News items from 2020 (second half)

31/12/20: Chris extends lead and sequence

Chris Rogers' return Premier One encounter with Peter Thistlewood on Thursday produced another victory.
He has a six points lead and his record winning league sequence is now up to nineteen.

31/12/20: Eighteen help Ian with online leagues pilots

Wednesday saw a great turnout of Bristol "guinea pigs" online to test out the "leagues" software on Heroes.
They had answered an appeal for help from Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr, who had no experience of running or playing in leagues on the Backgammon Studio Heroes site.
Confusion reigned early on in the session -- for Director and players alike -- but by the end of the evening all seemed happy enough, both with the facilities and the entertainment.
Seven round robins in all were played -- one four-player Speedgammon event and six DMP Tournos -- to satisfactory conclusions.
Kev Peters won the Speedgammon, while the DMPs saw outright wins for Mike Smith and Roland Herrera, and tie-break wins for Andy Boysan, Safi Tracy, Tim Line and Gerald Whitehouse, where the tie-break used head-to-head meetings to decide.
Round robins will now be used in many Bristol online events through the year.

31/12/20: Chris completes sequence annexation

With a premature start to the 2021 Premier League season Chris Rogers did more than merely getting his Premier One title defence off to a winning start on Wednesday.
In defeating Peter Thistlewood Chris is carrying on where he left off during the 2020 top flight season.
He ended that campaign with a run of seventeen straight victories, and made it eighteen against Peter.
He has now eclipsed all the league sequence records open to him as a top flight player.
First to go was Stuart Mann's run of fourteen Premier One victories in 2003.
Next was Adam Sinclair's Premier League (all divisions) record of sixteen wins in Premier Two in 2016.
And finally, it was the all-time Bristol league (all leagues) record of seventeen, accumulated by Rosey Bensley in the 2001 Conference League and 2002 Premier Two.
When he plays the return match against Peter on Thursday, will the records be extended?

22/12/20: How the fifty-seven will line up

In 2021, for the first time in the history of the Bristol Premier League there will be five divisions!
Premier One will comprise fifteen players, a number which will reduce over the next one or two years (depending on whether or not there is "natural wastage") to the customary thirteen.
During this reduction period there will be five relegation slots in Premier One.
The Red and Blue divisions of Premier Two will each contain twelve players, with two automatic promotion slots in each, and three players in each eligible for relegation to Premier Three.
Premier Three is split into two divisions of nine players each -- the Green and Yellow divisions -- fighting for three automatic promotion slots in each division, with each opponent to be met three times.
2020 league placings dictate the Premier Two line-ups, while a combination of 2020 league placings and Bristol ratings has been used to split the Premier Three divisions.
For three players -- Alan Joicey, Pearl Foster and Andrew Cobb -- the divisional splits have provided a welcome surprise, with unexpected Premier Two status.
While three players who finished the 2020 league season are not participating this time, the league is strengthened by the return of four players who didn't finish the season for various reasons, plus eight debut players -- David Tyrrell, Safi Tracy, Simon Tracy, Frank Jones, Hazel Boucher, Ben Crowden, Caroline Boulton and Matt Reekie-Black -- and four former league players returning to the fold.
One of those four, John Lewis, is back after a gap of eleven seasons, while Cynthia Roberts, Mike Smith and Ismail Yilmaz haven't been away for nearly as long.
The full divisional line-ups are as follows:
Premier One:
Chris Rogers, Gaz Owen, Neil Young, Andy Boysan, Fred North, Adam Sinclair, Peter Thistlewood, Cecilia Sparke, Stuart Mann, Gary Plant, Kev Peters, Simon Baker, Stephen Little, Simon Hughes, Ed Turner.
Premier Two Blue:
Daniel Eldridge, Eamonn Reay, Jim Green, Ian Tarr, Tim Line, Dave Pym, Chris Hughes, Jon Organ, Mandy Macdonald, Adrian Farthing, George Georgiou, Andrew Cobb.
Premier Two Red:
Steffen Nowak, Phil Charlton, Nick Barham, Paul Watts, Cliff Blofield, Carwyn Jenkins, Richard Owsley, Steve Morris, Ian Hedges, Robin Gunney, Alan Joicey, Pearl Foster.
Premier Three Green:
Gerald Whitehouse, John Curran, Tom Chapman, Safi Tracy, Mike Smith, Cynthia Roberts, Frank Jones, Caroline Boulton, Matt Reekie-Black.
Premier Three Yellow:
Rosemary Whitehouse, James Lintell-Smith, Jordan White, David Tyrrell, Ismail Yilmaz, Simon Tracy, Hazel Boucher, Ben Crowden, John Lewis.

21/12/20: Premier League entries close with a record response

No fewer than fifty-seven players have signed up for the 2021 Bristol Premier League.
That's seven more than last year's record number, and a response that could hardly have been envisaged when the pandemic first reared its ugly head.
Premier One will be larger than usual, with fifteen players, as a consequence of the April decision to allow players to opt out of online league play while retaining their status for their return.
The top flight will reduce to its normal level over a maximum of two years, with five relegation slots being matched by four Premier Two promotion places.
And for the first time Premier Three will be split into two divisions named Green and Yellow.
Watch out for publication of the full line-ups on Tuesday.

21/12/20: Twenty-one in Monday action in the year's final session

There were twenty-one players in action on Monday to participate in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs, getting their last online Bristol Backgammon fix of the year.
Things began with a nineteen player main flight, which was won by George Georgiou, who defeated Andy Boysan in the final.
There followed the compararive luxury of two eight-player flights, before things settled into the customary four-player flights, of which there were nine.
The eight-player flights were won by Adam Sinclair and Simonetta Herrera.
Four-player flight winners were Simon Tracy (three times), Hazel Boucher (twice), Stephen Little, Andy, Steffen Nowak and Cynthia Roberts.
A total of fifty-nine matches were played.

18/11/20: Ian wins the year's final Speedgammon event

There were twelve players in action on Thursday to contest the sixth stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
And for the second Speedgammon event running it was Ian Tarr who won the main flight, defeating Chris Hughes, Cynthia Roberts, Kev Peters and -- in the final -- Matt Reekie-Black.
Matt had reached the final via a bye and a victories over Tim Line and Roland Herrera.
The second and third flights were won by Simonetta Herrera and Andy Boysan.

16/12/20: And then there were two

The eighth round of the Brunel Trophy was completed on Wednesday, and Andy Boysan remains unbeaten in the competition.
His 11-5 victory over Roland Herrera means there are only two players left in round nine.
Andy faces George Georgiou knowing that, with two lives remaining as opposed to George's one, he has two chances to take the title.
George, on the other hand, needs to defeat Andy twice.

14/12/20: Fifteen in Monday action

There were fifteen players in online action on Monday to participate in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
Things began with an eleven player main flight, which was won by Tim Line, who defeated Ismail Yilmaz in the final.
Nine four-player flights followed, which saw a brace of wins for both George Georgiou and Hazel Boucher, and single wins for Stephen Little, Simonetta Herrera, Roland Herrera, Ian Tarr and Tim

14/12/20: Premier League entries equal record with a week to go

With seven days remaining before the deadline for 2021 Premier League entries, the numbers signed up have already equalled last year's all-time record of 50.
And a few more affirmative replies are expected.
There remains a possibility that there will be enough entries to trigger a split Premier Three for the first time ever.
In normal times a fifty-third entrant would trigger that, but because there are players with protected status returning to post-pandemic league action, it would take 55 or 56 to make that happen this time.

11/12/20: Ian Anderson wins December grand prix tournament; Gaz retains Bristol Grand Prix title

There were twenty players in online action on Thursday to contest the twelfth and last of the year's Monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Ian Anderson, an occasional visitor to our live events but now an online regular, whose victims were Simonetta Herrera, Cynthia Roberts, Warner Solomon, Rosemary Whitehouse and, in the final, Gaz Owen.
Gaz had arrived in the final via victories over Tim Line, Hazel Boucher and Roland Herrera.
That semi-final win over Roland was the one which finally decided the outcome of the BGP title race.
Going into the tournament just three players had a chance to overhaul leader Gaz, and two of those -- Tim and Simonetta -- had seen their chances disappear at the first hurdle.
So Gaz retains the title he won for the first time last year.
Cecilia Sparke took the consolation flight by defeating Simon Tracy, Simonetta and Tim.

07/12/20: Monday session decimated by Heroes breakdown

There were fourteen players in online action on Monday to participate in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
Things started reasonably well with a thirteen player main flight, but just over half an hour into hostilities, the Heroes site crashed.
Players remained patient while a fix was awaited, but the wait was more than enough for four, and by the time normal service was resumed -- some eighty minutes after the crash -- competitions were somewhat depleted.
A handful of byes were necessary, but four flights were brought to conclusions of varying degrees of satisfaction.
The main flight was won by Mandy Macdonald, who defeated John Curran in the final.
Four-player flights were won by Stephen Little, Gerald Whitehouse and Tim Line.
A disappointing evening, but in fairness to the Heroes site, this is the first such crash we have experienced.
Assurances for the future will be sought.

04/12/20: Rosemary wins Freeroll tournament, but Dave takes the title

There were twenty players in action on Thursday to contest the ninth and final Freeroll Grand Prix tournament of the year.
Upwards of a dozen players had at least the theoretical opportunity to grab the inaugural FRGP title.
Kev Peters and Alan Joicey had the best chance, with a small cushion over the other contenders, but when they failed to add substantially to their respective talles, fourth placed Dave Pym and eleventh placed Rosemary Whitehouse were the ones to do enough to overhaul them.
But by the time they had reached the final, Dave had moved the title just out of Rosemary's reach.
Rosemary, however, had the considerable consolation of winning the final, her second such success.
Her route to the final had taken her past Simonetta Herrera, Warner Solomon and Gerald Whitehouse, while Dave had come through the long half of the draw, defeating Tim Line, Roland Herrera, Chris Hughes and Hazel Boucher.
Ian Tarr won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Tim, John Curran and -- in the final -- Simonetta.

04/12/20: John's penalty points restored on appeal

John Curran has won an appeal against the imposition of four penalty points at the end of the Premier Three season.
Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr was satisfied by the evidence proferred that John had made sufficient efforts to ensure that his final match, against David Hoare, would take place.
David did not submit an appeal.

30/11/20: Seventeen in Monday action; Premier Three incomplete

There were seventeen players in action on Monday, fifteen of whom participated online in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs, which this week featured Nackgammon.
There were five flights in all, beginning with a twelve-player opener won by Roland Herrera, who defeated Tim Line in the final.
Four four-player flights followed, and these were won by Adrian Farthing, Chris Hughes, Stephen Little and Tim.
There should have been two Premier Three matches played, if the season was to be properly completed at the midnight end-of-season deadline.
But while Rosemary Whitehouse won a face-to-face local derby against Gerald Whitehouse, the return John Curran-David Hoare fixture did not, apparently, take place.
The four points penalty incurred by both players -- and this can be appealed -- has had the effect of slipping them to the foot of the division.

