New Backgammon Book Just Released

The Theory of Backgammon

December 7, 2021

by Michael Strato


Dirk Schiemann of Germany, G1 Grand Master, has started shipping his recently published backgammon book titled “The Theory of Backgammon”.

When I spoke to Dirk more than a month ago, he told me his backgammon book would soon go to press and would be available for purchase in early December. He was right on time!

So right then and there, and since I am mentioned in his book, I wanted to get myself a copy before it sold out and so I immediately pre-ordered and paid for mine, inadvertently becoming the first person to buy a copy.

What an honour! Pura Vida Dirk!

Dirk Schiemann plays in the Million Dollar Backgammon event at the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas, 2007.

As the Editor of a couple of Backgammon magazines over the years, I have followed Dirk Schiemann as a backgammon player since I met him more than two decades ago when I was reporting from live backgammon tournaments in Europe.

Dirk has a long list of major tournaments wins and was the #3 Giant of Backgammon of the world in 2003. I have a lot of admiration and respect for his backgammon skills and level of knowledge on the game.

Dirk Schiemann announced on Facebook today:

“First shipment of the “The Theory of Backgammon”. I am happy to announce that all the preordered copies have either arrived or are on their way to their new owners. Now that I have the books at my place I am able to ship them the next day after receiving payment.”

You can order Dirk’s new book here: it makes for an indelible holiday gift memory for a backgammon friend, or even yourself!

The book has 356 pages. See its amazing Contents section at the PDF download link on Dirk Schiemann’s website here:

Dirk Schiemann’s Facebook page:

Eli Roymi of Israel is the
2019 World Champion of Backgammon

Eli Roymi of Israel was crowned the 2019 World Champion of Backgammon on August 4th after besting Petko Kostadinov of Bulgaria/USA in an exciting bout played well by both. The 44th World Backgammon Championships were held from July 27 to August 4, 2019 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Jörgen Granstedt Becomes the First Three-Time World Champion of Backgammon

Jörgen Granstedt of Sweden and Joseph Russell of the USA, both former World Champions of Backgammon, battled it out for the 2016 Main competition in Monte Carlo on July 31, 2016 with Granstedt emerging as the victor to become the first three-time winner of the coveted title!

Three-Time World Backgammon Champ Jörgen Granstedt of Sweden

It was the 41st World Backgammon Championship held from July 26 to 31, 2016 and was attended by more than 200 players from around the world.

The final was a 13-point match which Granstedt led 7-0 after Game 6. Russell made a valiant comeback and was losing only 8-6 at the end of Game 11 but Granstedt held on in the see-saw mêlée that ensued to win the match 13-9 in Game 16.

Granstedt was the World Champion of Backgammon in 1999 and 2001 while Joseph Russell was the World Champion in 1989.

In third, fourth and fifth place in the Main flight, respectively, were Tatsuya Tanaka of Japan, Ed O’Laughlin of the USA and Victor Petersen of Norway, while Stephen Chidwick of England won the Intermediate division and Joan Grunwald of the USA taking the Beginners title.

Forty-two players competed in the Super Jackpot tournament that was won by Peter Jes Thomsen of Denmark, the 1993 World Champion.

The total of participants was 144 players in the main Championship flight, 47 in the Intermediate and 15 in the Beginners.

The World Championship is held annually at the Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The full list of World Champions can be seen here.

New MERIT-WBF Backgammon Tournament
in Croatia with €25,000 Added Money

Merit International hotels and the Worldwide Backgammon Federation (WBF) are partnering again to bring you a new backgammon tournament to be held in Dubrovnik, Croatia this December.

The 1st MERIT Open Dubrovnik Grand Prix International Backgammon Championship will be held from December 14 to 18, 2016 at the luxurious RIXOS Libertas Hotel located in Dubrovnik, the enchanted coastal city of Croatia located on the Adriatic Sea.

MERIT will be donating €25,000 of added prize money which will be distributed among the various flights and categories of the competition.

Players from many countries have shown interest in attending the event and some well-known backgammon masters have already confirmed their participation.

Backgammon - Oldest Game in the World

Backgammon is supposedly the oldest game in the world. In 1926, Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, a British archaeologist discovered a board game similar to backgammon in the digs of the Royal Tombs of Ur of the Chaldees, an ancient city of southern Mesopotamia built by the Sumerians. That board is said to have been used back around 2500 B.C.

However, in 2004, in another archaeological excavation in Iran, at the famed Burnt City, in Sistan-Baluchistan, an even older backgammon board from about the year 3000 B.C. was unearthed. It was made of ebony, and had playing pieces of agate and turquoise stone.

Read more about the History of Backgammon...

Discovering Backgammon Tournaments

Way back in the 1960’s the game of Backgammon experienced a huge surge in popularity in North America as well as in many other parts of the world. In Canada, my friends and I (teenagers) heard about the game in 1969. Read more...

