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16/11/18: Roland wins GP30 event; Gaz takes the title
There were seventeen players in action on Thursday, including fifteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom eleven contested the eighth and last of the year's GP30 tournaments.
Three Premier League matches were played.
Fred North and Paul Watts, already relegated from Premier One, finished their respective league campaigns, Paul winning 11-7, ultimately losing out only on points difference to Stuart Mann.
And Neil Young has emerged as the favourite to take the second promotion spot in Premier Two Red after an 11-6 victory over Richard Owsley, who has still not quite done enough to ensure he stays in Premier Two.
At the Camelot Inn, South Cadbury, Carwyn Jenkins scored an 11-0 win over James Timoney to move to the top of Premier Three.
The GP30 event saw Roland Herrera defeat Cynthia Roberts 9-7 in the final after defeating Steve Morris, Stephen Little and Chris Rogers en route.
After receiving a first round bye, Cynthia had eliminated Adam Sinclair and Simon Hughes.
Tim Line took the consolation flight with victories over Adam, Ian Tarr and Stephen.
Gaz Owen exited the tournament in the second round, but had already done enough to become the year's GP30 champion.
Roland pipped Simonetta Herrera for second place, finishing level on points, but having won all three of their GP30 meetings during the year.
15/11/18: Eighteen years on, and Simon is champion
The Cat and Wheel was the venue yesterday afternoon for a double header to resolve the major issue of the 2018 Bristol Premier League championship.
Leader Simon Baker and Jason Champion were the only two with a chance of taking the prize, but Jason needed to win both matches to do so.
And when the opener finished 11-10 in Simon's favour, the inaugural league champion had made it back to the summit some eighteen years after his last success.
The return went 11-5 to Jason, and although he missed out on the main prize, he now occupies second place, and is likely to stay there if he defeats Alex Hodge in his final match.
14/11/18: Peter and Drew sign off with honours even
Two results from Monday have just come to light.
The Post Office Tavern was the venue for a Premier Two Blue season ending double header between Drew Caudwell and Peter Thistlewood.
Both matches were close, Peter winning 11-9 before succumbing 10-11 in the return.
13/11/18: Alex goes second
Four league matches were played on Tuesday.
Alex Hodge moved into second place in Premier One after an 11-9 victory over Stuart Mann at the Brunello Lounge, Weston-super-Mare.
The defeat leaves Stuart with an unaccustomed ninth place finish, just enough to see him extend his ever-present sequence in the top flight to a twentieth season.
In Premier Two Red Tom Chapman and Chris Hughes played a double header at the Rainbow Casino.
Honours were just about even, Chris's 11-4 victory being followed by a 5-11 defeat.
And the Lazy Dog was the venue for Mathew Nicholls's whitewash of Jordan White in the Conference League, a result that sees Mathew four points clear at the top of the division.
13/11/18: Paul relegated; Chris wins November Grand Prix; Roland wins Monday round robin
There were fourteen players in action on Monday, including ten at the Bristol County Sports Club, six of whom contested the eleventh phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a 3-point round robin.
At the Rainbow Casino Cecilia Sparke and Paul Watts were vying for top flight survival.
For Cecilia two narrow defeats would be enough, while for Paul nothing less than two resounding wins would keep his hopes alive.
But two close matches -- first 11-9 to Cecilia, then 11-9 to Paul -- meant relief for Cecilia, but the drop for Paul, who cannot bridge the points difference gap to Stuart Mann, no matter by what margin he might win his final match.
Also at the casino, Chris Rogers scored a resounding victory over Alex Hodge in the held over final of Thursday's November Grand Prix tournament.
The result sets up a fascinating finale to the Bristol Grand Prix season, with the top five players covered by just 45 points, and three others with a remote mathematical chance of taking the title.
At the club two other matches were played.
John Curran defeated Steve Cox in the held over consolation final of the November Handicap Trophy final.
And Simonetta Herrera scored a narrow Premier Two Red victory over Ismail Yilmaz to keep her promotion chances alive, although a wider margin would have served her much better.
The round robin saw a clean sweep for Roland Herrera, although Ian Tarr did enough not to be overhauled by Roland, who is now just 29 points behind in the AGP table.
09/11/18: Cecilia takes the Brunel Trophy
The Phoenix was the venue for what turned out to be the final match of the fifth annual Brunel Trophy on Friday.
And Cecilia Sparke became the fifth player to lift the title when she defeated Ed Turner, thus obviating the need for a tenth round shoot out.
A faultless campaign took Cecilia past Tim Line, Mandy Macdonald, Daniel Eldridge, Chris Rogers, George Georgiou, Mike Smith, Simon Baker and Ed (twice) for nine straight victories.
09/11/18: Alex and Chris to contest November Grand Prix final
The largest monthly grand prix entry for more than two years made it a vibrant night at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday.
Twenty players, including a domestic Bristol Backgammon debut for UKBGF Board stalwart Julia Hayward, toed the start line for the tournament.
And the main flight final will feature Alex Hodge and Chris Rogers at a date, time and place yet to be decided.
Alex made it through from the long part of the draw, defeating Mandy Macdonald, Gaz Owen, Ian Hedges and Simon Baker, while Chris was getting past Daniel Eldridge, Julia and Simonetta Herrera.
Tim Line won the consolation flight with victories over Daniel, Adam Sinclair and Richard Owsley.
Ian Tarr's Bristol Grand Prix lead has been reduced to 24 points, with second placed Alex poised to take over at the top if he can defeat Chris.
As many as eight players can still lift the BGP title, which sets up a fascinating final instalment of the competition in December.
09/11/18: Steve's win confirms promotion for himself and Carwyn
The Globe, Newton St Loe, was the venue for a Premier Three match on Wednesday.
And Steve Cox's 11-7 victory over James Timoney means that he and Carwyn Jenkins will both be promoted to Premier Two, barring late penalty point drama.
Jon Organ's elevation had already been assured, and now it remains to decide the finishing positions for the trio, with prize money at stake.
07/11/18: Jason keeps the flag flying
The UK Champions League, contested annually by the top players from the nation's ever growing list of leagues, is reaching its closing stages
Bristol's representatives had an uncharacteristically poor time in the group stages, with Jason Champion being the only one of the seven to stay alive into the knock-out phase.
And he has kept the Bristol flag flying very well indeed, moving into the semi-finals at the expense of Wayne Joseph of the Sussex League and Ken Gibson of the London Players League.
In the semis he will meet another Londoner, and occasional Bristol visitor, Eric McAlpine.
The victor will meet someone from the North West League, as Kevin Jones and Mark Calderbank meet in the other semi-final.
Meanwhile, those who finished outside the top two in the five player groups all qualified for the Challenge Finals, something akin to the Europa League in football terms.
And they have not been without success, with Gaz Owen and Nick Barham both reaching the semi-final stage.
Both will meet Londoners, Gaz pitted against Lawrence Powell -- quarter-final conqueror of Cecilia Sparke -- and Nick playing Eric Maillebiau.
All semi-finals are scheduled to be completed this month.
Next year the total number of players will be reduced to 32 from this year's 40.
Bristol's allocation of places will be reduced commensurately to six.
06/11/18: Tuesday's Premier One action
Three Premier One matches were played on Tuesday.
At the Rainbow Casino Alex Hodge moved into third place with an 11-2 victory over already relegated Fred North.
And a double header at the Shakespeare, Totterdown, went Steffen Nowak's way when he scored a pair of 11-7 wins over Andy Boysan.
Steffen, too, is already down, but at least finished the season with a three match winning flourish, while Andy's best top flight season to date ended in slight anti-climax.
06/11/18: Monday night was Adam's night
There were just six players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, five of whom eventually contested the tenth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
But it was all about Adam Sinclair on an evening of extraordinary good fortune.
While four players began the Tric Trac Adam and Simonetta Herrera played out a Premier Two Red match, which lasted no more than twenty minutes, as Adam stormed to a three game whitewash victory.
There was time to accommodate one of the two in the Tric Trac, and as Simonetta declined Adam took full advantage, beginning with a backgammon of Roland Herrera, which was ultimately the difference which won him the pot.
He had enough points to pip Pat Meek, but Pat was taking the no pay option anyway.
Adam then fitted in another league match -- this time with Ian Tarr -- although thanks are due to Marlon behind the bar as the pair went on beyond closing time.
After leading 3-0 Adam found himself 3-9 in arrears, and just an average roll away from a 3-11 defeat.
That roll and all the other breaks then went Adam's way.
He finishes the season the most convincing of champions, having lost only three of twenty-four matches played.
Ian needed an 11-2 win or better to stand a chance of nicking the second promotion slot, so that possibility evaporated early on.
