Newcastle Champion of Champions

On the heels of the Novocastrian Challenge completed recently between
Newcastle Backgammon Club and the North East Backgammon Association
(NEBA) UK, the Newcastle Champion of Champions will be conducted between the 2 clubs in the coming weeks.

As the 2019 Newcastle Open Champion, Robert Disney will play Alastair Woods of Scotland, winner of the UK Newcastle Open. The match will be 13 points,  played on Friday June 5th @ 1900 AEST/1000 UK, most probably on GridGammon.

The winner of the 2019 NBC Club Championship, Mick Dyett will get
another shot at NEBA League Champion Tim Cross at a time and venue TBA
under the same conditions. Tim beat Mick in their Challenge match.
The winners will meet in a playoff for the Newcastle Champion of
Champions title.

Full details as they come to hand can be viewed through the NBC Facebook
page/public group as well as the NBC website

Round 3 Aus / Kiwi Challenge

Round 3 is officially underway and should be completed by noon East Coast time on Sunday – after that AJ and I will be able to finalise the match-ups for the next round… just a reminder that only one goes through from each bracket so you need at least two wins… the first round of the knockout will pair Aussies with Kiwis (randomly) to the greatest extent possible.

At present nearly ¾ of Round 3 matches have already been played. As per other rounds, 9 point match with clocks set to normal…

The Aussies are ahead 49-37 on wins, 619-539 on points scored and 7-4 on confirmed qualifiers (please note that neither AJ nor myself will go through to the next stage).

Greg Ash

The 2020 Novocastrian Challenge

Last Updated Thursday, May 07, 2020 10:29

Welcome to our page for the 2020 Novocastrian Challenge, a 4 player a side round robin tournament pitting the skills of players from Newcastle Backgammon Club, Australia, against players from the North East Backgammon Association (NEBA) based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. This is the first edition of the event and it is hoped that it can become a regular yearly interaction between the Clubs (with more participants) in the future.

Over the next 3-4 weeks Match times, playing platform and results will be posted here as they become available as well as on the Newcastle Backgammon Club’s Page and Public Group on Facebook.
Matches will be played over 9 points on either the Backgammon Galaxy site or the GridGammon site.
There will be a 7 day turnaround for matches.
Round 1 officially running between 00:01 Saturday, April 25th and 23:59 Friday, May 1st Australian Eastern Standard Time.
As there will be 16 games played in total, if the score is 8-8 at the end of the tournament a “Captain’s Tiebreak” will be played over 9 points to decide a winner.

Team NEBA is made up of Martin Barkwill (Capt), Tim Cross, Gary Bratton and Pol Lapidakis.

Team NBC is Robert Disney (Capt), Mick Dyett, Michelle Taubman and Tony Walker.

For those wishing to watch any of the games, you will need an account to the advertised platform (Backgammon Galaxy or GridGammon).
The player’s userids are as follows:

Names & Userids
Name @GridGammon @BackgammonGalaxy Name @GridGammon @BackgammonGalaxy
MICK DYETT beekind2me beekind2me MARTIN BARKWILL Barkers Wackford Squeers
ROBERT DISNEY diz diz TIM CROSS timcrazy lancs
MICHELLE TAUBMAN middishell middishell GARY BRATTON GaryBratton Gazgammon
TONY WALKER Blotter Blotter POL LAPIDAKIS Polidoros1 PolNEBA



Inaugural Australia vs New Zealand On-Line Challenge

The Australian Backgammon Federation is pleased to announce an (inaugural?) Australia vs NZ Challenge – the conditions of play can be seen by  clicking here on the ABF Events Page. The quick take on this is matches to 9-points on, with 16 round robins comprised of 2 Kiwis plus two Aussie in each bracket, with the round-robin winners going through to a knock out (random draw, with Aussie vs Kiwis to the greatest extent possible in Round 1 of the knockout). This means each Aussie will play one other Aussie and two Kiwis in the round robin, and possibly one other Kiwi in the knockout.

Australian entrants must be current ABF members, and entry will be on a first come first served basis – at least for this first time – if there is excess of interest and we get over 32  then we might need to run a pre-qualifying round (or rounds) the next time.

If you’re talking to someone who isn’t a member, please let them know that if they join now their membership is good through to 30 June 2021 – you still need to be in the first 32

Changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic




Coronavirus effect on listed tournaments.

Clearly the effects of this pandemic are having huge consequences. It is inevitable that the backgammon community is also effected.

Though so far the ABF has only received news of one tournament cancellation, that being The Sydney Open, slated for April 5th,  (which will be rescheduled when circumstances allow), we urge all players to check with the directors of tournaments which you are planning to attend.

We will attempt to keep the ABF website up to date as information comes to hand but “in this ever changing world we live in”, we may not receive the information in a timely fashion. Please check for yourself.