29/11/20: Twenty-two in Sunday action

There were twenty-two players in online action on Sunday, eighteen of whom contested the ninth of our series of Sunday tournaments (the seventh online).
There was an upturn in interest this time, largely thanks to social media efforts made by Gaz Owen.
It was the UK's top ranked face-to-face player Jon Barnes who took the main prize, defeating Neculai Axinte in the final.
Neculai, along with fellow-debutants Kristian Mills and Tim Parfitt, added to the UK-wide feel of the event.
Jon got past Chris Hughes and Kev Peters, before being handed a bye, thanks to Nick Barham becoming unavailable, while Neculai defeated Simon Tracy, Cynthia Roberts and Mark Dixon to reach the final.
Gaz took the consolation flight, defeating Kristian and Chris, before beating Simon in the final.
There was also league action.
In Premier Three Rosemary Whitehouse beat Jordan White, and as we enter the competition's final day there are still two results outstanding.
Meanwhile the Conference League has set new records for keenness, if not for the numbers participating.
Playing all fixtures is not compulsory in this league, but that didn't stop the five contestants completing a full complement of sixteen matches each.
Last to get there were Caroline Boulton and Ben Crowden, whose double header saw Ben clinch second place with a timely pair of wins.

29/11/20: Ben's win keeps runner-up spot in the balance

Ben Crowden's narrow Conference League victory over Safi Tracy on Saturday means the runner-up spot in that division could still go any one of three ways.

27/11/20: Rosemary off the bottom

In Friday's only league action Rosemary Whitehouse defeated David Hoare to rise from the bottom of the Premier Three table.
Three matches remain to be completed in the division.

27/11/20: Simonetta wins second successive GP10 tournament; Gaz holds on for title; Gary wins play-off

There were twenty-five players in action on Thursday, including the twenty-four who contested the ninth and last of this year's series of GP10 tournaments.
The other match played was the play-off for the Premier Two championship, between the winners of the Blue Division and the Red Division.
And Gary Plant pipped Kev Peters for the title at DMP.
For the second successive GP10 tournament Simonetta Herrera won the main flight, defeating Steve Morris, Nick Barham and Alan Joicey before overcoming Safi Tracy in the final.
Safi's best result yet saw her coming through the long half of the draw with victories over Roland Herrera, Gaz Owen, Simon Tracy and Stephen Little.
While Simonetta had been something of an also-ran in the early stages of the GP10, the two tournament wins brought her very close to taking the seasonal title, which honour fell to Gaz, who had just done enough in earlier tournaments.
Andy Boysan won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Rosemary Whitehouse, Gerald Whitehouse, John Curran and Roland.

26/10/20: Brunel Trophy eighth round line-up announced

Brunel TrophyThere was no need for a draw for the eighth round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- with the line-up being announced on Wednesday.
With three players remaining, the bye this time went to George Georgiou.
Andy Boysan thus plays Roland Herrera in the round's only match.
As Andy still has two lives, the result of that match will dictate whether there are two or three players in round nine.
In the latter scenario Roland would receive the bye.
The draw is visible here.
The matches needs to be completed by December 23rd.

25/11/20: Red Division concluded with wins for Eamonn and Tim

Three of the four Premier League divisions are now complete after Premier Two Red's final two results were registered.
The winners were Eamonn Reay and Tim Line, whose victories over Carwyn Jenkins and Chris Hughes tidied things up.
Eamonn finishes fourth, and can be considered unlucky with respect to the expungement of Ian Hedges, which event chalked off two of Eamonn's wins.
Thursday sees the resolution of the final piece of Premier Two business, when Blue and Red divisional winners Kev Peters and Gary Plant play off for the outright Premier Two title.
And there remain four Premier Three results as yet unreported, with just five days to the end of the season.
Hefty penalty points await those who fail to finish!

24/11/20: Mixed day for Simon as Daniel misses out

As Premier Two Blue became the second of the four Premier League divisions to reach a conclusion, it was a day of contrasting fortunes for Simon Baker.
In the division's final match Daniel Eldridge needed a victory against Jim Green to pip Simon for promotion to the top flight, but he suffered a 7-11 defeat, resulting in a quick return to Premier One for Simon.
And that is surely massive consolation for the seventh round Brunel Trophy defeat he later suffered at the hands of George Georgiou, leaving just three players standing in round eight.
In Tuesday's other action Tim Line defeated Jon Organ in Premier Two Red.

23/11/20: Robin is Premier Three champion

There were twenty-two players in online action on Monday, seventeen of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
Three Premier League matches were played.
In Premier Three Robin Gunney defeated Alan Joicey to clinch the divisional championship, having finished the season with seven straight wins.
Premier One is finished, albeit after three expungements earlier in the season.
The final action saw Adam Sinclair whitewash Cecilia Sparke in a match to decide which of the two would finish fifth and which would finish seventh.
And Eamonn Reay beat Jon Organ in Premier Two Red.
In the knock-outs, there were eight flights in all, beginning with a full sixteen-player opener won by Hazel Boucher, who defeated Andrew Gay in the final.
Seven four-player flights followed, and these were won by Tim Line (twice), Andy Boysan, Steve Morris, Stephen Little, Adrian Farthing and Ian Tarr.

22/11/20: Sunday league win for Jon

There was a Premier Two Red match played on Sunday, in which Jon Organ defeated Tim Line.
Just four matches remain to be completed in the Red Division.

21/11/20: Daniel one step away after double

In a Premier Two Blue double header on Saturday Daniel Eldridge has set himself up for a momentous final match of the season.
After his brace of victories over Mandy Macdonald Daniel finds himself in third place.
And the division's only remaining match sees him pitted against Jim Green, where victory would clinch promotion at Simon Baker's expense.
A win for Jim would see him finish in fourth place.

20/11/20: Kev wins Blue Division; Mandy safe; Alan misses out

There were three Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In Premier Two Blue Kev Peters clinched the divisional championship by defeating Jim Green, and now faces a play-off with Gary Plant to decide the Division Two title.
In the same division Mandy Macdonald beat Paul Watts, thus guaranteeing her Premier Two status at Pearl Foster's expense.
And Alan Joicey has missed out on automatic promotion from Premier Three after losing to Adrian Farthing, who goes top, and will stay there if Robin Gunney should lose his final match, coincidentally against Alan.

19/11/20: Ian wins low key Speedgammon event

There were just nine players in action on Thursday, seven of them to contest the fifth stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There was also a Premier One match played, where Cecilia Sparke won a close match against Peter Thistlewood.
There remains just one top flight match to be played, in which Cecilia and Adam Sinclair will effectively be playing for fifth place.
In the Speedgammon event it was Ian Tarr who won the main flight, defeating Nick Barham, Robin Gunney and -- in the final -- Tim Line.
Tim had reached the final via a bye and a victory over Chris Hughes.
The second flight was won by Chris, who beat Robin and Cynthia Roberts, while the usual third flight was not sustainable because of the extraordinarily low turnout.
An impromptu Freeroll speed flight was staged instead, and Tim was the victor.

18/11/20: Stephen promoted as Carwyn misses out

There were two Premier Two Red matches played on Wednesday.
And when Carwyn Jenkins fell to defeat by Chas Perry, that signalled the end of his involvement in the race for the automatic promotion slots.
Stephen Little finishes second and cannot be overhauled, so he will line up in the top flight next year along with already promoted league leader Gary Plant.
The other match saw a win for Eamonn Reay over Jon Organ.
Should Eamonn win his final two matches he would finish level on points with Stephen, but his points difference cannot be improved enough to overhaul either Stephen or third placed Steffen Nowak.

17/11/20: Kev and George promoted; Simon close

There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In Premier Two Blue a close match between two promotion contenders went the way of Simon Baker, 11-10 victor over Jim Green.
The defeat ends Jim's automatic promotion quest for the season, while Simon -- whose last match of the season this was -- may well have done enough to gain promotion back to the top flight.
Only Daniel Eldridge can now thwart him by winning his final three matches.
The narrow margin of Simon's win was, however, good news for Kev Peters, as Kev can no longer finish below second, and is thus promoted.
Also promoted is George Georgiou of Premier Three after his final match of the season saw him recover from 1-7 down to defeat Rosemary Whitehouse.
The fourth and final automatic promotion slot will be filled by either Mathew Nicholls or Alan Joicey.
The day's other action was in Premier Two Red where Tim Line beat Chas Perry.

16/11/20: Andy takes final Champions League spot

There were nineteen players in online action on Monday, fifteen of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
Two Premier League matches were played.
In Premier One Cecilia Sparke lost a nail-biter at the hands of Fred North, which means she can no longer claim the fourth and final UK Champions League qualifying slot, which falls to Andy Boysan.
And Pearl Foster ended her worst career league sequence by winning her final match of the season -- against Steve Morris.
This hauled her off the bottom of the Premier Two Blue table at Mandy Macdonald's expense, but Mandy has three matches to rectify that.
In the knock-outs, there were eight flights in all, beginning with a fourteen-player opener won by Tim Line, who defeated Ismail Yilmaz in the final.
Seven four-player flights followed, and these were won by Stephen Little (twice), Dave Pym, Chris Hughes, Adrian Farthing, Hazel Boucher and Tim.

15/11/20: Gaz exits Brunel Trophy

There were four matches played on Sunday.
In the seventh round of the BrunelTrophy Roland Herrera edged home against Gaz Owen to claim his place in what will be a three player eighth round.
Mathew Nicholls scored a Premier Three victory over David Hoare which keeps him in with a good chance of promotion, while rivals Alan Joicey and George Georgiou clashed, with Alan getting the points.
Mathew has finished his fixtures, and awaits with interest the results of those around him, especially Alan and George, in the battle to see who will join Robin Gunney and Adrian Farthing as they take their step up.
A defeat for George in his final match would slip him below Mathew, while Alan is likely to need wins from both his matches.
And Safi Tracy defeated Caroline Boulton in the Conference League, looking to cement second place.

14/11/20: Saturday results round-up

There were three league matches played on Saturday.
In Premier Three there were wins for Gerald Whitehouse and Rosemary Whitehouse, who defeated David Hoare and Tom Chapman.
And Simon Tracy, who has made considerable efforts this season to stimulate activity in the Conference League, played his final available fixture, defeating Caroline Boulton.

13/11/20: Warner wins November Grand Prix; Gary wins Red Division

There were twenty-two players in online action on Thursday, eighteen of whom contested the eleventh of the year's twelve Monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Warner Solomon, whose victims were Ian Tarr, Simonetta Herrera, David Tyrrell and, in the final, Tim Line.
Tim had arrived in the final via victories over Alan Joicey, Roland Herrera and Frank Jones.
Chris Hughes took the consolation flight by defeating Dave Pym, Kev Peters and Ian Anderson.
The race for the BGP title sees Gaz Owen in the lead by 37 points but, thanks to discards, his closest rivals Simonetta Herrera and Roland Herrera will need to win at least three main flight matches in the December tournament to stand a chance of overhauling him.
Others who might clinch the prize by winning that final event are Tim and Chris.
The two league matches played both had a bearing on promotion issues in the Premier Two divisions.
And none more so than a titanic clash between the top two in Premier Two Red at the start of play.
The winner of the match would take the divisional title, while the loser would slip out of the promotion bracket on average points difference -- definitely so in the case of Steffen Nowak and highly probably for Gary Plant.
And despite being within one throw of match victory on two separate occasions Steffen dipped out, giving Gary the Red Division title.
Stephen Little now finds himself in the second promotion slot, but must wait for Carwyn Jenkins' final two matches.
Victories over Chas Perry and Eamonn Reay by a combined margin of five points would see Carwyn pip Stephen.
Meanwhile Paul Watts maintained his interest in the Blue Division promotion race.
His win over Richard Owsley means he is one of five players who can take the two promotion positions, with leader Kev having the best chance.

