Launch of USBGF National Internet Championship Announced!

2012 USBGF National Internet Championship

Joe Russell, Justin Nunez, and Tara Mendicino

The U.S. Backgammon Federation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2012 USBGF National Internet Championship.  This free entry tournament for all USBGF members — including Premium, Youth, and Associate members and both U.S. and international members — is one of the biggest and most exciting online tournaments. Please register and follow the action on the Online Circuit portion of our website. The tournament is co-directed by Joe Russell and Justin Nunez Tara Mendicino serves as Tournament Systems Coordinator.

Venue and Schedule:

  • Will be played at GridGammon. MACS interface will be provided to interested individuals. Nicknames will be arranged through a special service free of charge to USBGF members who are not already registered at GridGammon. If you do not have a GridGammon nickname, email and state that you are a member of the U.S. Backgammon Federation and would like a new account to play in the USBGF National Internet Championship.
  • 10 days will be allowed for arranging and completing each round for all divisions.
  • Play begins September 17, 2012 on a rolling basis with brackets of 8 players. Registration for the Open Division closes Sunday, January 5; Advanced Division on Sunday November 11; and Intermediate Division on Sunday November 11. Pairings will be posted the following day.
  • The number of brackets will depend on number of interested entrants. It is anticipated that there will be 8 Intermediate brackets of 8 players each (including one re-entry for those who lose); 16 Advanced brackets; and 32 Open brackets. The tournament directors reserve the right to cap the number of brackets prior to the deadline noted above.


  • Entry is free to all USBGF members (Premium, Youth, Associate).
  • Each player gets two chances to qualify and may qualify twice. After qualifying rounds end, the single-elimination playoffs will begin.
  • There will be three Divisions: Intermediate, Advanced, and Open.
  • The Open Division consists of the best two of three 11 point matches in the opening rounds. The Advanced Division is the best two of three 9 point matches in the opening rounds. The Intermediate Division is the best two of three 7 point matches in the opening rounds.   Match lengths will be increased by two points in the semi-final round and by four points in the final round (i.e. to 13 and 15 points in the Open Division respectively, to 11 and 13 in the Advanced Division, and to 9 and 11 points in the Intermediate Division).
  • The opening rounds consist of a rolling series of 8-person brackets for each Division, the random draw for each of which will begin as soon as eight members in that Division have registered.
  • USBGF members may enter one additional time (free) after winning or losing a set (a total of two entries per member is allowed, regardless of the result of the first entry).
  • The winners of the 8-person rounds will then be randomly paired in the remaining rounds. Again Open players will play best two-of-three 11 point matches until the semi-final rounds. Advanced players will play best two-of-three 9 point matches until the semi-final rounds, and Intermediate players will play best two-of-three 7 point matches until the semi-final rounds.

USBGF Tournament System:

  • Players register online.  Members must be logged in to register. If needed, USBGF Usernames may be requested from If not currently an active member please join.
  • Players separately need a GridGammon account/nickname to play online matches. These may be requested from filling out the information on the USBGF website FAQs.
  • Players will be automatically notified of their opponent and e-mail their opponent to arrange a playing time using the USBGF Tournament System. Several times should be offered.
  • Winners of the best two-of-three matches report their result using the USBGF Tournament System.
  • The USBGF Tournament System provides lists of registered players for open brackets and drawsheets.

USBGF Online Rating System:

Initial Elo Rating for New Players


  • Players who are new to the USBGF Tournament System are asked to select their initial Elo rating. We will accept ratings from GridGammon and will verify your submission.
  • Giants of Backgammon and expert players who do not have a GridGammon account may submit an initial rating selection of 1900.
  • Players who are new to online backgammon may select “Start With New Statistics.” Those players will start fresh with an Elo of 1500, Experience Points set to zero. Players should expect substantial volatility in their ratings until at least 400 Experience Points are gained.
  • All other players will start with 400 Experience Points.
  • For more information regarding our Rating System, please see Rating System. Should you have any questions or are unsure of what to submit, please Contact Us at


Initial Elo Rating Guidelines


  • Players with GridGammon ratings <= 1549 should select 1500.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1549 and < 1650 should select 1600.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1649 and < 1750 should select 1700.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1749 and < 1850 should select 1800.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1849 should select 1900.
  • Unknown players without GridGammon ratings should select Start With New Statistics.

Online Leader Board

A USBGF Online Circuit Leader Board includes Elo rating and Win/Loss record of all players in USBGF-sponsored online events who are active members. The Elo rating and Win/Loss Record of the top ten ranked players for each Division will be publicized on the USBGF Facebook site and included in bi-monthly issues of PrimeTime Backgammon.


  • Recognition certificates will be awarded at the annual USBGF awards dinner to:
    • The top four winners for each Division (Intermediate, Advanced, Open)
  • All winners will be noted on the USBGF website Hall of Fame and USBGF Facebook page
  • The top two Open winners and top Advanced and Intermediate winners will receive a qualifying spot in the USBGF National Championship (either the 2013 Texas Backgammon Championship in San Antonio, January 31-February 3 or subsequent one if not completed by then), bypassing the qualifying brackets of 8.
  • The top two U.S. Open winners will receive places on the U.S. team in the 2013 Nation’s Cup, to be sponsored by the U.S. Backgammon Federation.

The tournament directors reserve the right to make modifications to the tournament design as well as the right to exclude participation with no reason required.


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