The Road to the International Backgammon Championship Begins Here. Now!

Those of you who read this posting regularly KNOW that I HATE to use press releases as sources of information. I’d rather use my contacts (real people) around the world.

Nevertheless, every once in a while an organization puts out a release that says it all. Hence this week, something from the U.S. Backgammon Federation….

Why am I doing this? Because I want you all to know about how to get involved in the world championships.

It all begins (in this country) at the U.S. Online Qualifying Events, where players have the opportunity to compete in numerous ABT and USBGF tournament events from now (it’s already started)  and September 5th, 2011,  to enter the playoffs to win one of four coveted seats representing the USA in the 1st International Backgammon Championship.

The 1st International Backgammon Championship (IBC) will challenge four players from each of approximately 15 countries from around the world, in a competition to be held between October 12th, 2011 through the end of December, 2011.

Early rounds will be played on an online venue to be announced.  The four semi-final contenders will compete for the title of World Champion in a possibly live, televised grand finale playoff, tentatively scheduled during the first quarter of 2012.  These details are not finalized and are subject to change.

Specifically, the path to become the International Champion will occur in four phases.

Phase I

The first phase takes place between now and September 5, 2011 and has a number of avenues into the second phase Playoffs. These include:

Contributing $20 to an  IBC Donor Pool at an ABT Open event and being the donating player(s) going the furthest in the event. The number of qualifiers in any given event is dependent on the number of persons playing in the event (both donors and non-donors). For up to 31 players in an event, there will be only one Qualifier. For 32-63 entrants, there will be two Qualifiers. For 64 or more, there will be three Qualifiers. Players may re-enter ABT Open qualifying events, but a donation of $20 is required for each qualifying event or re-entry. If donors tie for the same place, all that tie will gain seats in the U.S. Online Playoffs.

ABT Open events during this period include:

  • Nevada Open April 2011 – Ray Fogerlund and Patrick Gibson, Qualifiers
  • Atlanta Open April-May 2011
  • Chicago Open end of May 2011
  • 1st Golden Gate Open May 2011
  • LA Open June 2011
  • Michigan Open July 2011
  • Minnesota Open July 2011
  • Florida Open August 2011
  • Wisconsin Open September 2011

Winning selected USBGF sponsored events:

  • USBGF National Championships in Los Angeles June 9-12, 2011
  • USBGF World Giants’ Challenge Quiz in LA June 11, 2011
  • USBGF National Club Team Tournament — playoff among players on winning team

ABT Winners/Leaders:

  • 2010 ABT Champion — Kit Woolsey, Qualifier
  • 2011 ABT leader as of September 5, 2011

Other qualifying events:

  • Giants Invitational in Chicago May 2011
  • U.S. Local Club Qualifiers — details to be announced
  • Such other events as the organizers may designate


September 5th and October 10th, 2011.

Online Playoffs to select the top four U.S. players will be selected by an online competition among those qualifying in Phase One.


October 12 starts the international phase and ends in December 2011 by online competition.

The USBGF will pay the entry fees of the four US representatives of 1000 Euros and 50 Euro registration for each player.


The semi-finals and Grande Finale competition will be held during the first quarter of 2012 in a location to be announced.

Check out the USBF for more information.

Pretty cool, huh?



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