Simonetta can still pip Mike Smith for second place with a pair of 11-6 wins in her remaining matches, one of which is against Neil Young, the other who has a chance of second place.
Not a lot has changed at the top of the AGP table, where Ian's lead has been reduced to 46 points by Roland.
04/11/18: Bristol has another champion
The World's biggest backgammon tournament, including several players who warmed up in Bristol last weekend, is coming to a climax in Kyrenia.
One of the side events at the 6th Merit Cyprus Open is "Wetgammon".
Players play entirely submerged in a swimming pool!
This year's champion is our own Tim Line, whose achievement is all the more remarkable because every time he plays he has to overcome a deep phobia of being underwater.
To hold it together enough to compete, let alone to come out on top, deserves all our plaudits.
02/11/18: Simon misses out; Alex wins Handicap event
There were thirteen players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the eleven who contested the eighth of the year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
Alongside the tournament a Premier Two Blue double header was played out.
Ian Hedges and Simon Hughes shared the spoils -- 11-6 to Ian, 11-1 to Simon -- which was enough to rule Simon out of the promotion race.
Only Dave Pym can now threaten the top two -- Tim Line and Phil Charlton -- but a threat he certainly is, as his and Phil's last two matches are against one another.
In the advertised event Alex Hodge was the winner, defeating Cynthia Roberts, Daniel Eldridge, Roland Herrera and Adam Sinclair.
Adam's route to the final took him past Ian Tarr and Steve Morris.
The consolation final was held over, probably until Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, and will feature John Curran and Steve Cox.
Adam's lead of the Handicap Trophy table is now 55 points, which makes him strong favourite to take the title with just one tournament remaining.
31/10/18: Bristol Open 2018 summary
The eighth Bristol Backgammon Open, held at the Rainbow Casino from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October, was once again a resounding success.
Co-directed this year by Tim Line and Gaz Owen, with top quality asistance, the event welcomed more than 90 players, with 15 from overseas, many from the remainder of the UK seeking UKBGF Tour points, and a strong contingent of local players.
Previous Director of the event Ian Tarr -- just a player this time -- was presented with a massively generous gift after a secret collection made by Bristol players.
The main event, the Masters, saw victory for Ron Slattery, son of the former Bristol Premier League and European champion John Slattery.
His victims on the way to the play-offs were Gaz, Shay Asraff (USA), Ian, David Brown, Mardi Ohannessian and Cecilia Sparke.
Mardi made it through the "Fighters Bracket" of this double elimination event to the play-offs.
He prevailed in the 11-point play-off, but the final shoot-out -- a 5-points affair -- saw Ron victorious.
Cecilia deserves a special mention here, finishing third overall which, when paired with her second place finish last year, amounts to a significant achievement.
In the Advanced section it was Londoner Simon Hopper who took the title.
This was also settled by a double play-off after Hereford's John Plummer was the last man standing after the main flight, which meant Simon had to defeat him twice in the play-offs.
The winners (Bristol players are in BLOCK CAPITALS):
MASTERS (53 players):
1st: Ron Slattery; 2nd: Mardi Ohannessian; 3rd: CECILIA SPARKE; 4th: Daniel Molan (Romania); 5th=: ALEX HODGE, Tim Parfitt.
1st: Simon Hopper; 2nd: John Plummer; 3rd: ANDY BOYSAN; 4th: John McNeill; 5th=: Bek Barbaros, Alex Polden.
SUPER JACKPOT (16, including 2 rebuys):
1st: Sebastian Wilkinson; 2nd: CHRIS ROGERS.
SpeedGammon (64, including multiple rebuys):
1st: Radu Ciortan (Romania); 2nd: Garry Kallos (Canada).
Erhan Board Friday Warm-up (46):
1st: Jon Barnes; 2nd: SIMON HUGHES; 3rd=: Andy Bell, IAN HEDGES.
Tombstone Trophy (Last Chance) (44):
1st: Sebastian Wilkinson; 2nd: Jon Barnes; 3rd=: DANIEL ELDRIDGE, STEPHEN LITTLE.
Consulting Doubles (16 pairs):
1st: Bonnie & Clyde (Jon Barnes & Anna Clarke); 2nd: Nononono (Michihito Kageyama & ROLAND HERRERA).
£5 DMP (64, including multiple rebuys) :
1st: ADAM SINCLAIR; 2nd: John Plummer.
Saturday: Su Shin Lim; Sunday: LUKE OWEN.
30/10/18: Phil almost there
Phil Charlton met Mandy Macdonald at the Windmill this evening and edged to an 11-10 victory, his fifth successive league win.
The result puts Phil on the brink of elevation to the top flight.
He and leader Tim Line cannot now be overhauled on points, but points difference is still a possibility if Dave Pym and Simon Hughes can stay undefeated on the run in, while Tim and Phil falter.
30/10/18: Ten in Monday Nackgammon action
There were ten players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the ninth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- two five player Nackgammon Tournos.
One of the groups was won outright by Ian Tarr while the other saw the pot shared by Roland Herrera and Adam Sinclair.
Ian's AGP lead is extended to 51 points over second placed Roland, and he also holds a narrow lead in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix, where Roland and Adam are in close contention with just one session remaining.
29/10/18: Weekend wins for Pearl and Chris
The eighth Bristol Open at the Rainbow Casino over the weekend provided the opportunity for some domestic Bristol Backgammon business to be concluded.
The held over consolation final of Thursday's GP30 tournament saw a narrow victory for Chris Rogers over Stephen Little.
And a quadruple gammon helped Pearl Foster to an 11-5 Premier Two Red win against Ed Turner.
26/10/18: Gaz wins GP30 event
There were twenty players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, of whom sixteen contested the seventh of this year's eight GP30 tournaments.
Cliff Blofield completed his Premier Two Red campaign on an even keel when he defeated Ismail Yilmaz 11-6.
The advertised event saw eleven of Bristol's finest augmented by five eminent visitors who were limbering up for the weekend's Bristol Open.
Michihito Kageyama is over from Japan, Garry Kallos from Canada and Allen Tish from the USA, while top UK players John Hurst and Seb Wilkinson were also present.
But it was the locals who dominated proceedings.
As if to be rewarded in advance for their joint-TD efforts over the coming weekend Tim Line and Gaz Owen made it to the main final, where Gaz prevailed.
Gaz's previous victims were Simonetta Herrera, Michi and Seb, while Tim was getting past Roland Herrera, Allen and Nick Barham.
Stephen Little and Chris Rogers reached the consolation final, which will be played at a later date.
Gaz now leads the GP30 table with a 20 points cushion over previous leader Simonetta.
23/10/18: Simon not there yet; Simonetta keeps chances alive
Two Premier League matches were played on Tuesday.
Simon Baker visited Gaz Owen in Kingswood for an important Premier One encounter, where a victory for Simon would clinch the league title, eighteen years after he won the inaugural version.
But after Gaz's 11-4 win Simon must wait for another chance.
And in Premier Two Red Ian Tarr's hopes of a return to the top flight are all but over after a 3-11 reverse against Simonetta Herrera at the Rainbow Casino.
Simonetta still has a realistic chance of overhauling Mike Smith for that second promotion slot.
22/10/18: Ian wins Monday round robin
There were ten players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, including the six who contested the eighth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a 3-point round robin.
Four others were involved in satellite matches for the Advanced section of this coming weekend's Bristol Open.
The round robin was won by Ian Tarr, who won four of his five matches to move back into the lead in the AGP table.
21/10/18: Jim closes the gap
In a Conference League session at the Shakespeare, Redland, on Thursday the top two players met.
Jim Green won the opening match against Mathew Nicholls 11-7 and was 10-5 ahead in the return match when play was adjourned.
Jim is now just one point behind Mathew.
20/10/18: Richard wins at the Pump House
In the first league match for eight days Richard Owsley scored what may prove to be a crucial victory over Ed Turner on Saturday at the Pump House.
The 11-5 Premier Two Red win has hauled Richard up to third from the bottom of the division.
Since George Georgiou's unseemly expungement from the league the criteria for relegation from Premier Two have changed subtly.
Only two Premier Two players will now be relegated, and the deciding factor will be a comparison of the records of the bottom players from the two divisions.
That could mean bad news for one player from each division, or two from the Blue Division, since Andrew Cobb can no longer escape the drop.
19/10/18: Nick wins to go top of the GP5 table
There were fourteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino to contest the eighth of this year's nine GP5 tournaments.
And the event was won by Nick Barham, who has overhauled previous GP5 leader Steve Morris by 50 points with just one session remaining.
Nick's victims were Cynthia Roberts, Steve, Stephen Little and Simon Hughes in the final.
Simon arrived in the final via victories over Roland Herrera, Ian Hedges and Gaz Owen.
Roland took the consolation flight by defeating Tim Line, Daniel Eldridge and Simonetta Herrera.
