USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXVIII

Richard Griggs Jr 2020

Congratulations to Richard Griggs, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXVIII. Richard defeated Brion Brooks in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Vinson Blanton and Ali Shamsian. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CX

John Gamalielson_2020

Congratulations to John Gamalielson, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CX. John defeated Jasper Watertor in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Peter Wisniewski and Jerry Gette . The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of […]

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PrimeTime BG Summer 2020

Cover_PTBG-Summer-20_v3sm

PrimeTime BG Summer 2020 Much of our Summer issue is devoted to online tournaments, after cancellation of this year’s live ABT. John O’Hagan, #9 Giant for 2019, graces the cover, in honor of his Local Club Initiative Online Tournament win over Denver’s Charlie Raichle. Check out Marty Storer’s analysis of their final match. We cover […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve : A Question of Priorities

2020 - Beginners 28

Money Play. How should Red play 41? XGID=-a-B-CC—a-dD—bbcbB—A:0:0:1:41:0:0:3:0:10   Most people, including myself, get this one wrong. It looks logical to enter on White’s ace-point and then play 13/9 but that is before you consider Red’s game plan. The key is that the race is nearly equal after Red plays his 41 and whatever he […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CIX

Ted Chee LA2018_pg

Congratulations to Ted Chee, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CIX. Ted defeated Roberto Litzenberger in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Steven Waller and Mario Savan. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Early Development 2

Basic Beginners 18

Money Game. How should Red play 21? XGID=-b—-E-C—cE–Abcda—A-:0:0:1:21:0:0:3:0:10 This is not the time for the ‘safe’ 16/13. White is ahead in development and Red must seek to equalise the position. Stepping up with 24/21 is the wrong game plan. It allows White a blitz attack which is precisely the game plan she wants to employ […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXVII

Avi Cohen

Congratulations to Avi Cohen, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXVII. Avi (Sheshbesh) defeated Konstantin Keresteliev in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were David Vakil and Gary Oleson. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXVI

Manny Olszynko

Congratulations to Manny Olszynko, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXVI. Manny defeated Max Levenstein in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Kris Waters and Vinson Blanton. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXX

Intermediate Divisional LXXX Congratulations to Alice Kay, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXX. Alice defeated John Hay in the 13-point final. Joy Engel and Ira Gardner finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration. See the current […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: The Power of Gammons

2020 - Experts 27

Money Play. How should Red play 61? XGID=-a-BBBB-BBbA-B—b-bbb-ca-:2:-1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10  Over the board Red calmly played 11/4, leaving nothing for White to aim at. That move is not an error. Neither is 11/5, 9/8 which gives White 62 to hit but leaves Red with more flexibility. Those two moves are very close in equity. The key question […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CVII

Aubrey Brengleman.jpg

Congratulations to Aubrey Brengelman, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CVII. Aubrey defeated Kevin Jones in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final we’re John Gamalielson and Andrew Selby. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Save the Straggler

2020 - Intermediates 27

Money Play. Should Red redouble? If redoubled, should White take?   XGID=aCBBCB——AA–A—-ef-c-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10  I hope everybody recognises this as a huge redouble for Red. By next turn he will very often have lost his market. The key question is, can White take? The pip count is false because of White’s stacks in her home board and, […]

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USBGF May Womens Monthly Tournament

Leyla Zaloutskaya

Congratulations to Leyla Zaloutskaya, winner of the USBGF May Womens Monthly. Leyla defeated Lynda Clay in the 17-point final. Wendy Kaplan and Kat Denison finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final round. The Womens Monthly tournament is open to all USBGF ladies. Entrants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about this tourney […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXV

Frank Costello LA

Congratulations to Frank Costello, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXV. Frank defeated Vinson Blanton in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Peter Chechele and James Schothorst. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXIX

Teri Harmon_IntDiv

Congratulations to Teri Harmon, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXIX. Teri defeated Konstantin Keresteliev in the 13-point final. Thomas Dapp and Dan Schmelzinger finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Prime Management

2020 - Beginners 27

Money Play. How should Red play 65? XGID=—aBBBBBB–bA—caeBa-b–:1:-1:1:65:0:0:3:0:10 There is an aversion amongst beginners to giving up a full prime. This was demonstrated in this position when Red moved 20/15, 20/14. In fact, nearly all sensible plays result in Red winning about 85% of the games. However, only one play optimises Red’s equity in this […]

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Masayuki “Mochy” Mochizuki is voted as the #1 Giant of Backgammon for 2019!

