PrimeTime Backgammon, July-Aug

July-August 2015 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

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Joe Russell, fresh from victories at the U.S. Open and the Atlanta Masters Jackpot, appears on the cover of our August 2015 issue. A spectacularly successful competitor, Joe won the World Championship (Monte Carlo) in 1989 and has consistently scored ABT titles over the years. He is a member of the USBGF Board of Directors and has been instrumental in the development of its collegiate program and master points system.

In our feature article, USBGF Editor and World Team member Bob Wachtel reports on this year’s Nordic Open, presenting material from the World vs. Denmark team event (Denmark won in a squeaker) and from the main draw itself. In his analysis, Bob weighs in on a controversy that divides both players and teachers: calculation or vision? Bob’s moral: check twice before you make the pretty play!

Our coverage of the inaugural cohort of American Backgammon Hall of Fame honorees continues with USBGF Historian Robert Stoller’s interview of all-time great, Malcolm Davis. Stoller, director of the Anchorage Backgammon Club, conceived and executed the idea of video interviews of Hall of Fame inductees and the induction
ceremony. Along with a generous helping
of lore, anecdote, and general backgammon wisdom, Malcolm provides us with a his- tory of the Dallas Backgammon League (a USBGF Prime Club, known locally as DBL!).

An important segment of this issue is devoted to the memory of leading members of our community who passed away recently. In homage to Herb Gurland, USBGF Match Editor Marty Storer analyzes a fascinating match he played with Herb at the New England Backgammon Club tournament in 2001. Then Paul Weaver provides a more formal obituary, including reflections of just a few of Herb’s many friends on his love of the game and unique sense of humor. We end with a fond remembrance of Elayne Feinstein, the fun and feisty director of local clubs in Baltimore and Fort Lauderdale and the Florida State Championships.

On the tournament front, Ray Fogerlund reports on the U.S. Open in April, and Sabri Büyüksoy presents a pictorially stunning report on the Russian Sport Backgammon Federation tournament in Sochi, Russia in May. I feature the highlights of the “player- friendly” event, the 7th Atlanta Spring Classic (April).

Online backgammon on the USBGF Circuit is a wonderful way to meet and test your skills against top players from around the world. In this issue I profile Argentina’s Fernando Neumark, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional IX.

USBGF President Bill Riles, in his message to the membership, appeals for support of the streaming, transcribing, and archiving of major tournament matches. He then briefs us on the progress of the USBGF’s latest initiatives.

Check out the live and online tournament rankings and master points, Prime Clubs, upcoming events, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, May-June

May-June 2015 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

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Saba Bejanishvili, the recent Atlanta Spring Classic champion, graces the cover of the May-June 2015 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon. Saba grew up in the Republic of Georgia, and came to the U.S. to study neurology at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, He got seriously interested in backgammon in February 2013 when he purchased eXtreme Gammon software out of curiosity. Within one year he played in the 2014 Texas Backgammon Championships Dual-Duel event, defeating top players Matt Cohn-Geier and Petko Kostadinov on Performance Rating. His polite demeanor, discipline, and sportsmanship make him a role model for many aspiring backgammon players.

In our feature article, Marty Storer analyzes an exciting match between Saba and Mochy in the finals of the Dual-Duel event in 2014. Saba won on match score but Mochy’s PR carried the day.

There’s lots of interesting tournament news. Sabri Büyüksoy captures the Istavder tournament in Istanbul in February with 346 attendees from 16 countries in a wonderful photo montage. Our reporters cover the tournament beat. Ray Fogerlund reprises the DC Capital Classic Championships and Bob Wachtel shares news of the oldest running tournament in the US, the Vietor Cup.

Online backgammon on the USBGF Circuit is a wonderful way to meet and test your skills against top players from around the world. In this issue I profile three of our recent online winners: Masters Divisional winner Cüneyt Argun Genc (Turkey); Intermediate Division winner Deborah Ferolito (FL); and December 2014 Circuit winner John Gamalielson (WA). Winners of all 2014 online tournaments are competing in the USBGF Tournament of Champions.

In an age when cyberbullying is a growing source of concern, USBGF President Bill Riles shares his thoughts on the importance of treating players with respect and consideration, whether in person or in social media.

Check out the live and online tournament rankings and master points, Prime Clubs, upcoming events, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, Mar-Apr

March-Apil 2015 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

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We’re delighted with the positive response we’ve gotten to the USBGF bi-monthly PrimeTime Backgammon magazine. The electronic issue of the magazine is now available to all Premium and Youth members without charge. The print edition, at $25 a copy plus shipping, is increasingly in demand. If you’d like to subscribe to purchase a print version, sign up for automatic recurring purchase through our USBGF BG Shop and receive a 5 percent discount.

Victor Ashkenazi, the #11 ranked Giant of Backgammon, graces the cover of the March-April 2015 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon. Victor is off to a great start in 2015, leading in the newly-implemented USBGF Live Master Points System, with strong performances at both the New York Metro and the Texas Backgammon Championships, as well as the USBGF National Championship West. Having kept a low profile for years, Victor has emerged as one of backgammon’s superstars, winning a coveted place on the World Team in the Nordic Open’s 2014 event: The World vs. Denmark. In an insightful interview, Phil Simborg reveals the secrets behind Victor’s mastery.

