Videos & Presentations

Backgammon is WAR by Julius High

Julius High — member of the USBGF Board of Directors, outstanding player, and all around nice guy — presents an enlightening and entertaining seminar on “Backgammon is War”. ‘Commander’ High uses military terminology and strategies to define, illustrate, and emphasize fundamental backgammon principles. The presentation will intrigue children, instruct less experienced players, and provide all players concepts for consideration in an enjoyable context. Please share the video with all.

Backgammon is WAR by Julius High

How to Record and Stream a Live Match

Ben Friesen teaches us how to record and stream a live backgammon match. In addition, he also lists all equipment and software necessary for a professional broadcast.

See How to Record and Stream a Live Match

How to Set and Use a ZMF-II Game Clock

Ross Gordon of the Connecticut Backgammon Club shows us all we need to know to learn to set and use a ZMF-II game clock.

See How to Set and Use a ZMF-II Game Clock

How to Set and Use an Excalibur Game Time II Clock

Ross Gordon of the Connecticut Backgammon Club shows us all we need to know to learn to set and use an Excalibur Game Time II clock.

See How to Set and Use Excalibur Game Time II Clock

Interview with “Falafel” Natanzon, #1 Giant of Backgammon

Current #1 Giant of Backgammon, “Falafel” Natanzon, takes a break from the action at the 2013 Texas Backgammon Championships, in San Antonio, to share some of his thoughts on backgammon with interviewer Martha Ghio.

 See Martha’s interview with Falafel

Interview with Malcolm Davis, Winner of the 2013 Texas Backgammon Championships

Watch this wonderful live interview with Malcolm Davis, winner of the 2013 Texas Backgammon Championships!

Thank you to Martha Ghio for providing this excellent interview for all to enjoy.

 See Martha’s interview with Malcolm

Mochy-Simborg “Safe vs. Bold” Lecture

A Summary of Phil Simborg and Mochy’s  2013 Presentation in San Antonio

In early 2013, Phil Simborg and “Mochy” Mochizuki gave a lecture at the first Texas Backgammon Championships, held in San Antonio. The subject they picked was the theory of Bold/Safe Criteria, first explained and illustrated in Paul Magriel’s classic book, Backgammon.

This PowerPoint presentation gives you a look at all eleven checker-play problems used in the lecture, with the solutions as indicated by Magriel’s Bold/Safe Criteria.

Download the Mochy-Simborg “Safe vs Bold” Lecture

Bray’s Learning Curve — A Great Member Benefit

Bray’s Learning Curve is a USBGF online series by author Chris Bray. Each week Chris lends his sharp insight and easy to understand analysis to help you improve your game. Visit the USBGF Facebook page every Monday to view an interesting backgammon position and join in the lively discussion, return on Tuesday to view the answer. In addition, as a USBGF member, you get access to this companion blog article that includes an expanded explanation. Bray’s Learning Curve

Art Benjamin

Art Benjamin, a member of the USBGF Board of Directors, produced a video “Counting Magic: Handy Mental Shortcuts to Improve your Game”, and presented seminars on the topic at Michigan and Silicon Valley ABT tournaments.

Look and Learn here: Art Benjamin

Gus Hansen: How to Play Backgammon



Comment by Rochelle Hasson, USBGF Online Media Manager

This mesmerizing, fast-paced, three minute video is a must-see for a beginning player, and a refreshing re-vitalizer for seasoned players. Whatever your skill level, watching the video will leave you wanting to set up your board right away!

The video was created by the World Series of Backgammon (WSOB), featuring Danish poker Giant, Gus Hansen as commentator. Before becoming a professional poker player in 1997, Mr. Hansen also distinguished himself as a world class backgammon player. The WSOB was started in 2006 by tv producer and backgammon player Andy Bell. Today, WSOB is a major televised tour in the backgammon world, covering live tournaments in Europe, and televising them throughout the world on ESPN International.

The video starts off with a visual description of board setup, and explains the game objective. Gus advises: “To win in backgammon you must run faster and fight harder than your opponent” going on to warn, “Beware of leaving too many checkers unprotected; they WILL be attacked.”

Gus continues with basic play leading up to the comment, “Pressure your opponent with the doubling cube; just like in poker, raising the stakes is a powerful weapon. Use it. If a player thinks he has a solid edge, he should double. You now have the choice to refuse and lose one point, or take and play on for double the stakes. Should the game turn around, you can redouble and put your opponent in the hot seat. Pass or take…do or die…Mice or men…” Timely, poignant advice!

In the last segment of the video, Gus offers a final bit of advice: “It’s not enough to learn the rules. You have to spend some time in front of the board…while you may learn a thing or two from a backgammon book, there is no substitute for the ultimate learning tool: playing the game yourself.” And he is so right!

Watch the video, find yourself an opponent at one of the many in-person and online venues listed on the US Backgammon Federation website, roll some dice and join the US Backgammon Federation — enjoy yourself and be at the top of your game!

Backgammon Beginners Video Series

  1. Introduction and the Board

  2. The Rest of the Kit

  3. Basic Moves

  4. The Opening Roll

  5. Rolling Doubles

  6. Blocking and Primes

  7. Hitting and Re-entering

  8. Dancing

  9. Bearoff Basics

  10. Playing Through a Bearoff

  11. Gammons and Backgammons

  12. The Pip Count

  13. The Doubling Cube

  14. The Doubling Window

  15. The Crawford Rule

  16. Software Recommendations