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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.

30/06/20: Andy still in hot pursuit of Chris

While Chris Rogers is setting a formidable pace at the summit of Premier One, at least one player is making a good fist of the pursuit.
Andy Boysan has six matches in hand, and will catch Chris if he wins five of them, after his latest victory, over Phil Charlton.

30/06/20: Nineteen sample the return of Nackgammon

There were twenty-one players in online action on Monday, including the nineteen who participated in the return of Nackgammon to our Monday scene.
Nackgammon once occupied a regular, albeit minor, slice of our Thursday scene, with a few competitions between 2010 and 2012, before eventually finding a niche on Mondays pre-lockdown.
Mondays have lacked a little variety in our current online regime, so devoting one session per month to this variant seemed like a good idea.
There were three flights of three-point matches, run by Gaz Owen in Ian Tarr's absence, beginning with a fourteen player opus won by Alan Joicey, who defeated Kev Peters in the final.
Eight player flights saw wins for Stephen Little and Roland Herrera.
Earlier there had been Premier One action, where Stuart Mann scored a much needed win over Cecilia Sparke.

30/06/20: Twenty in Sunday action

There were twenty players in online action on Sunday to contest the fourth of our series of Sunday tournaments (the second online).
As was the case last month the field was a mixture of past and present Bristol players, plus a few from elsewhere in the UK.
And it was one of those, the nation's current #1 ranked player Jon Barnes who took the main flight, defeating Denby Pettitt, Chris Rogers, Kev Peters, John Hedge and Stephen Little.
Stephen made it to the final via a bye and victories over Cynthia Roberts, Safi Tracy and James Newman.
Paul Watts took the consolation flight with wins over Adrian Farthing, Mark Dixion, Rosey Bensley and Ian Anderson.

26/06/20: Rosemary wins Thursday freeroll tournament

There were twenty-eight players in online action on Thursday to contest the second of the new series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments.
The winner was Rosemary Whitehouse, who had to defeat five players reach that goal -- Hazel Boucher, Kat Cherkasenko, Paul Watts, Gerald Whitehouse and, in the final, Chris Hughes.
Chris got past Andy Boysan, Warner Solomon, Adrian Farthing and Dave Pym en route to the final.
The semi-final match for Rosemary meant that the Whitehouses got through the event unbeaten by any non-Whitehouse!
Pat Holly won the consolation flight, beating John Curran, Andy, and David Tyrrell.
Rosemary becomes joint leader of the Freeroll Grand Prix, along with Nick Barham.

25/06/20: Wednesday wins for Chris and Andy

Another second round Brunel Trophy match was played on Wednesday, and Tim Line became the latest player to exit the competition when he was defeated by Andy Boysan, who still has both lives remaining.
Meanwhile Chris Rogers continued on his winning way in Premier One with an 11-8 win over Phil Charlton.
He looks determined to set a very stiff target for his pursuers.
After an indifferent start to his campaign Chris has now won twelve league matches in a row.
This is the second longest winning sequence in Premier One history, having now surpassed Martin Hemming's 2003-04 mark.
Stuart Mann holds the record with fourteen straight wins in 2003.
But apart from Stuart's record, Chris has further targets to ain for.
Adam Sinclair won sixteen straight matches in Premier Two in 2016, which remains the all-time Premier League record, while Rosey Bensley won seventeen in a row in the Conference League (15) and Premier Two (2) in 2001 and 2002 for the all-time Bristol league winning sequence.
Check out all the record sequences here.

24/06/20: David exits Brunel Trophy

A Tuesday second round Brunel Trophy match ended with a win for Frank Jones over David Tyrrell.
This was David's second defeat, so that ends his involvement this year, while Frank remains undefeated.

22/06/20: Twenty-one in Monday action

There were twenty-one players in online action on Monday in the evening session, which consisted of eight flights of three-point match knock-outs.
In the freeroll 3-pointers, a full sixteen draw set things off, with Rosey Bensley and Ben Crowden reaching the final, which Rosey won.
Two eight-player flights saw victory for Roland Herrera and Steve Morris, while four-player flights were won by Simonetta Herrera, Safi Tracy, Mandy Macdonald, Roland and Steve.
The twenty-one contested a total of forty-four matches.

19/06/20: James scores a Friday league win

James Lintell-Smith scored a Premier Three victory over Gerald Whitehouse early on Friday.

19/06/20: Alan and Caroline take the honours on "Titles Day"

It was a day which summed up the best of Bristol Backgammon when the Thursday evening online session diverged from the norm to decide two annual titles.
Twenty-eight players were in action -- twenty-six of them in two very different annual tournaments.
Top of the bill, and rescheduled from its original virus-affected April slot, was the twentieth Bristol Masters, contested by sixteen qualifiers via last year's sterling efforts.
And fulfilling a strong supporting role was the nineteenth Intermediates Trophy, where ten hopefuls toed the start line.
The Masters saw many of the established names falling by the wayside early.
But Simonetta Herrera at least made it to the final, via wins over Phil Charlton, Tim Line and Cynthia Roberts.
Her opponent there was a Masters debutant, Alan Joicey, whose victims en route to the final were Adam Sinclair, Cecilia Sparke and Stephen Little.
And it was Alan who triumphed, taking a maiden title which many more experienced players still covet.
In the intermediates event, the finalists were Caroline Boulton and Yuri Cherkasenko.
Yuri, already assured of Premier Status for 2020, made his way through the long part of the draw, Simon Tracy, Andrew Gay and Ben Crowden his victims.
Caroline made the most of a first round bye, getting past Matt Reekie-Black and Mike Rodwell, before defeating Yuri in the final to take the title.
It was a twist of coronavirus fate that these two events were staged on the same evening, but it seems like a great idea to earn an extra slot in the Thursday schedule for future years.
There was also a Premier One match played, Andy Boysan maintaining his chase of league leader Chris Rogers with victory over Fred North.

18/06/20: Andy goes second

Andy Boysan recovered from 2-7 in arrears to defeat Cecilia Sparke in a Premier One encounter on Wednesday.
The win moves Andy into second place in the league table.

16/06/20: Chris extends winning sequence

In a Premier One meeting on Tuesday Chris Rogers extended his league winning sequence to eleven when he overturned a 0-6 deficit against Fred North.

16/06/20: Twenty-four in Monday action

There were twenty-four players in online action on Monday, all bar four of them involved in the evening session, which consisted of six flights of three-point match knock-outs.
There was a Premier Two Blue double header, which saw the spoils shared between leader Kev Peters and Simon Baker
And there was also a Conference League match between Caroline Boulton and Matt Reekie-Black, which Matt won.
In the freeroll 3-pointers, a full sixteen draw set things off, with Alan Joicey and Stephen Little reaching the final, which Alan won.
An eight-player flight was won by Tim Line, while four-player flights were won by Rosey Bensley, Simon Tracy, Andrew Gay and Tim again.
The twenty contested a total of thirty-four matches.

15/06/20: Sunday win for Peter

In a Premier One match played on Sunday Peter Thistlewood defeated Andy Boysan 11-7.

12/06/20: Roland takes June Grand Prix honours

There were twenty-two players in online action on Thursday to contest the June Bristol Grand Prix tournament.
And it was Roland Herrera who won the event, defeating Gerald Whitehouse, Kev Peters and Simonetta Herrera to reach the final, where he got the better of Chris Hughes.
Chris had come through the long part of the draw, beating Steve Morris, James Newman, Robin Gunney and Mike Rodwell.
Rosey Bensley took the consolation flight, where Cynthia Roberts, Rosemary Whitehouse and Stephen Little were her victims.
Roland has moved into a 91 points lead over previous BGP leader Gaz Owen.

11/06/20: Wednesday league wins for Andy and Mathew

Two Premier League matches were played on Wednesday.
In the top flight Andy Boysan scored an emphatic victory over Stuart Mann.
And in Premier Three there was a much closer match, leader Mathew Nicholls defeating James Lintell-Smith.

08/06/20: Eighteen in Monday action

There were eighteen players in online action on Monday, all of them involved in the evening session, which consisted of seven flights of three-point match knock-outs.
A full sixteen draw set things off, with Mandy Macdonald and Roland Herrera emerging into the final, which Roland won.
An eight-player flight followed, with Kat Cherkasenko victorious.
Five four-player flights completed he evening, the first of which was inadvertently set for 5-point matches.
Alan Joicey took this one.
The other flights saw wins for Mathew Nicholls, Stephen Little, Mandy and Gerald Whitehouse.
The eighteen contested a total of thirty-seven matches.