16/10/18: Cecilia a step away from Brunel Trophy glory
The sole eighth round tie of the fifth annual Brunel Trophy was played at the Phoenix on Monday.
Both players having survived to this stage with both lives intact, something had to give.
And Cecilia Sparke's victory over Ed Turner sees her just one tantalising step away from taking the title.
There will now be a ninth round, and should Ed win that, there will be a tenth.
15/10/18: Jim and Roland split DMP pot
There were nine players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the seventh phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a DMP Tourno.
The pot was shared by Jim Green and Roland Herrera, who each won six of their eight games.
Roland regains the AGP lead, just five points ahead of Mathew Nicholls, with three others within easy striking distance.
12/10/18: Mathew extends Conference lead
Mathew Nicholls and Jordan White met at the Westbury Park Tavern on Friday for a Conference League match.
And Mathew's 11-7 victory moved him five points clear at the top of the table.
In the Conference League a lot depends on the effort each player puts into his/her campaign, since there is no stipulated minimum level of commitment.
Thus it is only fitting that Mathew finds himself at the top of the pile, since he has been involved in nine of the twelve matches played so far.
That adds up to a disappointing season, but at least a recent flurry of activity has breathed some life into the competition.
12/10/18: Roland wins October grand prix tournament
There were twelve players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino to contest the tenth of this year's twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
Before the tournament Ian Hedges pipped Stephen Little in a Premier Two Blue match.
Since the tournament featured rollovers amounting to £270 in both Winner Takes All pools, it was a little surprising that the turnout was so low.
However, eight contestants went for both pools, thus reducing the possibility of further rollovers, and so it proved, when Cynthia Roberts -- the last of the non-investors -- was eliminated in the semi-finals.
Roland Herrera and Stuart Mann contested the first-to-11-points final.
Stuart, making a rare Thursday tournament appearance, received a bye in the opening round and then got past Stephen and Cynthia.
Roland's route to the final involved victories over Simonetta Herrera, Cecilia Sparke and Tim Line.
And Roland prevailed in the final, winning 11-5.
Jason Champion took the consolation flight with victories over Ian Tarr, Ian Hedges and Daniel Eldridge.
Roland has cut Ian Tarr's Bristol Grand Prix lead to 48 points, with Tim in third place.
09/10/18: Mathew heads AGP table
There were twelve players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the sixth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of six player 3-point round robins.
Before the tournament Mathew Nicholls and Damian Thomson fought out a Conference League match.
Mathew won 11-6, and takes over the division's leadership from Jim Green.
After the event Simonetta Herrera and Stephen Little finished off their consolation final from the recent Sunday tournament, Simonetta winning 7-6.
In the round robins Mathew continued his good evening with a clean sweep of five wins out of five to take one group.
The othee group, where Damian failed to last the course, saw the pot shared between Jim and John Curran.
Mathew takes over at the head of the AGP table, eighteen points ahead of second placed Roland Herrera.
And Jim leads Mathew purely on account of fewer sessions contested in the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
06/10/18: Ed's promotion hope all but ended by Adam
Ed Turner met Adam Sinclair at the Brewhouse and Kitchen on Saturday for an important Premier Two Red match.
For Adam, already assured of the divisional title, it was not quite so important, but for Ed it represented an opportunity to press his claim for that second promotion slot.
It ended tantalisingly close, but Adam further extended his massive league lead with an 11-10 win.
For Ed the defeat has reduced his chances to the slimmest imaginable, although wins in his remaining fixtures with a difference gain of at least 21 points might still do the job for him.
Even this would not be enough if any of Ian Tarr, Neil Young or Simonetta Herrera should avoid defeat on the run in.
05/10/18: Adam wins at the Lock Keeper
A Premier Two Red encounter at the Lock Keeper on Friday afternoon saw Adam Sinclair extend his already insuperable league lead with an 11-2 victory over Chris Hughes.
05/10/18: Gaz wins Speedgammon event
There were twelve players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino to contest the seventh of this year's eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
The first phase saw the formation of three round robin groups of four players.
Andy Boysan won one of these outright with three wins out of three, while the others were decided by points difference for two time winners -- Gaz Owen pipping Tim Line in one group, George Devlin doing likewise to Richard Owsley in the other.
With the superior record, Andy had the benefit of the bye to the final of the second phase, leaving Gaz and George to fight for the honour of joining him.
Gaz won -- just -- and followed up by defeating Andy on the final.
Ian Tarr's lead in the SGGP table is halved to fifteen points, with Gaz in second place, and three other players in with a chance of lifting the title when the final instalment of the series is held next month.
01/10/18: Simon out of Brunel Trophy
There were twelve players in action on Monday, including the ten at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the fifth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
The big match of the day, however, was the outstanding seventh round Brunel Trophy tie between Simon Baker and Cecilia Sparke at the Rainbow Casino.
Cecilia was the winner, which means that, for the first time in the five year history of the competition, the last two players standing are both undefeated.
So we now face an eighth round tie and a ninth round tie between Cecilia and Ed Turner.
If they win one match apiece, it will all be settled by a tenth round tie!
There was league action before the Tric Trac Tourno.
In Premier Three James Lintell-Smith defeated Steve Cox, while Jordan White was the victor in a Conference League match against Mathew Nicholls.
This was just the tenth match in this competition this year, and Mathew has played seven of them!
The Tric Trac Tourno saw Simonetta Herrera emerge victorious.
Ian Tarr now leads the AGP table by nineteen points from Simonetta.
Mathew heads the Tric Trac Tourno section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera sponsorship by the proverbial country mile.
01/10/18: Red Division penalties reversed
In an embarrassing climb down, Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has felt obliged to reverse penalties incurred by three Premier Two Red players at the September 30th checkpoint.
While the players concerned -- Adam Sinclair, Simonetta Herrera and Tom Chapman -- failed to meet the criteria for the checkpoint, it has been pointed out that six players (including the three penalised) were misinformed in a September 21st email from the Director about the requirements for the checkpoint.
Although the other three players complied with the rules, the Director has decided that, although the three players penalised had been negligent in failing to check the rules, the fact that they had been misinformed was sufficient extenuation for the penalties to be waived.
01/10/18: Matt Robson expunged from Premier Three; three penalised in Red Division
The Premier League season's penultimate checkpoint passed at midnight, and Matt Robson -- a busy man who underestimated the level of commitment required for a Premier League season -- has been expunged from the league.
Expungement is always damaging for the league, and this is the second such occurrence this year.
The effect on Premier Three is, as is usually the case in these circumstances, iniquitous and unfair on those who have conducted their campaigns in a proper manner.
In this case James Lintell-Smith has been harshly dealt with, having had three victories wiped from his record.
Although James's promotion chances had been slim, the changes caused by the expungement still leave a bad taste.
In what has been an unsatisfactory season for the division (through no fault of the majority of players), further penalties at this checkpoint have been waived, and the players are being entrusted with the final task of completing the six remaining matches to avoid even further damage to the league.
In the higher divisions, the checkpoint had no impact at all in Premier One and Premier Two Blue, where all players have met their commitments so far, but three Premier Two Red players have been penalised for being behind the schedule.
Leader Adam Sinclair, Simonetta Herrera and Tom Chapman have each incurred a single penalty point, which can be clawed back by completing the season on time, and they have further incurred the penalty -- unique to the September checkpoint -- of five points per match in arrears added to their points against column.
30/09/18: Adam wins Sunday tournament
There were thirteen players in action on Sunday, including the eleven at the Rainbow Casino who contested the ninth of this year's Sunday tournaments.
The other two -- Tom Chapman and Mike Smith -- played a Premier Two Red match at the Old Colonial in Weston-super-Mare.
It was Mike's final league game of the season, and his aim was to win and set a tough target for those pursuing him for the second promotion slot, which he has occupied for most of the season.
It was not to be, however, as Tom won 11-9.
Ian Tarr, with two matches remaining, Neil Young and Ed Turner (three matches), and Simonetta Herrera (four matches), will all be hoping to be undefeated on the run in, and success in that quest for any one of the four will end Mike's chances.
The good news for Mike is that, should they all lose at least one, he has an above average points difference for his win:loss record, and two of the remaining matches feature meetings of his rivals.
Adam Sinclair won the Sunday tournament, defeating Stephen Little and Ian, before winning the final against Gaz Owen.
Gaz had eliminated Simonetta and Alex Hodge en route to the final.
The consolation flight has not yet been completed.
Finalists Simonetta and Stephen decided to adjourn their match until another time.
29/09/18: Ed stays in contention
A Premier Two Red match at the Merchants Arms, Hotwells, on Saturday saw Ed Turner stay in contention for promotion.
