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

A New Monthly Tournament for Sydney.

2nd SUNDAY of the Month, February through to October

All entry fees will be returned in prize money.
Persian Rose Backgammon Club will be hosting a monthly tournament. The format will be knockout with byes. Registration will be 9:30am with play starting at 10am. Players who are knocked out of the tournament will be able to participate in either chouettes or jackpot tournaments. Optional side pools will be available for the main tournament.
Any enquiries please contact the Tournament Director Taeed
Athari. Ph: 0418207708 or Email

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

2018 AGM Minutes for the Australian Backgammon Federation

3rd November 2018 at 8.30 am at The Persian Rose Restaurant Turramurra

Board Attendees: Eva Bitel (President)
John Symon (Treasurer & Public Officer)
Taeed Athari
Simon Woodhead
Mick Dyett
Greg Ash

General Member Attendees;

David Kinston
Gary Stavrou
David Reitzin
Ian Dunstan
George Avrimedes
Simon Ustick
Carol Wakelin (Acting Secretary)

The meeting opened with the acceptance of the minutes of the previous AGM at 9 am on the 11th of November 2017 at the Persian Rose Restaurant in Turramurra.

The acceptance was moved by Taeed Athari and seconded by John Symon.

It was noted that the previous secretary, Gemma Purves, had resigned and a suggestion was made by the President that a note of thanks for her service be sent to her.

Eva Bitel undertook to action this.

The President’s report listed the achievements of the Board over the last year including endorsing the NSW and Australian Opens, and getting the National Ratings up and running. The President thanked the sub-committee members Greg Ash, Simon Woodhead, Ian Dunstan for their great work.

The Treasurer’s report advised that we now have $3345 in the bank, an increase of $394.80 from last year.

It also advised that we currently have 8 member clubs and 39 individual financial members.

Eva Bitel thanked John Symon for his work and welcomed the general members to the meeting.

All Board member positions were then declared vacant and nominations were called for.

Eva Bitel was nominated for President by John Symon and seconded by Taeed Athari.

Greg Ash was nominated for Vice President by Simon Woodhead and seconded by Ian Dunstan.

Carol Wakelin was nominated for Secretary and a position on the Board by Eva Bitel and seconded by Taeed Athari.

Mick Dyett was nominated for a position on the Board by Eva Bitel and seconded by Taeed Athari.

David Kinston was nominated for a position on the Board by Gary Stavrou and seconded by Ian Dunstan.

All of these nominations were accepted.

There was some discussion as to how many Board members are allowed.

Greg Ash undertook to check the constitution and advise the Board.

David Kinston suggested that all States should have a representative on the Board.

Simon Woodhead felt that sub committees in the States with improved communication between the sub committees and the Federation were a better solution.


Eva Bitel had received a call from an unknown person asking if the Federation was offering lessons.

Gary Stavrou felt that this was a matter for the individual clubs rather than the Federation.

Mick Dyett mentioned that Grant Hoffmans’ Backgammon Learning Centre was good, but that the cost would probably be prohibitive for absolute beginners.

He also suggested that perhaps there could be some basic information on the website.

Ian Dunstan and Mick Dyett have offered lessons in the past and participants have only come two or three times.

Eva Bitel had had an enquiry about multiyear membership – this was not deemed feasible at this stage as convincing people to join for 1 year is hard enough. John Symon and Simon Woodhead concurred that this was too hard.

Eva Bitel asked Mick Dyett if he felt that the ABF could add any further value to today’s tournament. Mick did not feel that they could.
Gary Stavrou suggested that only ABF members should be able to view their position on the national ratings – all non members should have their names redacted until they were financial.
The ratings system has 170 names but only 39 are financial .

Simon Woodhead said that this is not possible with the current program we are using for the ratings and we cannot make this change as it will affect other data.

General consensus was that local clubs should be doing more to encourage their members to join and push the benefits of having their rating and access to more backgammon news in the future.

Local clubs to ask members if they mind their contact information being given to the federation to share more information on benefits and backgammon in general.
Simon Ustick was happy to do this.

John Symon will write to the member clubs requestion member contact details.

Simon Woodhead suggested each local club could write a small report every month to go on the ABF website. He would also like to resurrect the Australian National Championships

David Kingston requested clarification on the format of this.

Gary Stavrou suggested that Sydney Backgammoners run the NSW Open at North Ryde RSL in 2019.

Taeed Athari opposed this as using the Persian Rose does not involve any cost to the ABF, and historically the tournament has been held at the Persian Rose Restaurant.

Gary reiterated that if his proposal is successful, there will be no cost to the ABF, it will be fully funded by Sydney Backgammoners.

David Reitzin suggested using the Top Ryde RSL venue if they offered a free room, but Gary Stavrou declined to run the tournament in any other venue except the North Ryde RSL.

It was agreed that both Gary and Taeed should make submissions for consideration by the Board and that this would be discussed in more detail at another meeting within the next 3 months.

Submissions need to be delivered to the President by November 30th 2018 to be considered.

The meeting closed at 9.23 am.

ADDENDUM.  Due to an omission during the AGM, Taeed Athari was nominated for a position on the Board by John Symon and seconded by Eva Bitel on November 5th 2018, and was accepted by the board on November 7th, 2018.


Satelite Tournaments for Melbourne $1000 Event

David Kinston of the Melbourne Backgammon Club is arranging several Thursday night tournaments with an entry fee of $125 with 8 man fields, the winner getting $1000 to cover the entry fee into the Melbourne Backgammon Club Championship event (winners will have to chip in the $100 hospitality fee) in January 2019.

Information  about the event is available on the Australian Backgammon Federation web site at   or contact David Kinston at



2018 Auckland Backgammon Championship


Grant Hoffman (Nelson)                 1st Place
Paul Kellett (Auckland)                   2nd Place
Richard Theunissen (Auckland)    3rd Place
Jo Hodder (Auckland)                     Consolation Prize

A grueling Semi-Final & Final Match. The Auckland Players almost took down Grant….but in the end he was able to bring home the victory and take the Auckland Title & Trophy back to Nelson.

Congratulations to the WINNERS and congratulations to all of the participants in the 2018 Auckland BG Championship.

Melbourne Backgammon Club presents BACKGAMMON NIGHTS!

Join us at the Arcadia Hotel (corner Toorak Rd and Punt Rd, South Yarra) every Thursday evening, to play backgammon with people who love the game as much as you do!  Beginners, intermediate and expert players of all ages welcome. Coaching available.  $10 per player, optional side pools. All monies returned as prizes on the night.
Round robin play using the Swiss scoring format, guarantees at least 4 matches per player per night against players of similar skill levels, with minimal waiting between games. Our customised computerised scoring system on a big screen makes it easy to track your scores, games and opponents.  Have a bite at 6:30pm, play starts at 7:15pm and nishes around 10:30pm. backgammonclub .com

2018 Newcastle Open Results

The Newcastle Open Backgammon Tournament was played at Charlestown Bowling club on September 16 .

Martin Sagradian is the 2018 Newcastle Open Champion, following up on his 2018 NSW Open win. Martin defeated Arthur Ramer in a shortened final after both players agreed to split the money and play a game for the trophy. The Consolation was won by Newcastle’s Greg Mitchell over David Reitzen. Photos to follow.

24 players from Newcastle, Sydney and Canberra made up 6 round robins with all winners qualifying for the Championship knock out Final. Four of the 6 spots in the final went to Newcastle players but Alan Cathcart and Adrian Marisescu both fell just short, taking out the semi-finalist prizes.