05/06/20: Chris further extends Premier One lead

In a Premier One match on Friday Peter Thistlewood succumbed to Chris Rogers, a result which sees Chris into a 15 points lead.
Although he has played more matches than his rivals, he is setting a formidable pace, aided in no small measure by a ten match winning run, a sequence only twice bettered in the entire history of the top flight.

05/06/20: New Speedgammon format draws a mixed reaction

There were twenty-five players players in online action on Thursday, for the return of Speedgammon to the Bristol Backgammon calendar.
Director Ian Tarr had devised a multi-flight online knock-out format, designed to try and give the same kind of test as the tried and tested two phase face-to-face tournaments.
In truth it was too complicated -- both to run, and for the players to understand!
More work will need to be done before the next equivalent tournament on July 23rd.
The main flight saw Andy Boysan take the honours, defeating John Curran in the final.
Andy's victims were Tim Line, Simon Baker and Kev Peters, while John's path to the final saw him past Rosemary Whitehouse, Gerald Whitehouse and Yuri Cherkasenko.
In between his vanquishing of the Whitehouses, John was the lucky recipient of a bye, thanks to an almighty -- and hopefully unique -- cock-up involving Frank Jones and Mandy Macdonald.
If Andy and John took the lion's share of the tournament prize money, there were consolation cash prizes for the winners of the subordinate flights -- Dave Pym, Ismail Yilmaz, Alan Joicey and Stephen Little.
Ian stepped in to fill a gap in the final flight, as disappointed players began to flee the coop, and managed to win that.
He retains the lead in the SGGP table despite being otherwise absent from this event, but Andy is now just 20 points behind.
The Conference League finally got started, and Ben Crowden is the first leader after his win over Matt Reekie-Black.

02/06/20: Premier One win for Peter

In a Premier One match on Tuesday Peter Thistlewood defeated Phil Charlton.

01/06/20: Twenty in Monday action

There were twenty players in online action on Monday, all of them involved in the evening session, which consisted of six flights of three-point match knock-outs.
Fourteen players were in situ to contest the opening flight, which saw Dave Pym defeat Kev Peters in the final.
As the evening moved on there followed two eight-player flights, one with six players and two with four.
The first of the eight-player flights featured a TD error, and the matches were played to three points, Roland Herrera prevailing.
Other flight winners were Andy Boysan, Rosemary Whitehouse, Steve Morris and Stephen Little.
The twenty contested a total of thirty-eight matches.

31/05/20: Twenty-four in Sunday action

There were twenty-four players in action in Bristol Backgammon events on Sunday.
All bar two of those were involved in our first Sunday online tournament.
The decision to cast the net a little wider than usual resulted in a healthily mixed field of current and exiled Bristol players plus others from around the UK.
And all of those categories were represented in the prize money splits.
The main prize went to one of our own, Stephen Little, who eliminated Frank Jones, Warner Solomon and Nick Barham before accounting for Ann Pocknell in the final.
Ann, who will forever retain the distinction of being the only regular Bristol player to win the BIBA British Open -- eight others reached the final and lost! -- beat Anna Clarke, Denby Pettitt, Cecilia Sparke and Andrew Selby en route to the final.
The consolation flight saw Jon Barnes, the current UK number one player -- who is likely to retain that status for a long time if only face-to-face action is allowed to affect the ratings -- win the flight by defeating Paul Watts, Ian Tarr and James Newman.
Earlier there was Premier Two Red action, when Gary Plant extended his lead to 12 points with victory over Carwyn Jenkins.

30/05/20: All aboard for the first Sunday online tournament

Even our weekend tournaments have now moved online.
Tomorrow sees the first of our weekend events taking place at the Backgammon Studio Heroes site.
And entrants will be gathering from even further afield than has been the case in our other online exploits so far.
Watch out for the report.

30/05/20: Mike beats Steffen to stay alive

In a second round Brunel Trophy match on Saturday Mike Smith defeated Steffen Nowak.
Both players now have a single life remaining in the double elimination event.
Ten of the twenty second round matches have now been completed.

29/05/20: Freeroll Grand Prix opener attracts twenty-eight

Twenty-eight players contested the first of the new series of nine Freeroll Grand Prix tournaments online at the Backgammon Studio Heroes site on Thursday evening.
And Nick Barham, having recently returned to action after a hiatus, took the main flight honours.
He got past Andy Boysan, Ben Crowden, Ian Tarr and Jim Green before overcoming Kev Peters in the final.
Kevin, having received a bye in round one, reached the final by defeating James Newman, Alan Joicey and Steve Morris.
David Tyrrell took the consolation flight with wins over Dave Pym, John Curran and James.
So Nick is the first leader of the new competition, which is one of the main calendar changes made since the lockdown, and he has a handy 50 points advantage over second placed Kev.
The site crashed while both finals were in progress, but the good news was that the software coped admirably, and both matches picked up exactly where they left off.

27/05/20: Neil and Steve both survive Brunel Trophy second round

In a second round Brunel Trophy match on Tuesday Neil Young defeated Steve Morris.
Both players progress to round three with a single life remaining.

25/05/20: Fifteen in Bank Holiday Monday online action

There were fifteen players in online action on Monday, all of them involved in the evening session, which consisted of five flights of three-point match knock-outs.
This was a break with tradition, in the sense that Bristol Backgammon is always closed on Mondays!
Thirteen players were in situ to contest the opening flight, which saw Ismail Yilmaz defeat Simonetta Herrera in the final.
As the evening moved on there followed one eight-player flight and three four-player ones.
The winner of the former was Stephen Little, while the others saw victory for Andy Boysan, Simonetta and Roland Herrera.
The fifteen contested a total of twenty-seven matches in the 3-point flights.

24/05/20: Gary extends Red Division lead

Gary Plant scored a narrow Premier Two Red victory over Carwyn Jenkins on Sunday, extending his divisional lead to nine points.

22/05/20: James takes GP10 honours

Twenty-six players contested the third of our nine GP10 tournaments online at the Backgammon Studio Heroes site on Thursday evening.
And James Newman, a Bristol league and knock-out regular between 2013 and 2016 before his move to Scotland, was the evening's star performer.
Getting past Frank Jones, Robin Gunney and Gaz Owen before defeating Simonetta Herrera in the main final sealed the deal for him.
Simonetta had beaten Cynthia Roberts, Adam Sinclair, Nick Barham and Ismail Yilmaz on the way to the final.
In the consolation flight it was Andy Boysan who came through to win -- Kev Peters, Simon Baker and Roland Herrera being his victims.
Ian Tarr, busy directing rather than playing for the moment, still heads the GP10 table, but Andy had reduced his lead to 15 points.

20/05/20: Eamonn stays alive in Brunel Trophy

In a second round Brunel Trophy match on Wednesday Eamonn Reay edged to victory over Jim Green.
Both players have one life remaining.

19/05/20: Tuesday morning wins for Fred and Adrian

Fred North completed a Premier One double over Gaz Owen on Tuesday morning, while Adrian Farthing was continuing his march towards the top of Premier Three with a victory over James Lintell-Smith.

19/05/20: Thirty-three in Monday online action

There were thirty-three players in online action on Monday, thirty of them involved in the evening session, which consisted of eight flights of three-point match knock-outs.
There were also two Premier League matches, where Chas Perry defeated Andrew Cobb in Premier Two Red and Adrian Farthing beat Tom Chapman in Premier Three.
The evening session began with a sixteen player flight, where Ben Crowden took the honours, defeating Andy Boysan in the final.
As the evening moved on there followed four eight-player flights and three four-player ones.
Eight-player flight winners were Adam Sinclair, Warner Solomon, Simonetta Herrera and John Curran.
Stephen Little, Roland Herrera and Mathew Nicholls were the victors in the four-player flights.
In all thirty players played a total of fifty-two matches in the 3-point flights.

15/05/20: Gary increases Red Division lead

In a Friday Premier Two Red match Gary Plant consolidated his position as divisional leader by defeating Eamonn Reay.

15/05/20: Tim wins May Bristol Grand Prix event

Thirty-one players contested the fifth of our monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments online at the Backgammon Studio Heroes site on Thursday evening.
Tim Line took the honours, defeating Chris Hughes, Paul Watts, George Georgiou and Warner Solomon before taking the final against Cecilia Sparke.
Cecilia's victims had been Chris Rogers, Ismail Yilmaz, Yuri Cherkasenko and Robin Gunney.
Kev Peters won a consolation flight blighted by resignations -- John Curran with connectivity issues, and Chris Rogers and Mark Dixon, probably because they felt such a flight was beneath them, even though they both qualified successfully.
John's technological issues saw Kev into the last eight, and he took full advantage, beating Simon Baker, Chris Hughes and Roland Herrera.
Gaz Owen drew a blank, but still heads the Bristol Grand Prix standings, although he has a cluster of close pursuers to contend with.
Earlier there was Brunel Trophy action, when George defeated Adam Sinclair, who still has a life remaining.