In our feature article, Marty Storer analyzes an exciting final match between Bill Robertie (twice world champion and a recent Hall-of-Fame inductee) and fellow Bostonian Matt Reklaitis at the Connecticut State Championships last October.

Next, Stick, one of the world’s foremost opening experts, provides another fascinating column on first-roll responses. His subject this time: how to play 6-3 in response to an opening 5-4 split.

I hope you didn’t miss the American Backgammon Hall of Fame inaugural induction in San Antonio – but whether you made it or not, in this issue you’ll find heart-warming excerpts from the ceremony and a link to a video of the event.

The tournament scene has been action-packed of late, fueled by the launch of the USBGF Prime Tournament initiative (which provides added money in tournaments for USBGF members). We saw 128 entries to the NY Metro Mini-Match and 96 entries to the Texas USBGF Prime Tournament Freeroll! Our reporters cover the tournament beat. My article shows off the bright lights of the NY Metro; Ray Fogerlund reprises the Texas Backgammon Championships, with a special focus on the Dual Duel; and Steve Sax captures highlights of the California State Championships.

Backgammon is a game that attracts brilliant people and interesting personalities. Interviewing them is always a treat for me. In this issue I profile four of our recent online winners: Masters Divisional winners Frank Simon (Germany) and Igor Erovenko (currently leader of the USBGF Online Master Points race); Ralph Desimone, Advanced Divisional VI winner; and Harvey Gillis, winner of the November 2014 Circuit.

Putting a ribbon and bow on this issue, USBGF President Bill Riles brings us an update on the Federation’s recent membership growth.

Check out the live and online tournament rankings and master points, Prime Clubs, upcoming events, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, Jan-Feb

January-February 2015 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

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A special treat is in store for our readers. This issue features the inaugural American Backgammon Hall of Fame inductees — with snapshots of each of the 13 honorees, an insightful essay by Jeremy Bagai on the class, a description by Karen Davis of the process used to select these individuals, and plans going forward by Bill Riles, USBGF President and Executive Director.

Ted Chee, USBGF All-Time and 2014 Online Master Points winner was honored along with the Hall of Famers at the USBGF Awards dinner in San Antonio on January 30, 2015. He is featured in a report on the online master point leaders since the launch of the USBGF Online Tournament Circuit in the fall of 2012.

Ray Fogerlund, who won the coveted #1 spot on the American Backgammon Tour for 2014, is profiled by Karen Davis. A feature on Frank Raposa, #2 ABT winner for 2014, is reprinted with permission from his hometown Fitchburg, Massachusetts newspaper, the Sentinel & Enterprise.

Stick makes his debut as a regular columnist for PrimeTime Backgammon with his first article on common errors in the early game that result in significant match equity loss.

This issue also showcases Bill Phipps, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” in an article by Iancho Hristov. Other player profiles by Karen Davis include: Jonah Seewald, 2014 USBGF Grand Champion; and Zdenìk Žižka from the Czech Republic, winner of the online Masters Divisional IV.

And there are tournament reports galore: the inaugural U.K. Open by Peter Bennet, the Japan Open by Jake Jacobs, and the 2nd Merit Open in Cyprus by Sabri Büyüksoy on the international scene, and the Illinois State by Linda Rockwell closer to home. The Kansas City Backgammon Club, formed a decade ago by Eric Barr, is thriving with the addition of Julius High and his popular Backgammon Study Group. It is the newest addition to the USBGF list of 15 Prime Clubs.

Finally, USBGF President Bill Riles brings us up to date on the Federation with the recent election of Board members Julius High and Michelle Steinberg. Make plans to attend 2015 Prime Tournaments including the upcoming D.C. Capital Classic, the Ohio State Championships, the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Atlanta Spring Classic, Chicago Open, Los Angeles Open, and the Michigan Summer Championships and take home added money exclusively for USBGF members!

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon Magazine Indexes

Full list of magazines here

2010 SEP – OCT

  • Welcome to U.S. Backgammon Federation by Perry Gartner
  • To Double or Not to Double by Kit Woolsey
  • Mortal Combat in Michigan by Malcolm Davis
  • Lessons in Life and Backgammon: Sybil and Sandra Sha by Randee Simborg
  • UCLA Chess and Backgammon Club by Joe Russell
  • Interview With Bob Wachtel by Phil Simborg
  • USBGF Ratings Information by Patrick Gibson
  • Founding Sponsors: Spotlight on Patrick and Carla Gibson by Randee Simborg
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Upcoming ABT Tournaments
  • May-August Tournament Results
  • US Chess Federation–US Backgammon Federation

2010 NOV – DEC

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Thanks to Harvey Gillis
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Book Recomendations by John O‘Hagan
  • A Mayfair Genius, Revisited by Mike Corbett
  • Al Tesoro Memorial Quiz By Karen Davis & Rochelle Hasson
  • Backgammon Meetup Comes to Ohio By Karen Davis
  • Ross Gordon: Creating a BG Community by Rochelle Hasson
  • Malcolm Davis: Backgammon Pioneer By Randee Simborg
  • USBGF Local Club Initiative
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Illinois State Backgammon Championship By Rochelle Hasson
  • ABT Upcoming Events
  • September-October Tournament Results