His 11-2 win over Richard Owsley repaired some of the damage done previously to his average points difference.
28/09/18: League wins for Simonetta, Neil and Mathew
In an important Premier Two Red clash today Simonetta Herrera pipped Neil Young 11-10.
Neil later scored an 11-6 victory over Tom Chapman at the Rainbow Casino.
The results leave the prospective ownership of the second promotion slot wide open.
With no fewer than five players on nine defeats apiece, it's probably going to come down to whoever can avoid defeat on the run in.
Mike Smith is the current occupant of second place, and a win in his final match would leave a difficult target for the others -- Ian Tarr, Neil, Simonetta and Ed Turner -- to hit.
And the Lazy Dog, Ashley Down Road, became the latest new Bristol Backgammon venue when Mathew Nicholls defeated Jordan White in a Conference League encounter.
Mathew moves to second in the league, just behind Jim Green.
28/09/18: Richard wins handicap event
There were thirteen players in action on Thursday, including eleven at the Rainbow Casino, of whom nine contested the seventh of this year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
Three Premier League matches were played.
The Knights Templar was the venue for a Premier Two Blue double header between Andrew Cobb and Simon Hughes.
Andrew won the opener, but Simon won the return, which leaves him as an outsider in the promotion race, where all the impetus rests with Tim Line and Phil Charlton.
In Premier One Paul Watts met already relegated Fred North in a bid to escape the drop himself.
But Fred prevailed, leaving Paul needing at least two wins from his last three matches to have a chance of top flight survival.
The handicap event saw victory for Richard Owsley via wins over Simonetta Herrera, Roland Herrera and Stephen Little, who reached the final by defeating Ian Tarr and Daniel Eldridge.
Ian took the consolation flight with wins over Simonetta and Adam Sinclair.
Adam edges into the Handicap Trophy lead by five points from Simonetta.
26/09/18: Fred relegated; Alex out of title race
There were seven Premier League matches played on Wednesnday.
In the top flight Alex Hodge lost 3-11 to Andy Boysan at the Alma Tavern and can no longer lift the title.
Only Jason Champion can stop leader Simon Baker now.
The Shakespeare, Totterdown, was the venue for a double header between Fred North and Steffen Nowak.
Fred won the opener 11-7, but his 10-11 defeat in the return confirms his relegation along with the already condemned Steffen and Gary Plant.
The final relegation slot is currently occupied by Paul Watts, but if he does well in his final four matches, there are a few other players who could conceivably slip into the drop zone.
Premier Two Blue saw two double headers played out.
At the Marlborough Tavern, Bath, the spoils were shared between Stephen Little and Peter Thistlewood, while Mandy Macdonald and Simon Hughes were also honours even at the Windmill.
25/09/18: Ian wins at the Lock Keeper
In a Premier Two Red match played at the Lock Keeper on Tuesday afternoon Ian Tarr defeated Chris Hughes 11-4 to preserve his outside chance of promotion.
24/09/18: Gaz out of title contention; Steffen relegated
There were twenty players in action on Monday, including the ten at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the fourth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of Nackgammon Tournos.
Seven Premier League matches were played.
In the top flight there were two double headers.
At the Shakespeare, Totterdown, Steffen Nowak met Gaz Owen.
Steffen needed a brace of wins to retain hope of survival in the division, while Gaz needed both results to stay in contention for the league title.
Both fell short, Steffen winning 11-6 before Gaz registered an identical scoreline in his favour.
So ends a ten year spell in Premier One for Steffen, while only Stuart Mann and Gaz currently boast greater longevity.
Stuart is in his nineteenth successive Premier One season with Gaz in his eleventh, and it is not yet certain that either will add to their sequences.
Stuart was sharing the spoils of a double header of his own, against Nick Barham at the Pump House.
Reigning champion Nick has now finished his campaign, and can almost certainly look forward to another season among the Bristol Backgammon elite.
Normally it might be taken for granted that winning twelve matches out of twenty-four would guarantee avoidance of the drop.
This season, however, it's just possible that someone will go down with such a record, although Nick's positive points difference should stand him in good stead.
Stuart, however, will also finish on twelve wins if he wins his final match.
But if Paul Watts has a strong run in, there will be a few players looking nervously over their shoulders.
One player moving closer to a Premier One return is Phil Charlton.
He moved into second place in Premier Two Blue after an 11-6 victory over Mandy Macdonald.
In the same division Simon Hughes suffered a blow to his chances when he succumbed 4-11 to Peter Thistlewood at the Blaise Inn.
And Chris Hughes was another to experience disappointment, losing 4-11 to Pearl Foster at the Bolero Lounge, Yate in Premier Two Red.
Neil Young is probably best placed now to offer a challenge to second placed Mike Smith.
In the Nackgammon Tournos, the pots were taken by Daniel Eldridge and Ian Tarr.
Ian takes over the lead of the AGP table, and also heads the Drew Caudwell sponsored Monday Club Nackgammonn Grand Prix by a similarly narrow margin.
Mathew Nicholls is top of the Nackgammon section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera sponsorship.
23/09/18: Sunday action in Premier Two
Three Premier Two Red matches were played on Sunday.
At the Queens Head there was a double header between Mike Smith and Ed Turner.
Mike won the opener 11-3 but suffered a 9-11 defeat in the return.
In Winchester Simonetta Herrera and already promoted Adam Sinclair started a match, which reached 6-2 in Simonetta's favour before being adjourned.
On the resumption back in Bristol it reached 9-9 DMP, when Simonetta prevailed.
Mike has just one match remaining, and if he wins it he will be odds on to take the second promotion slot.
23/09/18: League wins for Simon and Ed
Two Premier Two matches were played on Saturday.
In the Blue Division Simon Hughes defeated Peter Thistlewood 11-9 at the Blaise Inn.
And the score was the same in the Red Division when Ed Turner beat Ismail Yilmaz at the Black Castle.
21/09/18: Ian Hedges takes GP5 honours
There were nineteen players in action on Thursday, including sixteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twelve contested the seventh of this year's nine GP5 tournaments.
Five and a half Premier League matches were played.
In the top flight there was a double header in Portland Square between two players still barbouring hopes of taking the league title.
The spoils were shared between Chris Rogers and Jason Champion, who really both needed two wins.
Chris can no longer catch leader Simon Baker, and Jason is now one of the three who can, each needing hundred per cent records on the run in, while hoping that Simon fails to win the single match he needs to put the issue beyond doubt.
Jason is in the best position to bring this miracle about, as he meets Simon twice in their last three matches.
Alex Hodge is still in the picture, needing four wins out of four, while Gaz Owen needs five out of five.
Neil Young had a good day in Premier Two Red.
In this division, with Adam Sinclair already promoted, it's all about who can make the second promotion slot his or her own.
Mike Smith is best placed, but a little less so after succumbing to a whitewash at Neil's hands at the Colston Hall bar.
Neil later pipped Richard Owsley 11-9 at the casino, and is one of five players with eight or nine defeats chasing Mike.
In the parallel Blue Division there was an emphatic victory for Simon Hughes over Drew Caudwell.
Simon needs to fit another six matches in before the end of the month to avoid penalties sabotaging his outside promotion hopes.
Word has it that he has the requisite number of matches all arranged.
Stephen Little and Peter Thistlewood met before the tournament, but had to adjourn their Blue Division match at 7-all.
In that tournament it was Ian Hedges, returning to action after a sabbatical, who stole the limelight.
Victories over Richard, Steve Morris, Gaz and Stephen won him the event.
Stephen had progressed to the final via a bye and wins over Roland Herrera and Daniel Eldridge.
Adam took the consolation flight, defeating Ian Tarr and Richard.
Steve still heads the GP5 standings, holding a 25 points lead over Nick Barham.
20/09/18: Two more Wednesday results
Two further Premier League results from Wednesday are now to hand.
Gaz Owen stayed in the Premier One title race with an 11-4 victory over Fred North at the Blathwayt Arms.
And Phil Charlton strengthened his position in the Premier Two Blue promotion race with an 11-10 victory over Steve Morris at the King William IV.
19/09/18: Honours even for Gary and Cecilia
Gary Plant and Cecilia Sparke met at the Rainbow Casino on Wednesday for a Premier One double header.
And both players registered an 11-9 victory.
For Gary that was the end of a disappointing season which sees him depart the top flight, while Cecilia, with two matches remaining, is destined for her least successful Premier One season, although the odds for retaining her status are in strongly in her favour.
18/09/18: Adam was promoted six days ago
Reports of results last Wednesday omitted one important fact.
Ian Tarr's eighth Premier Two Red defeat of the season meant that -- barring oddities like penalty points -- Adam Sinclair was confirmed as the first player this season to be assured of promotion to the top flight.
There's obviously something about playing in Premier Two that agrees with Adam.