13/05/20: Wednesday win for Cecilia

In a Premier One match completed on Wednesday Cecilia Sparke defeated Stuart Mann.

12/05/20: League wins for Chas, Neil and Fred

There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
Neil Young suffered mixed fortunes in Premier One, defeating Stuart Mann before losing to Fred North.
And Chas Perry overcame Gary Plant in a Premier Two Red match.

12/05/20: R I P, Tony Walters

Bristol Backgammon has suffered another heavy loss.
Tony Walters, a regular tournament entrant and former Bristol Premier League player, passed away on Thursday night at home in Cardiff.
He had been suffering from poor health on a number of fronts for quite some time, but still found the energy to drive across the bridge and visit many Bristol tournaments until fairly recently, such was his passion for the game.
Another of the game's great characters is lost to us.

12/05/20: Twenty-nine in Monday online action

There were twenty-nine players in online action on Monday, twenty-five of them involved in the new evening session, which consisted of eight flights of three-point match knock-outs.
There were also two Premier Two Red matches, where Andrew Cobb and Chris Hughes overcame Chas Perry and Steffen Nowak respectively.
The evening session began with a sixteen player flight, where Dave Pym defeated Gerald Whitehouse in the final.
As the evening moved on there followed four eight-player flights and three four-player ones.
Eight-player flight winners were Yuri Cherkasenko (twice), Simonetta Herrera and Andy Boysan.
Stephen Little, Roland Herrera and Alan Joicey were the victors in the four-player flights.
In all twenty-five players played a total of fifty-two matches.

10/05/20: Sunday win for Gerald

Gerald Whitehouse scored a Premier Three victory over Adrian Farthing on Sunday.

10/05/20: Robin exits Brunel Trophy

In a sudden death Brunel Trophy encounter on Saturday Mandy Macdonald defeated Robin Gunney to progress to the third round.

09/05/20: Adrian goes second

An emphatic Saturday Premier Three victory over David Hoare has moved Adrian Farthing into second place in the league.

09/05/20: Monday sessions on Heroes, too

Now that a pattern of Thursday online tournaments has been established, it's the turn of Mondays to follow suit.
The Monday Cub Summer Grand Prix has been shelved for the time being, although there is a possibility it may resurface part way through its allotted four month span with formats -- should more options become available -- tailored to an online environment.
In the meantime, starting this coming Monday (11th), there will be a series of 16- 8- and 4- player 3-point knock-outs, all free to enter.
Register in advance by phoning, texting or WhatsApping Ian Tarr on 07751 241774 and as many knock-out flights as can be arranged will be provided.
It is hoped that a 16-player flight will start proceedings at 7pm, with smaller flights available for eliminated players and latecomers, until demand is exhausted.
So players are recommended to register early so as not to miss out on the 16-player flight.

08/05/20: Friday wins for Stuart and Gary

There were two Premier League matches played on Friday.
In the top flight Stuart Mann beat Peter Thistlewood, while a Premier Two Red match ended in victory for Gary Plant over Eamonn Reay.

08/05/20: Thursday tournaments back with a bang -- online

After pilot online tournaments on the two preceding Thursdays it was back to paying competition when the fourth monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournament -- postponed from April 9th -- was held online at the Backgammon Studio Heroes site.
And once again the turnout was exceptional, with a full draw of thirty-two players taking part -- a healthy mix of face-to-face tournament regulars and others who don't habitually make it to our Thursday sessions.
Simon Baker was the stand-out performer, his five victories taking the main flight honours.
His victims were Rosemary Whitehouse, Chris Hughes, Cliff Blofield, Dave Pym and -- in the final -- Alan Joicey, who had overcome Mike Rodwell, Miles Farren, Stephen Little and Gaz Owen en route.
In the consolation flight it was Yuri Cherkasenko who won through with victories over John Curran, Paul Watts, Mike and Rosey Bensley.
Gaz's run to the main flight semi-final was enough to see him into a BGP lead of 26 points over second placed Nick Barham, who didn't contest the event.
Earlier in the day James Lintell-Smith had defeated John in the second round of the Brunel Trophy, a result which leaves both players with a single life remaining.

06/05/20: Wednesday wins for Gaz and Chas

Two matches were played on Wednesday -- one in Premier Two Red and one in the Brunel Trophy.
The Brunel match saw Gaz Owen progress to the third round draw undefeated, while his opponent Ben Crowden bows out of the competition after his second defeat.
In the Red Division Chas Perry hauled himself off the bottom rung with a much needed victory over Chris Hughes.

06/05/20: Tuesday round-up

There were five matches played on Tuesday -- three in the Premier League and two in the Brunel Trophy.
In that latter competition both ties were effectively sudden death, and the matches spelled an end to the campaigns of Jordan White and Cecilia Sparke, defeated by Adrian Farthing and Kev Peters respectively.
For Adrian and Jordan that was the third leg of a triple header, the pair having shared the spoils of a Premier Three double header.
The other action was in Premier Two Red, where Gary Plant defeated Chas Perry.

04/05/20: Face-to-face backgammon that broke no rules

No social distancing rules were broken when a face-to-face Bristol Backgammon match took place in the Tamar Valley.
Gerald and Rosemary Whitehouse met in Premier Three, and it was Rosemary who recorded the victory.

02/05/20: Saturday round-up

In Premier Two Blue Steve Morris moved into second place with a Saturday victory over Dave Pym.
And in the first of the year's second round Brunel Trophy matches Ian Tarr remained unbeaten in the competition by defeating Chris Rogers.

01/05/20: Friday league wins for Gaz and Gary

There were two Premier League matches played on Friday.
In Premier One Gaz Owen scored an emphatic win over Stuart Mann.
And in Premier Two Red Gary Plant was the winner against Chris Hughes.

01/05/20: Brunel Trophy second round draw

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the second round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy -- Bristol's year-long double elimination knock-out -- was made on Friday.
The method used, thanks to social distancing, involved Ian Tarr placing the players in a random numerical sequence, and Gaz Owen providing a random sequence of the numbers between one and forty to provide the draw order.
There are forty players in round two and the draw is visible here.
The timescales for the first two rounds had been considerably elongated in the hope -- now apparently a vain one -- that face-to-face play would resume fairly soon.
Matches need to be completed by July 9th.

01/05/20: Second pilot online tournament maintains the impetus

For the second successive week the Bristol Backgammon community took to the internet on Thursday evening to continue the effort to keep our local game alive and kicking.
The occasion was the second -- and final -- online freeroll pilot event, staged to enable tournament directors to gain the confidence to continue as many as possible of our extensive programme of events online, while the virus is disrupting our lives.
And once again there was a great turnout, with thirty-six players on the Heroes site.
Unfortunately one lateish entrant arrived on the site without all the necessary information to proceed.
His mistake was to enter the wrong tournament when he had already been entered for our own.
No matter things went smoothly to a large degree, although there were a couple of temporary connectivity problems which were resolved without too much trouble.
This time it was Ian Tarr who took the lead TD role, and the good news is that he survived!
And making it a slightly more complex event, with two flights this time, didn't cause any difficulty.
The winner on this occasion was Adrian Farthing, whose five victories earned him free entry to next week's April Grand Prix event -- and yes, I know it's not April any more!
His victims were Roland Herrera, Alan Joicey, Frank Jones, Mike Rodwell and -- in the final -- Ismail Yilmaz.
Ismail's run took him past Rosey Bensley, Simon Baker, Blaine Buchanan and Robin Gunney.
Adam Sinclair took the consolation flight to win a 5 discount for next week's event.
He defeated Rosemary Whitehouse, Andy Boysan, Cynthia Roberts and Stephen Little.
Next week will see the first of our online paying events.

01/05/20: Thursday win for Gaz

In Thursday's only non-tournament action Gaz Owen defeated Peter Thistlewood in Premier One.

28/04/20: Eight in Tuesday Premier League action

There were four Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In the top flight there were wins for Gaz Owen and Phil Charlton over Peter Thistlewood and Fred North respectively.
Andrew Cobb scored a much needed win over Chris Hughes in Premier Two Red.
And Steve Morris beat Dave Pym in Premier Two Blue.

27/04/20: Mathew consolidates Premier Three lead

In a Premier Three match on Monday Mathew Nicholls scored his fifth successive victory to move twelve points clear at the top of the table.
James Lintell-Smith was his latest victim.

26/04/20: Saturday action in Blue Division

Two matches took place in Premier Two Blue on Saturday.
And the winners were Paul Watts and Jim Green over Dave Pym and Mandy Macdonald respectively.

