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25/02/20: Twenty-two in Monday action
There 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
There 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
The 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
The 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
There 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
The 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.
31/12/19: Cecilia has her revenge
Hot on the heels of the opening league result of the new season comes the second, also from Portland Square.
And Cecilia Sparke gained her revenge over Chris Rogers, albeit by a much narrower margin -- 11-10.
All the new Premier League tables are now browseable on the site, including Premier One.
30/12/19: Early result sees Chris top Premier One table
The first result of the 2020 Premier League season is in -- three days early!
Chris Rogers ran out the 11-5 winner over Cecilia Sparke in Portland Square to top the embryonic Premier One table, which should be browseable very soon.
24/12/19: Daniel and Jim win Monday DMP Tournos
There were seventeen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the seventeenth and last phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- two DMP Tournos.
And before the event Roland Herrera gave another seminar, attended by thirteen players, this time on the subject of using eXtremeGammon.
In the DMPs the nine-player group was won by Daniel Eldridge, while Jim Green took the honours in the eight-player group.
Daniel had been assured of winning the AGP title before the event started, as his only threat -- David Tyrrell -- needed to contest and win an eleven player group to stand a chance of pipping Daniel for the title.
Daniel's win was enough to extend his lead, with George Georgiou pipping David for second place.
David did have the consolation of winning the prize as top intermediate in the competition, while Adrian Farthing took the prize in the DMP section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
22/12/19: Premier League entry hits fifty for the first time
The closing date for entries having passed, it has now emerged that there will again be a record number of players toeing the starting line in the 2020 Bristol Premier League.
Of thirty-six qualifiers for the top two divisions just two have passed up the opportunity to continue, Simonetta Herrera and Alan Parfitt, Simonetta after an unbroken run of eighteen seasons.
Two others from last year's line-up -- Mike Smith and Drew Caudwell, both eligible for relegation from Premier Two -- have also opted out this time, although ironically Mike would have been reprieved from relegation had he decided to continue.
The two Premier Two divisions and Premier Three will all be better populated than this year, with twelve players in each of the second tier divisions and thirteen in the third tier.
Cliff Blofield has been reprieved from relegation, while Eamonn Reay and Andrew Cobb benefit from being the closest near misses in the Premier Three promotion race.
New entries to Premier Three are debut players Marcel Bancroft, Adrian Farthing, Robin Gunney, David Hoare, Alan Joicey, Jordan White, Gerald Whitehouse, and Rosemary Whitehouse, while there is a welcome return for former league player George Georgiou.
The full line-ups are:
PREMIER ONE: Gaz Owen, Stuart Mann, Cecilia Sparke, Adam Sinclair, Nick Barham, Phil Charlton, Andy Boysan, Chris Rogers, Neil Young, Ed Turner, Simon Hughes, Peter Thistlewood, Fred North;
PREMIER TWO BLUE: Rufus Rozelaar, Paul Watts, Simon Baker, Dave Pym, Daniel Eldridge, Richard Owsley, Steve Morris, Mandy Macdonald, Pearl Foster, Kev Peters, Jim Green, Cliff Blofield;
PREMIER TWO RED: Steffen Nowak, Tim Line, Gary Plant, Chris Hughes, Ian Tarr, Stephen Little, Jon Organ, Ian Hedges, Carwyn Jenkins, Chas Perry, Eamonn Reay, Andrew Cobb;
PREMIER THREE: Tom Chapman, John Curran, James Lintell-Smith, Mathew Nicholls, Marcel Bancroft, Adrian Farthing, Robin Gunney, David Hoare, Alan Joicey, Jordan White, Gerald Whitehouse, Rosemary Whitehouse, George Georgiou.
The thirteen members of Premier One and Premier Three will each face a programme of twenty-four matches, while the twelve members of the parallel Premier Two divisions play twenty-two matches.
Members should expect full details by email within the next couple of days.
21/12/19: Twenty-four in Fizz action
The last Thursday event of the year, known as the Christmas Fizz Tournament, because of sponsor Steve Morris's kind provision of four bottles of various kinds of fizzy liquid, was enjoyed by twenty-four players at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday.
With only 3-point matches throughout, there were two phases -- the first involving round robin groups of four or five players, while the second comprised main and consolation knock-out flights, where qualification was dependent on performance in the first phase.
The five groups saw the winners -- Marcus Evans, Robin Gunney, Ian Tarr, Tim Line and George Devlin -- pocket small cash prizes, and the top two or three in each moved on to the main knock-out flight, the remainder contesting the consolation.
Tim and sponsor Steve emerged through the main flight to contest the final, Tim taking the top prize.
In the consolation it was Peter Thistlewood who won the flight, defeating Richard Owsley in the final.
All four finalists received bubbly prizes from Steve (yes, he had to give one to himself for the first time!), as well as their prize money, and all in all, a good time was had by all.
17/12/19: Robin and George win Monday round robins
There were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom twelve contested the sixteenth and penultimate phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- two 3-point round robins.
Robin Gunney and George Georgiou were the group winners, each losing just once in five matches.
Much of the interest pre-tournament centred around the two horse race for the AGP title, where Daniel Eldridge held a twenty points lead over David Tyrrell before the event.
The six-player format afforded the last chance of hefty points gains, and Daniel and David were drawn into the same group.
David, as he needed to do, started the group well, and going into his final match needed a win over Ian Tarr to share the win points with Robin.
That would have wrested the overall AGP lead from Daniel's grasp by just two points going into next week's DMP Tournos.
But in a see-saw match with many twists and turns it was Ian who had the final piece of good fortune to thwart David.
And now only finishing top in an eleven player DMP Tourno next week will do the job for David, always assuming Daniel cannot add more points to his own tally.
David has already won the race to be the AGP's top intermediate, despite Robin's heroic late run, and has also won the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
13/12/19: Stephen wins December Bristol Grand Prix event
There were sixteen players at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday evening to contest the twelfth and last of the year's monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
Gaz Owen had already made sure of the BGP title, and was not present to extend his lead, so the race was on for the minor placings.
And although Simonetta Herrera won the consolation flight, that was not quite enough to dislodge Tim Line from second place.
The main flight honours went to Stephen Little, who defeated Adrian Farthing, Andy Boysan and George Georgiou before beating Adam Sinclair in the final.
Adam had arrived in the final via wins over Richard Owsley, David Tyrrell and Steve Morris.
Stephen's win clinched him the sixteenth and final place in the 2020 Bristol Masters tournament.
Simonetta's consolation flight victims were Ian Tarr, Tim and Adrian.
12/12/19: Premier League entries still trickling in
At the time of writing there are forty-one entries for the 2020 Bristol Premier League, and several more are confidently expected.
While the precise make-up of the league cannot be known until the close of entries on December 21st, one thing which is certain is that the top division will comprise thirteen players, as all those who ensured their places, either by staying up or by gaining promotion, have now formally accepted.
There will also be a Premier Three division once again, since the total league entry passed the trigger point of 40 players.
You can follow the unfolding picture of entry status by visiting this link.
11/12/19: R.I.P. Wayne
Bristol Backgammon joins the rest of the backgammon world in mourning the sad loss of Wayne Felton.
A gentle, humorous man, Wayne has long been a very popular figure in the game.
A multiple tournament winner, he graced our domestic events on a handful of occasions during the past couple of years, and was a regular participant at the Bristol Open, where he was the winner in 2010.
He will be missed immensely.
11/12/19: Simon wins November Grand Prix final
The held over final of the November Bristol Grand Prix was finally played on Wednesday, in Kellaway Avenue.
And Simon Hughes scored a whitewash victory over Simonetta Herrera, who missed an opportunity to move into second place in the BGP table.
And as Simon's win gives him a 2020 Bristol Masters place, that opens up an opportunity in that competition for the next highest player in Premier Two Red, Peter Thistlewood.
The last of the year's monthly grand prix events, on Thursday, will complete the line-up for the Masters.
10/12/19: Tric Trac Tourno successes for Bahman and Roland
There were seventeen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the fifteenth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- two Tric Trac Tournos.
And there were outright wins by significant margins for Bahman Salahhour and Roland Herrera.
The battle for the leadership of the AGP saw little change, with discards slowing down the accumulation of points as is always the case at the sharp end of the season.
So with two sessions remaining Daniel Eldridge's lead over David Tyrrell will be tough to overturn, with next week's 3-point round robins providing the best chance to affect change.
David's leadership of the race to be the competition's top intermediate looks impregnable, and he has also clinched the Tric Trac Tourno section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
06/12/19: Ian wins final Handicap Trophy tournament as Stephen takes the title
There were twenty-two players shoe-horned into the end of the poker room at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday evening to contest the ninth and last of the year's Handicap Trophy tournaments.
Stephen Little held a commanding HT lead going into the event, such that only Adrian Farthing had the possibility to surpass him, and only then on a tie-break.
However, the draw saw Adrian in the short half of the draw, taking away that remote chance.
So, apart from the kudos of doing well in the tournament, it was all about the minor placings and the unique Side Pool Grand Prix.
Ian Tarr took the honours in the main flight, defeating Mandy Macdonald, Andy Boysan, Gerald Whitehouse, Roland Herrera and, in the final, Simonetta Herrera.
Simonetta had arrived in the final via victories over Daniel Eldridge, David Tyrrell and George Georgiou.
Daniel won the consolation flight, beating John Curran, Richard Owsley, Tim Line and Hazel Boucher.
Ian's win points were enough to give him second place in the final HT standings, with Adrian third, and Ian also scooped the Side Pool Grand Prix.
04/12/19: Ed clinches Premier Two title
The two divisional winners in Premier Two met on Thursday at the Bay Horse to decide the outright Premier Two championship.
And in the closest of these play-off matches, where the lead changed hands at regular intervals, it was Ed Turner who defeated Simon Hughes 11-10.
Blue Division winner Ed broke a sequence of six successive Red Division winners of this annual match, where there had only been Blue Division winners on the previous five occasions.
02/12/19: David closes on Daniel in Autumn Grand Prix
There were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom thirteen contested the fourteenth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- two Nackgammon Tournos.
One other match -- a unique one in the annals of Bristol Backgammon history -- took place.
This was a play-off for third place in Premier Three, as Alan Parfitt and Jim Green couldn't be separated over the eighteen matches of the regular league season, and there was a cash prize at stake.
They were certainly separated on this occasion, however, Jim winning 11-1.
In the Nackgammon there were two outright group winners -- George Georgiou and David Tyrrell.
David's win brought him to within 20 points of AGP leader Daniel Eldridge, who didn't have his best night.
With three sessions remaining, David's title chase now has a distinctly feasible look to it, while his bid to finish as the competition's leading intermediate looks set for success.
He also clinched the Nackgammon section title in the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
The other issue settled was the destiny of the two prize winning places in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix.
Last year's number one and two -- Adam Sinclair and Ian Tarr -- found themselves in the same positions when they arrived, with no other likely challengers.
Adam struggled to make an impact, which left Ian needing to finish at least second in his group to wrest the title away.
Needing a backgammon in his final match to get the job done, he managed only a gammon, and had to settle for joint second with three others, so his points tally improved, but not by enough to prevent Adam taking the title for the third time.
01/12/19: Gaz wins the year's final Sunday tournament
There were eleven players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday for the last of the year's ten Sunday tournaments.
And Gaz Owen stole the show, defeating George Georgiou, Daniel Eldridge and Andy Boysan before despatching Cynthia Roberts in the final.
Cynthia had progressed via a bye and wins over Stephen Little and David Tyrrell.
Adam Sinclair won the consolation flight, beating Simonetta Herrera, Ian Tarr and -- in the final -- Stephen.
01/12/19: Alan takes Conference title
While all four divisions of the Bristol Premier League had already reached their conclusions, the format of the Conference League allows for action right up to the season's end.
And the season ended at midnight on Saturday with no further action to report, leaving Alan Joicey as champion, with Adrian Farthing as runner-up.
Both players had done enough to attain Premier Status for 2020 through their efforts in the competition, although they had already reached this goal via the Race to the Premier League, along with David Tyrrell.
And as champion, Alan has also bagged a place in the 2020 Bristol Masters.