2011 JAN – FEB

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Art Benjamin to Join USBGF Board of Directors
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • The Free Drop by John O‘Hagan
  • Eight Days In Monte Carlo by Matt Cohn-Geier
  • Chuck Bower on Monte Carlo by Chuck Bower
  • I’d Like That Match To Go, Please by Richard Munitz
  • Alan and Joan Grunwald by Rochelle Hasson
  • Tips on Increasing Attendance at an ABT Event by Patrick Gibson
  • 2010 Cal State BG Cham-pionship by Steve Sax
  • Top-Ranked Players
  • USBGF Local Club Initiative by Justin Nunez
  • Founding Sponsors
  • USBGF Tournament of Stars
  • Upcoming Events
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Gear Depot

2011 MAR – APR

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gardtner
  • USBGF Annual Membership Meeting Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • BG: Decision Analysis For Success by Harvey Gillis
  • Charting The Best Play by Gus Contos
  • Off The Top Of My Head, Part I by Jake Jacobs
  • X Marks the Spot: 2011 NM BG Championship by Steve Sax
  • Seven Reasons You Should Teach Children BG by Phil Simborg
  • USBGF Reaches Out to College Students by Karen Davis
  • Top-Ranked ABT Players
  • Shoot for the Stars by Karen Davis
  • Ed Bennett: King Of The Mountain by Karen Davis
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Upcoming Events
  • National Club Team Championship by Justin Nunez
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson

2011 MAY – JUN

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Backgammon at MathFest 2011 by Karen Davis
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Determining Proper Doubling Decisions in Races By Chuck Bower
  • UCLA Wins USBGF
  • Collegiate BG Championship by Karen Davis
  • Top-Ranked ABT Players
  • Shoot for the Stars by Karen Davis
  • Chuck Bower: From Astrophysics to Zeus by Adam Bennett
  • National Club Team Championship by Karen Davis
  • Founding Sponsors
  • 1st International Backgammon Championship
  • Upcoming Events
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson

2011 JUL – AUG

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • USBGF Monthly Lecture Series
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Review: What’s Your Game Plan? Reviewed by John O’Hagan
  • My Dinner with Bourbaki by Danny Kleinman
  • Neil Kazaross: Hard Work Pays Off by Adam Bennett
  • The Nordic 2011: A Double Coming-Out Party by Robert Wachtel
  • ABT Top-ranked Players
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Chicago Bears Take Traveling Trophy Home by David Rubin
  • 2011 USBGF National Internet Championship by Joe Russell
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2011 SEP – OCT

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • USBGF Reaches 500-MemberMilestone
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Cube Decision in Florida by Malcolm Davis
  • Let Me Count the Ways By Danny Kleinman
  • The Sun Shines on Malcolm Davis by Karen Davis
  • Backgammon for Life’s Challenges by Harvey Gillis
  • The World’s Revenge, Part 1 by Robert Wachtel
  • The Olympics of Backgammon by Karen Davis
  • The Leading USBGF Players by Barry Silliman
  • Help Develop the Next Generation
  • Collegiate Summer Championship by Phil Simborg
  • Founding Sponsors
  • 2011 USBGF National Internet Championship by Joe Russell
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2011 NOV – DEC

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Backgammon for the Young-at-Heart
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Wactation: Shorthand for Recording Positions by Robert Wachtel
  • Michigan and Ohio State Battle It Out By Karen Davis
  • The World’s Revenge, Part 2 by Robert Wachtel
  • Stacking Up in Las Vegas by Justin Nunez
  • Sylvester and Rockwell Big Winners in Peoria by John O’Hagan
  • The Leading USBGF Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • NY Open & USBGF Championship
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 JAN – FEB

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Annual Membership Meeting of the USBG
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Mathematics and BG by Art Benjamin and Bob Koca
  • How Do You Stack Up Against the Giants? by Phil Simborg and Stick Rice
  • 2012 National Club Team Championship by Justin Nunez and Joe Russell
  • NY Open and USBGF Championship by Karen Davis
  • 2012 National Collegiate Championship by Joe Russell and Phil Simborg
  • Mellen and Nunez Join USBGF Board of Directors
  • USBGF Rating and Stats System: An Update by Richard Munitz
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • 2011 USBGF Awards<
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 MAR – APR

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • USBGF Online Match Series
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • NIC Profile: Dorn Bishop by Bob Wachtel
  • Facelift for USBGF Facebook Page
  • NIC Profile: Svilen “Svilo” Todorov by Karen Davis
  • Stick Rice Backgammon Lesson
  • NIC Profile: Bruce Newberg by Karen Davis
  • NIC Profile: Joe Roth by Karen Davis
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • Pittsburgh Championships by Karen Davis
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 MAY – JUN

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Annual Membership Meeting of the USBGF
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • BG at the University of South Carolina by Art Benjamin
  • Horton And Mattig Win Big At CSI by Bill Davis
  • My Ohio State Backgammon Recap by Stick Rice
  • Harvey Mudd College wins NCTC by Chuck Bower
  • Announcing the 2012 Inter-national BG Championship
  • 2013 Texas BG Championships by B Riles, T Mendicino, and P Gibson
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • An Explanation of the USBGF Leader Board by Barry Silliman
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 JUL – AUG