25/04/20: Friday wins for Gary and Paul

Two Premier Two matches were played on Friday.
In the Red Division Gary Plant defeated Chris Hughes, while Paul Watts pipped Dave Pym in the parallel Blue Division.

24/04/20: Last night's tournament was a first for Heroes

Site owner Terje Pedersen has revealed that last night's Bristol Freeroll tournament was the first on the Heroes site ever to use a 64-player grid!
A definite feather in our caps......

23/04/20: Pilot online tournament is a resounding success

The hunger for tournament backgammon -- some 38 days after the last live Bristol Backgammon event on March 16th -- resulted in no fewer than thirty-seven players logging on to the Heroes site on Thursday evening.
Gaz Owen took the lead in staging the event, as Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has only very limited experience of such environments.
This inaugural freeroll event was staged as a pilot for what is planned to be a regular Thursday occurrence while social distancing is in effect -- and that, of course, could be for quite a while.
Directing such an event is a substantially different experience from doing a live tournament, and both Gaz and Ian were there to smooth the progress of the event and to learn the vagaries of the medium, rather than taking part.
It was a simple single flight event, comprising just 5-point matches, and it took five and a quarter hours to complete, partly because one player experienced frustrating connection problems which finally proved to be too much for his continued participation.
One gratifying aspect of the event was the reemergence of many players not seen for quite some time.
In the end it was Simonetta Herrera who came through to win the event, defeating Cynthia Roberts, Chris Hughes, Andy Boysan and Stuart Mann before pipping Simon Baker in the final.
Simon had got past Warner Solomon, Robin Gunney, Rosey Bensley and Adam Sinclair.
And so to next week, when the plan is to stage a two flight tournament -- again a freeroll -- before embarking on a revised programme of grand prix events, the calendar for which is still being developed.

21/04/20: Nine in a row for Chris

Chris Rogers won his ninth successive Premier One match on Tuesday, defeating Fred North.
His sequence has only been bettered three times in top flight history.

21/04/20: Mathew opens up a lead

In a Monday Premier Three match Mathew Nicholls scored a narrow win over Alan Joicey.
He has now opened up a nine point lead, but has played more matches than all of his rivals.

20/04/20: Ian Hedges cuts short his Premier Two Red season

Now that responses are back from all Premier Two Red players, it has emerged that -- just as in each of the other three Premier League divisions -- one player has resigned.
Ian Hedges is unwilling to commit to emergency matches online, so has stepped away from this season's competition, hopefully to return at the same level next year.
This leaves the division with eleven players remaining, and once again the expungement, while leaving things clear cut, has had differing effects on different players.

20/04/20: R I P, George Devlin

Andy Boysan has just relayed the very sad news that George Devlin passed away yesterday in Switzerland.
He had contracted the coronavirus not long after leaving Bristol last month, but appeared to be making a good recovery after being on a ventilator.
Sadly his condition later worsened to the extent that he was ventilated for a second time.
Our thoughts must go out to his family, especially his sons Max, Milo and Eamon -- all of whom have made appearances at our events.
George will be remembered as a softly spoken, gentle and genial opponent, and he will be greatly missed.

19/04/20: Weekend round-up

There were seven matches played over the weekend.
The first round of the Brunel Trophy was completed when Jim Green defeated Robin Gunney on Saturday and Phil Charlton prevailed over Miles Farren on Sunday.
A Premier Two Blue double header took place on Saturday, and Dave Pym scored a brace of 11-7 wins over Cliff Blofield.
Chris Hughes scored his second Premier Two Red win in three days when he defeated Andrew Cobb on Sunday.
And there were Sunday Premier Three wins for Jordan White and Mathew Nicholls over James Lintell-Smith and Tom Chapman respectively.

17/04/20: Friday victories for two Chrisses

Two Premier League matches were played on Friday.
And Chris Rogers consolidated his pole position in Premier One with an emphatic victory over Phil Charlton.
In Premier Two Red Chris Hughes ended Steffen Nowak's run of six league victories.

17/04/20: Ed resigns from Premier One

The situation in Premier One has now become a little clearer after all the players responded to Director Ian Tarr's request for clarification on the continuance of the league season.
Ed Turner -- an avowed non-player in online terms -- has resigned from the league, so his five results are wiped from the record, something which has had diverse effects on the campaigns of his three opponents to date.
Ed has taken advantage of the Director's pledge to preserve his top flight status for next season.
One other player -- with different problems -- has been granted a further week to decide.
This leaves Premier Two Red as the only one of the four leagues where some players have not yet responded.

17/04/20: Rufus bows out of Blue Division season

The second of the four Premier League divisions to register a 100% response to Director Ian Tarr's question about continuing the league online during the current crisis is Premier Two Blue.
And, as was the case in Premier Three, just one player is opting out.
Rufus Rozelaar, who has had his own personal difficulties early this season to the extent that he hadn't yet started his campaign, has declared himself uninterested in playing online.
He is therefore expunged from the league, but this will not prejudice his Premier Two status for next season.
Two more responses are outstanding in Premier One and five in Premier Two Red.

16/04/20: League wins for Mathew and Steve

In a Premier Three match played on Thursday Mathew Nicholls moved to the top of the league table with a victory over John Curran.
And in Premier Two Blue Steve Morris defeated Mandy Macdonald.

16/04/20: Online tournaments will help to fill the void

In these strange and difficult times face-to-face backgammon has had to take a back seat.
For Bristol Backgammon the current situation has come at a particularly ironic time.
Participation levels in leagues and both Thursday and Monday tournaments were at record highs in 2019, especially during the latter part of the year, and the way things had started this year gave every indication of an even better year in prospect.
Continuation of the leagues and the year long double elimination event the Brunel Trophy has been facilitated to some extent thanks to a relaxation of the hitherto forbidden medium of online play (forbidden, of course, only in the context of face-to-face competitions).
And this is likely to gather pace (see the next article down).
But when our regular Monday, Thursday and Sunday events can resume in their customary form is anybody's guess.
So efforts are now afoot to attempt to fill that massive void.
Director Ian Tarr -- with the help of a considerable amount of work from Gaz Owen -- is looking to hold Thursday tournaments online, starting with a simple pilot freeroll single-flight event next Thursday evening.
Using that event to iron out any glitches or misunderstandings, and possibly a further two flight event the following week, the aim is to revive some of our grand prix series online.
The Thursday programme will need a complete overhaul, as some events will not translate quite so easily into an online environment.
It is further hoped that Monday events can be similarly revived.
Watch this space for further announcements.

16/04/20: Marcel reluctantly forced to resign from Premier Three

The realisation that the coronavirus crisis will almost certainly impact face-to-face play for some time to come has prompted Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr to sound out players in all four divisions of the Premier League regarding their willingness to make the best of a sad situation by playing matches online.
Every one of the fifty players involved in this year's leagues signed up in the clear expectation that matches would, as always, be played face-to-face, so those who -- for various reasons -- are unable to play online have been given the opportunity to bow out of this season's competition without loss of status for next season.
The first of the four divisions to respond in total has been Premier Three.
This is typical of the ethos of this year's bottom division, where levels of enthusiasm and camaraderie have been a breath of fresh air.
Unfortunately, for perfectly understandable reasons, Marcel Bancroft has had to opt out, meaning that her results will be expunged from the record.
That has different effects for different players, but this is the fairest way to resolve the situation.
Full responses from the other three divisions are expected within the next couple of days.

15/04/20: Chris building up a lead

There were three Premier One matches played on Wednesday.
And Chris Rogers was the day's top performer with 11-4 victories over both Stuart Mann and Adam Sinclair, results which see him looking tough to catch at the top of the league.
Neil Young was the other victor in a tight match against Phil Charlton.

13/04/20: Monday win for Cecilia

It was the turn of Premier One to provide the league action on Monday.
And Cecilia Sparke scored a victory over Nick Barham.

12/04/20: Sunday win for Gerald

In a Premier Three match on Sunday Gerald Whitehouse defeated John Curran.

09/04/20: A brace of wins for Steffen

In a Premier Two Red double header on Thursday Steffen Nowak defeated Andrew Cobb twice.

08/04/20: David tops Premier Three

Premier Three has been the only source of Bristol Backgammon so far this month.
And today David Hoare moved to the top of the division when he defeated Jordan White.

06/04/20: James is today's winner

Once again the day's activity consisted of just one Premier Three match on Monday.
James Lintell-Smith scored an emphatic win over Jordan White.

05/04/20: David wins again

A single Premier Three match was played on Sunday.
And David Hoare was the victor over James Lintell-Smith.

03/04/20: Friday win for David

A single Premier Three match was played on Friday.
David Hoare arrested a short run of defeats with a win over John Curran.