The Conference League, designed as it is to give aspiring players an avenue towards the Premier League, can be something of a mixed bag, being entirely dependent on the number of non-Premier League players around at the time, and also on how keen they are.
In nineteen seasons, there have been four instances of 100 or more matches being played, with a peak at 163 in 2007, while at the other end of the scale there were just two matches played in 2011!
This year there were 28 matches, although that only tells part of the story, since the first seven months yielded only three matches, things then accelerated slightly with three more in August, but gathered pace gratifyingly with 22 matches in the final three months.
29/11/19: Fred promoted as Steffen stumbles
Three more leagues reached their conclusion on Friday.
And the final match in Premier Two Red settled the important outstanding issue.
Steffen Nowak needed a win over Simonetta Herrera in Kellaway Avenue to clinch the second promotion slot at the expense of Fred North.
But Simonetta did Fred proud, winning 11-6, and finishes fourth, just behind Steffen.
And Premier One finished at the King William IV, where already relegated Simon Baker at least ended the season with a flourish, defeating Phil Charlton 11-9.
Phil finishes sixth.
And the final match of Premier Three was an 11-7 victory for Tom Chapman over Eamonn Reay, in which Tom bagged two backgammons.
29/11/19: Adrian wins final GP10 tournament as Roland takes the title
There were nineteen players in action at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday evening to contest the ninth and last of the year's GP10 tournaments.
There was also some league action.
Newly crowned Premier One champion Gaz Owen rounded off his campaign with a defeat by Nick Barham in a previously adjourned match where Nick had led 9-5.
Adrian Farthing and Frank Jones arrived at the tournament from the Fox Den, where Adrian had scored a brace of Conference League victories.
Adrian continued that good work by adding four victories in the main flight of the tournament, scoring wins over Steve Morris, Ian Tarr and George Georgiou before pipping Adam Sinclair in the final.
The destiny of the inaugural GP10 title was also settled.
Roland Herrera arrived at the event with a 30 points lead, which could be threatened by six pursuers.
Two of those, Ian and Simonetta Herrera, were immediately removed from the equation when the total entry failed to exceed 32 -- not at all a surprise!
And with Richard Owsley a no-show, only Daniel Eldridge, Steve and Andy Boysan retained the chance of embarking on the long run necessary to make Roland sweat a little.
Since Daniel and Steve lost their opening encounters, it was left to Andy to mount a challenge.
This started well when he defeated John Curran and Alan Joicey, but George Georgiou proved too tough a nut to crack, and Roland's title was assured.
As it happened, Roland -- eliminated from the main flight in his opening match -- went on to score enough points to render any chase unfruitful by winning the consolation flight, beating Tim Line, Robin Gunney and Simonetta in the process.
28/11/19: Thursday Premier League news
Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has stepped in to resolve an issue in Premier Two Blue.
Drew Caudwell and Ian Hedges had been having difficulties in arranging their final match of the season, having had no problems previously in finishing their other nineteen matches.
Mutually acceptable timings, locations and transport arrangements had been thin on the ground, which had resulted in something of a stand off.
However, at the last minute, with both players showing an inclination to resolve things, it became apparent that the match still would not feasibly be arranged before the deadline.
So the director took the unusual step -- using a precedent previously used in different circumstances between 2007 and 2010 -- of assigning alternative opponents (himself in both cases) for the two to play instead.
Drew lost at the Pen and Wig, Newport, on Tuesday, while Ian (Hedges) won at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday afternoon, and their season is complete, albeit in unusual circumstances.
Meanwhile Eamonn Reay has clinched fifth place in Premier Three -- and first in line to take up any "back door" Premier Two vacancies -- after scoring a brace of wins over Andrew Cobb at the Julian House Cafe, Bath, on Thursday.
The result of his final match, against Tom Chapman has yet to be reported.
27/11/19: Andy pips Neil in their season finale
Andy Boysan and Neil Young finished their Premier One season with a close fought match at the Rainbow Casino on Wednesday.
And it was Andy who prevailed, although the exercise was essential for Neil, as he reclaimed the two penalty points he incurred at the September checkpoint, enabling him to rise above Tim Line, thus avoiding relegation to Premier Two.
26/11/19: Gaz and Ed take titles; Tim relegated
There was league action in Premier One and Premier Two Blue on Tuesday.
And the two matches in the top flight settled some important issues.
The three way fight for the Premier League championship saw two of the protagonists in action -- Stuart Mann playing Andy Boysan, and Cecilia Sparke pitted against Neil Young.
And the victories for Andy (at the Rainbow Casino) and Neil (in Portland Square) signified championship success for Gaz Owen -- his third such honour, and three behind Stuart's record tally.
Stuart finishes second and Cecilia third.
But it was especially good news for the victors.
Andy dispelled any lingering doubts about his top flight survival, while Neil's spectacular end of season run means he will be safe when he plays his final match -- against Andy -- to reclaim the two penalty points he incurred on September 30th.
But their relief comes at Tim Line's expense, as he will join Simon Baker and Dave Pym in the relegation places.
Meanwhile the Premier Two Blue title race ended when Ed Turner and Fred North went head-to-head at the Bristol County Sports Club.
Aided in no small measure by a quadruple gammon in the opening game, Ed finishes top and will meet Premier Two Red title winner Simon Hughes for the overall Premier Two championship.
Fred remains second, and must now wait to see if he stays there to clinch promotion.
A Steffen Nowak victory in his final match against Simonetta Herrera will thwart him.
25/11/19: Steffen's win sets up exciting Blue Division finale
There were eighteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom sixteen contested the thirteenth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- three 3-point round robins.
One crucial Premier Two Blue match was played.
This was the meeting of promotion contenders Steffen Nowak and Ed Turner.
A win for Ed would have guaranteed promotion for himself and Fred North.
But it was Steffen who got the points, and the three contenders are now level on points with one match remaining.
Ed and Fred must meet, while Steffen has Simonetta Herrera to play.
The winner of that first match will be up, as will Steffen if he wins.
But should Steffen lose, the only way for him to return automatically to the top flight without a play-off would be if Ed were to lose 0-11 while Steffen was losing 10-11.
In the round robins the six player group was won outright by Andy Boysan, while the two five player groups saw the pots split.
Daniel Eldridge didn't do enough to add to his points tally, but with discards biting hard his AGP lead still holds strong.
David Tyrrell is now second, but the 57.5 points gap will take some pulling back over the last four sessions.
Similarly David's lead in the race to finish as the competition's top intermediate is looking close to insuperable, with Alan Joicey 71 points back, and Robin Gunney a further 20 points behind, although discards are not quite such a problem for him.
And David has the July to December 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship well and truly sewn up.
23/11/19: Nick wins two titles in a single session
Three of our annual competitions came to conclusions on Saturday.
And two players played two head-to-head matches to decide the destiny of two of our biggest annual titles.
Nick Barham and Chris Rogers began their momentous session at the Rainbow Casino with the main final of Thursday's GP30 tournament.
They stood behind Andy Boysan in second and third place respectively in the GP30 standings, knowing that the winner would take the title and the runner-up would finish third.
And it was Nick who prevailed to take his first GP30 crown.
This was followed by the tenth and final round of the Brunel Trophy, our annual double elimination event.
With one life apiece remaining, this was effectively sudden death, and once again it was Nick who took the honours.
He thus becomes the first two time winner of the event in the six year history of the competition, and he also boasts one second place and one third.
The other competition to conclude was Premier Two Red, where Pearl Foster and Paul Watts played out the final match at the Compass.
Paul was the winner, and finishes fourth.
22/11/19: Friday league round-up
Four Premier League matches played on Friday.
In Premier One a match with a bearing on both ends of the table took place at the Shakespeare, Totterdown.
And Neil Young's effort to avoid relagation gathered pace when he recovered from a 2-6 deficit to defeat Phil Charlton, whose chance of winning the title has now gone.
Meanwhile Chas Perry, having already secured the Premier Three title, ended his campaign in anti-climax, losing to Eamonn Reay at the Watershed and to Jim Green at the Rainbow Casino.
Jim thus finishes dead level with Alan Parfitt in third place.
And whereas both are assured of promotion, the cash prize now stands to be decided by a play-off, as no level of tie-break can separate the two.
And Alan Joicey strengthened his grip on the leadership of the Conference League when he won a previously adjourned match with Jordan White at the Bristol Golf Club.
22/11/19: Chris and Nick in Brunel Trophy and GP30 title shoot-outs; Peter promoted to top flight
There were nineteen players in action on Thursday, including seventeen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom fifteen contested the eighth and last of the year's GP30 tournaments.
And there was action in several other competitions.
The only match in the ninth round of the Brunel Trophy took place before the tournament, and it was a brief affair -- Chris Rogers whitewashing Simon Hughes to set up a final meeting with Nick Barham.
Three Premier One matches went a little way towards resolving some outstanding issues without totally reaching any conclusions.
Title contenders Gaz Owen and Cecilia Sparke were both defeated, leaving Gaz still top of the league, Stuart Mann second, and Cecilia third.
But with one match remaining for each of the three -- although fifth placed Phil Charlton remains in the title picture with two to play -- Cecilia will still finish top if she wins and Gaz and Stuart lose, as she has a superior points difference.
And Gaz's last match was recently adjourned with him being 5-9 in arrears to Nick.
In the relegation race, Tim Line's defeat of Cecilia relegated Simon Baker, so the last relegation slot rests between Tim, Andy Boysan and Neil Young.
A momentous Premier Two Red match occurred at the Blaise Inn, where Rufus Rozelaar needed to defeat Peter Thistlewood by 11-5 or better to snatch the second and final automatic promotion slot from Peter.
An early double gammon for Peter made such an occurrence unlikely, and despite a manful effort, Rufus fell just short, winning 11-6.
Chris Hughes and Stephen Little's Premier Two Blue season ended with Chris winning 11-5.
And there was a rare double header in the Conference League where Alan Joicey and Adrian Farthing swapped 11-6 wins, moving Alan to the top of the league at David Hoare's expense, with Adrian within striking distance.
Another loose end was tied up before the tournament when Cynthia Roberts defeated Gaz in the held over consolation final of last week's monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournament.
The GP30 event started with seven players in contention for the seasonal title, and all of them were present.
Stephen was the first to bow out of the race to supplant leader Andy Boysan, while Cecilia, Roland and Gaz followed in their respective second matches.
Andy, Nick and Chris Rogers were all there in the semi-finals, where Chris's defeat of Andy and Nick's win over Cynthia ensured that the winner of the final would take the title, with Andy stranded in second place.
So Chris and Nick have two big titles to vie for in the very near future.
Tim took the consolation flight, beating Chris Hughes, George Georgiou and Stephen.
20/11/19: League wins for Chris and Alan
There were two league matches played on Wednesday, one in Premier Two Blue and the other in the Conference League.
Daniel Eldridge has narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to the top flight for the second successive year, his season ending in disappointment at Bristol Yard with an emphatic defeat at the hands of Chris Hughes.
Two of Fred North, Ed Turner and Steffen Nowak will fill the two coveted top slots in the Blue Division.
And Alan Joicey is making a last ditch bid for the Conference title, having closed to within a single point of leader David Hoare with an 11-6 victory over David at the Rainbow Casino.
With the flexible format of this league, it remains to be seen whether or not Alan, David or the other title contender Adrian Farthing can arrange more matches before the season ends in ten days time.
19/11/19: Adam misses out; Carwyn safe; Chas champion
There were twenty-six players in action on Monday, including twenty-one at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nineteen contested the twelfth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of DMP Tournos.
Five Premier League matches were played.
In Premier One Gaz Owen moved into pole position with a victory over Dave Pym at the Compass, while Stuart Mann moved into second place by defeating Adam Sinclair at the Pump House, a result which also ended Adam's interest in the title race.
At the club Carwyn Jenkins overcame a deficit against Pearl Foster to clinch a Red Division victory which ensures he stays in Premier Two next season.
Mike Smith joins Drew Caudwell and Cliff Blofield as a player eligible for relegation from the two Premier Two divisions, although this situation could be affected by penalty points in the event of non-completion of fixtures.
And Chas Perry scored a brace of wins over Tom Chapman at the Rainbow Casino to clinch the Premier Three championship.
