The 2019 Queensland Backgammon Championships

While the wind blew down south, the weather was cool but sunny on the
Gold Coast for the 2019 Queensland Backgammon Championships held at the
Surfers Paradise SLSC on the Gold Coast.

44 players attended over the weekend, plus 4 novices. Half a dozen
players were stranded in Sydney and Canberra due to the extreme weather.
This took many top contenders out of the equation, including the likes
of Ian Dunstan, Jim Bean and John Symon.

Friday night saw around 25 players turn up, eager for a go at
Speedgammon. We expected to fill a total field of 16, or maybe 32 in
this tournament, but on Friday alone we filled 32. So Speedgammon
quickly became a 64 field. We also ran two satellites for the Masters,
won by Peter Brown and Steve Roberts.

Saturday arrived and the rest of the field turned up and the Open was
quickly under way, filling up by early afternoon. The Masters was held
to a field of 16, with Speedgammon still popular and the Last Chance
tournament now taking entries. Backgammon was played well into the
evening with rounds progressing in all tournaments.

On Sunday, we had a few spots left in the Speedgammon and Last Chance
which the perennial desperadoes soon filled. So we came to the money
rounds and the tension in the room heightened as people gathered around
to watch the lucky/skilful few battle it out for the major prizes.
Incredibly (well, it was all planned this way of course!) we were dead
on time, with all 4 finals under way at the same time, and all
completing shortly after the advertised time of 6PM.

The Open quarter finals saw Steve Clarry defeat Hossein Haydari, Simon
Ustick was incredibly lucky to overcome partner Maricar, who should
probably file for immediate divorce after what Simon did to her! In the
bottom half, Melbourne’s Steve Quinn overcame Barry Ross, and Taeed
Athari from the Persian Rose pipped Bill Marczak to the post in a
marathon. It was to be Melbourne’s final when Uey beat Steve Clarry and
Steve Quinn beat Taeed. Congratulations to Steve Quinn who showed not
only skill but serious stamina after 3 days of playing.

The Masters was limited to 16 players and was keenly fought at every
round. Ivo Zarnic from New Zealand made it to a semi-final date with
Newcastle’s Michelle Taubman who had dismissed Peter Sun and Steve
Roberts (both past Australian champions!) as if they were novices. The
bottom half of the draw saw one of the match-ups of the weekend with
young experts Martin Sagradian and Hossein Haydari caught in a
down-to-the-wire battle that Hossein eventually won. Michelle was not to
be denied, it was destined to be her weekend. In a see-saw battle that
could have gone either way for much of the match, Michelle kept her
cool, playing superbly to claim her title of Queensland Masters
Champion. A well deserved reward for all her hard work behind the scenes
as well as over the table.

The success of the weekend was the Speedgammon tournament, which filled
64 places and everyone took to like ducks to water. People who’ve never
played with clocks, let alone under the pressures of speedgammon
settings, just couldn’t get enough. I hope we’ll be seeing speedgammon
events appear in other tournaments around the country. The top 32 of the
draw had been played on Friday, with Adelaide’s Shane McNally and the
Gold Coast’s Vince Turner reaching the semi. Shane beat Vince sometime
during Saturday, allowing Vince a last chance to re-enter – he bought in
at position 58. Then won all the way through again, beating Simon
Woodhead (aaarggh!) in the semi for another match-up with Shane but this
time in the final. It was to be Vince’s day, he was truly inVincible at

The Last Chance tournament sent another trophy Newcastle’s way for Greg
Mitchell who patiently waited while we caught the tournament up. Dave
Berry from Canberra eventually won through to the final but Greg’s
patience was rewarded with the winners trophy.

Four lovely ladies turned up for the Novice tournament, with Olga
Sagradian winning from local Miranda Miranda on countback in a
round-robin format.

The major prize in the raffle was won by local Zoe Anghel Richmond, who
also had a good run in the Open, winning her first two rounds. She now
has Michy’s excellent new backgammon books to cement her game in solid

Thanks to everyone who came, especially thanks to those who booked and
were denied by the weather. Next year – bigger and better! Thanks to our
venue sponsor the Surfer Paradise SLSC Nippers, to our trophy sponsor
George Beyreuthi from FS Securities and to Barb, Margie, Denise and
Maria for their tireless and invaluable work on the desk. Thanks to
Taeed Athari for bringing his wonderful Persian Rose boards all the way
up from Sydney, as did Rob Disney with the Newcastle boards. Special
thanks also to Moya Holmes of the Nippers, who liaised with the venue
and made sure that everything ran smoothly for us. None of this would
have happened without all of you – we sincerely thank you 🙂