01/04/20: Wednesday round-up

Four matches were played online on Wednesday -- two in Premier Three and two in the Brunel Trophy.
Winners in Premier Three were John Curran and Jordan White, over James Lintell-Smith and Robin Gunney respectively.
While Ian Tarr and Chris Rogers overcame Neil Young and Eamonn Reay in the Brunel first round.

01/04/20: Daniel declared Spring Grand Prix winner

Since there will be no further events this month, the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix is effectively over.
This means that Daniel Eldridge is the title winner, and Kian Sabet wins the prize for being the competition's top intermediate.
There might have been an argument for altering the number of discards applicable in the light of fewer events, but Director Ian Tarr decided that it would be wrong to retrospectively apply fewer discards, and possibly alter the outcome, when the competition was effectively over.
And in any case such an action would not have changed the outcome for either player.
This is Daniel's second successive Monday Grand Prix title win, having scooped the Autumn Grand Prix title in December.

31/03/20: Robin moves into top four

In Tuesday's only Premier League match Robin Gunney's victory over David Hoare has moved him into Premier Three's top four.

30/03/20: Premier League Monday round-up

There were four Premier League matches played online on Monday.
Adam Sinclair moved to second in Premier One with a narrow victory over Cecilia Sparke.
In Premier Two Blue Kev Peters is the new leader after scoring a brace of wins over Dave Pym.
And James Lintell-Smith defeated David Hoare in Premier Three.

29/03/20: Two wins for Jordan

Jordan White played two Premier Three matches online on Sunday and won them both.
His victims were Tom Chapman and league leader Alan Joicey.

26/03/20: Thursday action

There were four matches played online on Wednesday -- two Premier League matches and two first round Brunel Trophy ties..
In Premier One Stuart Mann defeated Nick Barham, while Gerald Whitehouse scored a Premier Three whitewash over Tom Chapman.
And there were Brunel Trophy wins for Steffen Nowak and George Georgiou over Jordan White and David Tyrrell respectively.

25/03/20: Wednesday Premier League round-up

Three more Premier League matches were played online on Wednesday.
In the top flight Chris Rogers scored a narrow victory over Adam Sinclair to move to the top of the league.
And in Premier Three there were wins for Tom Chapman and Gerald Whitehouse over Jordan White and Robin Gunney respectively.

24/03/20: Online win for James

In a Premier Three match played online on Tuesday James Lintell-Smith gained his revenge on Robin Gunney, to whom he had lost only three days previously.

23/03/20: Provision made for altering numbers of discards in five Thursday grand prix series

Our five grand prix series based around our Thursday events -- the Bristol Grand Prix, the GP30, the GP10, the Handicap Trophy, and the Speedgammon Grand Prix -- will all have been reduced in terms of the number of tournaments in each series by the time the current coronavirus crisis has passed.
This means that the rules of each competition will need to be tweaked to give a sensible number of tournament discards in each series, dependent upon the eventual total number of tournaments in each series.
The numbers will be based on the following table:
# of
t'ments
# of
t'ments
to count
# of
discards
1275
1174
1064
963
853
752
642
541
431
330
220
110

23/03/20: Chris goes second in Premier One

In an online match in Premier One on Monday, Chris Rogers defeated Stuart Mann 11-4 to move into second place in the league table.

22/03/20: Saturday's online action in the Premier League

Three more Premier League matches were played on Saturday.
Mandy Macdonald scored a much needed double over Premier Two Blue leader Cliff Blofield.
And Robin Gunney defeated James Lintell-Smith in Premier Three.

21/03/20: Admin error -- there was another match on Tuesday

Marcel Bancroft defeated John Curran 11-7 in a Premier Three encounter at Redwood Farm.

20/03/20: Friday Premier League round-up

There were four Premier League matches played on Friday.
Peter Thistlewood visited Portland Square for the second time in three days, and came away again with a 5-11 Premier One defeat, this time at the hands of Chris Rogers.
The Windmill played host to a Premier Two Blue double header, with Dave Pym recording two narrow victories over Mandy Macdonald.
And in Premier Three Alan Joicey defeated James Lintell-Smith on the web, a result which moved him to the summit of the division.

20/03/20: Ian and Chas share spoils

There was a Premier Two Red double header on Thursday at the Queens Head, Hanham.
And Ian Tarr and Chas Perry won one match apiece.
For Chas this was the end of a surprisingly poor start to the season.

18/03/20: Wednesday Premier League and Brunel Trophy action

There were five matches played on Wednesday.
Two first round Brunel Trophy matches were played on the web, Simon Baker and Steve Morris defeating James Lintell-Smith and Alan Joicey respectively.
And another player through to the second round unscathed is Richard Owsley, after Alan Parfitt resigned from the competition.
In Premier One Peter Thistlewood visited Cecilia Sparke in Portland Square, and fell to his first league defeat of the season.
Meanwhile at the Rainbow Casino Paul Watts and Daniel Eldridge shared the spoils of a Premier Two Blue double header.

17/03/20: Tuesday round-up

Three matches were played on Tuesday.
At the Three Brooks Jon Organ and Ian Tarr met for a Premier Two Red double header, and the spoils were shared in two one-sided contests.
And on the web -- shock, horror, look what we've come to! -- Frank Jones scored a first round Brunel Trophy victory over Stephen Little.

17/03/20: Bristol Backgammon sessions cancelled until further notice

Recent government advice on the coronavirus crisis has given Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr little alternative but to cancel all Thursday and Sunday sessions at the Rainbow Casino and all Monday sessions at the Bristol County Sports Club until further notice.
The effect of this on our various grand prix competitions will be made known as far as possible in due course.
Meanwhile our leagues and the Brunel Trophy can continue, as they involve individual matches, which can be played in safe face-to-face conditions or online.
Players involved have already been emailed about the online possibilities.
This will provide something of a learner curve for many players, and also for the Director!

16/03/20: Twelve bid farewell to Bristol Backgammon sessions...... for now

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were twelve players in action at the Bristol County Sports Club on Monday, of whom nine contested the eleventh phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of 3-point round robins.
Three Premier Three matches were played, all of them involving Adrian Farthing.
He shared the spoils of a double header with Mathew Nicholls, and later defeated Robin Gunney, whose first league defeat this was.
In the round robins, the groups were jointly won, but because Pat Meek and Mathieu Mackowiak both chose the zero entry option, the pots were won outright by Daniel Eldridge and George Georgiou.
Daniel edges into the SGP lead, and with future events due to be suspended for an indefinite period, it could be that his timing is as immaculate as it could possibly be.

14/03/20: John wins in Henleaze

Coffee #1 in Henleaze was the latest new venue for a Bristol Backgammon match when John Curran and Mathew Nicholls met for a Premier Three match on Saturday.
John won 11-9.

13/03/20: Friday round-up

Two Premier League matches and a Brunel Trophy first round tie were played on Friday.
In a Premier One double header at the Bridge Inn, Yatton, Stuart Mann scored a brace of wins over Ed Turner.
And Andy Boysan won his Brunel Trophy match against Mike Smith at the casino.

13/03/20: Adam wins March Bristol GP tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-four players in action on Thursday, including twenty-two at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twenty contested the third of the year's twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
Three Premier League matches, two Brunel Trophy ties, and the held over final from last weeks Speedgammon Grand Prix were also played.
In that latter match Ian Tarr overcame Andy Boysan, and moves into a 70 points lead in the SGGP.
There were Brunel Trophy wins for Gaz Owen and Ian Hedges, over Mary French and Adrian Farthing respectively, Gaz's win coming at the Watershed.
Tim Line extended Chas Perry's unfortunate run in Premier Two Red at the Inn on the Green, and Richard Owsley shared the spoils of a Premier Two Blue double header at the casino.
Adam Sinclair won the evening's advertised event, defeating Simonetta Herrera, Andy Boysan and David Tyrrell before winning a one side final against Roland Herrera.
Roland had arrived in the final via victories over Eamon Devlin, Nick Barham and Adrian.
Eamon was the fourth member of the Devlin family to make a Bristol Backgammon debut.
Gaz won the consolation flight with wins against Simon Hughes, Eamon and Ian Hedges.
Nick's BGP lead is reduced to 15 points, with Adam now second.

11/03/20: Awards Night photos online

Photos from last month's Awards Night, taken by Roland and Simonetta Herrera, are now online, complete with captions.
View them on flickr here.
For those prize recipients who weren't there, it's not too late to get your photos with your prizes added, either via a selfie, or if Roland or Simonetta happen to be around when you finally receive your prizes.