2019 Mochy WTC_kd

For the 14th time since 1993, the Top 32 Giants of Backgammon have been chosen by a worldwide vote conducted by Chicago’s Yamin Yamin and his Committee. Voting for 2019 officially ended January 31, 2020. The Committee is pleased to present the 2019 Giants here: Giants of Backgammon. The new Giants will be honored in […]

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USBGF April Womens Monthly

Irina Litzenberger

Congratulations to Irina Litzenberger, winner of the USBGF April Womens Monthly. Irina defeated Eva Zizkova in the 17-point final. Karen Davis and Kat Denison finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final round. The Womens Monthly tournament is open to all USBGF ladies. Entrants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. See the latest online standings at […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Blitzing Reference

Basic Beginners 17

Money Game. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take? XGID=aB-Ba-C-A—dEa–c-e—-B-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10   This position occurs after White has opened with 32 (24/21, 13/11) and Red replies with 55 played 8/3(2), 6/1(2)*, followed by White staying on the bar. This position occurs frequently enough that you should know the correct doubling actions for both players. In […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CVI

2018 MN Litzenberger_cm

Congratulations to Roberto Litzenberger, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CVI. Roberto defeated Steve Hills in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final we’re Ruben Sineriz and Mario Savan. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CVIII

Jiri Vala_sm

Congratulations to Jiri Vala, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CVIII. Jiri defeated Jan Cerny in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final we’re Steve Hills and Ken Bame. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Dynamic vs Static

2020 - Experts 26

Money Play. How should Red play 44? XGID=-aaB–DCC—-ab–eBe—–A:1:-1:1:44:0:0:3:0:10  How should Red play this 44? He has the better position, he has 12 checkers in the attack zone, has already doubled and White has three loose blots. This cries out for an active rather than a passive play. There are gammons to be won. That means […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Third Roll Question

2020 - Intermediates 26

Money Play. How should Red play 42? XGID=—–ADbC–AcD—cbe—-B-:0:0:1:42:0:0:3:0:10  This position arises after Red opens 21 played 13/11, 6/5 and White responds with 66 and makes both bar points. How should Red play this 42? It is ever so easy to pick up the checker on the 11-pt and play 11/5. A good point made and […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXVIV

Giancarlo Ratto

Congratulations to Giancarlo Ratto, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXIV. Giancarlo defeated Richard Stubbe in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Anita Marholm and Kamran Kheirani. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CV

William Lonergan 2020_rev

Congratulations to William Lonergan, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CV. William defeated Brian Lonergan in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Aubrey Brengelman and Mario Savan. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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Getting the Most Out of Your USBGF Membership

Getting the Most Out of Your USBGF Membership

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Middle Game Double

2020 - Beginners 26

Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take? XGID=-b—CDBB—bB—bccbB–a-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10 The race is close but Red leads in Position and Threat. Being ahead in two out of the three key measures would indicate that Red should probably be doubling if there is sufficient volatility. There are plenty of market-losing sequences, e.g. 41 for Red […]

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ABT Online!

ABT Online! The U.S. Backgammon Federation (USBGF) is pleased to announce the launch of the ABT Online! Tour. Similar to the American Backgammon Tour, players entering ABT Online! Tournaments will earn points toward ABT Online! rankings. The ABT Online! is a complement to the in-person American Backgammon Tour. The 2020 ABT points race has been […]

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USBGF February Monthly Circuit

William Lonergan 2020_rev

Congratulations to William Lonergan, winner of the USBGF 2020 February Monthly Circuit. William defeated Jerry Unger in the 11-point final match. Juan Jose Aguzzi and Tom Courts finished 3/4 in the semi-final match. Entry into this tournament is free for all USBGF members — including Premium, Youth, and Basic members. Be sure your membership is […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Bear-Off Reference

Basic Beginners 16

Money Game. Should Red redouble? If redoubled, should White take? XGID=aBBCCCB—————ce–:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10  You have been lucky enough to hit a shot when White was bearing off. You have closed your home board and White still languishes on the bar. When should you redouble? The basic rule of thumb, which has stood the test of time, is […]

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