11/11/20: Wednesday results round-up

There were seven Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In Premier One Gaz Owen signed off what would normally have been a championship winning season with a defeat of Andy Boysan.
Winning fourteen of eighteen matches gave him his biggest ever percentage of top flight wins, but in a season where Chris Rogers won sixteen of eighteen it was only good enough for a clear second place.
Andy had harboured title aspirations of his own before his season fell away, and it still isn't certain that he will occupy one of the four UK Champions League qualifying slots.
Only Cecilia Sparke can stop him, however, if she can win all three of her remaining fixtures, which are now the only other top flight results yet to be reported.
Jim Green's defeat of Pearl Foster has kept him in the running for promotion from Premier Two Blue.
Winning his last three matches should be enough, but his opponents are the other main promotion contenders in the division.
Premier Two Red is also building to a dramatic climax to the promotion race.
Two contenders suffered setbacks, Steffen Nowak losing to Jon Organ, while Carwyn Jenkins was succumbing to Chas Perry.
These developments mean that Stephen Little, who has finished his fixtures and is outside the two-strong promotion bracket, is actually odds on to finish second!
This is because the two players above him meet in their final match.
The winner will be divisional champion, but the loser will slip below Stephen on average points difference -- definitely in Steffen's case, but only probably in Gary Plant's case.
Should Gary lose 11-10, however, Stephen would be thwarted, while an 11-9 win for Steffen would force an unprecedented promotion play-off between Gary and Stephen.
However, the situation is also complicated by the fact that two average sized wins for Carwyn would see him pipping both!
And there were also setbacks for two in the Premier Three promotion race.
George Georgiou and Mathew Nicholls succumbed respectively to John Curran and David Hoare.
While the odds remain in George's favour, Mathew looks vulnerable to a late burst from Alan Joicey.
Alan's remaining matches, however, see him pitted against the top three!
The other match in this division saw Rosemary Whitehouse score a much needed win over Jordan White.

11/11/20: Daniel makes a move

Two more Premier Two Blue results have come to light.
And Daniel Eldridge's brace of victories over Pearl Foster -- one on Saturday and one on Tuesday -- have moved him well into promotion contention.
Meanwhile Pearl's season, which began so well, continues to unravel, and she will need at least one win from her two remaining matches to avoid eligibility for relegation.

10/11/20: Tuesday's league action

There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In Premier One Stuart Mann ended his season of disappointment with victory over Adam Sinclair.
Paul Watts kept alive his slim chance of promotion from Premier Two Blue by defeating Richard Owsley.
And George Georgiou's Premier Three defeat of Gerald Whitehouse moved him to within a whisker of clinching promotion.

09/11/20: Online rankings -- Bristol updates complete

Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has now finished inputting all of the eligible Bristol results into the UKBGF's new online ratings system.
The data consists of no fewer than 2,145 results of matches played online during the pandemic.
And while it can safely be said that many other clubs have not thus far followed suit, it should be noted that several Bristol players find themselves at the sharp end of the list, including leader Gaz Owen.

09/11/20: Neil finishes third; Robin promoted

There were twenty-six players in online action on Monday, seventeen of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
Five Premier League matches were played, and one or two issues were resolved.
In Premier One Neil Young made sure of a third place finish -- by far his best effort yet -- by defeating his nearest rival Andy Boysan.
Adam Sinclair defeated Peter Thistlewood in the same division.
In Premier Two Blue second placed Simon Baker lost to one of those who retains a chance of overhauling him, Jim Green.
And in Premier Three Robin Gunney is now guaranteed promotion after despatching David Hoare.
The other result in that division saw Gerald Whitehouse victorious over Jordan White.
In the knock-outs, there were seven flights in all, beginning with a fourteen-player opener won by Rosemary Whitehouse, who defeated Dave Pym in the final.
Six four-player flights followed, and these were won by Adrian Farthing and Kev Peters (twice each), Gerald and Stephen Little.

08/11/20: Sunday league results round-up

There were four Premier League matches played on Sunday.
In Premier Two Red Steffen Nowak and Tim Line had to share the spoils of a double header, which was enough to move Steffen to the top of the league.
He is still not quite sure of promotion with two matches to play, however, although a victory over Gary Plant would be enough.
Meanwhile in Premier Three promotion contenders George Georgiou and Robin Gunney maintained their good runs.
George defeated James Lintell-Smith, while Robin was able to whitewash Tom Chapman.

07/11/20: League win for Simon and Robin

Victories for Simon Baker and Robin Gunney have consolidated their already strong promotion claims.
On Friday it was Simon who won a Premier Two Blue match against Pearl Foster.
While Robin's Premier Three defeat of Tom Chapman came on Saturday.

05/11/20: Steve wins Freeroll tournament

There were twenty-two players in action on Thursday, eighteen of whom contested the eighth of this year's series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
There were also two Premier League matches played.
In Premier One Adam Sinclair appeared to be coasting to victory over Fred North at 10-5 up, when a "backgammon out of nowhere" -- Fred's own words -- with the cube on two ended things abruptly.
And Paul Watts defeated Pearl Foster in Premier Two Blue.
In the tournament it was Steve Morris who won the main flight of the tournament, defeating Simon Tracy, Dave Pym, Frank Jones and -- in the final -- Yuri Cherkasenko.
Yuri had beaten Mandy Macdonald, Warner Solomon and Kev Peters en route to the final.
Simon won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Hazel Boucher, Tim Line and Cynthia Roberts.
The FRGP leadership followed its recent tradition, changing hands yet again, and Kev is the new pole position sitter, just five points ahead of previous leader Alan Joicey.
One event remains, and twelve contenders are still in with varying degrees of a chance to take the title.

04/11/20: Wednesday league round-up

There were two Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In Premier Two Red Steffen Nowak suffered a setback to his promotion chances when he fell to a narrow defeat by Ian Tarr.
But George Georgiou kept well in the promotion picture with another narrow Premier Three victory over John Curran.

04/11/20: Online rankings update ongoing

The UKBGF has recently implemented a separate and parallel rating system for online play, given that inclusion of online results in the main rating system is contrary to policy.
Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr had argued that -- as the vast majority of matches these days are played online rather than face-to-face -- the main rating system has been moving further and further away from being representative of current playing standards.
This argument fell on stony ground, however, although the fact that Bristol Backgammon had something in the region of 2,000 results ready for inclusion may have had something to do with the inauguration of the new online rating system.
Maybe we will never know!
With some results, most notably from N E B A, fed into the system, Ian has felt compelled to add the stockpile of Bristol results into the mix.
Just for fun, how about making the new online ratings a regular port of call over the next few days?
So far all Bristol online matches from lockdown to the end of May (a total of 501 matches!) have been input.
If you're curious about where you stand, things will be changing dramatically over the next few days, as a plethora of match results are added in.
At one point today Warner Solomon was the UK's number one online player, although it may be a while before he returns there.
Who will it be tomorrow?

03/11/20: Chris signs off in style

There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In Premier One Chris Rogers finished off his inaugural title winning season in style, defeating Andy Boysan 11-2.
The win was Chris's seventeenth in succession in the league.
That is an all-time record for any division of the Premier League, exceeding the previous record held by Adam Sinclair, and equals the all-time Bristol league record of Rosey Bensley, whose seventeen matches encompassed the last sixteen in the 2001 Conference League and the first in the 2002 Premier Two.
And Chris has the chance, of course, to continue this run when he starts his 2021 league campaign.
The other two matches involved George Georgiou, who won two Premier Three matches, James Lintell-Smith and David Hoare being his victims.

02/11/20: Stuart's amazing Irish double

Having won the Irish Open just two weeks ago, Stuart Mann completed what may be a unique Irish double by winning the 32-player Wicklow Open at the weekend.
This should be some considerable compensation for his least successful showing ever in Premier One.

02/11/20: Another quiet Monday

There were just ten players in online action on Monday, eight of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were just three flights in all, beginning with a ten-player opener won by George Georgiou, who defeated Chris Hughes in the final.
At least, it was supposed to be a ten-player flight, but bizarrely two of those didn't turn up.
Two four-player flights followed, and these were won by John Curran and Andy Boysan.
There was also a Premier Two Blue match played, Paul Watts defeating Pearl Foster.

01/11/20: Fourteen in Sunday action

There were fourteen players in online action on Sunday, ten of whom contested the eighth of our series of Sunday tournaments (the sixth online).
This was the lowest turnout for this event since the lockdown, and calls into question the event's continuation.
It was Chris Hughes -- making his first Sunday appearance of the year -- who took the main prize, defeating Chris Rogers in the final.
Chris H got past Stephen Little, Gaz Owen and Jon Barnes to reach the final, while Chris R's journey took him, via a bye, past Cynthia Roberts and Warner Solomon.
Mark Dixon took the consolation flight with wins over Cynthia and -- in the final -- Tim Line.
There was also Premier Three action, with Mathew Nicholls suffering his first defeat in nine league matches against Alan Joicey and Jordan White winning his match against John Curran.

30/10/20: Red Division win for Ian

In a Premier Two Red meeting on Friday Ian Tarr defeated Eamonn Reay, thus all but bringing to an end Eamonn's involvement in the promotion race.

30/10/20: Brunel Trophy seventh round draw announced

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the seventh round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was announced on Friday.
No actual draw was necessary on this occasion, as the rules dictated both the recipient of the bye -- the first to be awarded in this year's competition -- and the pairings of the remaining four survivors.
Andy Boysan earned the bye, being the only unbeaten player remaining.
And since repeat meetings are also to be avoided if possible, that dictated the other two pairings.
All bar Andy have a single life remaining, so the ties are both effectively sudden death affairs.
The draw is visible here.
Matches need to be completed by November 26th.

30/10/20: Simonetta wins GP10 tournament

There were twenty players in action on Thursday, including the eighteen who contested the eighth of this year's series of nine GP10 tournaments.
There were also three Premier Three matches played.
Simonetta Herrera won the main flight of the tournament, defeating Robin Gunney, Hazel Boucher, Kev Peters and Tim Line before overcoming Gerald Whitehouse in the final.
Gerald had beaten Mandy Macdonald, Chris Hughes and Gaz Owen en route to the final.
Andy Boysan won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Robin, Mandy and John Curran.
Gaz's GP10 lead has stretched to 95 points over second placed Simonetta, so with just one instalment to be played it will take something special to wrest the title from Gaz's grasp.
In Premier Three promotion contenders kept on track.
Robin scored wins over Jordan White and Rosemary Whitehouse, while Alan Joicey defeated Tom Chapman in a previously adjourned match.
The four promotion slots appear to rest between five contenders.