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • USBGF Monthly Lecture Series
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • Review: What’s Your Game Plan? Reviewed by John O’Hagan
  • My Dinner With Bourbaki By Danny Kleinman
  • Neil Kazaross: Hard Work Pays Off by Adam Bennett
  • The Nordic 2011: A Double Coming-Out Party by Robert Wachtel
  • ABT Top-ranked Players
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Chicago Bears Take Traveling Trophy Home by David Rubin
  • 2011 USBGF National Internet Championship by Joe Russell
  • Upcoming U.S. Events
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 SEP – OCT

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Tournament of Stars in San Antonio
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • I Never do Well at Novi by Phil Simborg
  • Upcoming U.S. Backgammon Scheduled Events
  • 2012 USBGF National Internet Championship by Joe Russell, Justin Nunez, and Tara Mendicino
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • ABT Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot by Rochelle Hasson
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2012 NOV – DEC

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Upcoming USBGF Events
  • Starting Off Right by Mary Hickey
  • USBGF Monthly Online Circuit Tournaments By Karen Davis
  • USBGF Online Leader Board by Tara Mendicino
  • Desperado by Robert Wachtel
  • USBGF College March Mayhem by Michael Edge
  • Upcoming U.S. Backgammon Scheduled Events
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • Founding Sponsors
  • The U.S. Backgammon Foundation
  • Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2013 JAN – FEB

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Upcoming USBGF Events
  • Five Important Tools to Excellent Checker Play by Phil Simborg
  • Ben Friesen, Collegiate Champion By Karen Davis
  • USBGF Online Leader Board by Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming U.S. Backgammon Scheduled Events
  • Nations Cup by Dorn G. Bishop
  • Kat Denison: USBGF National Internet Champion, Intermediate Division
  • The Leading U.S. Players by Barry Silliman
  • The American Team: Inter-national BG Championship by Tara Mendicino
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2013 MAR – APR

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Nowruz at the Smithsonian by Karen Davis
  • Lecture in Texas by Phil Simborg and Mochy
  • Scott Kelland By Karen Davis
  • Remember The Alamo! by Karen Davis
  • The Leading US Players by Barry Silliman
  • USBGF Online Leader Board by Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming U.S. Backgammon Scheduled Events
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staf

2013 MAY – JUN

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • Annual Membership Meeting
  • Backgammon at the New MoMath by Karen Davis and Jason Lee
  • To Double or Not to Double by Kit Woolsey
  • John Klein: Student of the Game by Karen Davis
  • The Leading U.S. Players by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leader Board by Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming Backgammon Scheduled Events
  • Alfred Mamlet: Winner of the January Online Circuit by Karen Davis
  • The Riviera in Winter by Bob Wachte
  • MindGamesCenter: A Re-view by Bob Wachtel
  • Friendly Tournaments: Ohio And Atlanta by Karen Davis
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2013 JUL – AUG

  • Update on the USBGF by Perry Gartner
  • USBGF Club Team Championship
  • Bruce Farquhar: Scottish Sportsman by Karen Davis
  • Opening 64 in a Seven-Point Match by D. Obukhov and P. Weaver
  • Jim Stutz Interview by Karen Davis
  • Change in USBGF Benefits and Dues by Perry Gartner
  • Michigan Summer BG Championships by Karen Davis
  • Twenty Questions With Robert E. Stoller by Phil Simborg
  • The Leading U.S. Players by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leader Board by Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming Scheduled Backgammon Events
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Tournament Results
  • USBGF Volunteer Staff
  • USBGF Gear Depot
  • USBGF Board of Directors

2013 SEP – OCT

  • USBGF Third Anniversary By Perry Gartner and Karen Davis
  • Mochy 33rd Chicago Open By Marty Store
  • Playing From Behind By Phil Simborg
  • Cannes Summer Cup By Sabri Büyüksoy
  • Report From Monte Carlo By Bob Wachtel
  • Meet Slava Pryadkin By Martha Ghio
  • Adam Versaw By Karen Davis
  • Eva Zizkova By Karen Davis
  • Mario Savan By Karen Davis
  • Carolina Invitational By Karen Davis
  • The 3rd IBC By Tara Mendicino
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners By Tara Mendicino—Ots Coordinator
  • Bill Riles To Lead The USBGF By Karen Davis
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leader Board By Barry Silliman—Ratings Editor
  • Online Leader Board By Tara Mendicino—Ots Coordinator
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2013 NOV – DEC

  • USBGF Master Points System By Richard Munitz and Joe Russell
  • President’s Membership Challenge Initiative By Bill Riles
  • Home Field Advantage By Bob Wachtel
  • Using The Opening Move To Figure Out A Reply By Mike Mannon
  • Gorgeous Georgia By Sabri Büyüksoy
  • When In Doubt By Phil Simborg
  • Charlie Raichle By Karen Davis
  • Gerard Jendras By Karen Davis
  • Kevin Helton By Karen Davis
  • Durham / Chapel Hill Club By Karen Davis
  • Illinois State Championships By Linda Rockwell
  • Ohio-Michigan Challenge By Karen Davis
  • Live Tournament Results In Illinois, Florida, And Connecticut
  • Online Circuit Winners Since January 2013 By Tara Mendicino
  • Natl Internet Championship By Tara Mendicino
  • Priorities and Plans For USBGF By Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leader Board By Barry Silliman—Ratings Editor
  • Online Leader Board By Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 JAN – FEB