His only previous season at this level saw him romp to the Blue Division title in 2016, winning eighteen out of twenty matches (plus two more wins against Andy Brown which were expunged from the record).
Having been relegated the following season, he has carried on where he left off two years ago, to the point where he has now won fifteen out of seventeen matches (plus once again two more expunged wins, this time involving George Georgiou).
That makes a total career Premier Two record of thirty seven wins and four defeats!
18/09/18: Alex exits Brunel Trophy
There were two matches played on Tuesday.
A seventh round Brunel Trophy encounter at the Rainbow Casino saw Alex Hodge making his exit from the competition.
His conqueror Ed Turner remains unbeaten, and awaits the outcome of the other seventh round match, where Cecilia Sparke -- also unbeaten -- meets Simon Baker, who retains one life.
The Compass, Tormarton, was the venue for the day's other match.
Ian Tarr defeated Pearl Foster 11-8 in Premier Two Red.
18/09/18: Paul's vital win over Alex
A further result has come to light from yesterday in Premier One.
This was an 11-8 win for Paul Watts over Alex Hodge at the Rainbow Casino.
The result gives Paul a real chance of escaping the bottom four, while Alex's title hopes have diminished appreciably.
18/09/18: Simon two steps closer
There were twelve players in action on Monday, including the six at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the third phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a 3-point round robin.
Four Premier League matches were played.
In Premier One Simon Baker and Nick Barham met at the Summerhouse, Worle, for a double header where both had designs on the championship race.
Nick, the reigning champion, needed to win both to keep his title chances alive, while leader Simon needed at least one win to consolidate his position.
Simon won two close matches, and only four rivals can now catch him.
And since eight of the remaining fifteen matches which could have a bearing on the outcome involve meetings of the contenders, there are likely to be many more twists before the season ends.
Gaz Owen, another of the title contenders, stayed in touch with an 11-10 victory over Cecilia Sparke at the Phoenix, after recovering from a 1-8 deficit.
In Premier Two Blue Phil Charlton kept his promotion hopes on track with an 11-9 victory over Drew Caudwell at the King William IV.
The round robin was won by Jim Green, who won four of his five matches.
Jim regains the AGP lead, and has a 30 points cushion over second placed Simonetta Herrera.
Jim also leads the June to December 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera snd John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
16/09/18: League wins for Ed and Andrew
Two league matches were played on Sunday afternoon.
In Premier Two Red Ian Tarr and Ed Turner met at the Queens Head, and Ed stormed back from a 1-7 deficit to win 11-8.
And in the first Conference League match for 99 days, Andrew Gay beat Mathew Nicholls 11-6 at the Beaufort to move into second place.
15/09/18: Ian pips Richard at the Pump House
Richard Owsley and Ian Tarr met for a Premier Two Red encounter at the Pump House on Saturday evening.
And it could not have been much closer.
Ian moved 9-3 ahead, but Richard's revival took him ahead to 10-9 Crawford, before Ian clinched matters with a gammon.
14/09/18: Daniel wins September Grand Prix tournament; Simon extends Premier One lead
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including the fourteen who contested the ninth of our twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments at the Rainbow Casino.
The only league match played was at Brookhouse Farm, Swindon, where Premier One leader Simon Baker scored an 11-8 victory over Gary Plant.
At the tournament, it was Daniel Eldridge who emerged as the winner, taking full advantage of a first round bye with wins over Richard Owsley and Chris Rogers, before defeating Ian Tarr in the final.
Ian had arrived there by defeating Steve Morris, Alex Hodge and Stephen Little.
Richard won the consolation flight, beating Roland Herrera and Simonetta Herrera.
Ian has extended his BGP lead to 79 points over second placed Alex.
His final defeat will be good news for side pool aficionados, as Daniel's victory means that both Winner Takes All pools (with £200 in the £20 pool and £70 in the £10 version) now roll over to the October tournament.
12/09/18: Wednesday Premier League news
Three Premier League matches were played on Wednesday.
In Premier One Alex Hodge kept his title hopes alive with an 11-3 victory over Paul Watts at the Rainbow Casino.
And a double header at the Kingsdown Wine Vaults saw honours even -- an outcome that suited Mike Smith better than it did Ian Tarr.
Mike's second place in Premier Two Red was consolidated, while Ian's attempt to emerge from the chasing pack was thwarted.
11/09/18: Tuesday Premier Two action
Three Premier Two matches were played on Tuesday.
A Blue Division double header at the Blunsdon Arms, Swindon, ended with honours virtually even after Ian Hedges scored an 11-8 victory over Dave Pym, before going down 3-11 in the return encounter.
And the Black Castle was the venue for a Red Division meeting between Ian Tarr and Ismail Yilmaz, which Ian won 11-5.
10/09/18: Twelve in Monday action
There were eleven players in action on Monday, including the eight at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the second phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a DMP Tourno.
Two Premier League double headers were played.
In Premier One Jason Champion and Stuart Mann played at the Pump House.
It ended with one win apiece, Stuart replying to Jason's 11-9 win with an 11-7 victory of his own.
And in Premier Two Red there was a double triumph for Chris Hughes over Simonetta Herrera at the Rainbow Casino.
The eight player DMP Tourno could not have been any closer.
Four players won four out of seven games to share the pot, while the other four won three.
Roland Herrera and Ian Tarr now jointly head the AGP table.
09/09/18: Alex strikes a title blow
Today saw a further instalment in the unfolding saga of the Premier One title race when Jason Champion met Alex Hodge at the Rainbow Casino.
And Alex's 11-7 win, while keeping him in that race, also struck a blow to Jason's title hopes.
It was only Jason's second defeat in his last twelve league outings.
07/09/18: Roland wins GP30 event
There were seventeen players in action on Thursday, including fifteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom ten contested the sixth of this year's eight GP30 tournaments.
Four Premier League matches were played.
Andy Boysan suffered a blow to his top flight title chances when he succumbed to an 8-11 defeat at the hands of Fred North at the Alma Tavern.
Fred's hopes of staying up are thus rekindled slightly.
In Premier Two Blue Drew Caudwell scored an 11-5 victory over Mandy Macdonald.
And James Timoney got two Premier Three matches played, sadly for him both defeats -- to John Curran and Jon Organ.
Divisional leader Jon's promotion chances are looking bright indeed.
Roland Herrera won the main flight of the GP30 tournament with wins over Simonetta Herrera, Wayne Felton and Ian Tarr.
Ian's route to the final had taken him past Stephen Little, Alex Hodge and Tony Walters.
Steve Morris took the consolation flight, defeating Stephen and Tim Line.
Simonetta Herrera's GP30 lead has been reduced to 15 points by Tony, with the next challengers a further 65 points back.
05/09/18: Premier title race hotting up, but Gary relegated
The race for the Premier One title is gathering pace.
A double header involving two of the main protagonists took place at the Alma Tavern this evening.
League leader Simon Baker defeated fourth placed Andy Boysan 11-6 in the opener, but Andy won the return 11-7 to move into third place.
While this kept Andy's chances alive, the favourites -- having lost only five matches apiece so far -- are Simon and Jason Champion.
A third top flight match happened at the Rainbow Casino, where Paul Watts scored a much needed victory in his bid to preserve his status.
Sadly it came at the expense of Gary Plant, who can no longer escape the drop.
04/09/18: Jim takes Autumn Grand Prix lead
There were fifteen players in action on Monday, including thirteen at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nine contested the first phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of 3-point round robins.
Four Premier League matches were played.
Nick Barham and Steffen Nowak played a Premier One double header, which also doubled up as a pair of UK Champions League matches.
Steffen won the first, Nick the second, and in terms of Premier One requirements both players will consider themselves to have fallen short.
Nick needed a brace of wins to convincingly press his title defence, while Steffen's needs involved attempting to retain his top flight status.
Pearl Foster defeated Ismail Yilmaz in Premier Two Red.
And James Timoney edged home against Carwyn Jenkins at the Digby Tap, Sherborne, in a Premier Three encounter.
Jim Green is the early leader of the AGP after making a clean sweep of the larger of the two round robin groups.
The smaller group saw Simonetta Herrera and Mathew Nicholls share the pot.
02/09/18: Jon tops Premier Three
In a Premier Three meeting at the Rainbow Casino today Jon Organ pipped James Lintell-Smith 11-10.
The victory moved him to the top of the division.
31/08/18: Brunel Trophy seventh round draw made
The draw for the seventh round of Bristol Backgammon's richest tournament, the Brunel Trophy, was made on Thursday by Chris Rogers.
The four survivors are paired into what appear to be semi-finals.
Alex Hodge meets Ed Turner and Simon Baker plays Cecilia Sparke.