28/10/20: Wednesday Premier League news

There were eight Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In the top flight Neil Young was busy, completing no fewer than four matches.
A defeat to Gaz Owen was followed by victories over Peter Thistlewood, Andy Boysan and Cecilia Sparke.
He is now third in the league and almost certain of finishing in the top four places to qualify for next year's UK Champions League.
In Premier Two Red Eamonn Reay's outside chance of promotion faded after losing to Ian Tarr.
And in Premier Three there were wins for Robin Gunney, James Lintell-Smith and Tom Chapman.

28/10/20: George completes Brunel Trophy seventh round line-up

Brunel TrophyA late result from Tuesday was the last of the sixth round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy ties.
And George Georgiou narrowly defeated Phil Charlton to seal his place in the next round, the draw for which is due tomorrow.
There are five survivors, which means that there will be a bye for the first time in this year's competition.
And as the player with the best record, that will go to the only undefeated player of the five -- Andy Boysan.

27/10/20: Tuesday Premier League round-up

There were five Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In the top flight Neil Young defeated Peter Thistlewood to move into fourth place.
Premier Two Blue saw three results, including a shared double header between Daniel Eldridge and Cliff Blofield, who has now completed his fixtures.
The other Blue Division winner was Jim Green, who despatched Paul Watts.
And Adrian Farthing made promotion from Premier Three almost certain by beating Tom Chapman.

26/10/20: Quietest online Monday yet

There were just nine players in online action on Monday, six of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs, which this week featured Nackgammon.
There were just two flights in all, beginning with a six-player opener won by Adrian Farthing, who defeated Ian Tarr in the final.
A four-player flight followed, and Alan Joicey was the winner.
There were also two Premier Three matches played.
Adrian's defeat of Gerald Whitehouse moved him to the top of the league, while James Lintell-Smith was the evening's other winner, Rosemary Whitehouse being the victim.

25/10/20: Sunday results round-up; Ian exits Brunel Trophy

There were three Premier League matches and a sixth round Brunel Trophy tie played on Sunday.
In the Brunel Trophy Ian Tarr made his exit, losing at DMP against Roland Herrera.
Eamonn Reay continued his belated push towards the Premier Two Red promotion slots with victory over Carwyn Jenkins.
Paul Watts won a nail-biter against Jim Green in Premier Two Blue.
And Alan Joicey took another step towards promotion from Premier Three by defeating James Lintell-Smith in another close match.

24/10/20: Phil's relegation sealed; Eamonn still in the hunt

There were two Premier League double headers played on Saturday.
In Premier One Neil Young defeated Adam Sinclair twice, results which ensure that Phil Charlton cannot escape relegation.
And Eamonn Reay scored two narrow Premier Two Red victories over Tim Line to keep himself in the promotion picture.

23/10/20: League win for Gaz

In a Premier One match played on Friday Gaz Owen defeated Adam Sinclair to consolidate his second place in the league table.

23/10/20: Gaz wins Speedgammon event

There were eighteen players in action on Thursday, fourteen of them to contest the fourth stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There were also two Premier Two double headers played, where the spoils were shared.
In the Blue Division it was Steve Morris and Paul Watts, while Stephen Little and Carwyn Jenkins were the protagonists in the Red Division.
Stephen has now completed his league season, is in second place, and must now wait to see whether or not he has done enough to gain promotion to the top flight for the first time.
He can be overtaken, but he could also finish above leader Gary Plant, should Gary lose his final match by three or more points.
In the Speedgammon event it was Gaz Owen who won the main flight, defeating Ismail Yilmaz, Dave Pym and Kev Peters before overcoming James Newman in the final.
James had reached the final via wins over Tim Line, Chris Hughes and Alan Joicey.
The second and third flights saw wins for Andy Boysan and Matt Reekie-Black, whose final opponents were Tim and Kev respectively.

21/10/20: Wednesday league action

There were four Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In Premier Two Red Steffen Nowak moved into second place with a hard fought victory over Ian Tarr, while in the parallel Blue Division Mandy Macdonald defeated Richard Owsley.
Premier Three saw wins for George Georgiou and Gerald Whitehouse, over Adrian Farthing and Jordan White respectively.

20/10/20: Tuesday league round-up; Chris is the new champion

There were five Premier League matches played across the four divisions on Tuesday.
And in the top flight Chris Rogers scored his sixteenth successive victory, and is now assured of taking the title for the first time.
Andy Boysan -- one of two players who had a chance to catch Chris -- was the victim on this occasion.
Two Premier Two players completed their league fixtures.
Dave Pym will finish somewhere in mid-table after sharing the spoils of a Blue Division double header with Daniel Eldridge.
And Andrew Cobb will remain at the foot of the Red Division after his narrow defeat to Eamonn Reay.
In Premier Three Adrian Farthing suffered a setback in his promotion quest, losing to Rosemary Whitehouse.

19/10/20: Seventeen in Monday action

There were seventeen players in online action on Monday, eleven of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were six flights in all, beginning with a ten-player opener won by Andy Boysan, who defeated Ismail Yilmaz in the final.
Five four-player flights followed, and these were won by Andy (twice), Stephen Little, Simonetta Herrera and Chris Hughes.
Andy was unbeaten on the night, winning six matches.
There were also three Premier League matches played.
Stuart Mann defeated Fred North to banish fears of relegation from Premier One.
And there were Premier Three wins for George Georgiou and Adrian Farthing, over Tom Chapman and Robin Gunney respectively.

19/10/20: Stuart wins Irish Open!

This weekend Stuart Mann won the Irish Open, defeating Simon Morecroft in the final.

18/10/20: Gary back on top

In a top of the table Premier Two Red clash on Sunday Gary Plant defeated Stephen Little to regain the divisional lead at Stephen's expense.

17/10/20: Saturday wins for John and Carwyn

Two Premier League matches were played on Saturday.
In Premier Two Red Carwyn Jenkins registered his sixth successive league win -- over Tim Line -- a run which has propelled him into the thick of the promotion race.
And John Curran prevailed by the narrowest of margins against Jordan White in Premier Three.

16/10/20: Matt clinches Conference title

It's a very rare thing for a Conference League player to complete every match available to him or her.
So rare, in fact, that Matt Reekie-Black has become the first player ever to achieve this.
The Premier League's feeder competition is in its twentieth season, and its past has been chequered to say the least.
One of the unique aspects of the league is the very informality of it, a deliberate feature given that the league provides aspiring players a way of feeling their way towards the rigours of the decidedly more formal Premier League.
Some seasons have been more successful than others.
The competition's peak was arguably 2007, when a total of twenty-six players contested it, playing a total of 163 matches.
The nadir was 2011, when the six players who signed up managed just a miserable two matches between them!
Since 2009 players have been allowed up to a maximum of four matches against each opponent, but nobody has ever got remotely close to fulfilling every possible fixture.
Until now (although Gary Plant deserves a special mention for completing an all-time Conference record of 39 matches in 2012).
This season began as though it would be one of the dampest squibs on record, with only two matches played by mid-August.
But when father and daughter pairing Simon and Safi Tracy joined the fray, few could have foreseen what would happen next.
They raised the total membership of the division to five, still the smallest field in the competition's history.
But quality was to far outweigh quantity, as the campaign gathered pace to the extent that 35 of the 40 possible fixtures have now been completed.
And while Matt tonight became the first to finish all sixteen available matches, there is also a chance that the other four contestants will follow suit to complete what has become a memorable Conference season.
Matt's 11-4 victory over Safi also confirmed that he will take the divisional title, since nobody can now catch him.
His promotion to Premier League status was confirmed on September 24th when he breached the 20 points threshold required to do the job.
Meanwhile, one less known route to the Premier League is the Race to the Premier League, where players' performances in the various Bristol Backgammon competitions are rewarded by a points totting up procedure.
This table, too, has a threshold.
Gain 50 or more points and Premier Status is achieved here, too.
Safi, Simon and Ben Crowden may not have qualified via the Conference yet, but they have done so via this alternative route, along with Ian Anderson, Mike Rodwell, Yuri Cherkasenko and Frank Jones, while Caroline Boulton is only a whisker away.
Amid the pandemic gloom, the future of league backgammon in Bristol remains a bright one.

16/10/20: Chris wins Freeroll tournament

There were twenty-four players in action on Thursday, twenty of whom contested the seventh of this year's series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
There were also three Premier Two Blue matches played.
Cliff Blofield got the better of Steve Morris twice, while Daniel Eldridge defeated Richard Owsley.
In the tournament it was Chris Hughes who won the main flight, defeating John Curran, Roland Herrera, Alan Joicey and -- in the final -- Gaz Owen.
Gaz had beaten Martha Beal, Mandy Macdonald, Caroline Boulton and Stephen Little en route to the final.
Mathew Nicholls won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Simon Tracy, Martha and Tim Line.
The FRGP leadership has tended to change hands after each tournament so far, and this occasion was no exception to that rule.
Alan is 20 points ahead of second placed Roland, just 55 points covering the top ten with two events remaining.

14/10/20: Wednesday's action round-up

There were eight matches played on Wednesday -- one Brunel Trophy tie and seven in the leagues.
Andy Boysan scored a sixth round Brunel Trophy victory over Adam Sinclair which served more than one purpose for him.
It advanced him to the seventh round where he will be the only player with two lives remaining, which earns him the first bye of this year's tournament, as there will be five players in the next draw.
For Adam it was the end of the road in this year's competition.
Gaz Owen kept alive his slim Premier One title hopes with victory over Neil Young, who still needs one more win to ensure he stays up.
In Premier Two Blue leader Kev Peters suffered a setback, losing to Jim Green.
Kev remains a strong favourite for promotion, however.
In the same division second placed Simon Baker and Daniel Eldridge shared the spoils of a double header.
Chris Hughes suffered mixed fortunes in his two Premier Two Red encounters, defeating Jon Organ before losing to Ian Tarr.
And Safi Tracy arrested a run of Conference League defeats, pipping league leader Matt Reekie-Black.

14/10/20: October Sunday tournament moved back a week

In order to avoid a clash with the West Yorkshire Online Open, the monthly Bristol Sunday tournament has been delayed a week from October 25th to November 1st.

13/10/20: Tuesday league results round-up

There were five league matches played on Tuesday.
Premier Two Red was the most active division, with three results.
Steffen Nowak bolstered his promotion campaign with a narrow win over Gary Plant, while Ian Tarr and Tim Line shared the spoils of a double header -- both results being emphatic.
In the parallel Blue Division Richard Owsley defeated Dave Pym.
And Ben Crowden scored a Conference League win over Caroline Boulton.

13/10/20: Twenty in Monday action

There were twenty players in online action on Monday, sixteen of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were eight flights in all, beginning with a thirteen-player opener won by John Curran, who defeated Ismail Yilmaz in the final.
Seven four-player flights followed, and these were won by Simon Tracy and Adrian Farthing (twice apiece), Roland Herrera, Steve Morris and Steffen Nowak.
There were also four Premier League matches played, one in each of the four divisions.
Fred North won his Premier One encounter with Neil Young, Kev Peters took another giant step towards promotion to the top flight with a Premier Two Blue victory over Pearl Foster, Chris Hughes pipped Tim Line in a Premier Two Red match, and John Curran set the tone for his evening triumph with a Premier Three win over Adrian.