  • USA Versus Japan By Ben Friesen and Yuki Hiroki
  • Kauder Paradox By Ray Kershaw
  • How To Grow The Game By Ken Larsen
  • Inaugural USBGF Team Championship By Marty Storer
  • Cube Efficiency By Phil Simborg
  • Harvey Gillis By Karen Davis
  • Maya Peycheva By Karen Davis
  • Qualifying Prime Clubs By Karen Davis
  • Game On! No Gridlock At Capital Classic By Karen Davis
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners By Tara Mendicino
  • Volunteering By Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors By Karen Davis
  • Live Leader Board By Barry Silliman—Ratings Editor
  • Online Leader Board By Tara Mendicino
  • 2013 Final ABT Results
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 MAR – APR

  • Interview With Bill Riles By Phil Simborg
  • A Tip Of The Ten-Gallon Hat By Ray Fogerlund
  • Limiting Gammonish Volatility By Jason Pack
  • Backgammon In Cyprus By Sabri Büyüksoy
  • Istavder 6th Anniversary By Sabri Büyüksoy
  • Breaking The Anchor By Phil Simborg
  • Jamie Erin Rosen By Karen Davis
  • Gregory Kurrell By Karen Davis
  • Austin Backgammon Club By Karen Davis
  • California State Steve Sax
  • New York Metro Open By Karen Davis
  • Mochy Does It All Steve Sax
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Board Of Directors Election By Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors
  • USGBF Online Circuit By Karen Davis
  • Live Leader Board By Barry Silliman—Ratings Editor
  • Online Leader Board By Tara Mendicino
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 MAY – JUN

  • Mochy Versus Michy by Paul Weaver
  • How to give a Gammonish Recube by Jason Pack
  • Bearing in Lesson by Phil Simborg
  • Who is Saba? by Marty Storer
  • 2013 USBGF Club Team Championship by Bob Koca, Jason Lee and Frank Raposa
  • David Presser by Karen Davis
  • 2014 CSI by Bill Davis
  • 6th Atlanta Spring Classic by Ray Fogerlund
  • 20th Ohio State Backgammon Championships
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners by Tara Mendicino
  • Legal Moves for Tournament Play by Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leader Board by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leadeer Board by Tara Mendicino
  • New Qualifying Prime Clubs
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 JUL – AUG

  • Giant Sorting by Jake Jacobs
  • Falafel vs. Matt Cohn-Geier 2014 Chicago Open by Paul Weaver
  • Denmark vs. The World: The Lineup by Iancho Hristov
  • Denmark vs. The World: The Back Story by Bob Wachtel
  • 26th Nordic Open: Backgammon at its Peak by Savri Büyüksoy
  • 2-2 Second Roll Study by Phil Simborg
  • In The Game Until The End, Volume ll by John O’Hagan
  • Michelle Steinberg by Karen Davis
  • Max Crosner by Karen Davis
  • 2014 Los Angeles Open by Steve Sax
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners by Tara Mendicino
  • What’s On The Drawing Board for The USBGF? by Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors by Karen Davis
  • Live Leaderboard byBarry Silliman
  • Online Leaderboard byTara Mendicino
  • Beltway Backgammon Club by Karen Davis
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 SEP – OCT

  • John O’Hagan vs. Akiko Yazawa at Michigan by Paul Weaver
  • Genius and Grace in Monte Carlo by Jason Pack
  • Backgammon in the Shadow of Glamour nd Highrollers by Sabri Büyüksoy
  • Mochi’s PR 4.0 Club by Karen Davis and Paul Weaver
  • Tournament of Champions: Friesen vs. S&ooml;hnchen
  • Counting Pips by Phil Simborg
  • World Championship: Goals for the Future byPatti Rubin
  • World Championship: Continuity and Reinvigoration by Jason Pack
  • David Kettler by Karen Davis
  • Peter Toftsǿ by Karen Davis
  • Ted Chee by Karen Davis
  • Kansas City’s BG Study Group by Karen Davis
  • Michigan Championships by Paul Weaver
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners by Tara Mendicino
  • Exciting new Initiatives Slated for the USBGF by Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leaderboard by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leaderboard
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2014 NOV – DEC

  • Petko vs. Saba: Battle of the PR’s by Marty Storer
  • Trabolt vs. Pryadkin Part 3: Seizing the Moment by Jason Pack
  • 2-Away, 4-Away by Phil Simborg
  • Tom Christnr and Jacob Atie by Karen Davis
  • Trina Litzenberger by Karen Davis
  • Bill Riles by Karen Davis
  • Ohio – Michigan Challenge by Karen Davis
  • Virginia – Maryland – D.C. by Karen Davis
  • 11th Carolina Invitational by Karen Davis
  • 2014 Capital Classic by Ray Fogerlund
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners by Tara Mendicino
  • My Perspective: Reflections and Vision by Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leaderboard by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leaderboard
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2015 JAN – FEB

