PrimeTime BG Spring 2020

Cover-Spring-thumbThe Spring issue is our first after the untimely death in February of the great Falafel. He is memorialized with a cover photo, as well as reminiscences from friends and over-the-board rivals: Jake Jacobs, Michihito Kageyama, Arkadiy Tsinis, and Bob Wachtel. His warm heart and friendship, not to mention his first-rate play and commentary, will be sorely missed.

The Texas Championships, held on Super Bowl Weekend, featured play and awards: notably the ABT trophies, the USBGF’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Phil Simborg, and the induction of Ed O’Laughlin into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame. The ceremonies are recapped with the help of photos, and topped off by USBGF Historian Bob Stoller’s interview of Ed which takes us through a long and ongoing career that has so far spanned more than four decades.

Other events reported in this issue: the NY Metro, with a fine pictorial by L.A. organizer Candace Mayeron, and the World Backgammon Internet Federation team championship in which Team USA triumphed. The WBIF Championship, complete with excitement and big swings, is covered by team member and former World Champion Joe Russell and USBGF President and Executive Director Karen Davis.

Marty Storer puts the spotlight on a pair of matches from New York: the Open final between veterans Saba Bejanishvili and Ron Rubin, and the USBGF Championship between newcomer Eli Karp (top gun in the West) and old hand Jack Edelson (champion of the East). Enjoy the world-class play and the analysis of many intriguing decisions.

We have a pair of interesting pieces from columnists Rich Munitz (What’s the Ruling?), who examines the Responsible Moves tournament rules; and Art Benjamin (Math Overboard), who at long last gives us a great way to memorize match equity tables.

Jake Jacobs provides a wonderful and erudite review of Bob Wachtel’s recent two-volume book, The Backgammon Chronicles. This fascinating and colorful work, by a long-standing and well-traveled Giant of Backgammon, explores everything you can think of about our game; buy it if you haven’t done so already!

Though backgammon remains a great pastime, it has, like every other part of life, been gravely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of this year’s ABT events have been canceled, some postponed, and a cloud of uncertainty lies over the game. But the show must go on. President Karen Davis’s column talks about the Federation’s efforts to change and adapt, including the expansion of online tournaments and support of online club events. And Jeff Spencer, of Minnesota’s Twin Cities Backgammon Club, describes in detail the successful inauguration of innovative online play using a combination of Internet platforms. Other clubs are already starting to follow the Twin Cities lead.

As always, we have recent tournament results, ABT and Master Points standings, and information on upcoming events. We list our sponsors, both individual and corporate, whose indispensable generosity is especially appreciated in these tough times.

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Download the latest issue here: PrimeTime Backgammon Spring 2020
Please allow a few minutes for the entire file to load. Thanks!

If you would like to print the current version of our magazine, download the print version here: PrimeTime Backgammon Spring 2020 – Press Quality Print Version

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PrimeTime Backgammon magazine is one of the many benefits of USBGF Premium Membership.
To view all Membership benefits, please see Great Reasons to Join.
For any questions or further assistance, please Contact Us.



  1. Puma Dave says:

    how do i acces the magazine?
    do i have to be a paid member or?

  2. Kate Smith says:

    Hi, I am a member, but am unable to access the magazine. Please advise. Thanks, Kate

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