11/10/20: Sunday results round-up

There were four Premier League matches played on Sunday, plus one in the Conference League.
Premier Two Red has a new leader after Stephen Little narrowly defeated previous leader Gary Plant.
And in the same division Carwyn Jenkins made it five successive victories when he twice beat Chris Hughes.
Adrian Farthing was the day's other Premier League winner, defeating David Hoare in Premier Three.
Meanwhile Caroline Boulton moved into second place in the Conference, courtesy of a narrow win over Simon Tracy.

09/10/20: Gaz wins to take Bristol GP lead

There were twenty-five players in online action on Thursday, twenty of whom contested the tenth of the year's twelve Monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Gaz Owen, whose victims were David Tyrrell, Robin Gunney, Stephen Little and, in the final, Simonetta Herrera.
Simonetta had arrived in the final via victories over Kev Peters, Cynthia Roberts and Simon Tracy.
Roland Herrera took the consolation flight by defeating Chris Hughes, Andy Boysan, Kev Peters and Warner Solomon.
The race for the BGP title appears to involve just three horses -- Gaz, Simonetta and Roland. There are just two events remaining.
Earlier Gaz had ensured his safe passage into the seventh round of the Brunel Trophy by defeating hitherto unbeaten Simon Baker.
Andy Boysan is now the only undefeated player left in the competition.
There were also five Premier Two matches.
In the Blue Division Simon Baker scored a brace of wins over Steve Morris, and occupancy of the two promotion slots looks to be Kev's and Simon's to lose.
Carwyn Jenkins also had the best of a double header, against Andrew Cobb in the Red Division, where Chris Hughes also defeated Jon Organ.

07/10/20: Wednesday league action

There were three Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In the top flight there were victories for Fred North and Gaz Owen over Peter Thistlewood and Andy Boysan respectively.
The win for Gaz makes it even more difficult to see any other title outcome but a win for Chris Rogers, although Gaz, Andy and Neil Young all have theoretical chances to overhaul Chris.
And Chris Hughes defeated Ian Tarr in Premier Two Red.

06/10/20: Premier Two wins for Richard and Stephen

There were two Premier Two matches played on Tuesday.
In the Red Division Stephen Little defeated Jon Organ, while Richard Owsley was beating Simon Baker in the Blue Division.

05/10/20: Fifteen in Monday action

There were fifteen players in online action on Monday, thirteen of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were seven flights in all, beginning with an eleven-player opener won by Ismail Yilmaz, who defeated Kev Peters in the final.
Six four-player flights followed, and these were won by Mandy Macdonald (twice), Mathew Nicholls, Roland Herrera, Adrian Farthing and Matt Reekie-Black.
There was also a Premier Two Red match played, where Carwyn Jenkins defeated Jon Organ.

04/10/20: Gary extends Red Division lead

In a Premier Two Red encounter on Sunday Gary Plant defeated Tim Line to consolidate his position as league leader.

04/10/20: Tom and David share the spoils

There was a Premier Three double header played on Saturday.
Tom Chapman and David Hoare won one match apiece.

03/10/20: Red Division win for Stephen

In a Premier Two Red match on Friday Stephen Little defeated Jon Organ.

02/10/20: Brunel Trophy sixth round draw

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the sixth round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was made on Friday.
The method used, identical to the one used in rounds two to five, involved Ian Tarr placing the players in a random numerical sequence, and on this occasion Gaz Owen providing a random sequence of the numbers between one and eight to provide the draw order.
There are eight players in round six and the draw is visible here.
Matches need to be completed by October 29th.
Two of the four ties feature two players with a single life remaining, so there could be anything in the range of four to six players in round seven.

02/10/20: Nick expunged from Premier One

Nick Barham, incommunicado for the second long spell this season, has been expunged from Premier One.
This is the third expungement in the competition this season, making it the most disastrous Bristol league campaign on record.
His eleven matches are wiped from the record, with the inevitable unfair consequences.
The only consolation for some of those at the foot of the table is that only one of the ten remaining contestants will be eligible for relegation.
It is to be hoped that Nick will find it possible to return to action at some stage in the future and resume his outstanding Bristol Backgammon career.

02/10/20: Kev wins GP10 tournament

There were twenty-five players in action on Thursday, sixteen of whom contested the seventh of this year's series of nine GP10 tournaments.
There were also six league matches played.
Kev Peters won the main flight of the tournament, defeating Robin Gunney, John Curran and Gaz Owen before overcoming Stephen Little in the final.
Stephen had beaten Cynthia Roberts, Simonetta Herrera and Ian Anderson en route to the final.
Roland Herrera won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Ian Tarr, Robin and Tim Line.
Gaz's GP10 lead has stretched to 90 points over second placed Roland.
Peter Thistlewood narrowly won a Premier One match against Fred North.
Simon Baker moved into second place in Premier Two Blue with victory over Pearl Foster.
In the parallel Red Division there were wins for Chas Perry, Carwyn Jenkins and Steffen Nowak.
And Matt Reekie-Black extended his Conference League lead by beating Caroline Boulton.

30/09/20: Wednesday results round-up

There were three Premier League matches and two in the Brunel Trophy reported on Wednesday.
The fifth round Brunel Trophy matches saw wins for Simon Baker and Roland Herrera over Simon Hughes and George Georgiou respectively.
Simon B remains unbeaten in the competition, Roland and George each have one life remaining, but Simon H is eliminated.
In Premier One Neil Young narrowly defeated Phil Charlton.
And Chas Perry recovered from a 0-4 deficit to win 11-4 against Jon Organ in Premier Two Red.
A late reported Tuesday result saw Kev Peters increase his lead in Premier Two Blue with a win over Pearl Foster.

29/09/20: Blue Division win for Simon

Simon Baker defeated Richard Owsley on Tuesday in a Premier Two Blue encounter.

29/09/20: Matt assured of Premier League place

There were just ten players in online action on Monday, eight of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs, which on this occasion featured Nackgammon.
There were just three flights, beginning with a six-player opener won by Ian Tarr, who defeated Kev Peters in the final.
Two four-player flights followed, and these were won by Roland Herrera and Stephen Little.
There was also a Conference League match played, and it was an important one for Matt Reekie-Black.
His victory over Ben Crowden brought him to the 20 points threshold which guarantees an invitation to next year's Premier League.
Of course, this is not the only route to Premier Status.
Several others -- Safi Tracy, Simon Tracy, Ian Anderson, Yuri Cherkasenko, Frank Jones and Mike Rodwell -- have qualified via the Premier Status Race, where players gain points for their performances over a variety of Bristol Backgammon events.
And Ben is on the verge of qualifying via this route, too.
A previously unreported result between Matt and Ben is also now in. Matt won 11-9 on Thursday.

27/09/20: Thirteen in Sunday action

There were just thirteen players in online action on Sunday, twelve of whom contested the seventh of our series of Sunday tournaments (the fifth online).
As has become the custom the field was a mixture of past and present Bristol players, plus a few from elsewhere in the UK.
And it was Gaz Owen who took the main prize, defeating John Hedge in the final.
Gaz got past Paul Watts, Ian Tarr and Stephen Little to reach the final, while John's journey took him past Jon Barnes and Simon Hopper.
Jon took the consolation flight with wins over Paul, Cynthia Roberts and -- in the final -- Warner Solomon.
Earlier Tim Line had completed a Premier Two Red victory over league leader Gary Plant.

26/09/20: Friday win for Mandy

Steve Morris played host to Mandy Macdonald in Redland on Friday for a Blue Division match, which Mandy won.

25/09/20: Simonetta wins Freeroll tournament

There were twenty-six players in action on Thursday, twenty of whom contested the sixth of this year's series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
There were also six league matches played.
Jon Organ was the most active in the leagues, fitting in three Premier Two Red matches, and winning them all -- at the expense of Chas Perry and Andrew Cobb (twice).
In the parallel Blue Division Richard Owsley defeated Pearl Foster.
And Caroline Boulton scored a brace of Conference League matches, beating both Safi Tracy and Simon Tracy.
In the tournament it was Simonetta Herrera who won the main flight of the tournament, defeating Gerald Whitehouse, Warner Solomon and Alan Joicey before beating Robin Gunney in the final.
Robin had beaten Rosey Bensley, Steve Morris and Tim Line en route to the final.
Roland Herrera won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Cynthia Roberts, Stephen Little and -- in the final -- Kev Peters.
Kev is the new leader of the FRGP table, heading a cluster of nine players covered by just 35 points.

24/09/20: Simon steps down from the league season

Simon Hughes has resigned from Premier One with immediate effect.
It was quite a well kept secret that he had suffered serious injuries in a cycling accident back in March -- including a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a detached retina.
His recovery, both physical and mental, has taken far longer than originally anticipated, and it has reached a point where the outstanding workload of sixteen outstanding matches in just over two months has been deemed too difficult, especially set against a backdrop of acclimatising to a demanding new job.
Simon's six results have been expunged from the league table, and he hopes to resume his league career in 2021.

23/09/20: Wednesday league round-up

There were five league matches played on Wednesday.
Steffen Nowak moved into second place in Premier Two Red by defeating Jon Organ, and Pearl Foster built on her good start to the Premier Two Blue season with a victory over Mandy Macdonald.
There were Premier Three wins for leader Mathew Nicholls and Alan Joicey, over Rosemary Whitehouse and David Hoare respectively.
Mathew's was his eighth successive league win.
And Matt Reekie-Black moved further ahead of his Conference League rivals by beating Caroline Boulton.

22/09/20: Tuesday results round-up

There were three matches played on Tuesday, two in the Premier League and one in the Brunel Trophy.
Phil Charlton's Brunel victory over Daniel Eldridge signalled the end of Daniel's participation in the competition, while Phil still has one life intact.
Andy Boysan moved into second place in Premier One with an emphatic win against Stuart Mann.
And Richard Owsley defeated Dave Pym in Premier Two Blue.

22/09/20: Sixteen in Monday online action

There were sixteen players in online action on Monday, fourteen of whom contested the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were seven flights, beginning with a ten-player opener won by Safi Tracy, who defeated Stephen Little in the final.
Six four-player flights followed. Steve Morris won two of them, the other winners being Alan Joicey, Tim Line, Steffen Nowak and Stephen.
There was one match played in Premier Two Red, Chas Perry defeating Chris Hughes.

20/09/20: Conference wins for Ben and Simon

There were two Conference League matches played on Saturday, both very close affairs.
Ben Crowden pipped Caroline Boulton, while Simon Tracy similarly defeated Matt Reekie-Black.

18/09/20: Matt tops Conference

There were two Conference League matches played on Friday.
And Matt Reekie-Black continued his run of good form with victories over Safi Tracy and Simon Tracy.
The wins propelled Matt to the top of the league at Safi's expense.

18/09/20: Matt wins Speedgammon event

There were just eighteen players in action on Thursday, fourteen of them to contest the third stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There were also three Premier Two matches played.
In the Blue Division Pearl Foster pipped Jim Green, while Stephen Little and Steffen Nowak shared the spoils of a Red Division double header.
In the Speedgammon event it was Matt Reekie-Black who won the main flight, defeating Ian Anderson, Simon Tracy and Tim Line before overcoming Cliff Blofield in the final.
Cliff had reached the final via wins over Alan Joicey and Ian Tarr.
The second and third flights saw wins for Roland Herrera and Kev Peters, whose final opponents were Alan and Simon respectively.