However Ed and Cecilia have both lives intact, while a defeat for Alex or Simon signals sudden death.
So wins for the unbeaten duo would produce a final pairing which could take as many as three matches to resolve. Should they both lose, however, we would then encounter a genuine semi-final scenario.
Any other combination of results would see three players survive, with one getting a bye to the last two!
31/08/18: Simonetta and Alex are doubles champions; Tim almost there
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including the thirteen at the Rainbow Casino who contested the annual Consulting Doubles Championship.
Four Premier League matches were played.
At the Alma Tavern Andy Boysan closed on the Premier One leaders by defeating Fred North in a match which featured two backgammons.
In Premier Two Blue there was a double header at the Ram, Bath, where Stephen Little grabbed a brace of victories at the expense of Andrew Cobb.
And in the same division Tim Line took another substantial step towards promotion to the top flight when he recovered from 2-10 in arrears to pip Daniel Eldridge.
The thirteen players who turned up to contest the doubles event were arranged into seven teams, with Cynthia Roberts electing to play solo.
Simonetta Herrera and Alex Hodge were the lucky recipients of a bye, but then took full advantage as victories over first Nick Barham and Stephen and then Tim and Daniel clinched the title for them.
Tim and Daniel had got past Cynthia, and then Roland Herrera and Ian Tarr to reach the final.
Nick and Stephen, despite one main flight victory, slotted into the consolation flight draw as the losers of the main flight's "odd" match.
And victories over Gaz and Luke Owen, and Chris Rogers and Cecilia Sparke saw them win the flight.
27/08/18: Another blow for Rufus
In a Premier Two Blue meeting at the Blaise Inn today, Rufus Rozelaar -- for so long a convincing leader of the division -- suffered a 5-11 defeat at the hands of Peter Thistlewood.
It now appears that Rufus will need to win his final match to stand a chance of automatic promotion.
24/08/18: Richard wins Speedgammon event; Tim tops Blue Division
There were twelve players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the nine who contested the sixth of our series of eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
In league action the focus was entirely on Premier Two Blue.
And Tim Line continued his recent run of good form with victories over Steve Morris and Daniel Eldridge, which moved him to the top of the division.
Previous leader Rufus Rozelaar might have prevented this, but his fourth successive league defeat -- at the hands of Peter Thistlewood -- saw him slip to second place, despite a later emphatic victory over Steve.
The Speedgammon event saw two groups -- one of five players, the other of four -- fighting out the round robin phase.
Stephen Little won the smaller group outright to progress to the play-off, while three players in the larger group could only be separated by points difference after winning three out of four matches.
It was Richard Owsley -- contesting his first Speedgammon event of the year -- whose difference was superior, and he went on to defeat Stephen in the play-off.
Ian Tarr took over the SGGP lead in the absence of the previous top three.
22/08/18: Premier One wins for Andy and Paul
Wednesday saw two Premier One matches played.
At the Alma Tavern Chris Rogers missed a chance to put more pressure on leader Simon Baker when he succumbed 5-11 to Andy Boysan, who is not without title aspirations himself.
And Paul Watts scored a much needed win, 11-7 over Gary Plant at the Rainbow Casino, a result which leaves Gary needing nothing less than four wins from his remaining four matches to retain a chance of staying up.
20/08/18: A quiet Monday
There were just seven players in action on Monday, including the five at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the fourteenth and final phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
The Green Man, Kingsdown, was the scene of the other action, with Mike Smith becoming the latest player to exit the Brunel Trophy when he succumbed to Cecilia Sparke.
Cecilia joins Ed Turner, Simon Baker and Alex Hodge in thr seventh round, the latter two having a single life remaining.
In the Tric Trac Tourno, the line-up of five players meant that each opponent had to be played twice, giving a total of eight games.
With SGP leader Simonetta Herrera absent, it was down to Stephen Little to attempt to prise the title away from her.
And this he did in no uncertain terms, finishing four points ahead of his closest rival.
Mathew Nicholls had already made sure of winning the race to be the competition's top intermediate.
19/08/18: A good day for Tim
There were thirteen players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday contesting the eighth of our series of ten Sunday tournaments.
And it turned out to be a good day for Tim Line.
Before the tournament he beat Drew Caudwell 11-6 in Premier Two Blue, a result which moved him into the second promotion slot.
Then he won the tournament, defeating Alex Hodge, Adam Sinclair and Drew before edging out Gaz Owen in the final.
Gaz had got past Simonetta Herrera and John Plummer en route to the final.
Roland Herrera beat Simonetta, Alex and Elias Hamati to win the consolation flight.
17/08/18: Simonetta wins Handicap event; Blue Division promotion race blown wide open
There were twelve players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the ten who contested the sixth of our series of nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
Two matches affecting the Premier Two Blue promotion race were played.
Both involved league leader Rufus Rozelaar, and both resulted in narrow defeats for him.
The victors were Tim Line, by 11-8, and Phil Charlton, who won 11-10.
Rufus still leads the division, but his three successive defeats have brought him within reach of the chasing pack, of whom Tim, Phil and Dave Pym all have very similar records to him.
The ten player advertised event saw Simonetta Herrera triumph with victories over Daniel, Roland Herrera, and Tim in the final.
Tim had defeated Steve Morris, Alex Hodge and Richard Owsley en route to the final.
Ian Tarr took the consolation flight with wins over Cynthia Roberts and Steve.
Simonetta is now second in the Handicap Trophy standings, behind Adam Sinclair only on number of tournaments entered.
15/08/18: Wednesday league action
There were five Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
Gary Plant went to the Summerhouse, Worle, to meet Alex Hodge, but came away with a brace of narrow Premier One defeats which did little for his top flight survival chances.
At the Green Man, Kingsdown, Stuart Mann pipped Cecilia Sparke in another top flight meeting.
Phil Charlton succumbed 9-11 to Steve Morris at the Kensington Arms in Premier Two Blue.
And the Oakhill Inn, Oakhill, was the venue for a Premier Three encounter between Steve Cox and James Timoney, which James won 11-5.
15/08/18: James Timoney appeal partially upheld
The last checkpoint gave three players the right to appeal against either expungement or penalties which had become permanent.
Neither George Georgiou, who had been expunged from Premier Two Red, nor Matt Robson, who had four penalty points confirmed, had submitted an appeal before the deadline, so those penalties stand.
James Timoney, however, submitted a solid case regarding his particular recent difficulties, so the decision has been to reinstate three of the four penalty points incurred at the end of May, which became firmed up at the end of July.
15/08/18: Andy wins at the Arnolfini
In a Premier One encounter at the Arnolfini yesterday evening it finished Andy Boysan 11 Cecilia Sparke 5.
14/08/18: Eleven in Monday action
There were eleven players in action at the Bristol County Sports Club on Monday, including the nine who contested the thirteenth and penultimate phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of Nackgammon Tournos.
Alongside the advertised event Premier Two Blue leader Rufus Rozelaar played out a league match with Simon Hughes, who emerged as the victor by 11-6.
The larger Nackgammon group was won outright by Roland Herrera, while the smaller one saw the pot shared between Simonetta Herrera and Alex Hodge.
With just one SGP session remaining Simonetta has regained the overall lead, with a 14 points cushion over Stephen Little, the only player who can now overhaul her.
And in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix Adam Sinclair has opened up a gap of 24 points over Stephen, who also holds second place in this competition.
12/08/18: North-West League are UK Clubs champions
Two Bristol teams were among the twenty teams of five players who contested the annual UK Clubs Championship at the Barbourne Ex-Services Club in Worcester on Sunday.
The popular event was extremely well run by Sean Jones and his team.
Split World Cup-style into four groups of five teams, the group phase kept everyone involved for a few hours before the knock-out phase sorted out the main issues.
Bristol's "A" team, featuring Gaz Owen, Adam Sinclair, Stuart Mann, Roland Herrera and Alex Hodge, swept all before them and they topped their group with ease to qualify for the main knock-out.
Our "B" team, however -- Ian Tarr, Simonetta Herrera, Tim Line, Stephen Little and Steve Morris -- just missed out on the main knock-out, finishing third of their group.
Third place, however, earned them a bye in the consolation knock-out.
Sadly the "A" team stars were unable to continue their blistering form into the knock-outs, falling at the first hurdle to the North-West League, who were later to take the title, defeating Ealing "A" in the final.
Meanwhile, our "B" team were faring a little better in the consolation flight.
Victories over Liverpool and Worcester Warriors (Worcester's "B" team) saw them into the final, where they met the Worcester Royals (Worcester's "A" team).
The decisive rubber saw Ian just miss out to David Fall, so the "B" team had to be content with the consolation runner-up spot.
There was at least a team cash prize to be thankful for.