Message from ABF President, Greg Ash

As we roll into 2020 it seems that the Board of the Australian Backgammon Federation Inc can now move forward with more certainty. I would like to thank members for their patience during this process and thank and congratulate all who have put their hands up to fill the various Board positions. The full roster of Board members should be available via the website.

Firstly, we should acknowledge the tremendous sadness felt at the passing of Founding President, Eva Bitel. Her considerable efforts at getting us to share her vision for Australian backgammon have led us to where we are today, and provide an inspiration and springboard for efforts to move forward. In accepting the role of incoming President, I am fully aware of the big shoes I have to fill.

Thanks also to outgoing Board members for their work – in particular, I would like to single out Simon Woodhead who is going to be busy doing other BG things but is still willing to help out on the technical side. Simon was instrumental in getting us on board with our own version of the UK BGF ratings scheme and I firmly believe that this is our most significant achievement to date.

I have some ideas for the kind of things we as a national body should be doing to improve the lot of ordinary members and member clubs – I will be putting those thoughts to the Board, and once they have had an opportunity to dissect, embellish and refine those ideas, I would like to put those ideas out to the membership to see where you think the priorities for us should lie. We have a very modest budget, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do some innovative things to promote backgammon.

I will be asking the Board to “meet” more often than it has in the past and I commit to making some communication from those meetings available to members in a timely fashion (this is not a criticism of past practice, more a reflection of the way I like to operate!).

Dr Greg Ash

President, AusBGF

31 January 2020

AGM for Australian Backgammon Federation 23rd November, 2019

Venue: Persian Rose Restaurant, Turramrra. 

In the absence of the President and Vice President, John Symon welcomed attendees to the meeting


Simon Woodhead, Carol Wakelin, Ian Dunstan, Taeed Athari, Michael Dyett, John Symon


Eva Bitel, Greg Ash, David Kinston

Minutes of the previous AGM were confirmed and accepet. Nominated by Mick Dyett, seconded Taeed Athari

President’s Report was not available due to the ill health of the President, Eva Bitel

Treasurer’s Report confirmed cash in bank being $4,224.27, and increase of $879.00 on the last year. The treasurer also confirmed the membership numbers as 6 affiliated clubs and 79 individual members

Resignations and Election of office holders:

Eva Bitel resigned from the presidency and the board, Carol Wakelin resigned as secretary, Simon Woodhead resigned from the board but will continue in a technical support role.

Greg Ash was nominated by Simon Woodhead as the New President, and was seconded by John Symon. Greg has accepted.

Ian Dunstan was nominated as Secretary, seconded by Mick Dyett. Ian accepted.

John Symon was nominated as Treasurer and Public officer, seconded by Taeed Athari. John accepted.

Michael Dyett was nominated to the board by Taeed Athari, seconded by John Symon, David Kinston was nominated by Michael Dyett, seconded Carol Wakelin, Taeed Athari was nominated by Michael Dyett, seconded by Ian Dunstan

Changing the venue for the 2020 Australian Open was discussed, and it was decided that Queensland should hold the next Open, and, after the well run and successful running of the  Queensland Open and Masters this year, the 2020 Australian Open will be organised, promoted and run by Simon Woodhead and Steve Roberts

The Future of the Australian Backgammon Federation was the next topic for discussion. Simon Woodhead suggestion that a regular newsletter, monthly or quarterly should be circulated to all members highlighting a national calendar of upcoming events, results from tournaments  and any other information relating to backgammon generally, and in particular the Australian backgammon scene. Simon suggested that Shane McNally should be approached to undertake the newsletter duties. It was also suggested that promoting tournaments will make backgammon more inclusive. Further, Mick Dyett volunteered to contact Grant Hoffman to ask whether syndication of Grants “Position of the Week” via the ABF was an option. Ian Dunstan will approach “Fergus” whether the online doubles tournament software which Fergus uses could be made available to the ABF for a forum to discuss the “positions of the week”

Under the heading of Any Other Business, it was noted that the ABF Facebook Page and associated mail is still being controlled by Gemma Purves and that Eva would ask Gemma to surrender any log-ins and passwords to the ABF. The invitation by Bernhard Mayr on behalf of the WBIF to organise and supervise an Australian involvement was discussed and agreed that at this stage it was not a practical option. John Symon to reply to Bernhard

The meeting was closed at 8.55am.











Eva Bitel. May She Rest In Peace.

The Australian Backgammon community today lost one of its hardest working and dedicated advocates with the death of Eva Bitel.

Eva and her late husband Ivor have been an integral part of Backgammon in Australia for over 40 years and both did all they could to promote the game and attract new players to a game they were both passionate about.

At the time of her passing, Eva had just recently retired as President of the Australian Backgammon Federation, which had enjoyed a revival under her stewardship .

She will be sadly missed by not only the backgammon family, the medical fraternity that she had been an active member of, and the bridge community, but also by so many others from all walks of life who came in contact with this wonderful warm, caring, intelligent, fierce and funny lady.

Our lives are richer for having known her.