17/09/20: Matt goes second

A late reported Wednesday result from the Conference League has propelled Matt Reekie-Black into second place in the league.
His victim was Simon Tracy.

16/09/20: Caroline at the double

The two matches played on Wednesday were both in the Conference League -- a double header between Caroline Boulton and Safi Tracy.
And Caroline won both against league leader Safi, to move into second place herself.

15/09/20: League win for Stuart; Andy still on track in Brunel

There were two matches played on Tuesday, one in Premier One, the other in the Brunel Trophy.
In the top flight Stuart Mann scored a much needed win over Neil Young at the Bridge Inn, Yatton.
And in the fifth round of the Brunel Trophy Andy Boysan made short work of Ian Tarr.
Ian has one life remaining, while Andy has both of his intact.

14/09/20: Sixteen in Monday online action

There were sixteen players in online action on Monday, ten of whom contested the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were just five flights, beginning with an eight-player opener won by Mathew Nicholls, who defeated Kev Peters in the final.
Four four-player flights followed. John Curran, Simon Tracy, Kev and Roland Herrera were the winners.
Three league matches were played.
In Premier One Adam Sinclair won a close one against Phil Charlton.
Dave Pym defeated Pearl Foster in Premier Two Blue.
And Ben Crowden was the winner of his Conference League match against Simon Tracy.

12/09/20: Gaz wins tie of the round

There were two matches played on Friday, one in the Brunel Trophy, the other in the Conference League.
The fifth round Brunel Trophy match was arguably the tie of the round, featuring Bristol Backgammon's two current top ranked players, each with a single life remaining.
And the "sudden death" was that of Chris Rogers, as Gaz Owen progressed to the sixth round.
The Conference match saw Matt Reekie-Black gain his second win in three days, this time at the expense of Ben Crowden in a nail biter.

11/09/20: Simonetta takes September Grand Prix honours

There were twenty-two players in online action on Thursday, eighteen of whom contested the September Bristol Grand Prix tournament.
And it was Simonetta Herrera who won the event, defeating Mark Dixon, Simon Tracy, Ian Anderson and -- in the final -- Chris Hughes.
Chris had beaten Tim Line, Chris Rogers and Kev Peters en route to the final.
Gaz Owen took the consolation flight after overcoming Mark, Cynthia Roberts and Andy Boysan.
Simonetta has moved to within a single point of husband Roland Herrera at the summit of the BGP table.
There was also league action, with two close fought matches.
Mandy Macdonald beat Richard Owsley in Premier Two Blue, and in Premier Three Adrian Farthing pipped Alan Joicey.

09/09/20: Wednesday round-up

There were two matches played on Wednesday.
In the Premier League top flight Gaz Owen lost ground on leader Chris Rogers when he lost at DMP against Phil Charlton.
And Matt Reekie-Black defeated Simon Tracy in the Conference League.

08/09/20: Tuesday Premier Three action

There were two matches played in Premier Three on Tuesday.
The winners were Gerald Whitehouse and Alan Joicey, whose victims were Robin Gunney and Rosemary Whitehouse respectively.

07/09/20: Twelve in Monday online action

There were just twelve players in online action on Monday to contest the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were just six flights, beginning with an eleven-player opener won by Safi Tracy, who defeated James Newman in the final.
This was arguably sixteen-year-old Safi's best achievement yet in a debut season where she is setting a hot pace in the Conference League.
Five four-player flights followed. Kev Peters and Roland Herrera won two each, while James took the other.

06/09/20: Conference win for Simon

Just one match to report from Sunday.
In the Conference League Simon Tracy defeated Ben Crowden to move into second place in the league.

04/09/20: Safi and Ben share the spoils

In a Conference League double header on Friday honours were more or less even.
Safi Tracy won the opener 11-4, but then succumbed to an 8-11 defeat against Ben Crowden.

04/09/20: Brunel Trophy fifth round draw

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the fifth round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was made on Friday.
The method used, identical to the one used in rounds two, three and four, involved Ian Tarr placing the players in a random numerical sequence, and on this occasion Gaz Owen providing a random sequence of the numbers between one and twelve to provide the draw order.
There are twelve players in round five and the draw is visible here.
Matches need to be completed by October 1st.
Three of the six ties involve players with a single life remaining, so there could be anything in the range of seven to nine players in round six.

04/09/20: Roland pips Warner to win Freeroll tournament

There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, fourteen of whom contested the fifth of this year's series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
There was also a Premier One match, where Peter Thistlewood defeated Phil Charlton.
In the tournament it was Roland Herrera, fresh from a visit to Italy, who won the main flight of the tournament, defeating George Georgiou, Tim Line and Simonetta Herrera before pipping Warner Solomon by the narrowest of margins in the final.
Warner had beaten Cynthia Roberts, Paul Watts and Alan Joicey en route to the final.
Kev Peters won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Cynthia, Stephen Little and -- in the final -- John Curran.
Roland's win moves him into the cluster of players pursuing new leader Paul Watts at the head of the FRGP table.

02/09/20: Chris dips out of Brunel Trophy

In a very close match on Wednesday George Georgiou defeated Chris Hughes in the fourth round of the Brunel Trophy.
The defeat means Chris is eliminated from the competition, while George remains unbeaten.

02/09/20: Tuesday results round-up

There were three matches played on Tuesday, one in the fourth round of the Brunel Trophy, and two in the Premier League.
Neil Young visited Portland Square for two of the matches, both close affairs -- a Brunel defeat to Chris Rogers and a Premier One victory over Cecilia Sparke.
Neil is eliminated from the Brunel Trophy, while Chris has one life remaining.
And in Premier Three Alan Joicey edged home against John Curran.

31/08/20: Eleven in Monday online action

There were just eleven players in online action on Monday, eight of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs, which on this occasion featured Nackgammon.
There were just three flights, beginning with an eight-player opener won by Ian Tarr, who defeated George Georgiou in the final.
Two four-player flights followed, and these were won by Kev Peters and Stephen Little.
There was league and Brunel Trophy action too.
In the Brunel Trophy Andy Boysan's fourth round defeat of Frank Jones means he goes into the fifth round draw undefeated, while Frank is eliminated.
Simon Tracy managed to fit in two Conference League matches, winning both -- Ben Crowden and Caroline Boulton being his victims.

30/08/20: Sunday Brunel Trophy action

There were two fourth round Brunel Trophy matches played on Sunday.
In Kellaway Avenue visitor Miles Farren was defeated by Roland Herrera, who has one life remaining.
And online Simon Baker edged a close one against Jim Green.
Both Miles and Jim are eliminated, while Simon remains unbeaten.

29/08/20: Saturday results round-up

There were five matches played on Saturday, two in the fourth round of the Brunel Trophy, two in Premier Two Blue and one in the Conference League.
In the Brunel Trophy there were victories for Adam Sinclair and Phil Charlton over Daniel Eldridge and Steffen Nowak respectively.
Adam, Phil and Daniel each have a life remaining.
Steffen is eliminated.
The Blue Division matches were a double header between Paul Watts and Cliff Blofield, where the spoils were shared.
And the Conference match was a top of thre table affair between Ben Crowden and Safi Tracy, which Safi won to extend her league lead to nine points.

28/08/20: Friday wins for Gaz and Ben

There were two matches played on Friday, one in the fourth round of the Brunel Trophy, the other in the Conference League.
Gaz Owen defeated Simon Hughes in the Brunel Trophy, a result which leaves both players with one life remaining.
And Ben Crowden's victory over Simon Tracy ensures that league leader Safi Tracy has a pursuer.

27/08/20: Gaz wins and tops GP10 table

There were twenty-one players in action on Thursday, twenty of whom contested the sixth of this year's series of nine GP10 tournaments.
There was also a Premier Two Red double header, in which Ian Tarr and Andrew Cobb swapped 11-5 victories.
Gaz Owen won the main flight of the tournament, defeating Stephen Little, Mike Rodwell and Adrian Farthing before overcoming Paul Watts in the final.
Paul had beaten Steve Morris, Alan Joicey and Robin Gunney en route to the final.
Steve won the consolation flight by scoring wins over Simon Tracy, Chris Hughes and -- in the final -- Frank Jones.
This was Gaz's second tournament win in this series, and he now holds a lead of 80 points over second placed Ian.

27/08/20: Gerald won on the 18th

A result from August 18th has come to light.
Gerald Whitehouse defeated Tom Chapman 11-8 in Premier Three.
Records have now been updated accordingly.

26/08/20: Wednesday League action

There were eight league matches played on Wednesday, spread throughout the five divisions.
In the top flight Gaz Owen maintained his pursuit of league leader Chris Rogers by defeating Phil Charlton.
Premier Two Blue and Premier Two Red saw double headers where the spoils were shared.
In the Blue Division, Simon Baker and Cliff Blofield played two one-sided matches, while Chris Hughes and Stephen Little's Red Division encounters were a lot closer.
Robin Gunney stayed on course for promotion from Premier Three with a victory over John Curran.
And Matt Reekie-Black suffered a brace of Conference League defeats, the first at the hands of Caroline Boulton, the second by league leader Safi Tracy.

25/08/20: Tuesday League round-up

There were three league matches played on Tuesday.
Two of those involved Mandy Macdonald in Premier Two Blue -- both of which were defeats for her, first against Paul Watts, then against Jim Green.
And in Henleaze Simon Tracy stopped the rot at last with victory over daughter Safi Tracy in the Conference League, whwre Safi holds the league lead.

24/08/20: Fourteen in Monday online action

There were just fourteen players in online action on Monday, twelve of whom participated in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were six flights, beginning with a ten-player opener won by Dave Pym, who defeated Safi Tracy in the final.
Five four-player flights followed, and these were won by Simon Tracy, Kev Peters, Ian Tarr and George Georgiou (twice).
The twelve players contested a total of twenty-four matches.
There was league action too.
A daytime meeting in Henleaze saw Safi defeat her father Simon once again in the Conference League.
And a Premier Two Blue double header between Simon Baker and Paul Watts resulted in a brace of wins for Simon.

23/08/20: Fourteen in Sunday action

There were just fourteen players in online action on Sunday to contest the sixth of our series of Sunday tournaments (the fourth online).
As has become the custom the field was a mixture of past and present Bristol players, plus a few from elsewhere in the UK -- although the roll call of current Bristol players was a short one on this occasion.
And it was Anna Clarke, a former ladies World Champion and occasional visitor to Bristol, who took the main prize, defeating Stephen Little in the final.
Anna made the most of a first round bye, getting past Warner Solomon and Rosey Bensley to reach the final, while Stephen's journey took him past Simon Hopper, Cecilia Sparke and Chris Rogers.
Ian Tarr took the consolation flight with wins over Cynthia Roberts, Warner and -- in the final -- Jon Barnes.

21/08/20: League matches reach 8,000!

There were four league matches played on Friday -- which brought the total number of Bristol Backgammon League matches played since the start -- way back in the year 2000 -- to the amazing total of 8,000!
A double header in Premier Two Red saw the spoils shared from two very close matches by Ian Tarr and Stephen Little.
Tom Chapman arrested a run of Premier Three defeats by defeating Rosemary Whitehouse.
And in Henleaze Safi Tracy scored another Conference League win over her father Simon Tracy to go top of the league.