The DMP Tournos both had outright winners -- Marcel Bancroft in the larger group, Ian Tarr in the smaller one.
Roland Herrera has reduced Daniel Eldridge's AGP lead to 64 points, with five sessions remaining.
Fifth placed David Tyrrell has a 36 points cushion over Alan Joicey in the race to be the competition's leading intermediate.
And Adrian Farthing looks set to win the DMP section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship, although Kim Topasna and Robin Gunney have a remote chance of pipping him.
17/11/19: Mixed fortunes as Ian's league season ends
Ian Tarr concluded his Premier Two Red season with a brace of matches on Sunday.
A victory over Cliff Blofield at the Old Fish Market was followed by a defeat at Richard Owsley's home.
15/11/19: Simon clinches promotion and reaches November Grand Prix final
There were twenty players in action on Thursday, including eighteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom sixteen contested the eleventh of our twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
Three Premier League matches were played, all of which were important to the campaigns of both players.
Principal among these was the Premier Two Red return match between the top two -- Simon Hughes and Peter Thistlewood.
Whoever won would clinch a Premier One place for 2020, and this time it was Simon who scored an emphatic victory to ensure a fourth spell in the top flight.
The remaining automatic promotion slot will go either to Peter or Rufus Rozelaar, whose remaining match is -- you guessed it -- a promotion head-to-head.
Peter holds the advantage, however, as any win or a defeat by no more than 6-11 will see him joining Simon in the top flight, while a convincing win for Rufus would do it for him.
In the top flight three of the five championship contenders were in action.
League leader Cecilia Sparke had a home match against Neil Young, for whom a win was of paramount importance in his bid to escape the drop.
Win he did, and neither Tim Line nor Andy Boysan can rest easy just yet.
Phil Charlton kept his title hopes alive by defeating rival Adam Sinclair, and as the pair are now both outsiders, they will each need to win both remaining matches to have a chance.
In the grand prix tournament Simon continued his upward trajectory, reaching the main final by defeating Cynthia Roberts, Robin Gunney and Adam.
His final opponent will be Simonetta Herrera, whose victims on the night were Ian Tarr, Tim and Steve Morris.
No date has yet been set for this match.
The consolation flight final was also adjourned, and will feature Cynthia and Gaz Owen.
While Simonetta can move into second place with a win against Simon, it now appears that Gaz has done enough to clinch his first Bristol Grand Prix title.
His three tournament wins in eight tournaments contested have proved too big a points tally for his opponents.
13/11/19: Chris wins October GP30 tournament
The held over main final of the October GP30 tournament was played on Wednesday in Portland Square.
And Chris Rogers was the victor over George Georgiou, moving him to within striking distance of the GP30 leaders with one tournament remaining.
12/11/19: Peter almost there
In a battle of the top two in Premier Two Red Peter Thistlewood grabbed a valuable victory against Simon Hughes at the Blaise Inn.
The 11-9 win moves Peter to the top of the league, and he could be promoted even if he loses both his remaining matches.
Should he lose his return match against Simon, even a narrow defeat against the other remaining contender -- Rufus Rozelaar -- might be enough to clinch a first ever sojourn in the top flight.
Meanwhile in Premier Three at the Boston Tea Party in Whiteladies Road a match was started and adjourned.
Jim Green and Chas Perry will resume at 6-6.
12/11/19: Daniel extends Autumn Grand Prix lead
There were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom thirteen contested the eleventh phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- three three-point round robins.
There was league action, both elsewhere and at the club.
The Compass, Tormarton, played host to a Premier Two Red match, Paul Watts defeating Pearl Foster.
And at the club Tom Chapman completed a previously adjourned Premier Three match with Mathew Nicholls, scoring a win which raised him from the foot of the league at Eamonn Reay's expense.
In the round robins, Daniel Eldridge scored a clean sweep in the five player group, while the smaller groups both saw the pot split two ways.
Daniel now has a commanding AGP of 73 points over second placed Simonetta Herrera with six sessions remaining, and discards beginning to make their presence felt more keenly.
David Tyrrell continues to lead the race to be the competition's top intermediate, with Alan Joicey close behind, and also holds a 70 points lead over Alan in the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
10/11/19: Peter moves into top two
Carwyn Jenkins played two Premier Two Red matches at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday.
The first, against Jon Organ, saw him defeated heavily, and although the second -- against Peter Thistlewood -- was a lot closer, another defeat left Carwyn in danger of relegation.
He needs to defeat Pearl Foster in his final match to ensure his safety.
Peter's interest is at the other end of the table, where he has moved into second place.
He has three matches remaining, and one win should be enough to clinch promotion.
The only snag is that all three of those matches feature promotion rivals, with Simon Hughes (two matches) and Rufus Rozelaar aiming to arrest his run.
For Jon, the tail end of the season has been eminently satisfactory.
Looking odds on for relegation after winning only four times in his first fifteen matches, his recovery has been startling, with only one defeat in the last seven outings.
08/11/19: Friday's league action
There were two league matches played on Friday, and two more were adjourned.
At the Boston Tea Party, Gloucester Road, Neil Young kept his Premier One survival hopes alive with an 11-10 victory over Andy Boysan, although Andy leads the return match 6-2.
And the Fox Den was the venue for a Conference League match and a half, when Alan Joicey moved back into second place with an 11-5 win against Frank Jones, who was making a belated but very welcome league debut.
A return match was started, and Frank leads that one 7-5.
08/11/19: Simonetta wins Speedgammon tournament to take grand prix title
There were fourteen players in action on Thursday, including the twelve at the Rainbow Casino who contested the eighth and final instalment of the Speedgammon Grand Prix.
There was Premier Two Red action at the Kensington Arms, where Steve Morris ended his league campaign on a high with an 11-2 victory over promotion contender Peter Thistlewood.
And before the tournament there was Conference League activity, when Adrian Farthing and Jordan White completed their adjourned match, which stood tantalisingly at 10-9 post Crawford in Adrian's favour.
Jordan prevailed to clinch the win, but succumbed in a return match 3-11, which moved Adrian back into second place.
And so to the finale of the first of our year-long grand prix competitions.
The GP30 and GP10 series will be resolved later this month, while the Handicap Trophy and the monthly Bristol Grand Prix come to December climaxes.
But Thursday saw the turn of the Speedgammon Grand Prix to reach a conclusion.
Gaz Owen, who has never won the title despite boasting the best career win:loss ratio by a distance, led the field going into the final competition.
But the lead was precarious, with six pursuers in with a chance of snatching the title.
Two of those six -- Nick Barham and Tim Line -- were absent, however.
The opening phase saw emphatic group wins for Roland Herrera, Gaz and Ian Tarr. Second placers Andy Boysan, Daniel Eldridge and Simonetta Herrera also progressed to the second phase, a straight knock-out.
Amazingly all five remaining title contenders were still there, with the next best placed player, Roland, effectively making up the numbers (in title contention terms, at least).
Gaz and Roland boasted the best group records of the qualifiers, so pipped Ian to the two bye slots.
The two quarter-finals saw Andy and Daniel eliminated, leaving the title race open to Gaz, Ian and Simonetta.
Simonetta defeated Gaz in the semis, with Gaz still heading the points standings at that stage.
In the other semi Ian -- chasing a fifth Bristol Speedgammon title -- would move ahead of Gaz with a win over Roland, and trailing 3-4 he had a great gammon chance to move into pole position, and beyond Simonetta's reach.
A single shot later, however, Ian's race was run.
So the final featured both Herreras.
Her chances of winning the title now rested entirely on her defeating Roland, something which only came to her attention afterwards!
And, 4-2 ahead, she skipped comfortably past a mega back game to clinch her second title in this category.
All in all, a great climax to a special competition, and it remains a mystery why more players don't partake of the thrill of Speedgammon.
06/11/19: Wednesday League round-up
There were two league matches played on Wednesday.
At the Blaise Inn Peter Thistlewood continued his rise towards the Premier Two Red promotion zone when he defeated Steve Morris 11-7.
And Alan Joicey moved into second place in the Conference League with an 11-3 win over Jordan White at the Beaufort Arms.
An adjourned match followed, with Jordan 4-1 ahead.
05/11/19: League wins for Simon and Jim
There were two Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
At the Rainbow Casino Simon Hughes moved back to the top of Premier Two Red with an 11-7 victory over already relegated Cliff Blofield.
And Jim Green clinched promotion from Premier Three when he won a previously adjourned match against Andrew Cobb at the Rose and Crown, Bath.
05/11/19: George into GP30 final
There were fifteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom fourteen contested the tenth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of seven-player Tric Trac Tournos.
Before the advertised event Nick Barham and George Georgiou played their held over semi-final from Thursday's GP30 tournament, and it was George who progressed to play Chris Rogers in the final.
Roland Herrera won one of the Tric Trac groups outright, while the other pot was shared by Daniel Eldridge and David Tyrrell.
Daniel is opening up a handy AGP lead, with Simonetta Herrera 36 points behind, while new third placer David is 49 points further back, heading a clutch of seven players covered by just nineteen points.
David now leads the race to be the competition's top intermediate, and has also made sure of winning the Tric Trac Tourno section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
There was also time for a seven player DMP Tourno, where the pot was split three ways.
04/11/19: Bristol Open 2019 summary
The ninth Bristol Backgammon Open, held at the Rainbow Casino from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd November, was once again a resounding success.
Co-directed for the second successive year by Tim Line and Gaz Owen, with top quality asistance, the event welcomed more than 96 players in the two main categories, plus a handful of others, with 14 from overseas, many from the remainder of the UK seeking UKBGF Tour points, and a strong contingent of local players.
The main event, the Masters, saw victory for Bristol's own Stuart Mann, who defeated Almir Vajzovic of Switzerland, finishing the match with a dramatic eight cube.
His victims on the way to the final were Mark Ferrin (USA), local Elias Hamati (still going strong at 82), Midlander Richard Carter, former UK Team captain Tim Cross, and top Londoner Jon Barnes.
In the Intermediates section it was Daniel Rovira from Sussex who defeated David Phillips in a double play-off.
And the sixteen player Super Jackpot saw Bristol's Chris Rogers finish second for the second successive year, succumbing this time to Argentinian Basilio Gurnas.
The winners (Bristol players are in BLOCK CAPITALS):
MASTERS (58 players):
1st: STUART MANN; 2nd: Almir Vajzovic (Switzerland); 3rd: Tim Cross; 4th: Mike Levi; 5th=: Jon Barnes, Rob Perry.
1st: Daniel Rovira; 2nd: David Phillips; 3rd: ADRIAN FARTHING; 4th: Kevin Bailey; 5th=: STEVE MORRIS, STEFFEN NOWAK.
SUPER JACKPOT (16, including 2 rebuys):
1st: Basilio Gurnas (Argentina); 2nd: CHRIS ROGERS.
SpeedGammon (64, including multiple rebuys):
1st: Jon Barnes; 2nd: Allen Tish (USA).
Erhan Board Friday Warm-up (44):
1st: Raymond Kershaw; 2nd: GEORGE DEVLIN; 3rd=: ADRIAN FARTHING, Daniel Rovira.
Tombstone Trophy (Last Chance) (44):
1st: Emad Salib; 2nd: Michelle de Havilland; 3rd=: SIMON HUGHES, Dave Pritchard.
Consulting Doubles (16 pairs):
1st: Bonnie & Clyde (Jon Barnes & Anna Clarke); 2nd: Argentina Backgammon (Basilio Gurnas & Fernando Neumark, from Argentina (obviously!)).
£5 DMP (64, including multiple rebuys) :
1st and 2nd: CJ Uttley.
03/11/19: Bristol Open in full swing
Bristol's own international tournament is living up to its usual expectations.
Players from around the globe, around the UK, and around the Bristol area are doing battle in the time honoured manner.
And as at Saturday night's close of play -- with the final day's action yet to come -- several local players are in contention for prizes.
In the Masters Stuart Mann is assured of cashing, having reached the semi-finals of the undefeated bracket, while Andy Boysan and Simonetta Herrera are still in the fighters bracket, three matches from cashing.
The Intermediates category -- also a double elimination event -- has Steffen Nowak and Steve Morris in the last four and also amongst the money, while Adrian Farthing and George Devlin are one and two matches respectively from cashing as they continue in the fighters bracket today.