You can see completed draw sheets by clicking on the tournament names

Keep following the facebook page for pics from this year and updates for
next year:

Until next year, happy rolling from Steve Roberts and Simon Woodhead
August 2019, Gold Coast, Queensland

2019 NZ BG Championship Final Results

James Noble (NZ) 1st Place
Cedric Marchant (NZ) 2nd Place
Grant Hoffman (NZ) 3rd Place
Tony Marquette (NZ) Plate Champion

Want to thank James for keeping the NZ BG Championship Trophy in New Zealand & in Auckland.
James had a clean sheet. Did not lose any Matches as he powered his way to 1st place.
Congratulations to the WINNERS and congratulations to all of the participants in the 2019 New Zealand BG Championship. It was a really fun Tournament.

2019 NSWS Backgammon Championships Results

The tournament was played on June 1st and 2nd and was a progressive double elimination format. Each participant needed to lose twice to be knocked out. There was an undefeated winner bracket and a second chance bracket. As  players lost a match they dropped into the corresponding draw in the second chance bracket.
The tournament attracted 25 starters including most of Australia’s best players, travelling from as far as the Gold Coast, NSW South Coast, Newcastle and all parts of Sydney.
After many 9-point matches and nearly 2 days of playing, Peter Brown won the tournament undefeated. He played Arthur Ramer in the finals, while John Symon and Steve Clary came 3 rd and 4 th respectively.              

The undefeated champ,                                     The worthy runner up,
Peter Brown                                                              Arthur Ramer


Semi finalists,  John Symon                                     and Steve Clary

On the Sunday there was a $300 jackpot tournament with 8 players participating.
Semi-finalists were Taeed Athari v Zvi Bendavid and Mick Dyett v Simon Woodhead. Taeed and Mick were finalists, choosing to split the winnings.
The day was both warm outside and inside as there were smiles all round. A great comradery between the players with many battles, laughter and post mortems.
As director, I would like to thank everyone who participated, contributed to or
supported the tournament and made it such a success, in particular Taeed Athari for his on going generosity in allowing the tournament to be played at his venue at no cost, Sharne Dyett for organising the desk, and the ABF for sponsoring the trophies,

Mick Dyett
Tournament Director

2019 Queensland Open Backgammon Championship

Announcing the 2019 Queensland Open Backgammon Championship
including Masters, Beginners and the inaugural
Australian Speedgammon Championship

Date: 9-11 August 2019
Place: Surfers Paradise Surf Club, Gold Coast, Queensland
Click on the Events Page  for all the details.

Another of the not-to-be-missed events on the Australian backgammon calendar.

The Inaugural Sydney Open Backgammon Tournament

The tournament was run on the 7th of April 2019 at the Canada Bay Club.

The amended double Swiss format ensured that everyone played 6 x seven point matches on the day, and a loss in the three round qualifying flight did not preclude any player from winning the tournament.The day was a resounding success with glowing reports from the participants.

Main Flight :

1st Paul Barnett – $600 and crystal doubling cube award,


2nd Arthur Ramer $300.


Consolation prize of $60 to the one-match winner with the highest score to David Reitzin.


3rd prize went to the Second Flight winner, Pat Halpin, who received $180.


Eva Bitel pocketing the $60 2nd flight consolation.


Round-Up 2018

From Member Clubs

ACT Backgammon Club

2018 was a typical year at the ACT Backgammon Club – we have had 26 tournaments over that period, involving 19 separate players – as of early December 2018, 6 of the tournies are still to be completed (this is typical for our small Club). League leader was Tom Chrysostomou, Ratings leader was David Berry and Greg Ash entered the most tournaments.

Of course, being the BG Club of the Capital, our league is based on financial years… in 2017/18 there were 11 players with 25 or more tournaments, 14 with 5 or more and only 1 that played 2 or fewer – league points are based on 1 point per entry and two points per win, and you needed 80 points to make it into the top 8. Six players accumulated 100 in terms of combined match lengths.

At Christmas we usually have a bit of fun with a novelty tournament – last year it was roll three dice and play your best two (which wasn’t as disruptive as you would think) and this year it will be that you can deliberately misplay one roll per game… but not off the bar or bearing off.