20/08/20: Adrian wins Speedgammon event again

There were just ten players in action on Thursday to contest the second stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There was also a rare piece of Bristol Conference League action in Henleaze, where the Tracy home was the venue.
Safi Tracy and her father Simon Tracy made their league debuts, and it was Safi who earned the bragging rights for the moment with a victory which put her level with Ben Crowden at the top of the league.
In the Speedgammon event it was Adrian Farthing who won the main flight, defeating Safi, Dave Pym and in the final Gaz Owen.
Adrian also won last month's Speedgammon event.
The second and third flights saw wins for Kev Peters and Tim Line, whose final opponents were Dave and Cynthia Roberts.

19/08/20: League wins for James and Mathew

There were two matches played on Wednesday -- both in Premier Three.
James Lintell-Smith defeated Rosemary Whitehouse and league leader Mathew Nicholls won a nail-biter against Gerald Whitehouse.

17/08/20: Fourteen in Monday online action

There were just fourteen players in online action on Monday to participate in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
There were seven flights, beginning with a twelve-player opener won by George Georgiou, who defeated Tim Line in the final.
Six four-player flights followed, and these were won by Ismail Yilmaz, John Curran, Stephen Little, Gerald Whitehouse and Ian Tarr, who made up the numbers in the last two and won both.
The fourteen players contested a total of twenty-nine matches.

16/08/20: Sunday anti-climax for remaining Bristol teams

The UK Clubs Championship resumed on Sunday, but the further involvement of the two remaining Bristol teams was not as lengthy as might have been hoped.
In the main flight the "A" team succumbed 1-4 to Holland Park, while the "B" team fared only marginally better in the consolation flight, going down 2-3 to St Albans "C".
Thanks are due to all fifteen players who represented our club so well over the weekend.
NEBA "A" defeated Holland Park in the main final, while the consolation flight was won by Manchester.

15/08/20: "A" team in Clubs Championship title contention after day one

The UK Clubs Championship, which has moved online just for this year, started today with a record number of thirty-two teams taking part.
Played over a combination of platforms -- with our tried and trusted Backgammon Studio Heroes site as the default -- the Saturday programme saw the completion of the opening group phase, and the start of the concluding knock-out phase, which will end tomorrow.
Bristol Backgammon was represented by three teams of five players, all contesting matches to 5 points.
The Bristol "A" team, comprising five of the top eight players in the Bristol ratings, had a good day.
Starting with a 3-2 victory over Glasgow "B", they dealt with another team from north of the border -- Aberdeen "A" -- in similar fashion, before completing a clean sweep of group wins, this time by 4-1 against Cambridge.
The Bristol "B" team lost narrowly to Brighton "A", but recovered with wins over Belfast and Citygammon "B" to claim second place in their group, thus joining the "A" team in the main knock-out phase.
And the Bristol "C" team, with five players from outside the top 50 of our ratings, started with an almost expected defeat by a strong Ealing "A" side, before losing narrowly, and disapointingly, to Backgammon Ayr, and then recording a famous win over Harrogate.
Ealing and Harrogate claimed the top two places, leaving our "C" team to contest the consolation knock-out phase.
The opening round of the knock-outs was also played.
In the main flight, with matches now ramped up to 7 points, our two top teams experienced widely differing fortunes.
The "A" team got it all together for a 5-0 whitewash of the Union Club, and will contest their quarter-final tomorrow.
It was a different story for the "B" team against NEBA "A", with the first three results all calamitous 7-0 whitewash defeats, compounded by two more defeats to exit the main flight in the saddest of ways.
There is an element of consolation here, though, in that first round losers get to play in the second round of the consolation flight.
So tomorrow gives them an opportunity to salvage something.
That opportunity was denied to the "C" team, however, when they succumbed to Amersham 1-4, and are thus eliminated from the competition.
Top performers on the day were Andy Boysan of the "A" team (the only Bristol player to go through the day unbeaten), Warner Solomon of the "B" team (who won all three of his group matches), and Mandy Macdonald of the "C" team (who also won three matches on the day).
Chris Rogers and Gaz Owen of the "A" team also won three of their four matches.
And so to tomorrow, and the conclusion of the competition, which will be reported on here.

14/08/20: Chris scoops August Grand Prix honours

There were twenty-two players in online action on Thursday to contest the eighth of the year's twelve Monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Chris Rogers, whose victims were David Tyrrell, Ian Anderson, Mandy Macdonald and, in the final, Simonetta Herrera.
Simonetta had arrived in the final via victories over Warner Solomon, Gaz Owen and George Georgiou.
Cecilia Sparke took the consolation flight by defeating Tim Line, John Curran, Kev Peters and David.
Roland Herrera, who missed the tournament, retains the BGP lead, some 59 points ahead of second placed Gaz.

12/08/20: League doubles for Kev and Stephen

There were four matches played on Wednesday -- two double headers, one in each of the Premier Two divisions.
In the Blue Division, Kev Peters extended his league lead by defeating Paul Watts twice.
And in two similarly hard fought matches, Stephen Little won both matches against Andrew Cobb in the Red Division -- the first action in that division in 73 days!

11/08/20: Sixteen in Monday online action

There were sixteen players in online action on Monday to participate in the regular 3-point freeroll knock-outs -- maybe a sign that the novelty is wearing off a little.
There were five flights, beginning with a sixteen-player opener won by Roland Herrera, who defeated Mandy Macdonald in the final.
An eight-player flight was won by Simonetta Herrera, while the three four-player flights saw successes for Kev Peters, Gerald Whitehouse and Ian Tarr.
The sixteen players contested a total of thirty-one matches.

09/08/20: August Sunday tournament brought forward

Our August Sunday tournament has ben brought forward by one week to avoid a clash with the UKBGF UK Online Open.
The Bristol event will now be on August 23rd.

08/08/20: Brunel Trophy fourth round draw

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the fourth round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was made on Saturday.
The method used, identical to the one used in rounds two and three, involved Ian Tarr placing the players in a random numerical sequence, and on this occasion Stephen Little providing a random sequence of the numbers between one and eighteen to provide the draw order.
There are eighteen players in round four and the draw is visible here.
Matches need to be completed by September 3rd.
Three of the nine ties involve players with a single life remaining, so there could be anything in the range of ten to fifteen players in round five.

07/08/20: Dave tops Freeroll GP table with win

There were just eighteen players in online action on Thursday to contest the fourth of the year's nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Dave Pym, whose victims were George Georgiou, Safi Tracy, James Newman and, in the final, Ismail Yilmaz.
Ismail had arrived in the final via victories over Alan Joicey, Robin Gunney and Rosemary Whitehouse.
Warner Solomon took the consolation flight by defeating John Curran, Stephen Little, Cynthia Roberts and Hazel Boucher.
Dave now has the lead in the FRGP table, closely followed by previous leader Paul Watts.

06/08/20: Three Bristol teams to contest the UK Clubs Championship

The UK Clubs Championship, which has moved online just for this year, takes place on August 15th and 16th.
And Bristol will be represented by three teams of five players:
Bristol "A": Gaz Owen; Chris Rogers; Stuart Mann; Andy Boysan; Cecilia Sparke.
Bristol "B": Tim Line; Stephen Little; Warner Solomon; Adrian Farthing; Chris Hughes.
Bristol "C": Cynthia Roberts; Safi Tracy; Rosemary Whitehouse; Gerald Whitehouse; Mandy Macdonald.

Three potential reserves are also waiting in the wings.

06/08/20: Catching up with the news......

Apologies to all readers. Technology got the better of me for a few days, but now things are back in place.
Here's what's been happening:
In Premier One we have a record breaker!
Two nail-biting matches were played in Premier One.
These featured 11-10 victories for Chris Rogers and Phil Charlton, respectively over Neil Young on Monday and Fred North on Wednesday.
Chris's win was a momentous one, as he eclipsed Stuart Mann's seventeen year old record of successive Premier One wins.
He still has other record sequences in his sights -- watch this space.
In the Brunel Trophy:
A flurry of results has tidied up the loose ends of the third round of the Brunel Trophy.
On Monday Simon Baker defeated Frank Jones; Tuesday saw Ian Tarr to a victory over Cliff Blofield at the Brunello Lounge, Weston-super-Mare; On Wednesday there were two ties played -- Neil's defeat of Adrian Farthing at the Lock Keeper and Steffen Nowak's win over Eamonn Reay; while Jim Green's Wednesday win over Mike Smith completed the round.
The defeats of Cliff, Adrian, Eamonn and Mike signalled their respective exits from the competition, while Frank still has one life remaining.
Eighteen players progress to the fourth round draw, seven of whom are still undefeated.
Monday 3-pointers:
On Monday there were eighteen players in online action for the weekly 3-point knock-out flights, hosted by Gaz Owen when Ian Tarr's laptop became temporarily non-functional.
The opening sixteen player flight saw Dave Pym take the honours, defeating Stephen Little in the final.
Eight-player flights were won by Simonetta Herrera and Rosemary Whitehouse, while Gerald Whitehouse won the only four player flight.
The eighteen players played a total of 32 matches.

31/07/20: Roland wins GP10 event

There were just eighteen players in online action on Thursday to contest the fifth of the year's nine GP10 tournaments.
The winner was Roland Herrera, whose victims were John Curran, Warner Solomon, George Georgiou and, in the final, Mandy Macdonald.
Mandy had arrived in the final via victories over Gaz Owen, Safi Tracy and Stephen Little.
Kev Peters took the consolation flight by defeating John, Ismail Yilmaz, and Dave Pym.
Roland has edged into the GP10 lead, five points ahead of previous leader Andy Boysan.

29/07/20: Wednesday round-up

There were three matches played on Wednesday -- two in Premier One, the other a third round Brunel Trophy tie.
In the top flight Gaz Owen secured a brace of victories, one over Cecilia Sparke, the other a resumed match against Nick Barham.
And in the Brunel Trophy Steve Morris exited the competition after losing to Simon Hughes, who retains both of his lives.

27/07/20: Twenty in Monday online action

There were twenty players in online action on Monday, including the eighteen who participated in the second online Nackgammon evening.
There were six flights of three-point matches, beginning with a sixteen player opener won by Simonetta Herrera, who defeated Mandy Macdonald in the final.
A pair of eight player flights saw successes for Stephen Little and George Georgiou.
And there were also three four-player flights, which were won by Ian Tarr, Alan Joicey and Mathew Nicholls.
There was also third round Brunel Trophy action, with Phil Charlton overcoming Chris Hughes, leaving both players with a single life remaining as they head towards the fourth round draw.

26/07/20: Eighteen in Sunday action

There were eighteen players in online action on Sunday to contest the fifth of our series of Sunday tournaments (the third online).
As has become the custom the field was a mixture of past and present Bristol players, plus a few from elsewhere in the UK.
And it was former Premier League player James Newman, now based in Scotland, who took the main prize, defeating occasional Bristol visitor Ian Anderson in the final.
James's path to the final took him past Denby Pettitt, Jon Barnes and John Hedge, while Ian was defeating Simon Tracy, Paul Watts and Safi Tracy.
Cecilia Sparke took the consolation flight with wins over Chris Rogers, Simon and -- in the final -- Warner Solomon.