11/03/20: Wednesday round-up

Two and a half matches, which counted as three and a half, were played on Wednesday.
Simon Hughes and Cecilia Sparke played a match in Portland Square which doubled up as a Premier One match and a first round Brunel Trophy tie.
And Simon's 11-4 win gave him a double success.
At the Rainbow Casino Tom Chapman and Alan Joicey met in Premier Three.
Tom won the opener 11-5, but was trailing 2-8 in the return when the match was adjourned.

10/03/20: Fourteen in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were fourteen players in action on Monday, including eleven at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nine contested the tenth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
Earlier two Brunel Trophy first round matches were completed.
Chris Hughes defeated Mandy Macdonald at the Lock Keeper, and John Curran was victorious against Ben Crowden at the Rainbow Casino.
While Ian Tarr and Mary French had some cube-orientated friendly matches, the Tric Trac saw the pot shared by Adrian Farthing and Bahman Salahshour.
George Georgiou has moved to within eight points of the SGP lead.

08/03/20: Premier Two wins for Carwyn, Cliff and Pearl

Three Premier Two matches were played on Sunday.
In the Blue Division Cliff Blofield and Pearl Foster played an unintended double header at the Bolero Lounge, Yate.
The first, and only, scheduled match was over very quickly with a whitewash in Cliff's favour, so they decided on playing the return, which went Pearl's way, albeit less emphatically.
And at the Rainbow Casino Carwyn Jenkins defeated Ian Tarr at DMP in the Red Division.

06/03/20: Friday Premier League round-up

Five Premier League matches were played on Friday.
Eamonn Reay played the seventh, eighth and ninth matches of his flying visit, and won all three at the Watershed -- the first two against Chas Perry, the third against Andrew Cobb -- to move to the top of the division.
And in Premier Three there were victories at the Rainbow Casino for Alan Joicey and John Curran, their victims being Gerald Whitehouse and Rosemary Whitehouse respectively.

06/03/20: Andy and Ian in Speedgammon final

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-eight players in action on Thursday, including twenty-six at the Rainbow Casino, of whom sixteen contested the second of the year's eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
Fourteen Premier League results were recorded, plus two in the Brunel Trophy.
In that latter tournament the winners were Daniel Eldridge and Simonetta Herrera, over Tim Line and Kev Peters respectively.
The surge in league action was led by Eamonn Reay, who fitted in three Premier Two Red double headers on Day One of his visit from Galway.
He won half of those, faring best against Ian Hedges and worst against Steffen Nowak, while sharing the spoils against Chris Hughes.
In the same division another double header, at the Globe, saw spoils shared between Andrew Cobb and Tim Line.
In the parallel Blue Division Steve Morris registered three results, finishing off a previously adjourned match against Pearl Foster with a win, but losing twice to Jim Green.
Pearl won a nail biter against Richard Owsley.
And in Premier Three Adrian Farthing and Mathew Nicholls were the winners, over James Lintell-Smith and Tom Chapman respectively.
In the Speedgammon the sixteen contestants were drawn into four groups of four players, with the top two in each progressing to the final knock-out phase.
Group winners were Kev, George Georgiou, Andy Boysan and Ian Tarr.
The latter two progressed to the final, but left that match for another day.
Ian now has the SGGP lead, with George 35 points behind in second place.
That lead would increase to 70 points with a final win, but the reverse result would see Andy slot into second 20 points behind Ian.

05/03/20: More results from Tuesday and Wednesday

Nick Barham began his defence of the Brunel Trophy on Tuesday at the appropriately named Brunello Lounge with a victory over Cliff Blofield.
And a Wednesday double header saw the Premier Two Blue spoils shared between Mandy Macdonald and Simon Baker.

03/03/20: Double for Steffen in Totterdown

There was a Premier Two Red double header on Tuesday at the Shakespeare, Totterdown.
And Steffen Nowak came out on top, winning both matches against Chas Perry.

03/03/20: Twelve in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were just twelve players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the ninth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of six-player Nackgammon Tournos.
Group winners were Roland Herrera and Adrian Farthing, and Roland has taken the lead in the SGP table, pulling 11 points ahead of George Georgiou.
Adrian now heads the standings in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix.

01/03/20: Sunday round-up

There were two Premier League matches and one in the Brunel Trophy played on Sunday at the Rainbow Casino.
In Premier Two Blue Kev Peters scored two victories over Richard Owsley to go top of the league.
And the first Brunel Trophy result of the year was a win for Adam Sinclair over Hazel Boucher.

28/02/20: Nick wins February handicap event

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were seventeen players in action on Thursday, including the sixteen who contested the second of the year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments at the Rainbow Casino.
There was also league and Brunel Trophy action, although two of those matches were adjourned.
The only one to reach completion was Fred North's 11-7 Premier One victory over Staurt Mann at the Pump House.
Steve Morris stands 7-5 ahead of Pearl Foster in Premier Two Blue, while Tim Line leads Daniel Eldridge 9-8 in the first of the year's Brunel Trophy action.
In the advertised event there was a nicely symmetrical sixteen player draw.
And Nick Barham came through to win the main flight, defeating Andy Boysan, Ian Tarr, George Devlin and George Georgiou.
George had reached the final via wins over Alan Joicey, John Curran and Adam Sinclair.
Andy took the consolation flight, defeating Alan, Mary French and Steve.
January winner Steve holds a fifteen points lead over Nick in the HT standings.

26/02/20: League wins for Gaz, Alan and Robin

There were three Premier League matches played on Wednesday.
In Premier One Gaz Owen defeated Cecilia Sparke at the Phoenix.
And in Premier Three there were wins for Alan Joicey and Robin Gunney over David Hoare and John Curran respectively at the Rainbow Casino.

26/02/20: Stephen and Eamonn share the spoils in Galway

Two Premier Two Red matches were played in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, on Tuesday.
Stephen Little, on his travels, popped in to Eamonn Reay's and won the opener emphatically.
The return encounter was a lot closer and went Eamonn's way.

25/02/20: Tuesday League wins for Stuart and David

There were two Premier League matches played on Tuesday. In a Premier One encounter at the King William IV Stuart Mann defeated Phil Charlton.
And a Premier Three meeting at the King of Wessex, Bath, saw a narrow victory for David Hoare over Marcel Bancroft.
A result from a couple of weeks ago also came to light.
This was an 11-2 win for Gerald Whitehouse over John Curran.

25/02/20: Twenty-two in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were twenty-two players in action on Monday, including fourteen at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the eighth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- three 3-point round robins.
There were also six Premier League matches played. In the morning two Premier Three matches took place at the Rainbow Casino.
There were narrow victories for John Curran and David Hoare over Rosemary Whitehouse and Gerald Whitehouse respectively.
Dave Pym was busy at the Compass, playing three close Premier Two Blue matches, a defeat at the hands of Pearl Foster and two victories over Jim Green.
And in Premier One at the Phoenix Chris Rogers was winning another close encounter, this time against Gaz Owen.
In the round robins there were two welcome debut players -- Simon Tracy and Safi Tracy.
Roland Herrera won one of the five-player groups otright, while the other groups all saw the pots shared.
George Georgiou's overall SGP lead has been cut to 16 points by Roland.

23/02/20: Ian wins Sunday tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were fifteen players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday, including the fourteen who contested the second of our ten Sunday tournaments.
Ian Tarr emerged as the tournament winner, after victories over Roland Herrera, Ed Turner, Andy Boysan and -- in the final -- Adam Sinclair.
Adam had arrived in the final via wins over David Tyrrell, Gaz Owen and Simonetta Herrera.
David took the consolation flight, beating Gerald Whitehouse and Tim Line.
There was also a Premier Three match played, David Hoare defeating Rosemary Whitehouse.

22/02/20: Opening Brunel Trophy draw made

Brunel TrophyThe draw for the first round of the 2020 Brunel Trophy was made at the Awards Night on Thursday.
It can be viewed here.
The number of participants is at a record level -- forty-two players this time.
Matches are to be played before the second round draw on March 26th.