  • American Backgammon Hall of Fame Inductees by Jeremy Bagai, Karen Davis, and Bill Riles
  • Ray Fogerlund: ABT 2014 Player of the Year, Again by Karen Davis
  • USBGF Awards Online Master Point Leaders by Karen Davis
  • The Early Game: 64 Split, 52 by Stick
  • Jonah Seewald:2014 USBGF Grand Champion by Karen Davis.
  • The Inaugural U.K. Open by Peter Bennet
  • The Story of Bill Phipps by Iancho Hristov
  • Lots of Fish: The Japan Open by Jake Jacobs
  • Tough Middle-Game Play by Phil Simborg
  • The 2nd Merit Open by Sabri Böyöksoy
  • Fitchburg’s Kid is No.1 by Anne O’Connor, Correspondent for The Sentinel & Enterprise
  • Zednĕk Žižka by Karen Davis
  • Kansas City BG Club by Karen Davis
  • Qualifying Prime Clubs
  • Illinois State Championships by Linda Rockwell
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners
  • Happy New Year to the USBGF by Bill Riles
  • USBGF Board of Directors
  • Founding Sponsors
  • Live Leaderboard by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leaderboard
  • Upcoming Tournaments

2015 MAR – APR

  • 2015 American Backgammon Hall of Fame Awards Dinner by Karen Davis & Bill Riles
  • The Early Game: 54 Split, 63 by Stick
  • Victor Ashkenazi: #11 Giant of Backgammon by Phil Simborg
  • The Great Conehead Match: Robertie vs Reklaiis by Martie Storer
  • The Marquis de SAT: 3rd Texas Backgammon Championship by Ray Fogerlund
  • Cube Vig by Phil Simborg
  • Ralph Desimone by Karen Davis
  • Igor Erovenko by Karen Davis
  • Frank Simon by Karen Davis
  • Harvey Gillis by Karen Davis
  • Qualifying Prime Clubs
  • New York Metropolitan Open by Karen Davis
  • Odis Does It Again: 2014 California State by Steve Sax
  • Live Tournaent Results
  • Online Circuit Winners
  • Upcoming Tournaments

 
2015 MAY – JUN

  • Mochy and Saba: Stepping Up To the Board by Marty Storer
  • Istavder 7th Anniversary Tournament by Sabri Buyuksoy
  • John Gamalielson by Karen Davis
  • Cuneyt Argun Genc by Karen Davis
  • Deborah Ferolito by Karen Davis
  • Early Game Strategy by Julius High
  • The Third Capital Classic by Ray Fogerlund
  • The 2014 Vietor Cup by Bob Wachtel
  • Qualifying Prime Clubs
  • Live Tournament Results
  • Online Circuit Winners
  • Beauty and the Beast by Bill Riles
  • Founding Sponsors by Bill Riles
  • Master Point Leaders by Rich Munitz
  • 2014 Online Tournament of Champions by Tara Mendicino
  • Live Leaderboard by Barry Silliman
  • Online Leaderboard by Tara Mendicino

 

PrimeTime Backgammon, Nov-Dec

November-December 2014 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon 

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

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Petko Kostadinov has emerged as the #6 ranked Giant of Backgammon — winning the International Backgammon Championship II in 2013 and the Tournament of Champions at the 2013 Chicago Open, joining the World Team for the 2014 Nordic Open, and most recently winning the Land of Lincoln Masters Jackpot in Illinois. In this issue Marty Storer, USBGF Editor for Annotated Matches, analyzes Petko’s 2014 Texas Championships Dual-Duel match with Saba Bejanishvili, where both played phenomenally, at under 3.0 PR. Petko and Saba then teamed up to win the 2014 USBGF Tournament of Stars, a doubles event for USBGF Founding Sponsors and Giants of Backgammon.

Jason Pack, recent winner of the UK Open and the 2014 Nordic Open Super Jackpot, and a finalist in the 2014 London Open Professionals’ Tournament, concludes his three-part series on the 2013 World Backgammon Championship match between Slava Pryadkin and Lars Trabolt, contrasting their aggressive and conservative cube strategies. Slava’s recube to 4 at 11-away/16-away, which XG++ deems a .109 blunder, was, as Jason explains, the tactic of a world champion — rewarded with a backgammon on a dramatic double-fives final roll.

Ray Fogerlund, current ABT-points leader, provides an in-person account of the DC Capital Classic. Karen Davis covers the 11th Carolina Invitational, and two regional events: the Ohio-Michigan Team Challenge and the Maryland-Virginia-DC Team Challenge.

This issue showcases two online tournament winners: Irina Litzenberger, winner of the May Circuit; and our own Bill Riles, winner of the June Circuit. Open and Advanced division winners of the 2013-2014 National Internet Championship, Jacob Atie and Tom Christner are profiled.

Finally, USBGF President Bill Riles brings us up to date on the Federation’s 2014 accomplishments, 2015 plans, and goals for the future of the organization. Planning and fund-raising for the Prime Tournament initiative are well underway, with Prime Benefactors contributing added money for USBGF-member players. The NY Metropolitan Open will kick off the Prime Tournament roster, followed quickly by the Texas Backgammon Championships, the D.C. Capital Classic, Ohio, and Atlanta. Make your plans to attend now!