26/07/20: John exits Brunel Trophy

Wednesday saw John Curran's exit from the Brunel Trophy at the hands of Miles Farren, who has one life remaining.

24/07/20: Adrian takes Speedgammon honours

There were nineteen players in action on Thursday, including the eighteen who contested the first stand-alone Speedgammon tournament since the suspension of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There was also a face-to-face triple header at the Ram, Bath, where Kev Peters and Daniel Eldridge shared the spoils of their Premier Two Blue matches after Daniel had won their third round Brunel Trophy tie.
That Brunel result was enough to eliminate Kev from the tournament, while Daniel still has both lives intact.
In the experimental three flight format devised for stand-alone speedgammon events things went pretty smoothly.
In the main flight it was Adrian Farthing who came through to take the top prize, defeating Andy Boysan in the final.
Adrian's victims en route to the final were Stephen Little, Chris Hughes and Cynthia Roberts, while Andy was getting past Alan Joicey, Ian Anderson and Kev.
The second and third flights saw wins for Dave Pym and Alan, whose final opponents were Roland Herrera and Simon Tracy.

22/07/20: Andy defeated again

For the second day in succession Andy Boysan suffered a Premier One defeat, having only lost twice before all season.
Nick Barham was the victor this time.

22/07/20: Andy suffers title setback

In a Tuesday Premier One match Adam Sinclair defeated Andy Boysan to stall the latter player's pursuit of league leader Chris Rogers.

20/07/20: Monday wins for Phil and Roland

There were eighteen players in action on Monday, including the fifteen who participated in the now customary series of 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
In other activity there was a Premier One match, and a third round Brunel Trophy tie.
That tie was in effect a sudden death affair, as both Roland Herrera and Richard Owsley had suffered a single defeat in earlier rounds, and the demise was Richard's -- beaten for the second time in successive rounds in his own garden.
In the league it went to DMP, but Phil Charlton gained a much needed victory over Stuart Mann, with both players needing a strong run in to avoid the threat of relegation.
In the knock-outs there were just seven flights, as the turnout was uncharacteristically low.
The opening sixteen player flight had a couple of gaps in it, for only the second time.
And one of those who had byes failed to turn up, leaving Simonetta Herrera a place in the semi-finals without any effort at all.
She made the most of that by winning the flight, defeating Kev Peters in the final.
The other six flights were all 4-player efforts, with Steve Morris, Safi Tracy, Jim Green, Simon Tracy, Simonetta, and Ian Tarr taking the honours.
There were just thirty matches in the knock-outs.

17/07/20: Friday victories for Chris and Nick

There were two matches played in Friday.
And one -- a Premier One meeting between Chris Rogers and Neil Young -- was played in Portland Square.
Chris had home advantage and won 11-8, thus equalling the record for successive victories in the top flight.
Stuart Mann's long standing record of fourteen in a row will be toppled if Chris can win his next league encounter.
The other match was a third round Brunel Trophy match between Nick Barham and Simonetta Herrera, which Nick narrowly won, consigning Simonetta to a comparatively early exit from the competition.
Nick progresses to the fourth round with both lives intact.

16/07/20: Paul wins Thursday freeroll tournament

There were twenty-eight players in online action on Thursday, including the twenty-six who contested the third of the new series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Paul Watts, who had to defeat five players reach that goal -- Hazel Boucher, David Tyrrell, Ismail Yilmaz, Pat Holly and, in the final, Alan Joicey.
Alan got past Stephen Little, Cynthia Roberts, Yuri Cherkasenko and Tim Line en route to the final.
Adrian Farthing won the consolation flight, beating Rosey Bensley, Mandy Macdonald and Safi Tracy.
Paul now leads the Freeroll Grand Prix, 50 points ahead of May and June winners Nick Barham and Rosemary Whitehouse.
Earlier there was a close Premier One encounter between Gaz Owen and Adam Sinclair, with Gaz shading it.

15/07/20: Alan out of Brunel Trophy

In a third round Brunel Trophy match on Wednesday Andy Boysan defeated Alan Joicey.
That was Alan's second defeat of the competition, so he's now out, while Andy remains unbeaten.

14/07/20: Tuesday results round-up

There were five matches played on Tuesday, three in the Premier League, two in the Brunel Trophy.
Mandy Macdonald made her exit from the Brunel Trophy when she lost narrowly to Chris Rogers, while another close encounter in the same competition saw George Georgiou remain unbeaten so far by defeating Gaz Owen, who still has one life remaining.
Premier One saw two matches played, Andy Boysan maintaining his pressure on leader Chris by beating Adam Sinclair 11-4, a victory which owed much to an eight cube.
But Gaz and Stuart Mann went one better when, with the score at 3-2 in Gaz's favour the cube reached sixteen!
Gaz won.
George scored his second victory of the day by overcoming Alan Joicey in a Premier Three match.

14/07/20: Speedgammon Grand Prix suspended

Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has found it necessary to admit defeat in his attempt to shift this year's Speedgammon Grand Prix into an appropriate online format.
Two live events were successfully held before the lockdown, but a new online format -- pressed into action last month -- was found to be unfit for purpose in terms of giving points scoring opportunities commensurate with those of the pre-lockdown format.
So the decision has been taken to suspend the SGGP for this year in the hope of resuming the previous format when things become "normal" again.
The SGGP prize fund, standing at 28, will be added to the new SGGP season's pool, whenever that may be.
In the meantime speedgammon will still fill the slots allotted to the SGGP, but with one-off tournaments with a simpler format.

13/07/20: Twenty-five in Monday action

There were twenty-five players in action online on Monday, including the twenty-one who participated in the now customary series of 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
In other activity there were two Premier League matches, one in the top flight, where Cecilia Sparke beat Phil Charlton, the other in Premier Three, John Curran narrowly defeating Tom Chapman.
In the knock-outs there were eight flights in all.
The opening flight of sixteen players was won by Stephen Little, who defeated Roland Herrera in the final.
Andy Boysan won an eight player flight, while the six four-player flights saw two wins apiece for George Georgiou and Safi Tracy and one each for Simon Tracy and Ismail Yilmaz.
The twenty-one got through thirty-nine matches in all.

11/07/20: And then there were twenty-nine

Hot on the heels of the third round draw for the 2020 Brunel Trophy came the first result of the round.
Adam Sinclair defeated James Lintell-Smith in what was essentially a sudden death encounter, both players having already lost a life.

11/07/20: Brunel Trophy third round draw

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the third round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was made on Saturday.
The method used, identical to the one used in round two, involved Ian Tarr placing the players in a random numerical sequence, and Gaz Owen providing a random sequence of the numbers between one and thirty to provide the draw order.
There are thirty players in round three and the draw is visible here.
The timescales for this and subsequent rounds are tighter -- four weeks per round.
Matches need to be completed by August 6th.
Seven of he fifteen ties involve players with a single life remaining, so there could be anything in the range of seventeen to twenty-three players in round four.

10/07/20: Simon wins his second monthly grand prix title this year

There were thirty-two players in online action on Thursday, thirty of whom contested the seventh of our monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
The other two were completing the second round of the Brunel Trophy double elimination tournament, where Nick Barham scored a narrow victory over Hazel Boucher.
Hazel's second defeat in the competition signalled her exit, leaving thirty players in the third round draw, which is imminent.
In the evening's main event it was Simon Baker who took the honours, defeating Ismail Yilmaz, Kev Peters, Alan Joicey, Robin Gunney and -- in the final -- Frank Jones.
Simon has only contested three of this season's seven events in this series, but he has won two!
As for Frank, this was his finest moment yet, having overcome Cynthia Roberts, Paul Watts, Andy Boysan and James Newman en route to the final.
Ian Anderson won the consolation flight with victories over Rosey Bensley, Mandy Macdonald and Ismail, before beating John Curran in the final.
Roland Herrera drew a blank on the night, but none of his close pursuers fared much better, and he still holds a 74 points BGP lead over second placed Gaz Owen.

08/07/20: Thirteen in a row for Chris

Chris Rogers maintained his winning sequence in Premier One on Wednesday by defeating Simon Hughes.
That makes it thirteen league wins in a row.

07/07/20: Cliff keeps his Brunel Trophy hopes alive

In a second round Brunel Trophy encounter on Tuesday Clif Blofield retained his interest in the competition by defeating Simonetta Herrera.
Both players go into Thursday's third round draw with one life remaining.
Just one second round match remains to be completed, the meeting of Hazel Boucher and Nick Barham.

06/07/20: Twenty-eight in Monday action

There were twenty-eight players in action on Monday -- twenty-six of them online -- including the twenty-two who participated in the now customary series of 3-point freeroll knock-outs.
With the third round draw of the Brunel Trophy looming there was a flurry of activity to tie up some loose ends in the second round.
Richard Owsley's garden was the venue for one match, with visiting Daniel Eldridge scoring the victory.
Meanwhile the Hugheses -- Chris and Simon (no relation, of course) -- were the other victors, over Mary French and Phil Charlton respectively.
Of the three vanquished players, only Mary exits the competition, having lost her second life.
In the knock-outs there were eight flights in all.
The opening flight of sixteen players was won by Pat Holly, who defeated John Curran in the final.
Simon Tracy and George Georgiou won eight-player flights, while the five four-player flights saw Andy Boysan, Safi Tracy, Kat Cherkasenko, Ian Tarr and Jim Green triumphant.
The twenty-two got through forty-three matches in all.

05/07/20: Double success for Robin; Stephen exits Brunel Trophy

There were three matches played on Sunday, two in Premier Three, and one in the second round of the Brunel Trophy.
In the latter competition it was a case of sudden death for Alan Joicey or Stephen Little, as each had lost a life in round one, and the demise was Stephen's.
The Premier Three double header saw Robin Gunney win twice to leapfrog his opponent George Georgiou into third place in the table.

03/07/20: Gaz wins GP10 event

There should have been thirty-two players in online action on Thursday to contest the fourth of the year's nine GP10 tournaments.
A full draw of thirty-two paid, but one -- Nick Barham -- mysteriously disappeared and took no part in proceedings.
The winner was Gaz Owen, whose victims were James Newman, Mike Rodwell, Kev Peters, Robin Gunney and, in the final, Simon Tracy.
For Simon -- a recent graduate from Monday evenings -- this was uncharted territory.
He had to battle past Dave Pym, David Tyrrell, Jim Green and Tim Line.
Cecilia Sparke took the consolation flight with victories over Warner Solomon, Dave Pym, Roland Herrera and James Newman.
Andy Boysan did just enough to wrest the GP10 leadership from Ian Tarr.

02/07/20: Wednesday wins for Cecilia, Andy and Simon

There were three matches played on Wednesday, two in Premier One, and one in the Brunel Trophy.
In the latter competition it was a second round meeting of two hitherto undefeated players, and it was Simon Baker who kept his record intact at Roland Herrera's expense.
Roland, of course, still has a life remaining as he moves into the third round.
In the top flight of the league Andy Boysan maintained the pressure on leader Chris Rogers with a win over Simon Hughes.
And Cecilia Sparke was the evening's other winner against Fred North, who almost ran out of time when taking an Amazon delivery at the front door.
Thankfully his opponent had the presence of mind to pause the game.

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