Friday night's warm-up tournament has George in the final, where he has cashed and will be hoping to win the Erhan board prize.
Chris Rogers is in the last four of the Super Jackpot, while Daniel Eldridge won one of the eight Speedgammon heats to grab himself a slot in today's final eight, while Gaz Owen, Gerald Whitehouse, Elias Hamati and Ian Tarr also have high hopes of reaching that last eight.
On to the conclusion today, with the Tombstone Trophy last chance knock-out high in the aspirations of many.
01/11/19: Chris reaches GP30 final
The held over GP30 semi-final between Cecilia Sparke and Chris Rogers was played at Portland Square on Friday, and it was Chris who moved on to the final.
He will meet the winner of the other semi, between Nick Barham and George Georgiou.
01/11/19: Visitors make it a record GP30 entry, but local players dominate
There were twenty-eight players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twenty-six contested the seventh of the year's eight GP30 tournaments.
The field was boosted by visitors warming up for the weekend's big event, with seven overseas players and three from other parts of the UK.
Making their Bristol Backgammon debuts were Richard Carter, Mate Feher, Mark Ferrin, Andre Larsen, Jost Mueller-Kreth and Jules Smith.
The local contingent of sixteen would have equalled the record turnout for a GP30 event.
One league match was played -- Peter Thistlewood taking another step towards the Premier Two Red promotion places by edging to another 11-10 victory, this time over Richard Owsley.
The main flight of the tournament stalled at the semi-final stage, but since none of the visitors made it that far, there is no time pressure on completion of the event.
So Chris Rogers and Cecilia Sparke, and George Georgiou and Nick Barham, will play their semi-finals hopefully some time soon.
Gaz Owen won the consolation flight, defeating Simonetta Herrera, George Devlin, Jost and Adam Sinclair.
The absent Andy Boysan retains his GP30 lead, although one of the four semi-finalists -- Nick -- can threaten the lead.
31/10/19: Thursday morning win for Simon
Portland Square was the Thursday morning setting for Chris Rogers to complete his Premier One season.
And it ended with a narrow defeat to Simon Baker, who still retains an outside chance of top flight survival.
30/10/19: League wins for Steffen and Steve
Two Premier Two matches were played on Wednesday.
Steffen Nowak maintained his hopes of promotion from Premier Two Blue with an 11-2 win over Mike Smith at the Victoria Park.
It was a match of 4-cubes -- the first two dropped, bringing the score to 3-2 in Steffen's favour -- the third taken and converted into a gammon for the coup de grace.
At the Old Stillage there was a Premier Two Red win for Steve Morris over Ian Tarr, a result which left Ian's promotion chances hanging by the finest of threads.
29/10/19: Daniel and Roland take Monday Nackgammon honours
There were thirteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the ninth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of Nackgammon Tournos.
Daniel Eldridge and Roland Herrera were the winners of the larger and smaller groups respectively, Roland by a handsome margin.
But Daniel regains the leadership of the AGP from Simonetta Herrera by 25 points, with the nearest pursuer some 38 points back.
Alan Joicey retains the lead in the race to be the competition's top intermediate, with David Tyrrell eighteen points behind, while the absent Adrian Farthing still tops the Nackgammon section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
Meanwhile Adam Sinclair -- another absentee on the night -- still heads the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix, although Ian Tarr has closed to within seventeen points.
25/10/19: Adrian wins Handicap Trophy event
There were twenty-two players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twenty-one contested the eighth of the year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
There was also league, Brunel Trophy and GP10 action.
In the eighth round of the Brunel Trophy there was only one match scheduled, and it took place in two phases yesterday.
Hitherto unbeaten Simon Hughes finally lost out, at DMP against Nick Barham.
So all three survivors progress to the ninth round, and now the double elimination event is all sudden death, as each player has a single life remaining.
All three players have identical win:loss:bye records, so Nick, whose opponents during the competition have been more successful than those of Simon and Chris Rogers, gets the bye into the tenth round, which will effectively be the final.
Last week's held over GP10 main flight final was played out before the evening's main event, and the spoils went to Andy Boysan, whose victory over Roland Herrera means that Roland cannot be completely sure of taking the GP10 title, the destiny of which will be decided on November 28th.
And in the leagues, the spotlight fell on the Bristol Conference League.
After an embarrassingly slow start to the competition, this league has thankfully seen a flurry of activity in the past two or three months.
And David Hoare now finds himself just two points away from gaining Premier League Status after playing three matches inside two days.
He had shared the honours in a brace of close matches on Wednesday gainst Alan Joicey, and won again when he resumed and completed a match against Adrian Farthing before last night's tournament.
But if that was a disappointment for Adrian, he more than made up for it later when he won the handicap tournament.
And he did it the hard way, needing to win five matches to clinch it -- his victims being George Georgiou, Hazel Boucher, Tim Line, Andy and Roland.
Roland had got past Ian Tarr, Tony Walters and Stephen Little in reaching the final.
Adam Sinclair took the consolation flight, defeating Ian, Simon and George in the process.
Stephen gained enough points to ensure that it will take something akin to a miracle for anyone to stop him taking the HT title.
22/10/19: Simonetta is new Autumn Grand Prix leader
There were nineteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club to contest the eighth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- four 3-point round robins.
The tournament was preceded by a thought provoking Roland Herrera seminar, the topic being "Running Pip Count".
The three five-player round robins all had outright winners -- Simonetta Herrera, Stephen Little and David Tyrrell -- while the smaller group saw the pot shared between Alan Joicey and Ian Tarr.
Simonetta is the latest AGP leader, twelve popints ahead of Daniel Eldridge, while Alan heads the race to be the competition's top intermediate with a fifteen points cushion over David.
And David has a commanding lead in the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
20/10/19: Stephen wins at the Lock Keeper
The Lock Keeper was the venue for a Premier Two Blue meeting between Chris Hughes and Stephen Little on Sunday.
And it was Stephen who prevailed, leapfrogging Chris in mid-table.
18/10/19: Andy and Roland reach GP10 final
There were twenty players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, contesting the eighth of the year's nine GP10 tournaments.
There was a Bristol Backgammon debut for Philip Nicolas who, along with Richard Biddle, was en route to a ferry from Pembroke for this weekend's Irish Open.
And Richard was having a good tournament, until time defeated him, as he and Philip headed off for their ferry.
He had reached the semi-final, where Andy Boysan -- winner against Philip and Steve Morris -- was awarded a bye to the final.
There he will meet Roland Herrera, whose victories over Simon Hughes, Simonetta Herrera and Adam Sinclair did the job for him.
The final will no doubt be enacted very soon.
David Tyrrell took the consolation flight honours by beating Daniel Eldridge, Nick Barham, Cynthia Roberts and Tony Walters.
Roland has moved into a 30 points lead over Daniel in the GP10 table, and a win over Andy would advance him to a near insuperable lead.
The reverse result would leave a handful of pursuers with a realistic chance to snatch the title.
16/10/19: Rufus keeps promotion hopes alive
Blaise Castle was again the venue for a Premier Two Red match.
Rufus Rozelaar met Peter Thistlewood there in a match between two promotion candidates.
And Rufus's victory moved him back into second place. Should he win his final match -- also against Peter -- that might just be enough to see him into Premier One.
And while the setback dented Peter's chances, they still remain good.
15/10/19: Neil is latest Brunel Trophy casualty
There were twenty-five players in action on Monday, including the twenty at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the seventh phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of ten-player DMP Tournos.
The other activities involved leagues and the Brunel Trophy.
The seventh round of that latter competition was completed at the Rainbow Casino, where Nick Barham defeated Neil Young.
Neil thus exits the competition, leaving just three survivors to contest the eighth round, where no draw is necessary as Chris Rogers was the only player not to have yet received a bye.
Simon Hughes, the only player with both lives intact, will take on Nick in the only match of the round.
In league action Peter Thistlewood edged home against Jon Organ in Premier Two Red at the Blaise Inn, while at the Fox Den Alan Joicey moved himself well into contention for Conference League honours with a brace of victories over Jordan White.
Both DMP Tournos had outright winners, Simonetta Herrera and Gaz Owen taking the pots.
Daniel Eldridge has taken over at the top of the AGP with Simonetta seven points back in second place.
Alan still leads the race to be the competition's top intermediate, while Adrian Farthing heads the DMP section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
Owen Tunstall became the latest player to make a welcome Bristol Backgammon debut.
13/10/19: Drew and Mandy share the spoils
Drew Caudwell met Mandy Macdonald at Grounded, Bedminster, on Saturday for a Premier Two Blue double header.
And they won one match apiece.
Drew can no longer escape relegation, but Mandy is now almost certainly safe from that fate.
11/10/19: Gaz opens up large BGP lead
There were seventeen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, of whom fourteen contested the tenth of the year's twelve Monthly Grand Prix tournaments.
Alongside the tournament Jim Green got very close to inflicting a Brunel Trophy defeat on Simon Hughes, but Simon won the nail biting contest to reach round eight of the double elimination competition with both lives intact, while Jim made his exit.
In the main event it was Gaz Owen and Daniel Eldridge who emerged from the field into the main flight final -- Gaz defeating Steve Morris, Tim Line and Robin Gunney en route, while Daniel's victims were Cynthia Roberts, Adrian Farthing and Tony Walters.
And when Gaz moved into a 7-0 lead in the first-to-11-points match it was beginning to look like a formality.
Daniel, however, had other ideas and regained parity before coming second best in an exciting four-pointer.
Roland Herrera won the consolation flight, overcoming Ian Tarr, Steve and Simonetta Herrera.
Gaz's win was the third of this Bristol Grand Prix season, and he has opened up a 135 points lead over second placed Tim, although it might have been very different had Tim won their very close quarter-final.
09/10/19: Fred almost there
Fred North took another giant stride towards confirming his promotion to the top flight yesterday at the Windmill, when he emphatically defeated Mandy Macdonald.
Fred now tops Premier Two Blue on average points difference from Ed Turner, although Ed has two matches remaining as opposed to Fred's one.
Fred's last match is against Ed, and a victory there would guarantee him promotion, as his points difference would be good enough to repel any pursuers.
Steffen Nowak, the player with the best chance to stop Fred and Ed, also has Ed as one of his three remaining opponents.
08/10/19: Nineteen in Monday action
There were nineteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club for the sixth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- four three-point round robins.
Two of the groups were won outright -- by Roland Herrera and Gaz Owen -- while the pots were shared in the other two.
George Georgiou's AGP lead is down to three points, with Daniel Eldridge now in second place, with four other players within thirty points of the lead.
Alan Joicey retains the leadership of the race to be the competition's top intermediate, with David Tyrrell close behind.
And David leads the July to December 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
06/10/19: Adrian excels in Newcastle
Sampling his first taste of a large scale weekend backgammon tournament this weekend was current Bristol Conference League second placer Adrian Farthing.
He was a long way from home when participating in the Newcastle Open, a part of the 2019 UKBGF Tour.
And he did extremely well, including taking the scalp of current UK number 3 player Kev Jones, on his way to the main final where he succumbed to Alistair Woods.
Cynthia Roberts also made it to the last sixteen.
06/10/19: Chris into Brunel Trophy eighth round after "domestic"
The first of the three seventh round Brunel Trophy matches was played in Portland Square on Saturday.
And the two protagonists didn't even have to leave home.
Chris Rogers was victorious over Cecilia Sparke in a match described by Chris as a "surprisingly good-tempered affair".
Chris moves into the eighth round where there will be either two or three others, depending on the outcome of the other seventh round matches.
04/10/19: Simon wins Speedgammon tournament
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including fourteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom twelve contested the seventh and penultimate Speedgammon Grand Prix tournament of the year.
Two Premier League matches were played.
At the Brew Coffee Co in Whiteladies Road Jim Green defeated Chas Perry to move a big step closer to promotion from Premier Three.
And alongside the tournament at the casino Fred North scored an important win over Ian Hedges to strengthen his claim for a Premier Two Blue promotion slot.
The twelve Speedgammon contestants were randomly drawn into three four-player round robins, which produced group win prizes for Ian Tarr, Daniel Eldridge and Simon Hughes.
