Backgammon Report

There will be no backgammon at the Club while it is partially closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the proximity of players to each other and the constant handling of checkers it is clearly correct to suspend play.


London League Matches

The league is currently suspended. A review will take place after Easter but there should be no problem completing our three remaining matches before next season starts.



The Winter knockout is nearly completed. Peter Trueman will play either Tony Taylor or Anne Wheeler in the final. There is no rush to complete this and it can recommence once general play is restarted.


The Summer Tournaments normally start in May. If we lose a month that is no big deal and the tournaments will start in June. If the delay is longer we will look at running the tournaments online (see online play below).


The Backgammon/Croquet event is currently scheduled for June 23rd. For now that date will remain in the diary and we will review it in due course.


Backgammon Dinner and Prizegiving

 The event was scheduled for April 22nd. We have postponed it and rescheduled it for Monday 14th September. Please put that date in your diary now.


Online Play

Many backgammon tournaments around the world have been cancelled or postponed and it remains to be seen whether the major events of the year (Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, Cyprus) will go ahead or not. Meanwhile online play is booming and I have just been selected to play for the UK in the European Champions Cup.


Online play is not everybody’s idea of fun but it is a tremendous way to play, particularly as you can subsequently analyse all your matches – again, not everybody’s idea of fun!


There are two main backgammon play sites:
This where I play every day and it is very simple to use. To use the site you have to be recommended by a current member to do so. Obviously I can do that for anybody interested. It’s only drawback is that while the Windows interface works well the Mac interface is weak and not recommended. I get around this by having a Windows Virtual Machine on my Mac but not many people will want to go to that expense. GridGammon is free to use.
This a relatively new free site. I have not used it but I will be making a study of it over the next week to see if it is suitable for our summer tournaments if we have to go down the online route, and also to see if it is OK for casual play.



Firstly a reminder that my weekly article appears in The Times every Friday.

Secondly my own website has a wealth of backgammon tutorials and articles. It also has a daily ‘Position of the Day’ problem where the solution is always published with an explanation the following day. This runs Monday-Friday every week.

 I am going to look at the potential of ZOOM Video Conferencing to run group tuition sessions. I will update you further in a week or so when I have completed my research and trialled it. Hopefully Gill will also be able to run sessions for her Teatime Backgammon group.

I will continue to offer one-to-one personal tuition sessions (sadly not cheap) using a mixture of Powerpoint, Skype and GridGammon. This is something in which I have a lot of experience having used the system with students for many years. 

Any queries, please feel free to ask.

Chris Bray |