But the main cash recipients of the Bristol contingent were Tim and Alex, the top performers in the group phase, who scooped the £25 and £10 individual side pools for winning all four group matches with the best points difference.
10/08/18: A late result from yesterday
Thursday afternoon saw a Premier Three encounter at the Bristol County Sports Club.
Jon Organ beat John Curran 11-4.
10/08/18: Ian wins August grand prix event; Stephen out of Brunel Trophy
There were twenty players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the nineteen who contested the eighth of our series of twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
Prior to the tournament Stephen Little met Simon Baker in a sixth round Brunel Trophy match.
Simon won, so Stephen becomes the latest player to be eliminated from the double elimination competition.
Either four or five players will contest the seventh round, depending on the result of the single outstanding sixth round match.
In the advertised event, there was a rare but welcome appearance from former Bristol league player Richard Biddle.
Ian Tarr won the main flight, defeating Richard, Daniel Eldridge and Roland Herrera before edging a see-saw final against Tim Line.
Tim had recovered from 2-10 down to level, but was unable to win the final point.
Adam Sinclair took the consolation flight, defeating Jordan White, Simon Hughes, Richard and Tony Walters.
Ian regains the BGP lead from Alex Hodge, and confirms a place in the 2019 Bristol Masters.
08/08/18: Steve and Dave share the spoils
The Kensington Arms was the venue on Wednesday afternoon for a Premier Two Blue double header between Steve Morris and Dave Pym.
Both matches were close, Steve winning the first, Dave the second.
Dave moves into second place in the league.
06/08/18: Alex and Stephen take Monday honours
There were twelve players in action at the Bristol County Sports Club on Monday, including the ten who contested the twelfth phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of five player 3-point round robins.
The group winners were Alex Hodge and Stephen Little.
Stephen moves to the top of the SGP table, just four points ahead of previous leader Simonetta Herrera.
Jordan White extended his lead of the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
06/08/18: Neil out of Brunel Trophy
A Sunday afternoon meeting at the Rainbow Casino signalled the end of Neil Young's splendid Brunel Trophy run.
Alex Hodge defeated him, and there are now six players remaining in the year long double elimination knock-out event.
06/08/18: Gaz wins GP5 event
There were eleven players in action on Thursday, contesting the sixth of our series of nine GP5 knock-out tournaments.
Gaz Owen took the main flight after defeating Stephen Little, Alex Hodge and Steve Morris.
Steve had arrived in the final via victories over Roland Herrera, Nick Barham and Daniel Eldridge.
Roland Herrera won the consolation flight, beating Nick Barham and John Curran.
Steve takes over the leadership of the GP5 table from Nick.
02/08/18: George expunged from Premier Two Red
Having failed to play the requisite number of matches by the July 31st midnight checkpoint, George Georgiou has been expunged from Premier Two Red.
Unfortunately twelve otherwise genuine results have now been stricken from the record, and as is always the case in these situations, some players fare more favourably than others.
Meanwhile, the four penalty points apiece accrued by Matt Robson and James Timoney in Premier Three in May have become permanent, although subject to appeal.
The pair have also incurred three further penalty points, which can be clawed back by compliance with the September checkpoint.
Other players to incur initial penalties are Andy Boysan and Alex Hodge in Premier One with 1 point apiece, Simon Hughes 3 points in Premier Two Blue, and Ian Tarr 3 points in Premier Two Red.
31/07/18: Jason goes third
Three victories in two days have propelled Jason Champion into third place in Premier One.
An 11-3 win over Cecilia Sparke in Portland Square on Monday was followed by a double success against Nick Barham at the Rainbow Casino on Tuesday.
31/07/18: Tim whitewashes reigning world champion
The 2018 World Championship is under way, and our own Tim Line has made the first headline.
Drawn to meet reigning champion Didier Assaraf of France in the first round, Tim was undaunted and won 17-0!
More from Monte Carlo as news breaks.
30/07/18: Simon tops Premier One
There were twelve players in action on Monday, including ten at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom eight contested the eleventh instalment of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a DMP Tourno.
Earlier in the day Simon Baker visited Gaz Owen in Kingswood and came away with an 11-4 victory which moved him to the summit of the Premier One league table.
And just before the tournament at the club Ismail Yilmaz defeated Tom Chapman 11-6 in Premier Two Red.
In the DMP Tourno Simonetta Herrera took a big step towards the SGP title by winning the event.
She has opened up a 35 points gap, which is more than useful with three sessions remaining, as discards begin to bite.
29/07/18: James and Matt share the spoils
Matt Robson and James Timoney played a Premier Three double header this evening, and won one apiece.
29/07/18: Stephen takes Sunday honours
There were just eight players at the latest of our monthly Sunday tournaments at the Rainbow Casino.
Among the field there was a domestic Bristol Backgammon debut for London's Wayne Felton, a regular visitor to the Bristol Open.
The main flight honours went to Stephen Little who defeated Gaz Owen and Ian Tarr before despatching Simonetta Herrera in the final.
Simonetta had beaten Roland Herrera and Wayne en route to the final.
Gaz took the consolation flight, beating Alex Hodge and Roland.
Gaz and Cecilia Sparke then adjourned to the Small Bar, King Street, for a Premier One encounter, which Cecilia won 11-4.
28/07/18: Chris wins at the Lock Keeper
A Saturday afternoon meeting between Chris Hughes and Ed Turner ended in a narrow victory for Chris.
The result leaves both players firmly in the mid-table pack in Premier Two Red.
27/07/18: Brunel Trophy sixth round draw made
The draw for the sixth round of Bristol Backgammon's richest tournament, the Brunel Trophy, was made on Thursday by Adam Sinclair.
The seven survivors include bye recipient Ed Turner, while the only other undefeated player, Cecilia Sparke, faces Mike Smith.
27/07/18: Nick wins Speedgammon event
There were thirteen players in action on Thursday, including the nine who contested the fifth of our series of eight Speedgammon tournaments.
Before the event Gaz Owen and Tony Walters played out the outstanding final of last week's GP30 tournament, which Gaz won to move third in the GP30 table.
Two Premier League matches were also played at the casino, Simonetta Herrera defeating Ismail Yilmaz 11-2 in Premier Two Red, while Peter Thistlewood beat Steve Morris 11-9 in Premier Two Blue.
The field in the speedgammon round robin phase was split into groups of five and four.
Adam Sinclair won the larger group outright, while Nick Barham took the smaller group.
Nick prevailed in the play-off final to win the event.
Simonetta takes the lead in the SGGP table, with three players within 15 points of her.
24/07/18: Tuesday league action
Three Premier League matches were played on Tuesday.
Gaz Owen suffered a blow to his Premier One title hopes when he met with a 2-11 defeat by Andy Boysan at the Black Swan.
In Premier Two Red Ian Tarr won by a similar margin against Ismail Yilmaz at the Rainbow Casino.
And Carwyn Jenkins moved to the top of Premier Three without even lifting a dice cup.
Previous leader Steve Cox slipped below him on average points difference by losing 7-11 to John Curran at the Bristol County Sports Club.
24/07/18: Ians out of Brunel Trophy
There were eighteen players in action on Monday, including twelve at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom ten contested the tenth instalment of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of five player 3-point round robins.
Five Premier League matches and one Brunel Trophy match were played.
In the Brunel Trophy Ian Tarr became the latest casualty, losing to Neil Young at the Shakespeare, Totterdown.
With the news that Ian Hedges has also withdrawn from the competition, allowing Simon Baker free passage to the sixth round, the line-up for Thursday's draw is now complete.
Just seven players remain, and Ed Turner will be the recipient of the bye, being one of the two unbeaten players, and winning out on the comparison of opponents' records in the competition.
In the leagues, Neil fared a little worse than in the Brunel, losing his Premier Two Red match to Chris Hughes.
In the same division Ismail Yilmaz scored an emphatic win over Pearl Foster at the club.
The parallel Blue Division saw wins for Dave Pym (twice) and Peter Thistlewood.
Peter beat Phil Charlton at the Blaise Inn, while Dave's brace of wins came at the expense of Drew Caudwell at the Post Office Tavern.
In the round robins, both pots were split.
Stephen Little and Jordan White shared in one group while John Curran and Simonetta Herrera did likewise in the other.
Simonetta's SGP lead over second placed Stephen remains steady at 18 points, in what appears to be developing into a two horse race.
Mathew Nicholls stays well ahead of the field in the race to be the competition's top intermediate, while Jordan has moved into the lead in the January to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
22/07/18: Mixed fortunes for Neil
Neil Young played two Premier Two Red matches today and met with mixed fortunes.
An 11-2 win over Chris Hughes at the Lock Keeper was followed by a 7-11 reverse against Ismail Yilmaz at the Black Castle.