Ian and Simon had the best group records, thus earning the two byes in the second phase, a straight knock-out for the players finishing in the top half of the groups.
And they duly progressed to the final, where Simon was the emphatic victor.
SGGP leader Gaz Owen failed to get out of the first phase, but added fifteen points to his overall tally.
Ian Tarr did enough to move into second place, but may well have cause to regret his final loss, as the reverse result would have moved him to the top of the table.
The final instalment of this intriguing competition is now beuatifully set up for the November 7th finale.
While Gaz's lead of twenty points might seem insubstantial, the discard factor means that for anybody to overhaul him in November nothing less than a run to the final would be enough to overhaul his current points total.
Having said that, who would bet against one of the six pursuing players -- Ian, Daniel, Andy Boysan, Tim Line, Nick Barham and Simonetta Herrera winning that tournament?
01/10/19: Four penalised at September 30th Premier League checkpoint
The September 30th Premier League checkpoint has passed with four players incurring penalties.
In Premier One Neil Young is two matches adrift of the schedule, so incurs a two points penalty, which will be reclaimed when he completes the season on time.
He also has 10 points added to his "Points Against" column, a unique feature of the September checkpoint.
In Premier Three three players have fallen foul of the checkpoint.
Chas Perry (two matches in arrears), Eamonn Reay and Tom Chapman (one apiece) have incurred penalties, two, one and one respectively which can be clawed back before the end of the season, and ten, five amd five respectively on their points differences.
Neither of the Premier Two divisions presented a problem, although Peter Thistlewood's separately negotiated schedule to cater for his health related problems does represent a risk to the league at this late stage of the season.
01/10/19: Alan promoted to Premier Two
Having braved the torrential rain, there were twenty-one players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nineteen contested the fifth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of Tric Trac Tournos.
Two and a half league matches were played.
James Lintell-Smith and Alan Parfitt played a double header to end their respective Premier Three campaigns.
And Alan's brace of narrow victories ensured that he will be in Premier Two next season.
Adrian Farthing and Jordan White began a Conference League match before the tournament, which was adjourned with Adrian 8-6 ahead.
In the tournament there were two more welcome new players in Kostas Anastasakis and David Jones.
George Georgiou and Daniel Eldridge won the groups outright, and George is the new leader of the AGP, with an eighteen points advantage over second placed Simonetta Herrera.
Alan Joicey heads the race to be the competition's leading intermediate, with David Tyrrell and Adrian not far behind.
And David Tyrrell is well in line for the Tric Trac Tourno prize in the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
29/09/19: Tony takes Sunday tournament honours
There were eighteen players in action on Sunday, including the sixteen at the Rainbow Casino who contested the ninth of the year's Sunday tournaments.
The two who played elsewhere were Andrew Cobb and Jim Green, who met at the Rose and Crown, Bath, for a Premier Three match and a half.
Andrew won 11-6, but was 0-5 down in the return encounter when they adjourned.
The sixteen tournament contestants could have been seventeen, had one player messaged the Director before draw time.
Included amongst the field were two new Bristol Backgammon players, and two almost new.
Three "invaders" from North Devon included Roger Harding and Hassan Shenavar, who had visited in September 2011, plus Assad Al-Doori, while Sam Petherick made his debut appearance from closer to base.
Tony Walters was the day's star performer, defeating Sam, Gerald Whitehouse and Mandy Macdonald, before eclipsing Daniel Eldridge in the final.
Daniel had arrived there via wins over Ian Tarr, Gaz Owen and Tim Line.
Nick Barham took the consolation flight with victories over Rosemary Whitehouse, Ian and Hassan.
28/09/19: Simon in Premier One action
There were three Premier One matches played at the Rainbow Casino on Saturday -- all of them involving Simon Baker.
After a defeat to Gaz Owen, which saw Gaz move into second place in the table, Simon shared the spoils of a double header with Nick Barham.
With two matches remaining Simon's top flight status is hanging by the slenderest of threads.
27/09/19: Premier League Friday action
Five Premier League matches were played on Friday.
In the top flight Gaz Owen kept alive his title chances by defeating rival Phil Charlton at the King William IV.
Phil will now need to win his last three matches to stand any chance.
And a double header in Portland Square saw honours shared between Neil Young and Chris Rogers.
Chris is not yet mathematically safe from relegation, but it would take something quite extraordinary to return him to the danger zone.
Neil still has a chance to escape.
In Premier Two Blue Simonetta Herrera lost to visiting Steffen Nowak and can now only hope for a miracle if she wins her final match.
Steffen, however, is still right in the thick of the race.
And Jon Organ maintained his recent Red Division form with a fifth successive victory, this time over Peter Thistlewood at the Rainbow Casino.
Peter is due one more operation before reeling off his final nine matches, and has a great chance of challenging the leaders, while Jon will now surely be safe from the drop.
27/09/19: Stephen takes control of the Handicap Trophy
There were twenty-five players in action on Thursday, including twenty-two at the Rainbow Casino, of whom eighteen contested the seventh of the year's nine Handicap Trophy tournaments.
Five Premier League matches were completed, and two more were adjourned to be finished another day.
In Premier One Nick Barham completed a previously adjourned match -- losing narrowly to Phil Charlton -- but didn't quite have enough time to complete another match before the tournament -- adjourning 9-5 ahead of Gaz Owen.
Earlier Fred North had visited Simonetta Herrera in Kellaway Avenue, coming away with a Premier Two Blue victory.
And in the parallel Red Division defeats for Ian Tarr and Paul Watts -- against Richard Owsley and Jon Organ respectively -- were good news for their promotion rivals.
At the Bristol County Sports Club Tom Chapman pipped Mathew Nicholls in a Premier Three encounter, and is 3-0 ahead in the return match, which will be completed soon.
The tournament saw a competitive debut for Hazel Boucher, who made the most of her handicap of 4, eliminating Simonetta Herrera and Daniel Eldridge before exiting at the hands of Gerald Whitehouse.
Handicap Trophy leader Stephen Little and relative newcomer Ben Crowden emerged from the field into the final.
Stephen's route took him past Rosemary Whitehouse, Adam Sinclair and Ian Tarr, while Ben was eliminating Adrian Farthing, Gaz and Gerald.
And Stephen, who already had one HT victory under his belt this year, took the honours to move 100 points ahead of second placed Ian.
Rosemary won the consolation flight, beating Nick, Robin Gunney and Tony Walters.
26/09/19: David back on top of the Conference
In a Conference League double header at the Lazy Dog yesterday Jordan White and David Hoare shared the spoils.
David thus regains the divisional leadership from Adrian Farthing.
25/09/19: Wednesday Premier League round-up
Two Premier League matches were played on Wednesday, both at the Bristol County Sports Club.
In Premier Two Blue leader Ed Turner took a giant stride towards promotion, when he recovered from 3-9 in arrears to pip Steffen Nowak.
And Jim Green entered the top four of Premier Three by defeating Tom Chapman.
24/09/19: Ian scores narrow win over Rufus
In a Premier Two Red meeting at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday, two players in with a chance of promotion met.
And Ian Tarr's 11-10 win over Rufus Rozelaar kept his outside chances alive, while denting those of Rufus.
24/09/19: Twenty-five in Monday action as Cecilia tops Premier One
There were twenty-five players in various kinds of action on Monday, including twenty-three at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom eighteen contested the fourth phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- three six-player Nackgammon Tournos.
Four league matches were played.
At the Rainbow Casino Cecilia Sparke's narrow victory over Phil Charlton moved her to the top of Premier One.
Back at the club Alan Parfitt and Jim Green were completing a Premier Three double header.
Their first match had previously been adjourned with Alan 9-0 ahead, and he duly completed an 11-1 win, before succumbing in the return 6-11.
And Adrian Farthing beat Jordan White to return to the top of the Conference League.
In the Nackgammon all three groups were headed by ladies, albeit that Simonetta Herrera shared that honour with Nick Barham in one of the groups.
Mary French and Pat Meek were the other winners, although Stephen Little took the pot in Pat's group because of her "amateur status".
Bahman Salahshour had an off night, but still heads the AGP table, his lead diminished to five points by second placed Simonetta.
Alan Joicey remains the competition's leading intermediate in third place.
Pat would be at the head of the Nackgammon section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship, but once again defers to Adrian because of her status.
And Adam Sinclair's lead in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix is down to a still handy 39 points, with Stephen in second place.
Present for backgammon action for the first time was Boffy French, who had the benefit of some expert tuition from Roland Herrera.
22/09/19: Weekend Premier League review
Two Premier League matches were played at the weekend.
The Lock Keeper was the venue on Saturday for a Premier Two Blue meeting between Chris Hughes and second placed Daniel Eldridge.
Chris won to keep his own promotion hopes alive, while the defeat was a blow to Daniel, who needs to win his one and only remaining match to stand a good chance of elevation.
There was a new Bristol Backgammon venue for the Sunday Premier Three meeting of Kev Peters and Tom Chapman.
The match, at the Quarter Jack, Wells, saw Tom end Kev's eleven match winning league sequence come to an end, although his promotion was already assured.
20/09/19: Simon wins held over GP10 final
The Kensington Arms on Friday saw the completion of the previous evening's GP10 tournament.
And the result was a resounding win for Simon Hughes over Steve Morris, which preserves Daniel Eldridge's 35 points lead in the competition.
20/09/19: Seventh round Brunel Trophy draw made
The draw for the seventh round of the 2019 Brunel Trophy was made at the casino on Thursday.
There are six survivors from the first six rounds, only one of whom -- Simon Hughes -- has both lives remaining.
Should Simon lose his seventh round match, the eighth round would involve four players, each with a single life remaining, in which case the remainder of the competition would effectively become an orthodox straight knock-out.
A win for Simon would, however, mean a bye for someone in the eighth round.
View the draw and results of previous roundshere.
Matches are to be played by Thursday October 24th.
20/09/19: Simon and Steve reach GP10 final
There were eighteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, of whom seventeen contested the seventh of the year's GP10 tournaments.
The exception was Phil Charlton, who played the lion's share of a Premier One match against Nick Barham.
The match was adjourned with Nick 8-6 ahead to enable Nick's inolvement in the tournament.
Simon Hughes and Steve Morris emerged as the main flight finalists, with the match deferred until Friday evening.
Simon's run to the final came via victories over Simonetta Herrera, Alan Joicey and Andy Boysan, while Steve's victims were Tony Walters, Ian Tarr and Gaz Owen.
Daniel Eldridge took the consolation flight honours, defeating Simonetta, Jim Green and Tony.
Daniel thus extended his GP10 lead to 35 points over Steve and Roland Herrera, although a final win for Steve would wipe that lead out.
17/09/19: League and Brunel Trophy Tuesday round-up
Tuesday saw three matches played.
Adam Sinclair exited the Brunel Trophy after losing to Neil Young at the Wellington.
Six players go into Thursday's seventh round draw.
In Premier One Gaz Owen suffered a rare whitewash at the hands of Andy Boysan at the Alma Tavern, a result which dealt a blow to Gaz's title hopes, while at the same time alleviating Andy's relegation fears.
And Rufus Rozelaar stayed firmly in the Premier Two Red promotion race when he defeated Pearl Foster at the George and Dragon, Winterbourne.
17/09/19: Twenty-one in Monday action
There were twenty-one players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nineteen contested the third phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- four 3-point round robins.
One Premier Two Red match was played -- a victory for Pearl Foster over Carwyn Jenkins.
The four round robins -- the first time there have ever been as many as four such groups on a Monday -- each had outright winners -- Gaz Owen, Adam Sinclair, Daniel Eldridge and David Tyrrell.
Bahman Salahshour's AGP lead was extended to 30 points over second placed Alan Joicey.
The race to be the competition's leading intermediate is every bit as interesting, Alan leading the way with David and Adrian Farthing not far behind.
The same three players head the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship, although in a different order.
David leads from Adrian and Alan.
15/09/19: Weekend Premier Two round-up
Three Premier Two matches were played at the weekend.
The Marlborough Tavern, Bath, was the scene on Saturday for a Premier Two Blue meeting between Stephen Little and Ed Turner.
Ed won 11-8 and moves to the top of the division.
