PrimeTime Backgammon, Mar-Apr



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…]