Bristol Backgammon has no membership fee, but some events you turn up for will have an advertised entry fee. Other events will be free of charge.
Since the start of 2006, Bristol Backgammon has had a meeting every THURSDAY. And from the start of 2008 we have had a regular MONDAY session, where there is less formality, and the emphasis is on fun and education.
More recently we stage a SUNDAY knock-out tournament once a month, where the entry fee is £20.
The Thursday and Sunday events are staged at the Rainbow Casino, while the Monday events take place at the Bristol County Sports Club.
That means eight or nine different events every month, catering for a range of players from new and improving right through to expert.
Each of the Thursday events in any month will have a different focus, while the Monday events may have a particular focus but will be less formal. These Monday sessions are ideal for introducing yourself to what Bristol Backgammon is all about, and you will be guaranteed individual attention from an experienced player.
We also have LEAGUES, where you arrange your own fixtures, and play anywhere and at any time.
On the second Thursday of the month, there will always be a monthly grand prix tournament, where all players can test themselves against the best in the area under clock rules. The entry fee at these tournaments is £20 in March, June, September and December, and £10 in the other eight.
Nine times during the year there will be Handicap Knock-outs, where a new player would typically get a four points start against a top player in a match to 7 points. The entry fee for these is £10.
There are also eight GP30 knock-outs, where the entry fee is £30, and nine GP10 tournaments, where the entry fee is £10.
And we also have a series of eight Speedgammon tournaments, where clocks are set to scarily tight time allowances.
On Mondays, you basically have three options.
You can opt in or out of whatever short format round robin tournament is taking place.
If you opt out, you will get individual attention from an experienced player.
Otherwise, in the tournament, you have the option either to pay a small entry fee (in which case you may win a prize and pick up points in our Monday grand prix) or to play for nothing, in which case you can still get into the swing of competition without any outlay.
These round robins are useful, because you get to play everyone in the group, a great way to meet several players in a single sitting.
Our Sunday tournaments are the only day-time tournaments we run, starting at lunch-time and usually continuing until early evening.
You will need to qualify to play in our Premier League.
But we also have an informal league, the Conference League, especially for new and developing players. You don't need to play a specific number of matches -- it's entirely up to you how active you will be for your £10 annual entry fee.
But if you take advantage of the opportunity, this is the cheapest way to get into competitive backgammon.
But whatever the focus of any event might be, the intention is that any player, with any agenda, can come along to the regular session and feel at home, even if only there to observe. Or join a league.
Or you may just wish to talk to someone about how best to get started. If so, please email Ian Tarr, the Bristol Backgammon Director.