Another new table topper was Gary Plant.
He finished his Premier Two Red programme on Sunday with a brace of wins over Carwyn Jenkins at the Summerhouse, Worle.
He leads the division with 39 points, and must now wait and see if that will be enough to secure him one of the crucial top two promotion slots.
13/09/19: Simonetta goes second
A resounding Premier Two Blue victory over Ian Hedges at the Rainbow Casino on Friday has moved Simonetta Herrera into the division's second promotion slot.
13/09/19: Tim wins September Grand Prix tournament; Dave relegated
There were twenty-two players in action on Thursday, including twenty at the Rainbow Casino, of whom sixteen contested the ninth of the year's Monthly Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.
There were six league matches played, and the final of last week's GP30 tournament was completed.
In that final Simonetta Herrera defeated Andy Boysan to close the gap at the top of the GP30 table to just five points.
A Premier One double header saw Tim Line and Simon Baker shared the spoils -- Tim's win consigning Dave Pym to relegation to Premier Two.
In Premier Two Red there was another double header, where Gary Plant's brace of wins moved him into fourth place, while lengthening Richard Owsley's losing sequence to an alarming seven.
Meanwhile at The Vaults, Weston-super-Mare, divisional leader Simon Hughes was consolidating his position with a narrow victory over Cliff Blofield.
And Adrian Farthing closed on Conference League leader David Hoare by defeating Alan Joicey.
In the tournament there was a Thursday debut for Monday regular David Tyrrell and he acquitted himself very well, disposing of Ian Tarr and Nick Barham in very close matches, before an even closer semi-final defeat by Andy.
Andy's route to the semi-final had come via wins over Cynthia Roberts and Ed Turner.
In the first-to-11-points final he met Tim, who had vanquished Adrian, Steve Morris and Gaz Owen.
After leading 9-2 Andy failed to win another point, so Tim secured his second monthly grand prix win of the year.
Simonetta took the consolation flight, beating Ian, Stephen Little and Cynthia.
Gaz's 55 points BGP lead has been cut to 35 by Tim.
10/09/19: Tuesday Premier League round-up
There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday.
In the top flight Andy Boysan scored a much needed victory over Cecilia Sparke, who missed the chance to go top.
And in a Premier Two Blue double header at Kellaway Avenue Simonetta Herrera scored a brace of wins over Mike Smith to move from the bottom three into third place.
10/09/19: Simon back on top of Red Division
There were eighteen players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom fifteen contested the second phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- a pair of DMP Tournos.
Two league matches were played.
In Premier Two Red Simon Hughes defeated Pearl Foster and moved back to the top of the division.
And Adrian Farthing beat Alan Joicey to leapfrog him into second place in the Conference League.
In the DMP Tournos Robin Gunney made his first appearance for more than two years and celebrated with a share of one of the pots.
Both groups had joint winners, Robin sharing with Alan Parfitt, while Simonetta Herrera and Bahman Salahsour did likewise in the other.
Bahman takes over the mantle of AGP leader, 24 points ahead of previous leader Alan Joicey, who leads the race to be the competition's top intermediate.
Adrian is in line for the prize in the DMP Tourno section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship, although Pat Meek would have a handy lead but for her "amateur status".
Later in the evening Scott Wood popped in for the first time in over fourteen years, and played some friendly games with John Curran.
08/09/19: James wins in Bath
In a Premier Three encounter at Andrew Cobb's in Bath on Sunday, James Lintell-Smith defeated Andrew courtesy of rolling a last ditch double.
06/09/19: Stuart and Rufus top their divisions
There were twenty-two players in action on Thursday, including twenty at the Rainbow Casino, including the ten who contested the sixth of the year's GP30 tournaments.
But league action dominated the day, with no fewer than fifteen in action across twelve matches.
In Premier One leader Adam Sinclair was not present.
In his absence two players overtook him, Stuart Mann's brace of wins over Nick Barham grabbing pole position for him, while severely damaging Nick's title chances.
Cecilia Sparke moved into second place with victory over Tim Line, while Gaz Owen also finished a previously adjourned matches with Tim, also defeating him to keep alive his challenge.
Phil Charlton lost narrowly to Chris Rogers, a result which did nothing for Phil's title aspirations, while going a long way towards ensuring that Chris will not get relegated.
In Premier Two Red Simon Hughes and Ian Tarr occupied the promotion slots at the start of the session, but both concentrated on the tournament.
Paul Watts moved top by beating Steve Morris, but was not there for long, as Rufus Rozelaar's second narrow victory over Richard Owsley saw him into the lead.
But the looming threat to all others at the top is Peter Thistlewood, whose ninth victory inside a month -- this time over Cliff Blofield at the Fox Den -- sees him just six points from the top with a multitude of matches in hand.
There was also a Premier Two Blue double header, with honours even between second placed Ed Turner and Ian Hedges.
The league picture was completed by Conference League leader David Hoare facing league debutant Alan Joicey.
And Alan inflicted David's first league defeat to move straight into second place in this slow moving competition which is now, thankfully, gathering pace.
In the tournament there is no final outcome to report, with Andy Boysan and Simonetta Herrera scheduled to play out the main flight final some time soon.
Andy's progress to the final came via wins over Gaz, Simon and Nick, while Simonetta arrived via a bye and defeating Cecilia and Tim.
Gaz took the consolation flight honours, beating Cecilia and Chris.
Andy had jointly held the GP30 lead with Roland Herrera, and took advantage of his absence to build a 45 points lead over Simonetta, now in second place.
The result of the final will determine whether Andy's advantage going into the final two phases of the competition will be 80 points or just 10.
04/09/19: Ian wins in Redfield
In a Premier Two Red promotion battle at the Old Stillage, Redfield, on Wednesday Ian Tarr beat league leader Simon Hughes to move into second place.
03/09/19: Alan is early Autumn Grand Prix leader
There were twenty-one players in action on Monday, including seventeen at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom fifteen contested the opening phase of the Monday Club Autumn Grand Prix -- three five-player 3-point round robins.
Three league matches were played.
At the Lock Keeper Fred North defeated Chris Hughes in a Premier Two Blue match.
Peter Thistlewood continued his search for a Premier Two Red promotion place with victory over second placed Paul Watts at the Rainbow Casino.
And David Hoare is building a very useful cushion at the top of the Conference League, his latest win coming at the expense of second placed Adrian Farthing.
Lindsey Shannahan from Devon was present on a fact finding mission, and played a friendly match with Roland Herrera, who is not quite back into the throes of competitive action yet.
In the round robins only one group was won outright -- Alan Joicey becoming the early AGP leader.
And in the July to December 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship David Tyrrell leads an interesting three way fight for the spoils with Adrian and Alan not far behind.
01/09/19: Gaz and Tim third and fourth at the UK Open
This weekend's UKBGF UK Open, in Leamington Spa, has resulted in a couple of near misses for our local players.
In the Masters category Gaz Owen and Tim Line finished third and fourth respectively, both eliminated by Costin Constantinescu.
The title decider saw Costin defeated by former UK team captain Tim Cross.
For a view of any/all players' results click here. (There are 152 players listed).
01/09/19: Carwyn wins in Weston
In a Premier Two Red match at the Brunello Lounge, Weston-super-Mare, on Sunday Carwyn Jenkins defeated Cliff Blofield 11-5.
30/08/19: Adrian and Ian are Bristol's doubles champions
There were eighteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the sixteen who contested the annual Consulting Doubles Championship.
The other two players were Richard Owsley and Peter Thistlewood, who contested a gruelling Premier Two Red match, which Peter won 11-10 with a stunning Crawford Game gammon.
Having only started his league campaign earlier this month, for well documented reasons, Peter now finds himself just nine points from the top of the league.
In the doubles, with a nicely symmetrical field of eight pairs, it was the last minute pairing of Adrian Farthing and reluctant doubles player Ian Tarr who took the title.
Victories over first Chris Rogers and Cecilia Sparke, and then Roland and Simonetta Herrera -- with Roland looking well after his recent health scare -- brought them to a final meeting with Steve Morris and Ben Crowden.
For Ben, making his first Thursday appearance, this was great experience, as he and Steve got past Daniel Eldridge and Cynthia Roberts and then Stephen Little and George Devlin.
But in a close final it was Ian and Adrian who prevailed.
Chris and Cecilia took the consolation flight, defeating Daniel and Cynthia in the semis and Adam Sinclair and Andy Boysan in the final.
29/08/19: Another win for Peter
Peter Thistlewood began his league season late, but is making up for lost time.
His ninth Premier Two Red match in 23 days resulted in a sixth victory, 11-6 over Paul Watts.
28/08/19: David extends Conference lead
In a late reported result from Tuesday David Hoare defeated Jordan White at the Shakespeare, Totterdown, in the Conference League to go five points clear at the top.
A very slow season in this league is showing signs of picking up, with the number of results reported having doubled overall in August.
27/08/19: Adam tops Premier League
There were four Premier League matches played on Tuesday -- all of them at the Rainbow Casino.
In Premier One a double victory for Adam Sinclair over Dave Pym propelled him to the top of the pile.
Not far behind is Cecilia Sparke, whose narrow win over Andy Boysan keeps her well involved in a title race which now has the appearance of a six horse race.
The other match was in Premier Two Red, where Jon Organ seems to be finding his feet.
His victory over Paul Watts pulled him further from the bottom, while Paul's defeat leaves the promotion race as intriguing as ever.
26/08/19: Fred and Stephen share spoils
Stephen Little and Fred North met at the Marlborough Tavern, Bath, on Monday, and shared the spoils of a Premier Two Blue double header.
The results leave both players with an interest in the promotion race, albeit with little margin for error.
26/08/19: Wayne wins Sunday tournament
There were thirteen players in action on Sunday at the Rainbow Casino, including the eleven who contested the eighth of the year's Sunday tournaments.
The other two players were Carwyn Jenkins and Peter Thistlewood, who played a Premier Two Red match, which Peter won.
In the tournament it was Wayne Felton who took the main flight honours with victories over Cynthia Roberts and Adrian Farthing, before beating Gaz Owen in the final.
Gaz had defeated Rosemary Whitehouse, Adam Sinclair and Daniel Eldridge en route to the final.
Rosemary won the consolation flight, beating George Georgiou, Cynthia and Ian Tarr.
23/08/19: Gaz wins to top Speedgammon table; Kev joins Chas in promotion
There were seventeen players in action on Thursday, including thirteen at the Rainbow Casino, of whom ten contested the sixth of the year's eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
In Premier One action were Phil Charlton and Dave Pym, who shared the spoils of a double header.
At the Fox Den Cliff Blofield ended a run of Premier Two Red defeats with a narrow victory over Peter Thistlewood.
Meanwhile Kev Peters was continuing his sequence of Premier Three victories with a brace of wins over Jim Green at the George, Nunney.
The wins confirm that Kev will be in Premier Two next season, along with Chas Perry -- always assuming neither player incurs any penalty points on the run in.
Despite the setbacks Jim is still in with a good chance of joining them.
Ismail Yilmaz became the latest player to exit the Brunel Trophy when he succumbed to Nick Barham.
In the opening phase of the Speedgammon there were two groups of five players, where the top three in each group would progress to the knock-out phase.
Gaz Owen and Ian Tarr claimed the group winners' prizes and ensured that they would receive byes to the semi-finals.
Gaz went on the win the event, defeating first Cynthia Roberts and then Daniel Eldridge in the final.
Gaz has opened up a 35 points lead in the SGGP table, while Daniel has moved up to second, with five other players within 30 points.
21/08/19: Wednesday league action
Four Premier League matches were played on Wednesday.
Adam Sinclair won a close Premier One encounter with Phil Charlton at the Rainbow Casino.
The other three results came in Premier Two Red.
The Fox Den was the venue for a two matches between Cliff Blofield and Jon Organ, both of which went in Jon's favour by 11-6.
Ian Tarr visited the Blaise Inn, and just managed to defeat Peter Thistlewood.
20/08/19: Tuesday round-up
Four matches were played on Tuesday.
In the sixth round of the Brunel Trophy Miles Farren's run in the competition came to an end when he was defeated by Cecilia Sparke at the Graze Bar.
