won the doubles event. Austin has since moved to New York City to seek his fortune.

But there is one family that attended the Chicago Memorial Tournament that I would like to spotlight here. After reading this, I am sure you will see why.

Sandra Sha and her two daughters, Sybil and Serena, came to Chicago from Florida for their first live backgammon tournament. They had amazing results! Sandra captured third place in the Intermediate division. 13-year-old Sybil won both the children’s tournament and the novice division.

Sandra and Sybil Sha Photo by Karen Davis

Where did they come from and how did they become interested in backgammon?

Sandra, a Harvard-trained physician, was introduced to the game as a child. She played in a local tournament in San Pedro, CA at the age of 10, and took first place against a field of adults! Since then she has loved the game and played intermittently over decades, using it as a means of relaxation from the rigors of medical school, internship and residency. When she finished her medical training in 2002, she began playing on line.

 

Sandra taught Sybil backgammon when she was eight — but, as Sybil states, mostly to show her the rules. In Sybil’s words: “ I didn’t start playing more seriously until I was about 10 at which time mom and I would play on a regular basis against each other at home. My strategy at that point was to start every game by running home as fast as possible without leaving a blot.” She says her 9-year-old sister, Serena, is at that stage now. Sybil’s game developed over the last couple of years as she and her mom played one point matches. The goal was to teach Sybil good opening moves, sound bear-off strategies and the lesson that “blindly making a racing game out of every game and refusing to leave any blots at any time for any reason is not correct.”

 

Over the past year Sandra has taught Sybil cube play as well as more advanced strategies. She explains it like this: “Rather than simply directing my checker play, we now focus on overall tactics based on the layout of the board. Am I getting primed? Am I hopelessly behind in the race? If so, what should I do? How many points do I have in my opponent’s home board? Is my opponent holding me? Am I holding him? When do I want to break contact?” Fabulous!

She now is learning to fight for the five point early in the game, to fall into a back game when all else fails, how to defend against back games, and how to play prime-versus-prime positions. Let’s not forget that she is just thirteen!

Sybil is a talented young lady. She is enrolled at a competitive preparatory school in Orlando achieving “highest honors” and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She hopes to attend her mother’s alma mater, Harvard University, one day. She is the current reigning Miss St. Petersburg Outstanding Teen 2010. She is number one on the school tennis team and has won innumerable accolades for her piano playing. She has dedicated many hours of community service to raising the public’s awareness of breast cancer and aspires to be a breast oncologist one day. For more information on Sybil, go to the following website and click on “Teens-2010” in the left column click on http://misslargo.com .

Sandra Sha has instilled in her girls her own love the game and taught them how it relates to and simulates life: “You never know what dice you will roll. Some may be good. Some may be bad. Good skill and judgment will cause you to win in the end. In life, you never know what will come your way. There may be bad things that occur which are out of your control (like a bad roll). You need to take every choice that comes your way, and make the best of it. If you execute good skill and judgment with every choice you make, you are likely (but not guaranteed as in backgammon) to come out on top in the end.”