We have a small back committed band of players – on any given night 6 to 8 of the “hard core” are there, and then some of the semi-regulars will come maybe once a month and others every 6 months or so – the result is that sometimes we have 6 players and sometimes 12 or more… but we always play great backgammon and revel in other’s misfortune…

Pay is at King O’Malleys in the City Bus Interchange every Monday night at 7pm or so, going till the pub kicks us out and usually finishing with a $2 chouette to mop up the tail…

Happy rolling into 2019 – Greg


Castle Hill RSL Backgammon Club 2018

The normal play at Castle Hill RSL on Monday nights is without doubling cubes so the games are unsuitable for the ratings system, but we do play three doubling cube tournaments throughout the year, and in 2018 these are again hotly contested.

The first one was the Easter Tournament, played over 4 weeks from April 9th, and was won by Vahid Hazrati, no stranger to the place getters’ circle.

The last two doubling cube tournaments were played in July and October, and were both won by Abbas Naderi, someone who is even more of a regular in the place getters’ circle.

The hardest trophy to snag is the Les McEwen trophy, won by the player accumulating the most points throughout the whole year, and this year, showing amazing consistency all year was Roshanak Mojtehedi. A great result.

It was very pleasing to see Castle Hill RSL backgammon players entering mainstream tournaments like the NSW Open, the Newcastle Open, the Australian Open, and even the New Zealand Open.

Even more pleasing are the results being achieved, with several players reaching the rounds of 8, and in the Australian Open Jan Spillekom reaching the semi finals, knocked out by the eventual winner of the tournament.

Bring on 2019.

John Symon


Sydney Backgammoners

The Sydney Backgammoners are a group that started playing in their current format and location in January 2018 when we moved to the North Ryde Rsl.

After initially playing in a multi round robin format which worked, but was a bit cumbersome, Tournament Director Gary Stavrou engaged a computer programmer, and after much effort, a custom program was created for backgammon which used the “Stavrou Scoring System”
which not only pitted winners against winners, but top scorers against second-top scorers etc.

This program, which the developer is planning to commercially release, has been used by Sydney Backgammoners from June 2018, from which time match results have been forwarded to the ABF for rating.

Also during 2018 Sydney Backgammoners developed their website

The first major tournament under Gary’s stewardship was the very successful NSW open which held at North Ryde Rsl in July 2018 . This was run using the new software and it ran very smoothly.

Entries close on January 25 for our new, twice yearly, external (off-site) Swiss-style tournament which will give players the opportunity to play longer matches without time constraints

The group is also planning a new tournament, The Sydney Open Backgammon Tournament later in the year.

The group meets in the North Ryde Rsl at 6.30 every Wednesday and there are normally a few of us who meet at 5.30 in the bistro for an early dinner – please come and join us !!

Carol Wakelin

2018 Australian Open and Masters Results

The Persian Rose Restaurant was host to the ABF endorsed Australian Open and Masters Backgammon Championships on the 3 and 4 November.

The Open had 36 players fighting for first place, with players coming from the Gold Coast, New Zealand, South Australia, Victoria and Canberra.

The format was Round Robins, with the winner from each group progressing through to the top 8 knockout.

The semi-finals saw Ian Dunstan take out Jan Spillekom while Gerhardt Macor disposed of Newcastle club mate, Mick Dyett.

Jan and Mick.

History was repeating as both Ian and Gerhardt played in last year’s final, a testament to the consistency and determination of both these fine players.
Ian was triumphant to take out the Open for a fourth time.

Congratulations to both Gerhardt and Ian for putting on such an exciting and well played match.

The Masters was played on Sunday and became a field of 18 players, with 14 first round Byes. The semi-finals saw Simon Woodhead beat fellow Queenslander Steve Roberts, while Peter Brown defeated Habib Shalala.

Steve and Habib.

The finals were a state of origin match with Queensland Simon taking on New South Welshman, Peter Brown. Both these players have a lot of experience and their match reflected this.

Peter Brown came up trumps and took first place. Congratulations to both for a fine performance.

There were 4 jackpot tournaments, with the winners of those being Terry Christodoulou, Simon Ustick, Adrian Marisescu and David Reitzen.
Chouettes were also played throughout the day.
All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time playing the greatest game of all.

Thanks, must go to Taeed, who organised the venue and a big thank you to both Sharne Dyett and Dr Greg Ash who played a major role on the front desk, making sure everything ran smoothly.

A big thank you to Zvi Bendavid who donated all trophies this year. Zvi has done this for many years. His very kind generosity allows 100% of all money to be returned in prize money.

And last but not least, I thank all players who participated for supporting the game we all love and making this event the success that it was.

Tournament Director