Magriel Cup, USA vs. UK: THE REMATCH

Watch the USA and UK teams battle it out this weekend, starting on Saturday October 14th.
Paul Magriel

There have been two previous matches between the UK and USA. In October 1973: the Clermont Club hosted a match with Joe Dwek and Philip Martyn representing the UK and Barclay and Walter Cooke, the USA.

This contest comprised a total of 40 unlimited games (without the Jacoby rule), and the USA won the encounter 73-64. Skip forward 46 years and I entered into discussions with Martin Barkwill where he ventured into the possibility of a live UK vs. USA match to coincide with a major USBGF event. The pandemic destroyed any prospect of such a live match, so when Simon Barget stepped forward with an offer to captain the UK team for an online challenge, the UKBGF board, Chris Rogers and Marin Barkwill were delighted to support the venture. The USBGF supported the idea, and I organized and held a qualifying event for the US. We fielded a very strong team, with most of the top American players, I captained the team for the US and Simon Barget captained for the UK.

The USA won by 233 to 133, but the UK players distinguished themselves with their very strong level of play. A detailed summary of both matches (1973 and 2000) is provided by Chris Bray here.

As the 50th anniversary of the first match is this month, it is appropriate to hold another online challenge as close as possible to the anniversary date. Due to clashes with other USA tournaments, it
was impracticable to time the event to the exact anniversary date, so it will be held on 14th and 15th – this weekend!


The USBGF conducted a 92-player qualifier to determine the players who would represent the USA. Below is a list of players on both the UK and USA teams.

The two teams are: UK/USA
Sebastian Wilkinson/ Matt Cohn-Geier
Gaz Owen/ Neil Kazaross
Oliver Squire/ Steve Sax
Reece Hodges/ Dimitry Obukhov
Tim Cross/ Robert Wachtel
Julian Fetterlein/ John O’Hagan
Simon Barget/ Jeremy Bagai
Chris Bray/ Joe Urso
Steve Bibby/ John Klein
Ken Gibson/ Albert Steg
Peter Bennet/ Kit Woolsey
Pete Heskett/ Boris Dekhtyar

For the Consulting Doubles, the USA is fielding Jonathan Hardigree, Bernard Havlik, Bob Azari and Frank DiMaggio replacing some of the players listed above. Chris Rogers is the non-playing Captain for the UK and Joe Russell for the USA. Either may step in as a reserve.

Date/Time: The event comprises a mix of formats. Starting at 1 pm EST. time on Saturday October 14th. On Sunday evening from 1 pm EST. there will be two rounds of 11-point singles matches.

Format: There is one round of 11 point speedgammon, one DMP round (best of five one-point matches) and six separate 11 points Consulting Doubles matches.

The scoring mechanism is two points for a match win and one point for a PR win. For the latter, the matches are analyzed on XG (eXtremeGammon) and in each case the player (or doubles pair) with the lower PR is awarded the point. No PR points are awarded for the DMP round. The first team to reach 76 points wins.

How to follow the action

To check up on progress of the match, please check the spreadsheet.

A selection of matches will be live streamed, with live commentary, and anyone may watch on YouTube. Look out for an announcement of the details under this post and on Facebook.

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