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and Get in the Game!
[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, Sept-Oct

September-October 2014 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon 

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

Cover-Sept-Oct-2014-thumbEach year in August, players from around the world flock to backgammon’s mecca, Monte Carlo, for the gala tournament known as the “World Championship.” This year’s event, the 39th episode in its illustrious history, drew 224 players to the Main flight. The September-October 2014 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon maintains the international flavor of our coverage (the July-August issue featured an in-depth trio of articles on the 2014 Nordic Open and the Denmark vs. the World match) with an analysis of the final match, between Japan’s Akiko Yazawa and the USA’s Doug Mayfield, presented by participant and journalist Jason Pack. Jason’s close analysis of the strategic nuances of play is complemented by a stunning photo essay on the elegant spectacle, prepared by our Turkish correspondent, Sabri Büyüksoy.

Akiko won the prestigious crown with a spectacular comeback at DMP. With uncanny timing, Paul Weaver presaged her victory by preparing for this issue an in-depth analysis of her win over John O’Hagan at the Michigan Summer Championships in July. Along with his breakdown of the backgammon, Paul provides a first-hand description of this “must-attend” Michigan event – whose turnout, now that it no longer overlaps Monte Carlo – burgeoned to an impressive 175 entrants including side event entrants. Mochy provides an update on his PR 4.0 Club, which now numbers seven individuals, including most recently Paul Weaver.

We follow Paul’s article with another generous helping of world-class analysis – this time provided by the American legend and Giant #10, Stick Rice. Stick surveys the final match of the USBGF Tournament of Champions, between the young U.S. expert Ben Friesen and Germany’s Tilman Söhnchen. Twenty-nine winners of U.S. Backgammon Federation online tournaments from October 2012 to December 2013 competed in the event, with Friesen emerging victorious.

We are always interested in introducing our readers to the diverse galaxy of accomplished individuals who make up our community. This issue showcases a number of online tournament winners, including Peter Toftsø, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional I; David Kettler, winner of the USBGF April 2014 Circuit; and Ted Chee, winner of the USBGF Circuit Monthly for December 2013. As a special treat, we explore the advanced training methods employed by the emerging Midwest star, Julius High. Julius’s concept of “backgammon study groups” deserves the attention of all serious students of the game.

Patti Rubin outlines her plans for the best ever 40th Backgammon World Championship in 2015. Correspondent Jason Pack offers his suggestions for improving players’ experience.

Finally, USBGF President Bill Riles brings us up to date on the Federation’s latest programs and initiatives, including a Prime Tournament designation with added money for USBGF members, a U.S. Backgammon Hall of Fame, and an annual USBGF Awards Dinner. All of these projects are designed to benefit USBGF members, encourage live and online tournament participation, and to recognize achievement.

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, July-Aug

July-August 2014 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon 

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

Cover-July-August-2014-thumbDespite its population of only 6 million, Denmark has done more than any other country, over the last two decades, to spearhead the revitalization of backgammon and to foster a truly international community for the game. This issue of PrimeTime Backgammon puts a spotlight on that small country’s gala annual backgammon festival, the Nordic Open: the “toughest tournament in the world,” and one accompanied by a unique challenge match: Denmark vs. the World. Our coverage begins with a couple of far-ranging and candid interviews conducted before the event by the Bulgarian expert, Iancho Hristov, with playing captains Thomas Kristensen (Denmark) and Mochy Mochizuki (World). With the stage thus set, we move to the big match itself, with an eyewitness report by our editor and World team member, Bob Wachtel. Bob adds local color to his account by highlighting not only the actual moves that were played in the match but also the heated discussions, banter, and fearless side betting that accompanied them. Our Turkish friend Sabri Büyüksoy completes the Scandinavian sketch by sharing with us his panoramic photographic portrayal of the event.

Not that the U.S. does not have some superstrong tournaments itself. The release of the Giants of Backgammon list brought a number of Giants to Rory Pascar’s Chicago Open to receive their certificates. Five of the top six Giants participated (Chicagoan Neil Kazaross was sidelined for health reasons). Paul Weaver analyzes a round-robin match in the World Backgammon Tournament of Champions between #3 and #5 Giants, Falafel Natanzon and Matt Cohn-Geier. Jake Jacobs provides his own witty take on the Giants list.

We also showcase #8 Giant Bob Wachtel’s new book, In the Game Until the End, Volume II, a sequel to his pioneering 1993 pre-bot-era study of ace-point endings. Reviewing the book, John O’Hagan calls it a “great work” and a “must read” for serious students of the game. As Bob explains it, “some of the most intriguing – and mysterious – positions in the backgammon universe lie at contact’s 11th hour. Holding the opponent’s ace point, a competitor is ‘in the game until the end’ – an end which can run the gamut from utter disaster to miraculous deliverance.” After a hiatus of 20 years, Bob finally deploys the cuttingedge tool of deep computer (XG) rollout analysis to debug his prior research and to carefully extend it to a variety of more complex ace-point endings.