21/02/20: Awards Night round-up

Rainbow Casino BristolThe Bristol Backgammon Annual Awards Night was held at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, with around thrirty present.
A total of 93 prizes -- either permanent trophies, or mementoes, or envelopes containing cash -- were scheduled to be dispensed to 29 players by Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr after the customary buffet.
Photographs by Roland and Simonetta Herrera will be available soon and a link will appear here, providing -- as they inevitably do -- a true flavour of the occasion.
The usual league and knock-out awards took up most of the presentation, but of course there was the element of mystery surrounding the "surprise" awards.
David Tyrrell won the Rookie of the Year award (sponsored by Andy Boysan and Ian Hedges); the Gaz Owen sponsored Most Improved Player prize went to Jim Green; and Simonetta Herrera's Sports Person of the Year award was won by Richard Owsley.
After the ceremony, there was a tournament of limited pre-advertisement, with the Director adding 50 as a "bounty" on the head of guest of honour Michihito Kageyama.
This was enough to tempt a field of nineteen players for the single flight knock-out event.
By a bizarre coincidence the first two names pulled out of the hat by Daniel Eldridge and Richard were those of Ian and Michi!
So Ian had the first chance of claiming the bounty, which he duly did, thus saving himself a little outlay.
The tournament was won by Nick Barham, who fought his way past Cecilia Sparke, Tom Chapman and Simon Hughes before defeating Adrian Farthing in the final.
There was also league action.
Adam Sinclair defeated Phil Charlton in Premier One, while Robin Gunney nicked a close one against Alan Joicey in Premier Three.
Four Premier Two Blue matches were played, including a double header at the Blunsdon Arms, Swindon, where the spoils were shared between Dave Pym and Simon Baker.
And Daniel played twice, losing to Richard before defeating Jim.

18/02/20: Tuesday win for Cecilia

In a Premier One encounter at the Rainbow Casino on Tuesday, Cecilia Sparke defeated Phil Charlton to move out of the bottom four.

17/02/20: Sixteen in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were sixteen players in action on Monday, including fourteen at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the seventh phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of seven-player DMP Tournos.
There was also a league match at the Rainbow Casino, where Neil Young got his Premier One campaign off to a winning start against Simon Hughes.
In the DMP Tournos, where Emma Macberry made her Bristol Backgammon debut, there were outright group wins for Roland Herrera and Adrian Farthing.
George Georgiou's SGP lead is up to 26 points.

16/02/20: Andy consolidates Premier One lead

In a Premier One encounter at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday, Andy Boysan defeated Ed Turner to consolidate his divisional lead.

16/02/20: Friday Premier Three action

With the casino undergoing a "deep clean" two Premier Three matches adjourned to the adjacent Costa Coffee on Friday.
And there were wins for Mathew Nicholls and Alan Joicey over Rosemary Whitehouse and Gerald Whitehouse.

16/02/20: Nick wins February Bristol Grand Prix tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-seven players in action on Thursday, including twenty-four at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twenty-two contested the February Bristol Grand Prix tournament.
Six Premier League matches were played.
In the top flight Peter Thistlewood maintained his 100% record with a victory over Stuart Mann at the Pump House.
And in the same division Nick Barham and Chris Rogers shared the spoils of a double header.
The Globe, Newton St Loe, was the venue for a Premier Two Red meeting between Carwyn Jenkins and Tim Line, which Tim won.
And there were Premier Three victories for George Georgiou and Mathew Nicholls, at the expense of Rosemary Whitehouse and Gerald Whitehouse respectively.
In the tournament Nick emerged as the winner, defeating Cynthia Roberts, Steffen Nowak, Richard Owsley, George and Adam Sinclair.
Adam had reached the final via wins over Rosemary, Ian Tarr and Andy Boysan.
Ian Hedges won the consolation flight, defeating Gerald, Robin Gunney and David Tyrrell.
Nick has opened up a 45 points lead over January winner Gaz Owen in the Bristol Grand Prix standings.

12/02/20: Robin begins with two victories

Robin Gunney made his long awaited Premier Three debut at the Sportsman, Nevil Road, on Wednesday with a brace of wins over Mathew Nicholls.

10/02/20: Seventeen in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were seventeen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the sixth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- three 3-point round robins.
Each group had an outright winner -- Andy Boysan and Adam Sinclair winning the six-player groups, Stephen Little taking the honours in the five-player group.
George Georgiou did well enough to regain the SGP lead, with Andy eight oints behind.

09/02/20: Tom and James share Sunday honours

In a brace of Premier Three matches at the Cabot Court Hotel, Weston-super-Mare, on Sunday it was a case of honours even for Tom Chapman and James Lintell-Smith.
Tom's victory featured a sixteen-cube.

09/02/20: Ed scores a double

Ed Turner visited Adam Sinclair's flat in Redland on Saturday for his first two Premier One matches of the season, and he came away with two victories.

07/02/20: Cliff tops Blue Division

In a Premier Two Blue match at the Rainbow Casino on Friday, Cliff Blofield defeated Jim Green to top the division.

07/02/20: Ian wins again

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-seven players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the twenty-three who contested the second of the year's nine GP10 tournaments.
Five Premier League matches were played.
In the top flight Stuart Mann scored his first win of the season, defeating Nick Barham.
Stephen Little and Ian Hedges were winners in Premier Two Red, while in Premier Three the victors were Alan Joicey and Tom Chapman.
The advertised event saw Ian Tarr maintain his improvement in form, as he defeated Andy Boysan, Steve Morris and Daniel Eldridge, before winning the final against Nick, who had eliminated Kian Sabet, Chris Hughes and Robin Gunney.
Adam Sinclair took the honours in the consolation flight with wins over Alan, Andy and Adrian Farthing.
Ian has taken a 55 points lead in the GP10 table.

05/02/20: League wins for Adam and Ian

Two Premier League matches were played on Wednesday.
In Premier One Simon Hughes visited Adam Sinclair's home and was defeated 11-5.
And the Summerhouse, Worle, saw a very close Premier Two Red encounter between Carwyn Jenkins and Ian Tarr, which Ian won at DMP.

04/02/20: Tuesday Premier League round-up

Three Premier League matches were played on Tuesday.
In Premier One there were narrow victories for Andy Boysan and Adam Sinclair over, respectively, Phil Charlton at the Rainbow Casino and Stuart Mann at the Pump House.
And at the King of Wessex in Bath David Hoare defeated Marcel Bancroft in Premier Three.

03/02/20: Twenty in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were twenty players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, including the eighteen who contested the fifth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of nine-player Tric Trac Tournos.
There was also some Premier Three action, with Marcel Bancroft and Mathew Nicholls playing a double header, Marcel winning both matches.
In the Tric Trac Tournos there was an outright win for Roland Herrera in one group, while the other saw the pot split between Andy Boysan and Adam Sinclair.
Daniel Eldridge's SGP lead has been cut to 11 points by George Georgiou, while Kian Sabet extended his lead in the race to be the competition's leading intermediate.
Kian also takes the early lead in the Tric Trac Tourno section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.

31/01/20: Premier Three wins for Alan and James

Two Premier Three matches were played on Friday.
And there were wins for Alan Joicey and James Lintell-Smith.
Alan beat Marcel Bancroft at the Compass, while James was defeating John Curran at the Westbury Park.

31/01/20: Ian wins opening GP30 tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were eighteen players in action on Thursday, including sixteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom just ten contested the first of the year's eight GP30 tournaments.
There were six Premier League matches played.
In Premier Two Blue a pair of double headers saw honours shared -- between Richard Owsley and Jim Green, and Daniel Eldridge and Steve Morris.
And there were Premier Three victories for Jordan White over David Hoare at the Shakespeare, Totterdown, and for Alan Joicey over John Curran.
In the tournament it was Ian Tarr who won the main flight to take the early GP30 lead, getting past Simonetta Herrera and Tim Line before winning the final against Nick Barham.
Nick had beaten Stephen Little and George Georgiou en route.
Roland Herrera took the consolation flight, Adam Sinclair and Stephen being his victims.

28/01/20: Adam wins in Clifton

In a Premier One match at the Brewhouse and Kitchen on Tuesday Adam Sinclair defeated Fred North 11-8.

28/01/20: Monday round-up

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were sixteen players in action on Monday, including the fourteen at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the fourth phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of seven-player Nackgammon Tournos.
There was also some Premier Three action, with Mathew Nicholls ending a sequence of league defeats by defeating Jordan White twice at the Post Office Tavern, and Adrian Farthing getting the better of John Curran in a match and a half at the Rainbow Casino.
In the main event Srephen Little won one of the groups outright, while there was a three way split in the other.
Daniel Eldridge extended his SGP lead to 28 points, with George Georgiou now in second place.
There were no intermediates present, so the absent Kian Sabet is still well in the lead in the race to be the competition's leading intermediate.
Stephen is the first leader of the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix.

26/01/20: Daniel wins the year's first Sunday tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were just ten players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday to contest the first of the year's ten Sunday tournaments.
The field had been affected by expeditions to such exotic places as Melbourne and Macclesfield.
Daniel Eldridge was the day's star performer, making light of being one of the four players not to receive a main flight bye, and inflicting defeats on George Georgiou, Simonetta Herrera and Ian Tarr before whitewashing Tim Line in the final.
Tim had arrived in the final via wins over Ed Turner and Hazel Boucher.
Stephen Little won the consolation flight, defeating Andy Boysan and Ed.