And Mike Smith's Premier Two Blue revival gathered pace with a brace of victories over Mandy Macdonald at the Windmill.
Meanwhile at the Blaise Inn Peter Thistlewood's late start to the Premier Two Red season continued satisfactorily when his latest victory -- over Gary Plant -- hauled him from the foot of the league table.
20/08/19: David wins Tric Trac event and top intermediate prize
There were sixteen players in action on Monday, including twelve at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom ten contested the fourteenth and final phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
There was league and Brunel Trophy action elsewhere.
In the sixth round of that latter competition Jim Green suffered his first defeat, at the hands of Chris Rogers.
The result confirms that there will be six players in the seventh round draw, and thus no bye.
The league action was in Premier Three, at another new Bristol Backgammon venue, the Three Horseshoes, Chapmanslade.
And Kev Peters appears to be moving inexorably towards promotion after a brace of victories over Mathew Nicholls.
His current league winning sequence is nine.
At the club, Cole Griffin had some one-to-one tuition from Director Ian Tarr.
Alongside it was David Tyrrell who took the honours in the Tric Trac, finishing with thirteen points, aided by a backgammon in his final game.
Ian has won the SGP, with Stephen Little finishing in second place.
And David's impact is rewarded by the prize for the SGP's top intermediate.
He is also first in line for the Tric Trac Tourno section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship, although Pat Meek would be well in the lead if she didn't always take the non-paying option available on Mondays.
19/08/19: Cecilia goes second in Premier One
At another new Bristol Backgammon venue, The Social in Cheltenham Road, Cecilia Sparke beat Adam Sinclair 11-4 on Sunday.
The win puts her second in Premier One.
16/08/19: David tops Conference League
There are signs that our slow burning feeder league, the Bristol Conference, is beginning to gather pace after a glacial start to the season.
There are now six players signed up, and the Lazy Dog was the venue for the second match to be completed this month.
David Hoare scored his second victory of the season to go top, recovering from a 4-10 deficit to pip Jordan White.
16/08/19: Sixth round Brunel Trophy draw made
The draw for the sixth round of the 2019 Brunel Trophy was made at the casino on Thursday by Alan Joicey.
There are nine survivors from the first five rounds, only two of whom have both lives remaining.
The odd number of course meant one bye to be allocated, and that fell to the player with the best record (allied to the records of his opponents so far), Simon Hughes.
Three of the matches will be "sudden death", while the other pits Jim Green, the only other player with both lives intact, against Chris Rogers.
Matches are to be played before the seventh round draw, which falls on September 19th.
16/08/19: Alan's Thursday debut to remember
There were eighteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the fifteen who contested the sixth of the year's nine Handicap Trophy knock-out tournaments.
Chris Rogers did a lot to alleviate any Premier One relegation fears when he scored two emphatic victories over Andy Boysan.
And Mike Smith hauled himself off the bottom of the Premier Two Blue table with a win over Ian Hedges.
In the tournament there was a Thursday debut for Alan Joicey, and he proceeded to make the very most of his handicap of four by winning the main flight.
Richard Owsley, Jim Green, Nick Barham and Gerald Whitehouse were his victims.
Gerald had reached the final by defeating Mandy Macdonald, Daniel Eldridge and Laurentiu Mihalcea.
And victories over Richard, Ian Tarr and Stephen Little saw Adam Sinclair take the consolation flight.
Stephen's Handicap Trophy lead was cut to five points by Andy, with six other players within 40 points.
14/08/19: Wednesday league and Brunel results
One Premier Two Red match and the last of the fifth round Brunel Trophy ties were played on Wednesday.
Steffen Nowak is the latest player to be eliminated from the Brunel Trophy, losing to Cecilia Sparke at the Finzels Reach Premier Inn.
Nine players will be in the sixth round draw, and it will be Simon Hughes who gets the bye.
The Red Division match took place at the Blaise Inn, and Peter Thistlewood scored an 11-4 victory for the second day running, this time over Ian Tarr.
13/08/19: Tuesday round-up
Two Premier League matches and one fifth round Brunel Trophy tie were played on Tuesday.
Adam Sinclair kept alive his Brunel Trophy hopes by defeating Nick Barham at the Old Colonial, Weston-super-Mare.
Nick also has one life remaining now.
Peter Thistlewood defeated Pearl Foster at the Compass again in Premier Two Red.
And John Curran became the first Premier League player this season to complete his fixtures when he lost to Alan Parfitt in Premier Three at the Rainbow Casino.
13/08/19: Stuart tops Premier One
There were fourteen players in action on Monday, including the twelve at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the thirteenth and penultimate phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- two six-player Nackgammon Tournos.
The other action was at the Rainbow Casino where, in a closely contested double header, Stuart Mann grabbed two narrow victories over Dave Pym to take over at the top of Premier One.
The Nackgammon Tournos were both won outright, Adam Sinclair and Ian Tarr taking the pots.
Ian extends his SGP lead to just over 20 points from second placed Stephen Little, a margin which seems slight, but which -- when discards are taken into account -- will be very difficult to overturn.
The race to finish as the competition's top intermediate is going right down to the wire, with Adrian Farthing fourteen points ahead of David Tyrrell.
David, however, has the advantage of not having any discards to worry about.
In the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship Adrian has closed to within four points of Nackgammon section leader Kim Topasna.
And in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix Adam now has an imposing 51 points lead over second placed Stephen.
09/08/19: Spoils shared at the Tiny Rebel
The Tiny Rebel became the latest in a recent spate of new Bristol Backgammon venues in Newport on Friday.
The occasion was a Premier Two Blue double header, where Drew Caudwell halted a debilitating sequence of defeats by overcoming Mike Smith.
Mike had his revenge in the return, and both players are faced with a tricky run in as they attempt to reattach themselves to the mid-table pack.
09/08/19: Jim takes August Grand Prix honours
There were twenty-three players in action on Thursday, including the twenty at the Rainbow Casino who contested the eighth of the year's twelve monthly Bristol Grand Prix knock-out tournaments.
Before the tournament there were three league matches played, and the held over main flight final of last week's GP10 tournament, where Richard Owsley overcame Cynthia Roberts.
In the league, there was a Premier One double header at the Compass, where Tim Line and Dave Pym shared the spoils, albeit that Tim's victory was a deal more emphatic than Dave's.
And the Blaise Inn saw Peter Thistlewood's return to Premier Two Red action continue, this time with a narrow defeat to Gary Plant.
The advertised event featured runs to the final for George Georgiou and Jim Green.
Richard, Tim and Simon Hughes were George's victims, while Jim's were Stephen Little, Tony Walters and Gaz Owen.
And Jim came through a tough final to win at DMP.
Because of the large field Jim is also assured of qualification for the 2020 Bristol Masters tournament, along with Adam Sinclair, Gaz and Tim.
Simonetta Herrera won the consolation flight with wins over Frank Jones, Cynthia and Laurentiu Mihalcea, who had seen off Daniel Eldridge and Kev Peters en route to the final.
Gaz's run to the semi-final was enough to extend his Bristol Grand Prix lead to 55 points, with Roland Herrera now in second place.
The £20 Winner Takes All side pool was not won, so the kitty of £200 rolls over to the September tournament.
07/08/19: Peter returns with a win
Peter Thistlewood has had a long sabbatical with health related difficulties, but he is now back!
His return to Premier Two Red action came at the Compass, Tormarton, where he defeated Pearl Foster 11-7.
06/08/19: Largest Monday turnout since July 2015
There were twenty players in action on Monday at the Bristol County Sports Club, including the eighteen who contested the twelfth phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- three six-player 3-point round robins.
This made it the third most active Monday since the sessions began in 2008.
The other two players were Simonetta Herrera and Frank Jones, who were tying up the loose ends of the July Handicap Trophy tournament -- the main flight final, where Frank started with a 3-0 advantage.
That wasn't quite enough as Simonetta took the lionesses share of the spoils.
And before the main event Adrian Farthing and Kim Topasna finished off their adjourned Conference League match, Adrian winning 11-3 to move to the top of the league.
Among the round robin field was frequent UK Team representative Leo Waters, who last graced our environs in August 2008.
The three groups all had an outright winner -- Cecilia Sparke, Ian Tarr and fast rising intermediate David Tyrrell taking the pots.
Ian has edged ahead of Stephen Little in the SGP table, while Adrian still heads the race to be the competition's leading intermediate, although David is closing fast.
David also heads the July to December 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
02/08/19: Seventeen contest August GP10 tournament
There were seventeen players at the Rainbow Casino on Thursday to contest the sixth of the year's nine GP10 knock-out tournaments.
And Richard Owsley and Cynthia Roberts emerged as main flight finalists, although the final was held over for another time.
Richard defeated Andy Boysan, Roland Herrera and Daniel Eldridge while Cynthia was getting past John Curran, Adrian Farthing and Simonetta Herrera.
Stephen Little took the honours in the consolation flight, beating Ian Tarr, Steve Morris and Andy.
Daniel has regained the leadership of the GP10 table, with Roland just 5 points behind.
01/08/19: Discovery of unreported results mean Jon is not penalised after all
Jon Organ has not been penalised after all at the July 31st Premier Two Red checkpoint.
A communications problem meant that a report of the results of two matches he played at the Rainbow Casino on Tuesday did not reach the intended target.
And although the rules say that it's the reporting of results not the playing of them that avoids penalty, Director Ian Tarr has decided to turn a blind eye on this occasion.
Jon's opponent Rufus Rozelaar won both of the matches and now finds himself in third place in the league table.
01/08/19: Five penalised at July 31st Premier League checkpoint
The July 31st checkpoint passed at midnight, and five players have been penalised, including one who has failed to claw back penalties.
That player -- Jon Organ in Premier Two Red -- has benefited from a new slant on clawbacks, which will become a permanent rule from next season.
This effectively allows clawbacks to be applied individually, so in Jon's case two of the three points he was due to claw back have been deemed clawed back at this stage.
Such rulings are, of course, stil subject to appeal.
The four players to incur initial penalties, which can be clawed back at the September 30th checkpoint, are Phil Charlton and Dave Pym in Premier One (two and one points respectively), Mike Smith in Premier Two Blue (one point), and Jim Green in Premier Three (two points).
01/08/19: Wednesday Premier One round-up
In a Premier One double header at the Alma Tavern on Wednesday Andy Boysan alleviated his relegation fears with a brace of wins over Simon Baker, who now has a lot to do on the run in to preserve his top flight status.
31/07/19: Wednesday Premier Two round-up
Four Premier Two matches were played on Wednesday.
In Premier Two Red Simon Hughes and Gary Plant met for a double header at the Beaufort Arms, Stoke Gifford.
They won one apiece, with Simon returning to the top of the league.
In the same division Ian Tarr moved into third place after a successful visit to Steve Morris's in Redland.
And at the Lock Keeper there was a Premier Two Blue encounter between Chris Hughes and Ed Turner.
Chris won, and moves up to fourth, while Ed is still well placed in second.
29/07/19: Five debut players in Monday action
There were nineteen players in action on Monday, including the sixteen at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the eleventh phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of eight player DMP Tournos.
There were also three Premier Two Blue matches played.
Drew Caudwell and Chris Hughes met in Chepstow for a double header, Chris winning 11-2 at the Coach and Horses and by the same score at the Boat Inn.
At the Watershed Mike Smith and Daniel Eldridge overturned the form book when Mike scored a much needed victory.
The sixteen in the advertised event included no fewer than five debut players!
Martin Walters had visited on a fact finding mission a couple of weeks previously, but Marcel Bancroft, Ben Crowden, Cole Griffin and Laurentiu Mihalcea all came pretty much out of the blue.
Daniel won one group outright, while the other featured a five way tie for the lead (four ways for the pot, as Ben had opted for the non-paying route).
Stephen Little still leads the SGP standings, but second placed Ian Tarr has reduced the lead to 39 points.
Adrian Farthing has a 90 points lead over David Tyrrell in the race to be the competition's top intermediate, while Kim Topasna heads the DMP Tourno section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
28/07/19: Twelve in Sunday tournament action
Despite the absence of a few regulars -- either in Monte Carlo or entertaining family -- there were twelve players at the Rainbow Casino to contest the seventh of the year's Sunday knock-out tournaments.