Around the U.S. tournament scene, we feature Steve Sax’s report on the LA Open, where perennial winner Ray Fogerlund added the LA championship title to his U.S. Open and California State Championship crowns, making him this year’s King of the West. We also profile: an outstanding club, Barry Silliman’s Beltway Backgammon Club; an active female player, Michelle Steinberg; and a promising junior, young Max Crosner. Finally, USBGF President Bill Riles brings us up to date on the Federation’s latest programs and initiatives, all designed to increase member benefits, encourage member participation, and recruit new blood from the great mass of recreational American backgammon players. Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, May-June

Young Lions Make Their Mark:
May-June 2014 Issue of PrimeTime Backgammon 

By Karen Davis, Managing Editor

Cover-May-June-2014-thumbThis content-packed issue of PrimeTime Backgammon  shines the spotlight on strong new players — Saba Bejanishvili, Julius High, and David Presser. Marty Storer provides an analysis of a match between shooting star Saba Bejanishvili of Marietta, Georgia (who also hails from the Republic of Georgia) and Giant of Backgammon Matt Cohn-Geier (MCG) in the Dual-Duel event at the Texas Backgammon Championships. Saba stunned the online audience by winning on performance rating and score against MCG. Recently, he won the Tournament of Champions at the Chicago Open.

Ray Fogerlund reports on the Atlanta tournament, highlighting Julius High’s amazing trifecta: the Championship division, the Atlanta Cup jackpot, and the Seniors event. Ray also pays his respects to Frank Talbot, who captured the Bob Wilensky Memorial Masters.

See especially the profile of David Presser, the winner of the February and March 2014 USBGF Online Circuit and another of the young lions making their early mark in the backgammon world. David had the second highest score (after Falafel) on Mochy’s 4th Proficiency Exam administered at the Chicago Open.

Washington DC has emerged as a backgammon powerhouse. The Beltway Backgammon Club, under the directorship of Barry Silliman, has dominated the USBGF National Club Team Championship, with a second place finish in the inaugural event in 2011, first and second in 2012, and first in 2013. Frank Raposa, Jason Lee, and Bob Koca (the FrankLee Unflappable team) each provide commentary on the 2013 finals matches with the Jersey Boys (Jeff Acierno, Alan Grunwald, and Artie Sutton). Frank Raposa just won the Championship division of the Chicago Open, taking the lead in the ABT points race for the year.

Bill Davis shares with us his impressions of the Central States Invitational at the beginning of March, and I report, in prose and photos, on the 20th anniversary of the Ohio State Backgammon Championships in Cleveland in late March.

USBGF President Bill Riles explains the new USBGF policy on Legal Moves — a stance that was adopted by players voting at the Las Vegas U.S. Open tournament in April.

There’s much more — Jason Pack, with a breakthrough year himself, continues with his analysis of the World Backgammon Championship match between Slava and Lars. Paul Weaver analyzes a match between #1 Giant Mochy and #2 Giant Michy at the 2013 Las Vegas Open.

Congratulations to our latest USBGF Prime Clubs: Dallas Backgammon League, Arizona Backgammon Club, Las Vegas Backgammon Club, and Colorado Backgammon Club!

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and as Bill Riles says: Get in the Game!

[Read more…]

PrimeTime Backgammon, Mar-Apr

MARCH-APRIL ISSUE
OF PRIMETIME BACKGAMMON 

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We are delighted, in this content-packed issue of PrimeTime Backgammon, to welcome two distinguished new authors to our galaxy of member-contributors. First Ray Fogerlund, three-time winner of the American Backgammon Tour and highest ABT annual point winner, lets readers inside his head to see how he conceived, executed, and almost successfully pulled off a daring game plan against world champion Mochy Mochizuki in the Dual-Duel event at the Texas Backgammon Championships. Then Jason Pack, a foreign-affairs expert who has written for (among others) the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, describes the game-theoretic strategy used by Slava Pryadkin in winning the 2013 Backgammon World Championship over former champion Lars Trabolt.

The excitement and buzz of first-class tournament play is attracting a growing field of entrants and world-wide streaming audiences. In this issue Steve Sax submits reports on two major events: the Texas Backgammon Championships and December’s California State Championships. From our foreign desk, the fine Turkish player Sabri Büyüksoy fills us in on the action in Cyprus, where several organizers have recently run very well-attended and successful tournaments, and provides a stunning pictorial album of the ISTAVDER 6th Anniversary Festival in Turkey. And I report, in prose and photos, on the New York Metro Open – where players from 10 countries converged at the beginning of the New Year to compete for Statue of Liberty trophies.

On the organizational front, Scott Butki, director of the Austin Backgammon Club, shares with us his approach to nurturing a local club. Scott, as a journalist and special education teacher, has received a wealth of on-the-job training in patience and persistence – qualities that he has put to good use in turning out his club members in force to enter this year’s Texas Backgammon Championships.

With its new President Bill Riles at the helm, the U.S. Backgammon Federation is thriving. Phil Simborg’s candid interview reveals what makes Bill such an effective leader. And speaking of leaders, the results of the first web-enabled, member-wide election of seats on the USBGF Board of Directors are in. Dorn Bishop and Neil Kazaross won seats on the Board, with Karen Davis, Patrick Gibson, and Richard Munitz coming back for second terms.

There’s much more – see especially the profile of Jamie Rosen, at age 14 the youngest participant in the NY Metropolitan Open event, and the feature on the Director’s Cup II online tournament winner Greg Kurrell.

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and as Bill Riles says: Get in the Game!

[Read more…]