USBGF Grand Champion: Jeremy Bagai

Ed O'Laughlin

Ed O’Laughlin

Jeremy Bagai

Jeremy Bagai (photo by Gus Contos)

Jeremy Bagai and Ed O’Laughlin battled it out, but in the end Home Field Advantage and the fickle finger of fate gave Jeremy the edge. Bob Wachtel in a two-part series demonstrates how important the luck factor is in a match between two top-level, virtually flawless players. The November-December 2012 issue of PrimeTime Backgammon captures the excitement and swings in the USBGF National Championship West between Bagai and O’Laughlin. The next issue pits East against West — again Bagai (West) against O’Laughlin (winner of the National Championship East) for the Grand Champion title.

Phil Simborg begins a new column for intermediate and beginner players, encapsulating the advice of Matt Cohn-Geier to hone in on the key factors and ignore the noise. Mary Hickey ends her two year series of columns on the early game, “Starting Off Right.”

Bob Wachtel probes one of the hardest plays for most players in his article Desperado — when to break a point in the home board to hit an opponent’s checker. Right under desperate circumstances, disastrous under others. Bob’s long experience helps you tell the difference.

This issue features for the first time the new USBGF Online Leader Board with the top-ten ranked players by Elo rating, showing win-loss records and USBGF online tournaments won. The ranking changes continuously as more than 200 USBGF members play in a dazzling array of tournaments. The Director’s Cup, open to a 128 player field, includes prizes for winner and finalist, as well as certificates and recognition in PrimeTime Backgammon and on the website. If you haven’t played in an online tourney yet, sign up now for fun and fame.

We encourage players in live ABT tournaments at every level to check out their ratings and stats on the complete USBGF Player Standings list, and the updated Leader Board prepared by Barry Silliman, USBGF Rankings Editor, with ABT rankings as of December 31, 2012, and USBGF Elo ratings for Open, Advanced, and Novice divisions based on ABT/USBGF tournament play since 2009 through December 1, 2012.

If you’re not yet a member of USBGF, or your membership has expired, sign up now and join the fun. You’ll enhance your playing experience–and enjoy this 39-page action-packed issue.