Sydney Backgammon Club Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Our year got off to a good start with a visit of my friend from the UK, Rosey Bensley and another Pom, Tim Combley.


We played a 5 person 5 point round robin.

Martin Sagradian started the evening with bad luck leaving his board on the bus. That was the only bad luck he had for the remainder of the night, running out a clear winner, played 4 won 4.

Arthur Ramer arrived in time to win a head to head with Rosey who wasn’t on her game having been up since early morning for her flight to Sydney.

Good news! Martin got his board back from lost property.

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Sydney Backgammon Club Tuesday 28th November 2017

A good night’s Backgammon was played by the 4 of us. 7 point round robin with Stephen taking home the $20 after beating me on DMP. Well played.

Apologies for the photo quality. I’ll try harder.

And here’s a little test. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

We finished before 10pm.

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Inaugural Evening

It was a quiet first step in our new venue and because of that the new format remains untried.

However, I played three 9 pointers and one seven pointer and finished before 10:30pm so the format is possible.

Masoud and I enjoyed our head to head

before Arthur joined us a little later.

The room was empty from 7pm onwards. The venue continues to be a happy hunting ground for your TD as both made a small contribution to my wallet 🙂

Roll well,


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Why Video A Match?

This is a question I’ve been asked numerous times. Basically it helps me analyse my play and perhaps give insights where there’s a weakness.

I recently played a series of 21 money games. At the conclusion I pocketed a small donation.

But that’s not the end of the matter as I’d videoed the complete match. After transcribing it into eXtreme Gammon it turned out that I’d made 18 blunders with my checkers and 3 double (take) blunders.

I’ve set the checker blunders out below in all their glory. There’s definitely a thread. I have to take more care on playing doubles.

See how you go.


I thought 13/9 would give me some attacking options. XG disagrees! On analysis I quite like 24/16 which I admit I didn’t see over the board.


Not a terrible mistake.


This one was!


I have a dislike for making the 1 point early in a game.


On analysis 13/9 is the much better option. 13 shots as opposed to 16 with 3/1 putting 2 checkers on the bar!


I certainly gave XG’s suggestion a lot of thought but…


I wasn’t that brave!


Not here either.


With two blots you don’t run, XG?


A mental toss up. I lost, XG won.


On reflection I agree 13/7 was the better play.


Hmm! Another double error. I’m not sure I’d play it differently on another occasion 🙁




3/4 correct 🙁


On reflection white’s Jokers play well in both cases so Bar/18 gives black a better chance of escaping next roll if it survives.


More builders. I didn’t see it.


Kicking myself. I would usually see this.


I thought splitting the back men might have given me a better chance of hitting if given the chance. But it’s so slim XG’s idea is superior.

If you’ve made it to the end, you might be wondering what PR I managed with these blunders? 5.85 is the answer.

A recent quote from Masayuki Mochizuki, the World’s No 1 player, I think sums it up though: “You don’t need to be lucky to play good PR but to win you do!”

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Sydney Backgammon Club resumption

My apologies, it has taken a little longer than anticipated but I’ve at last been given the green light by my Dr.
I propose to start a weekly meeting on Tuesday 14th November 2017 at the Hero of Waterloo Hotel, 81 Lower Fort St., Millers Point NSW 2000. (The hotel can guarantee our use of the backroom on a Tuesday and food is available).
The format will be a straight 8 player KO with byes, if necessary. Entry will be $3 for the evening and pools of $5, $10 and $20 for the tournament depending on the depth of your pocket.
The first 8 player (on a first in best dressed basis!) KO will start at 6:30pm sharp, 9 points per round. Clocks; a TD’s option if play falls behind the necessarily strict time schedule to be finished by 11pm. (I will run multiple KOs depending on demand and time.)
This format will run through till the EoY by which time I’ll hope to have a feel for your thoughts on it.
January 2018 will be the start of the club’s annual table plus the resumption of the quarterly league.
Please let me know, RSVP, if you’re intending to come on the 14th November. (As always, please bring your boards) It’ll help me prepare as well as assisting the pub to cater for us.
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Experiment at The Hero of Waterloo Hotel

Last night had mixed results. The pub is lovely and the room allocated very quiet (background music which we may be able to persuade the publican to lower after becoming better acquainted ) and while the lighting on first entering seems dim is ok once your eyes get accustomed to it. We were the only people there.

The food was by all accounts tasty, good and reasonably priced. Beer on tap was all Squire from my observations.

The main bugbear is parking. Not that there isn’t any, there’s heaps; it’s all metered/resident permit. I gather the best anyone could find was an 8pm finish at $3.70 per hour. A map of the parking zones can be found here and meters here. NB. The word ‘FREE’ is subjective!

I ran a 5 point round robin with the 5 players attending. We finished at 10:45pm.

The dice gods were looking down favourably on yours truly. Alex kindly left his last checker on the 2 point which I hit, closed out my board and watched him throw a series of ones, twos and threes while I threw a couple of doubles to achieve a very unlikely win.

Martin could rightly claim I had the dice on a string as well.

Joseph was the runner up.

Facebook has returned the ownership of the SBC’s group page to me but sans history and membership, I’m afraid. Please re-apply here and I’ll reinstate you.

I’m hoping to make a decision on time and place for the SBC’s meetings over the next few weeks. I’ll notify everyone before the next meeting.

Roll well,


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Hello Sydney Backgammon Players

Having experienced a rather distressing and traumatic parting of the ways with the ABF board, it has taken awhile for me to regroup and assess my future involvement in the Australian Backgammon scene.

My love of the game is undiminished and as I’ve experienced so many messages of encouragement and support, I’ve decided to resurrect The Sydney Backgammon Club.

The venue is yet to be decided but the format will change. I’ve had experience of running round robins and Swiss format club nights; neither are perfect. The new format probably won’t be either but I have hopes it’ll meet most players expectations and time constraints.

My health has encountered a slight hiccup which I hope will be sorted quite soon. Once that’s out of the way (2 or 3 weeks at the most) I’ll be in touch.

Roll well,


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