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

2019 Australian Open and Masters Results

The 2019 Australian Backgammon Championships and Master’s was played over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th November.

34 players competed for the National Championship. There were players from New Zealand, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Newcastle and of course Sydney. The venue for the tournament was The Persian Rose Restaurant in Turramurra.

The format for the Open was Round Robin with the top two players from each group advancing to a 16-player knockout.

As is normally the case before such a big tournament there was much excitement in the room as players anticipated winning Australia’s most coveted Backgammon Competition and becoming the 2019 Australian Champion.

The Games began at 10 am. By mid-afternoon the Round Robin brawling had stopped and there were 16 players left standing. The rest were …well…defeated. It was time for the knockout, sudden death where insanity can be just one roll away, (this game is not for the feint hearted). After two rounds and 12 deaths we had four survivors. These Gladiators were Greg Mitchell from Newcastle, Habib Shalala from Sydney, Martin Sargadian also from Sydney and Pat Halpin from the Central Coast.

Martin Sargadian and Pat Halpin

Habib Shalal and Greg Mitchell

Greg overpowered Habib while Martin outmuscled Pat. The scene was set for a blockbuster match between two very fine players. They certainly did not disappoint the crowds as they fought a long and very exciting match, their experience was evident in their play. The match was very tight with Greg Mitchell coming out the victor. Congratulations Greg, you are the 2019 Australian Champion and congratulations to Runner Up Martin for putting up a hell of a fight.

The 2019 Australian Champion,                                                            and the Runner-Up

Next up was the Master’s with 11 players competing. The format was knockout with five byes in the first round. After two rounds we got the Semi-finals. The match-ups were Zvi Bendavid against Habib Shalala and Ian Dunstan playing Ron Shaked. Both these matches were very close with Habib defeating Zvi while Ian took care of Ron. Both Habib and Ian are very seasoned players. The match reached 6 away 6 away when Habib found a backgammon on a two cube to finish Ian off. A big congrats to the Masters Champion Habib and to runner up Ian.

2019 Masters Champion Habib Shalala, being congratulated by Taeed ,

And on his way to a close second, Ian Dunstan .

There are some people that deserve a big thank you or making the weekend a huge success. In no particular order, a big thanks to Taeed Athari who has made The Persian Rose Restaurant home to the Australian Open and New South Wales Open for many years without cost. Thankyou also goes to Zvi Bendavid who has donated all trophies for both these tournaments, and has done so for many years. The kind generosity from both these wonderful men has enabled me to return all entry fees as prize money. And last but not least I thank my wife Sharne Dyett for her selfless engagement in running these tournaments while I play. If not for her I would be unable to lose as often as I do. (thanks honey).

All in all, everyone I spoke to had a ball and look forward to next year.

Mick Dyett.

2019 Spring Backgammon Tournament

Sunday October 6 th saw the 2 nd Sydney Open Backgammon Tournament being held at the Canada Bay Club in Five
Twenty three players attended, slightly less than last year , but a combination of school holidays, the NRL grand final ,
a long weekend and the start of daylight saving time may have all contributed to this, and these factors will be taken
into consideration when picking next year's date.
All players competed in the first round with the top 12 after 3 rounds going on to compete for the main prize and the
remainder participating in a second flight tournament .
All matches were to 7 points, with two being played before the lunch break and last match of the 1 st flight and all 3 of
the two second flight matches taking place over the afternoon and early evening.
Arthur Ramer was the eventual victor taking home not only the Main flight prize money and a beautiful crystal
doubling cube, but also an entry to a $1000 satellite tournament in the upcoming Melbourne tournament – thanks to
Ralph Burd for supporting us in this way – your generosity is very much appreciated.
Robbie Solomon picked up 2 nd place and also the side pool as he was the top-placing player of the five who entered.
Ron Shaked took out the main flight consolation prize
Kee Yio Wan won the Second flight tournament
Mahnaz Rostami took home the Second flight consolation prize.
Thank you all for your support and we hope to see you all again next year .