PrimeTime BG Spring 2018

Spring 2018 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon

By Marty Storer, Managing Editor

In this issue we celebrate Paul Magriel, backgammon’s great pioneer, who died untimely on March 5 to our bitter loss. Besides many photos, tributes, and reminiscences, we have a recap of his life and times from USBGF Historian Bob Stoller. Our Summer issue will feature some of his games, old and new.

Our other feature articles are intriguing, as usual. Prince Alexis Obolensky and Joe Sylvester were inducted into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame at February’s annual San Antonio tournament, ABT trophies were presented for 2017, and Perry Gartner and Patti Rubin were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Besides Perry himself, Bob Stoller, Bill Riles, Arda Findikoglu, and Jake Jacobs explain what the honorees have done for our game.

Paul Weaver contributes yet another penetrating analysis, this time of 10 positions from the November Las Vegas finals between 2017 ABT Champion Matt Cohn-Geier and fourth-place finisher Leyla Zaloutskaya.

David Presser and Igor Erovenko have studied opening cubes deeply. Check out their article, “A Simple Rule: Adjusting Opening Cube Action to Match Play.” All serious players need to have this rule in their arsenal.

Ray Fogerlund gives us a colorful report on the 2017 California State Championships. Does “fogerlund” mean “colorful” in Danish? Considering this article and Ray’s past ones, it may as well. He rehashes the overall experience in inimitable style, and treats us to analysis as well. Besides positions from his own matches against Mochy and Akiko, he goes over others from Akiko, winner Steve Sax, and runner-up Michael Neagu.

On the subject of tournaments: Bill Riles and Tara Mendicino ran the 6th Texas Championships in February, in beautiful, historic San Antonio, and as usual it was a great success. Bill’s big writeup of the event includes all the news and comes with a fabulous spread of photos. He thanks Swedish director Jesper Carlsson for his help, which I can attest was considerable-truly an international effort this time around!

Karen Davis interviews Candace Mayeron, co-director of the California State Championship and soon to have the same role in June’s Los Angeles Open. For those who are not familiar with Candace and what she does, read the profile. If she keeps up her good work, she will soon be another Patti Rubin, organizer extraordinaire.

With USBGF Membership Director Ray Bills, Karen explains the Local Club Initiative, our latest effort to promote and grow local clubs. From November through February, the USBGF sponsored tournaments at local clubs. The response was outstanding, and no doubt contributed to a big spike in membership compared to the same time period 12 months earlier. This is just the beginning of our effort to bring more clubs and players into the game. As the authors say, this is a WIN, WIN, WIN! proposition.

Karen Davis’s President’s Column in this issue is titled, “Attracting New Players.” She lays out five goals the Federation had set in order to do just that, and evaluates our performance. We have reached out to local clubs, directors, sponsors, new players, novices, and existing members, and things are looking up. The take-away is that the USBGF is thinking big.
As usual, we have tournament results and standings—see who’s been winning in 2018.
So, what are you waiting for?

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