And it was Stephen Little who took the main flight honours, defeating George Georgiou, Adrian Farthing, Ian Tarr and Steve Morris, who had made the final via wins over Cynthia Roberts and Geoff Paffett.
George took the consolation flight, via wins over Gerald Whitehouse and Daniel Eldridge.
26/07/19: League wins for Chris and Jim
Two Premier League matches were played on Friday.
In Premier Two Blue Steffen Nowak met Chris Hughes at the Lock Keeper, and suffered a 3-11 defeat.
And Jim Green scored an 11-2 Premier Three win over Tom Chapman at the Rainbow Casino.
26/07/19: Two successive Thursday wins for Andy
There were fifteen players in action on Thursday, including ten at the Rainbow Casino, of whom eight contested the fifth of the year's eight Speedgammon Grand Prix tournaments.
There were six Premier League matches played.
In Premier One Tim Line and Neil Young shared the spoils of a double header at the Wellington.
At the Star and Dove Steffen Nowak closed on the Premier Two Blue leaders by defeating Mike Smith.
Pearl Foster recovered from a 1-6 Red Division deficit to defeat Cliff Blofield at the Brunello Lounge, Weston-super-Mare.
And in the same division Jon Organ and Steve Morris made it honours even after two close matches.
In the advertised event there were two groups of four players, and the group winners were Tim Line and Andy Boysan.
Andy then took the main prize in the knock-out phase with victories over Ian Tarr and Gaz Owen.
Tim and Simonetta Herrera now share the SGGP lead, but the top six players are covered by a range of just 25 points with three more tournaments to come.
24/07/19: Adam closes on leaders
In a Premier One double header at the Wellington Adam Sinclair scored a brace of emphatic wins overNeil Young and has joined the clutch of players poised for the championship run in.
23/07/19: Paul tops Red Division
There were three Premier League matches played on Tuesday at the Rainbow Casino.
In Premier Two Red Paul Watts defeated Gary Plant and moved to the top of the division.
And a Premier Three double header saw both results ending 11-2, first in favour of Tom Chapman, then of Alan Parfitt.
23/07/19: Stephen is latest Brunel Trophy casualty
There were twenty-two players in action on Monday, including seventeen at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom sixteen contested the tenth phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- three 3-point round robins.
There was also league and Brunel Trophy action.
In the fifth round of the latter competition Stephen Little was 9-2 ahead of Simon Hughes but succumbed to a dramatic comeback, and is thus out of the double elimination competition.
At the Graze Bar Neil Young defeated Miles Farren, a result which leaves both players with a single life, while Simon's record is unblemished so far.
Neil had earlier played out a Premier One double header with Simon Baker at the Rainbow Casino, where honours were even.
At the same venue Gary Plant scored a Premier Two Red victory over Rufus Rozelaar.
And David Hoare scored a maiden league victory over Adrian Farthing in the Conference League.
In the round robins, where the players were randomly drawn into one group of six players and two of five, there were clean sweeps for Adrian and Ian Tarr, while the other group saw the pot shared between George Georgiou and Bahman Salahshour.
Stephen still holds a handsome SGP lead, whittled down slightly to 52 points by Roland Herrera, while Adrian has taken over the leadership of the race to be the competition's leading intermediate, and also heads the January to July 3-point round robin section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship.
21/07/19: Ed goes second
A double header at two new Bristol Backgammon venues in Newport saw Ed Turner twice defeat Drew Caudwell to move into second place in Premier Two Blue.
It was 11-6 at the Pen and Wig and 11-0 at the Red Lion.
20/07/19: Paul goes second
Paul Watts scored a narrow victory over Gary Plant on Saturday to move into second place in the Premier Two Red table.
19/07/19: Andy wins GP30 event on low key Thursday
With a few regulars either on holiday or indisposed, there were just eight players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the five who contested the fifth of the year's eight GP30 tournaments.
There were also two Premier Two Blue matches played.
Leader Daniel Eldridge moved nine points clear of the field with a hard fought victory over Ian Hedges, while Stephen Little was the division's other victor, at Drew Caudwell's expense.
The five contestants for the GP30 event constituted the lowest turnout ever for the event -- in 37 incarnations -- and triggered a change to a round robin for only the second time ever.
Andy Boysan came out on top with three wins from his four matches, and joins Roland Herrera at the head of the GP30 table.
16/07/19: And then there were eleven
Portland Square was the venue on Tuesday for a fifth round Brunel Trophy tie, arguably the tie of the round, featuring Gaz Owen and Chris Rogers.
And Chris was the victor by a single pip at DMP, smoothing his path to the sixth round, while Gaz became the latest casualty, reducing the number of players remaining in the competition to eleven.
16/07/19: Andrew ends Chas's run
A Premier Three double header at the Ram, Widcombe, on Tuesday saw the end of Chas Perry's magnificent winning league run.
He defeated Andrew Cobb 11-2, but Andrew struck back to win the return 11-7.
Chas has a nine points cushion over second placed Kev Peters.
The winning sequence of twelve is a record for Premier Three, and has only been exceeded three times in the entire twenty season history of the Premier League.
16/07/19: Daniel bows out of Brunel Trophy
There were fifteen players involved in various activities on Monday, including thirteen at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom nine contested the ninth phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a Tric Trac Tourno.
There was also Premier League and Brunel Trophy action.
The first of the fifth round Brunel Trophy ties saw Ismail Yilmaz continue his fine run, when he defeated Daniel Eldridge, a result which brings to an end Daniel's involvement in this year's competition.
And at the Pump House Stuart Mann scored a narrow Premier One victory over Chris Rogers.
Two welcome new players -- Tim Ball and Martin Walters -- visited on a fact finding mission and played some friendly games. They will be back for more.
And it was two other newish players -- David Tyrrell and Alan Joicey, on just their third visit -- who topped the standings in the Tric Trac, David taking the pot with Alan in second place.
Stephen Little did enough to extend his SGP lead to 58 points, while the absent Adrian Farthing heads the race to be the competition's top intermediate, although David is not far behind.
David also heads the Tric Trac Tourno section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
Adrian and David would be in second place in these standings, however, but for the fact that Pat Meek continues to hold on to her "amateur" status.
14/07/19: Paul makes his move
A Premier Two Red double header at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday saw Paul Watts score a brace of victories over Cliff Blofield.
Paul goes third in the league table in readiness for the run in.
12/07/19: Fifth round Brunel Trophy draw made
The draw for the fifth round of the 2019 Brunel Trophy was made at the casino on Thursday by George Georgiou.
There are thirteen survivors from the first four rounds, four of whom have both lives remaining.
The odd number of course meant one bye to be allocated, and that fell to the player with the best record (allied to the records of his opponents so far), Jim Green.
Three of the matches will be "sudden death", including one mouth watering tie between our current top two players, Gaz Owen and Chris Rogers.
Matches are to be played before the sixth round draw, which falls on August 15th.
12/07/19: George wins July Grand Prix tournament
There were fifteen players in action on Thursday at the Rainbow Casino, including the thirteen who contested the seventh of the year's twelve monthly grand prix knock-out tournaments.
There were also two Premier League matches played.
In Premier One Andy Boysan hauled himself out of the bottom four with a much needed victory over title contender Phil Charlton.
And Ian Hedges defeated Fred North in Premier Two Blue.
George Georgiou took the main flight honours in the tournament, defeating Adrian Farthing, Simon Hughes and Gaz Owen before overcoming Richard Owsley in the final.
Richard had progressed via a bye and wins over Steve Morris and Tony Walters.
Andy won the consolation flight, getting past Cynthia Roberts and Steve before beating Ian Tarr in the final.
Gaz takes over the leadership of the Bristol Grand Prix table from the absent Nick Barham.
10/07/19: Simon tops Red Division
A Premier Two Red double header at the Summerhouse, Worle, saw Simon Hughes defeat Carwyn Jenkins twice to move to the top of what is a very close division.
The second of the matches was the 7,500th in the history of Bristol league matches.
09/07/19: Tuesday Premier One round-up
Three Premier One matches were played on Tuesday.
The Phoenix was the venue for a clash of two title contenders, and league leader Gaz Owen fell to his third successive league defeat, 3-11 at the hands of Cecilia Sparke.
Meanwhile at the other end of the league Dave Pym and Neil Young fought out a double header at the Air Balloon, Filton.
Each player won once, Dave 11-3 in the opener, Neil 11-9 in the return.
09/07/19: Twenty-three in Monday activity
There were twenty-three players involved in various activities on Monday, including twenty-one at the Bristol County Sports Club, of whom fourteen contested the eighth phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- a pair of seven player Nackgammon Tournos.
There was also league and Brunel Trophy action.
In Premier Two Red Simon Hughes edged home against Pearl Foster, while Alan Parfitt had the better of things in a Premier Three double header against Mathew Nicholls.
And at the Star and Dove Neil Young defeated Steffen Nowak in the last of the fourth round matches in this year's Brunel Trophy, leaving both players with a single life remaining.
Thirteen players will be in Thursday's fifth round draw.
Before the advertised event Roland Herrera led a thought provoking seminar entitle "Shot Counting", which held more than a dozen players enthralled through more than an hour.
The Nackgammon saw one group won outright by Stephen Little, which feat extends his SGP lead to 43 points over second paced Roland, who shared the pot in the other group with Ian Tarr.
The top four players in the Drew Caudwell sponsored Nackgammon Grand Prix were all absent, which gave their pursuers ample opportunity to make up lost ground.
Stephen has moved into third place, behind leader Adam Sinclair and John Curran.
And in the Nackgammon section of the Roland Herrera and John Curran intermediate sponsorship the absent Kim Topasna stays in pole position.
07/07/19: Carwyn and Steve win one apiece
In a Premier Two Red double header at the Rainbow Casino on Sunday Carwyn Jenkins and Steve Morris shared the spoils -- Carwyn winning the opener 11-4 before Steve took the return 11-6.
05/07/19: Frank and Simonetta to contest July Handicap Trophy final
There were sixteen players in action on Thursday, including the thirteen at the Rainbow Casino who contested the fifth of the year's nine Handicap Trophy knock-out tournaments.
There was also league action elsewhere.
Mandy Macdonald visited Simonetta Herrera in Kellaway Avenue and came away with a Premier Two Blue victory.
And later at the Pump House Premier One leader Gaz Owen was defeated by Stuart Mann.
In the Handicap tournament Frank Jones made the most of his 3 handicap to defeat Ian Tarr, Daniel Eldridge and Cynthia Roberts to reach the final.
In the other half of the draw Simonetta emerged via victories over Tim Line, Rosemary Whitehouse and Adrian Farthing.
Frank and Simonetta will doubtless play the final very soon.
Ian took the consolation flight, getting past Simon Hughes, Roland Herrera and, in the final, Gerald Whitehouse.
The absent Stephen Little still heads the Handicap Trophy standings, but his lead has been whittled down to 15 points by Andy Boysan, one of four players within 25 points of the top.
03/07/19: Adam beats Andy at the Alma; Ed and Simonetta share spoils
In a Premier One match at the Alma Tavern on Wednesday Adam Sinclair defeated Andy Boysan 11-6.
And at the Rainbow Casino there was a Premier Two Blue double header which saw Simonetta Herrera defeat Ed Turner, before Ed returned the compliment.
02/07/19: Sixteen in Monday action yet again
There were sixteen players in action on Monday, including the fourteen at the Bristol County Sports Club who contested the seventh phase of the Monday Club Summer Grand Prix -- three 3-point round robins.
There was also Premier One action at the Pump House, where Stuart Mann scored a narrow victory over Simon Baker.
In the round robins -- where the players were drawn into three groups, two of five players, one of four -- there were welcome Bristol Backgammon debuts for Alan Joicey and David Tyrrell.
And David cashed by sharing the pot in the smaller group, while the other groups also featured shared pots.
Stephen Little is the latest leader of the SGP table, some 37 points ahead of second placed Roland Herrera.
The absent Kim Topasna still heads the race to be the competition's leading intermediate.
And David tops the table in the July to December 3-point round robin section of the John Curran and Roland Herrera intermediate sponsorship.
News items from 2019 (first half)
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