25/01/20: Jon kick-starts his league season

In a Premier Two Red double header at the Three Brooks on Saturday Jon Organ scored a brace of victories over Gary Plant.

24/01/20: Premier Three Friday round-up

It was Whitehouse Day in Premier Three on Friday.
Three matches were played at the Rainbow Casino, and all were won by Whitehouses.
Gerald Whitehouse and Rosemary Whitehouse both defeated Marcel Bancroft, and Rosemary also beat Alan Joicey.

24/01/20: George takes Speedgammon honours

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-two players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the eighteen who contested the first of the year's eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
Six Premier League matches were also played.
In Premier Two Blue there were wins for Jim Green, Richard Owsley and Steve Morris, with Rosemary Whitehouse, George Georgiou and Adrian Farthing registering victories in Premier Three.
The turnout for the Speedgammon event has only been exceeded twice before -- and on those occasions the field was augmented by visiting players prior to the Bristol Open tournaments in 2016 snd 2017.
It meant four round robin groups in the opening phase -- two of five players and two of four.
Group winners were Ian Tarr, Roland Herrera, George and Alan Joicey, who got their entry fees back for the achievement.
The top half of each group progressed to the second phase, a straight knock-out flight.
George and Ian emerged from that to contest the final, where George won at DMP.
George is thus the first leader of the SGGP, with a slender lead over Ian, who picked up useful points for winning all of his four group matches.

22/01/20: Premier Two Wednesday round-up

There were four Premier Two matches played on Tuesday.
The Compass, Tormarton, saw a Premier Two Red double header between Gary Plant and Ian Tarr, who won one match apiece.
That was also the outcome of a Premier Two Blue meeting between Steve Morris and Kev Peters at the George, Norton St Philip.
Kev has participated in six of the seven matches played thus far in that division.

21/01/20: Premier One Tuesday action

There were three Premier One matches played on Tuesday, all of them at the Rainbow Casino.
Andy Boysan defeated Fred North, and Nick Barham shared the spoils of a double header with Adam Sinclair.

21/01/20: Nineteen in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were nineteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the third phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- four 3-point round robins.
George Georgiou and Jordan White played out two Premier Three matches before the tournament, George winning both to cement his good start to the season.
In the groups there were outright wins for Andy Boysan, Daniel Eldridge and -- in the smaller group -- Simonetta Herrera, while the pot was shared in the other group.
Daniel is the new SGP leader, eighteen points ahead of second placed Simonetta, while Kian Sabet has no close rivals, either in the race to be the competition's top intermediate or in the January to June 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.

19/01/20: Sunday Premier League round-up

There were three Premier League matches played on Sunday.
The Slug and Lettuce became the latest new Bristol Backgammon venue for a Premier One meeting of Adam Sinclair and Peter Thistlewood, which Peter won 11-10.
And just around the corner at the Rainbow Casino George Georgiou came out on top of a Premier Three double header, defeating Mathew Nicholls twice.

17/01/20: Steve wins Handicap Trophy tournament

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were twenty-two players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, including the nineteen who contested the first of the year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
There were also three Premier League matches played.
In Premier Two Red Ian Hedges was the instigator, losing to Stephen Little before defeating Steffen Nowak.
And there were Premier Three debuts for Marcel Bancroft and Jordan White, with Jordan prevailing.
In the tournament Steve Morris made light of being one of six players not to draw a bye by winning the tournament, defeating John Curran, Daniel Eldridge, Roland Herrera and Jordan, before despatching Ian Tarr in the final.
Ian had got past Richard Owsley, Alan Joicey and Tim Line.
John was the consolation flight winner, a feat he achieved by beating Jim Green, Nick Barham and George Devlin.
Steve is, of course, the first leader in the Handicap Trophy table, with a 50 points cushion.

15/01/20: League win for Andy

In a Premier One match at the Alma Tavern on Wednesday Andy Boysan defeated Simon Hughes 11-7 to go top of the league.

14/01/20: George takes Spring Grand Prix lead

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom fourteen contested the second phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- a pair of seven-player DMP Tournos.
Before the tournament came the first of this season's Premier Three matches, and David Hoare celebrated his debut at that level by defeating George Georgiou 11-8.
In the DMP Tournos George and Simonetta Herrera shared the pot in one group, while John Curran won the other outright.
George moves into a seventeen points lead in the SGP table.
Kian Sabet is building a sizeable lead in the race to be the competition's top intermediate.
And debut player Mathieu Mackowiak is the early leader in the DMP section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.

12/01/20: Carwyn starts with a win

Carwyn Jenkins and Jon Organ began their respective 2020 Premier Two Red campaigns with a match at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday.
And Carwyn won 11-7.

12/01/20: Gaz takes January Grand Prix title

The final of the main flight of Thursday's monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournament took place at the Lyons Den on Saturday.
And Gaz Owen staved off a fightback by David Tyrrell to take the early BGP lead, as he attempts to defend his title.
It was Gaz's fourth monthly grand prix win in his last nine attempts.

10/01/20: Friday action summary

There were five matches played on Friday, four of them in the Premier League plus the main flight semi-final from the previous night's tournament.
In that semi-final Gaz Owen whitewashed Nick Barham to earn a final meeting with David Tyrrell to decide who will sit at the top of the Bristol Grand Prix table after the first event.
Nick was fresh from a Premier One double success against Fred North.
The rest of the day's action took place at another new Bristol Backgammon venue, the Fosso Lounge, Wells.
This was a Premier Two Blue double header between Kev Peters and Cliff Blofield, where Cliff put last season's disappointments well behind him to score a brace of victories.

10/01/20: David reaches January Grand Prix final

Rainbow Casino BristolThere were once again twenty-five players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, all but one of whom contested the first of the year's monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
In Premier League action there were four matches played.
Stephen Little and Tim Line played out a Premier Two Red double header at the Globe, each winning once.
In the same division Ian Hedges scored an emphatic victory over Chris Hughes at the casino, where Pearl Foster defeated Mandy Macdonald in Premier Two Blue.
In the main flight of the tournament David Tyrrell came through to the final, defeating Roland Herrera, Jim Green and Adrian Farthing.
He is awaiting a final opponent as Nick Barham and Gaz Owen, in the long part of the draw, have deferred their semi-final meeting.
Roland won the consolation flight, beating Ian Hedges, Mandy, Daniel Eldridge and Stephen.

08/01/20: Wednesday's Premier League action

There were four Premier League matches played on Wednesday, three of them at the Compass, Tormarton.
The odd match out -- at the Alma Tavern -- saw Peter Thistlewood celebrate his Premier One debut with a narrow victory at Andy Boysan's expense.
And in another top flight match Fred North marked his return to the division by defeating Gaz Owen in a similarly tight match.
Gary Plant registered the first two wins in Premier Two Red, Andrew Cobb being his victim.

07/01/20: Tuesday Premier League round-up

There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
At the Rainbow Casino Andy Boysan opened his Premier One campaign with an 11-5 victory over Cecilia Sparke.
And the first two Premier Two Blue matches took place at the Globe, Newton St Loe, where Kev Peters scored a brace of victories over Mandy Macdonald.

07/01/20: Fifteen in Monday action

Bristol County Sports ClubThere were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the opening phase of the Monday Club Spring Grand Prix -- three five-player 3-point round robins.
Returning to action after a gap of almost seven years was Steve Ferrer, whose wife Juanita Ferrer is currently undergoing treatment at the BRI.
The Bristol Backgammon community fervently wishes her a speedy recovery.
The pots were shared in all three of the groups, so there's a six way tie at the top of the SGP table!
Kian Sabet was amongst those, so he has an early lead, both in the race to be the SGP's top intermediate and in the January to June 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.

03/01/20: Twenty-five involved in opening tournament of 2020

Rainbow Casino BristolThe opening Bristol Backgammon event of the year, the first of nine GP10 tournaments, was contested by twenty-five players at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday.
There were two welcome Iranian debutants, Mansour Sedaghatpanah and Iman Bayandorian, Mansour being Bristol based while Iman was visiting from abroad.
There was also a league match played before the start of proceedings, Gaz Owen edging home 11-10 against Chris Rogers in Premier One.
Andy Boysan was the tournament winner, defeating Stephen Little, Iman, and Adam Sinclair, before beating Ian Tarr in the final.
Ian had come through the long part of the draw, eliminating Cynthia Roberts, Gaz, Steffen Nowak and Adrian Farthing en route.
The consolation final was not quite finished.
Nick Barham's transport back to Weston-super-Mare forced an adjournment, and he and Jim Green will finish the match very soon.

News items from 2019 (second half)
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