PrimeTime BG Summer 2019

Cover-Summer-thumbThe Summer issue makes for great warm-weather reading!

We all want to know where the action is and who has been winning. And who better to provide those vital updates but our road-warrior President and Executive Director, Karen Davis? Just back from the 4th Merit Open Grand Prix and World Team Championships in the tiny European nation of Montenegro, Karen takes us inside this high-level team tournament, in which both the USA and Japan competed for the first time. Back stateside, she organized one of the premier events on the ABT calendar—the 2019 Cherry Blossom—and lets those who couldn’t attend know what they missed. The Cherry Blossom attracted over two dozen grandmasters, Giants of Backgammon, and international backgammon stars. After that, Bill Riles reports on two other major events: the Atlanta Spring Classic and the Chicago Open. Both tournaments featured interesting organizational innovations and major spurts in attendance.

Turnabout is fair play: and at this point our staff takes over, switching Karen’s role from reporter to reportee. In a far-ranging interview, USBGF Historian Bob Stoller investigates Karen’s impressive career as an economist and the pivotal role she has played in leading—and growing—the USBGF from its earliest days to the present. And it so happens that Karen’s backgammon career is getting interesting as well! In this issue I analyze a number of challenging positions that arose in her Super Jackpot final win over Sebastian Wilkinson at the New York Metropolitan Open.

Have you ever wondered what’s involved in competently directing a major tournament? In this issue Jeff Proctor, who has taken over directing the Atlanta Spring Classic, explains how he apprenticed for that job by volunteering to work on staff at the Texas Backgammon Championships. Judging by the 50% jump in attendance and rave reviews the tournament received, it worked!

This month’s regular features keep pace with past issues. Art Benjamin’s “Math Overboard” column introduces an easy way to count shots when your checker is on the bar; and Rich Munitz’s “What’s the Ruling?” contribution thoroughly covers the rules about placing your checker on your opponent’s blot but failing to pick up his checker. Turns out it depends on what you were thinking!

Karen presents a review of the USBGF Sponsor programs in her President’s column, highlighting the essential role Sponsor contributions have made in the growth of the game and USBGF membership.

Of course, we have tournament results, both live and online, and we list our much-appreciated Founding Sponsors, Corporate Sponsors, and Prime Benefactors. Details of upcoming tournaments round the issue out.

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