21/07/18: Red Division wins for Adam, Neil and Tom
There were two Premier Two Red matches played on Friday and another on Saturday.
On Friday Neil Young started with an emphatic defeat at the hands of Adam Sinclair at the Brewhouse and Kitchen, but it got better for Neil later at the Star and Dove when he defeated Cliff Blofield 11-4.
And on Saturday the venue was the Old Colonial, where Tom Chapman pipped Ed Turner 11-10.
20/07/18: Tony and Gaz to fight out GP30 final
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including the twelve at the Rainbow Casino, of whom ten contested the fifth of our series of eight GP30 tournaments.
Four Premier League matches were played, and a Brunel Trophy result from the previous day also came to light.
That result, a victory for Stephen Little at the Great Western in Swindon, signalled the end of Dave Pym's involvement in this year's competition.
At the casino Simon Baker and Fred North played out a Premier One double header.
Fred's 11-5 opening win was followed by an 11-1 victory for Simon.
And Pearl Foster's recent run of Premier Two Red victories was halted by Simonetta Herrera.
The GP30 event saw Tony Walters and Gaz Owen emerge as finalists, and they will no doubt meet some time soon.
Tony came through the long part of the draw, getting past Simonetta, Tim Line and Steve Morris, while Gaz's bye was followed by wins over Roland Herrera and Ian Tarr.
Alex Hodge won the consolation flight, defeating Stephen, Cynthia Roberts and Roland.
Simonetta's GP30 lead is cut to 40 points, and Tony can reduce the margin to five by beating Gaz.
18/07/18: League wins for Stuart, Phil, Cliff and Carwyn
Five Premier League matches were played on Wednesday.
In the top flight Stuart Mann scored an 11-5 win over Fred North at the Grain Barge.
Meanwhile in Premier Two Blue Phil Charlton moved into third place with a brace of wins over Andrew Cobb at The King William IV.
Cliff Blofield staged a comeback from 1-10 in arrears to pip Chris Hughes at the Lock Keeper in a Premier Two Red match.
And a Premier Three encounter at the Rainbow Casino saw Carwyn Jenkins move up to second in the league with an 11-5 victory over Jon Organ.
17/07/18: Simon latest to bow out of Brunel Trophy
In a fifth round Brunel Trophy tie at the Rainbow Casino this evening Alex Hodge defeated Simon Hughes 11-8.
Simon's defeat was his second of the competition, and so he is eliminated.
17/07/18: Fourteen engaged in Monday activities
There were fourteen players in action on Monday, including the six who contested the ninth instalment of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix at the Bristol County Sports Club.
Four Premier League matches and two Brunel Trophy matches were played.
In Premier Two Blue Peter Thistlewood played twice, meeting with differing fortunes.
His 11-6 win over Mandy Macdonald at the Windmill was followed by an 8-11 defeat at the King William IV by Phil Charlton.
Mike Smith encountered a similar mix of outcomes in his two Premier Two Red matches.
The Compass, Tormarton, was the venue for his 10-11 defeat at the hands of Pearl Foster, while Tom Chapman was on the wrong end of an 11-3 result at the Rainbow Casino.
This latter match was doubled up as a Brunel Trophy match, so Tom is eliminated from that competition.
Another to exit the Brunel was George Georgiou, who visited Cecilia Sparke in Portland Square.
In the Tric Trac Tourno at the club the pot was shared by Adam Sinclair and Ian Tarr.
The absent Simonetta Herrera still heads the SGP table, but Stephen Little has reduced her overall lead to eighteen points.
Five players stayed on for an impromptu DMP Tourno, where Adam took the honours.
13/07/18: Tim wins low turnout monthly grand prix tournament
There were fifteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the nine who contested the seventh of our series of twelve monthly grand prix tournaments.
This was the lowest turnout for a monthly grand prix event for six years.
Five Premier League matches were played at the casino, however.
Chris Rogers returned to the summit of Premier One by winning both matches of a double header against Stuart Mann.
Ian Hedges missed an opportunity to move closer to the Premier Two Blue promotion places when he lost narrowly to Phil Charlton, who should not be ruled out of the promotion equation.
In the parallel Red Division Pearl Foster won her third successive match, 11-5 against Richard Owsley.
And Carwyn Jenkins got his Premier Three promotion campaign back on track by defeating Jon Organ.
The tournament was won by Tim Line, who beat Adam Sinclair and Steve Morris to reach the final.
Once there, a 10-4 lead over Daniel Eldridge -- victor over Richard and Ian -- evaporated before Tim won the DMP game.
Richard won the consolation flight, defeating Adrian Farthing, Ian Tarr and Cynthia Roberts.
The absent Alex Hodge still holds a useful Bristol Grand Prix lead, heading Ian Tarr by 45 points, with Richard just behind in third place.
10/07/18: Eighteen engaged in Monday activities
There were eighteen players engaged in various activities on Monday, with the eighth instalment of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix at the Bristol County Sports Club preceded by a seminar devised by Roland Herrera and Michi Kageyama and delivered by Roland.
The seminar, based around the third roll of a game, was very well received by eleven attentive students.
Elsewhere there was some Premier Two action.
At the Windmill Mandy Macdonald suffered her first defeat in four Premier Two Blue matches, narrowly losing to Peter Thistlewood.
And at the Rainbow Casino Pearl Foster recovered from a 2-7 deficit to defeat Tom Chapman 11-7 in Premier Two Red.
Thirteen players contested the advertised event in a pair of Nackgammon Tournos, and the field included a welcome return to action for Nick Hill, who was last seen at a Bristol Backgammon event in November 2009.
Ian Tarr won the six player group outright, while Roland Herrera did likewise in the seven player group, needing a backgammon from his last game against Mathew Nicholls to complete the job.
Simonetta Herrera's SGP lead over second placed Stephen Little is reduced to 31 points.
Adam Sinclair takes over from George Georgiou at the top of the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix.
07/07/18: Drew and Andrew share the spoils
The Post Office Tavern was the venue yesterday evening for a Premier Two Blue double header.
Drew Caudwell romped to an 11-1 victory over Andrew Cobb before Andrew had his revenge, winning the return 11-8.
06/07/18: Ed wins last match as a free man
The first of the fifth round Brunel Trophy matches was played at the Lock Keeper today.
And Ed Turner maintained his unbeaten record in this year's competition by defeating Chris Hughes.
Chris is thus eliminated from the competition, having suffered his second defeat, and there are now thirteen players still involved.
Meanwhile Ed marries Angie Vick tomorrow, with the best wishes of the Bristol Backgammon community.
06/07/18: Adam builds a handy Handicap Trophy lead
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including the fourteen at the Rainbow Casino who contested the fifth of our series of nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
In Premier One action at the Pump House were Andy Boysan and Stuart Mann.
Stuart won 11-7 to continue his recovery from a poor start to the season.
Adam Sinclair was the tournament winner, defeating John Curran, Jordan White and Simonetta Herrera before winning a closely fought final against Cliff Blofield.
Cliff had got past Daniel Eldridge, Tim Line and Steve Morris.
Ian Tarr won the consolation flight, benefitting from a bye before beating John and Cynthia Roberts.
Adam has taken over the Handicap Trophy leadership from Gaz Owen and has a more than useful 85 points lead, ahead of a clutch of five players who are covered by just 10 points.
04/07/18: Wednesday league action
Three Premier League matches took place on Wednesday.
In the top flight Stuart Mann hauled himself out of the bottom four with an 11-7 victory over Alex Hodge at the Rainbow Casino.
And the Old Fish Market was the venue for the completion of two Premier Two Blue matches between Daniel Eldridge and Mandy Macdonald.
The pair had adjourned a match before last week's tournament with Daniel 8-7 ahead.
He didn't get another point, however, and Mandy's 11-8 win was repeated in the return encounter.
Daniel remains in second place, but his position looks less impregnable than it did four results ago.
03/07/18: Simon tops Premier One
There were fourteen players in action on Monday, including twelve at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom ten contested the seventh phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of five player 3-point round robins.
At the Star and Dove a Premier One double header with consequences at both ends of the league table was played out between Simon Baker and Steffen Nowak.
And in keeping with this season's league form it was Simon who won both matches.
He goes top of the league, while Steffen is rooted firmly at the foot of the table.
At the club Jon Organ met James Timoney in Premier Three.
Jon won to further press his promotion claims.
In the round robins both pots were shared.
Roland Herrera and Stephen Little shared the honours in one group, while Simonetta Herrera and Adam Sinclair did likewise in the other.
This latter group might have had a different outcome had George Georgiou stayed to complete his matches.
This course of action led to his results being expunged from the record.
Simonetta's SGP lead is cut to 42 points, while Mathew Nicholls is firmly in control of the race to be the competition's top intermediate.
News items from 2018 (first half)
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