Man Creates Havoc with Backgammon Case

at Gas Station in Circleville, Ohio

A Circleville, Ohio man caused panic at a Speedway gas station when he left an old backgammon board next to a gasoline pump and then went on his way. Police believe that Christopher Hoover acted suspiciouly and the bomb squad was called in. Hoover was later traced through the credit card he gassed up with, and was arrested and charged with inducing panic.

Asia's Biggest Backgammon Touranment

is in October in Tokyo, Japan

The Japan Open is the biggest backgammon tournament in Asia and the 22nd edition of this international event will take place in Tokyo, Japan again this fall.

The tournament will happen October 8 to 10, 2016 at the Shidax Hall in Shibuya district of Tokyo, the busiest area of the city of Tokyo, with access to lots of shopping, sightseeing, and nightlife, etc.

The night before the event you can join the other players in the traditional party night and enjoy magnificent food including the best Sushi, accompanied by your special guide, Kenji Shimodaira.

Tournament Director Masayuki Mochizuki says, "Our tournaments have a high standard of playing conditions, with the first-round matches to 15 points. The boards and clocks will be supplied by the Japan Backgammon League (JBL) and some of the most important matches will be streamed via UStream to the whole world!"

For complete details and the schedule for this great backgammon tournament, please visit the Facebook page of the 22nd Japan Open and please note that there is also a Public Group page on Facebook for this annual event, under the name "Japan Open".

Backgammon Introduced to Cafes in Japan

Would you like some backgammon with your coffee? An increasing number of cafes are experimenting with new menu items--board games such as shogi, chess and backgammon--and young people are embracing the chance to casually compete against other board game fans with great gusto.

South-East London Cops Caught
Playing Backgammon On Duty

Seven members of a neighbourhood policing team, responsible for the Mottingham and Chislehurst North ward in Bromley, South-East London have either resigned or have been fired after being caught on hidden cameras by Scotland Yard playing backgammon and poker when they should have been out patrolling the streets.

The police officers slacked off in other ways as well, such as by watching TV, polishing golf clubs and doing personal errands - they even claimed thousands of extra pounds in overtime hours.

Three Games to Play If You Like Backgammon

Every day there are many new online games you can access through an electronic device of your choice. So, you can easily play backgammon online on your mobile device. But, if you’re looking to try other games that are equally challenging and exciting, read our article below for the top three games you can play online. Read the article...


Maintaining Respect

Ben Franklin said this about respect: “Reputations are like fine china. Both are easily broken and never well-mended.” In backgammon too, if you break up a vital asset, you may never have a chance to recover it:
Read the full article...

4th Merit Open International Backgammon Tournament in Northern Cyprus this November

The 4th Merit Open International Backgammon Tournament organized by the Worldwide Backgammon Federation's branch in Turkey (WBF-Turkey) will take place at the Merit Park Hotel and Casino in the town of Kyrenia, in Northern Cyprus from November 2 to 6, 2016.

The schedule, and all the details about this international competition, hotels, side events and special activities such as the Welcome Cocktail Party and the Farewell Gala and Awards Ceremony, can be found at or on the Facebook page of WBF-Türkiye.

Is Backgammon Considered a Sport Too?

When it comes to Sports, Backgammon, in the words of the slogan used by the Worldwide Backgammon Federation, is a Sport of Mind, a game where skill overrides the luck factor of the dice, and thus an experienced player, who has learnt winning strategies, coupled with talent in math, will win more often against a player with lesser abilities. What else makes Backgammon a recreational activity? Read the full article...

Athanasios Katsios of Greece wins
2014 Merit Open Backgammon Masters

Athanasios Katsios of Greece won the Worldwide Backgammon Federation's 2nd Merit Open Masters competition this past weekend in North Cyprus, emerging victorious over a field of 235 international players.

The Masters flight was the main event of the annual Merit Open International Backgammon Championship held from October 29 to November 2, 2014 in Kyrenia, North Cyprus.

The Merit Open Championships held several other competitions at the venue, including a 71-player Intermediate flight, Ladies Tournament, Super Jackpot and more.

The German team of Volker Sonnabend and Rainer Witt won the Doubles Championship over a total of 104 teams.

This tournament was organized by WBF Turkey and the tournament directors were Marco Fornasir, WBF General Secretary, and Arda Findikoglu, WBF Turkey President.

WBF Turkey President Arda Findikoglu (L) with Merit Open
Masters Champion Athanasios Katsios of Greece.

(Photo posted by Costas Chiotinis on FaceBook.)

Pamela Anderson Inaugurates Animal Charity
at Backgammon Beach Party Tournament

Former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson held a backgammon tournament on the French Riviera to launch her new animal welfare foundation and it was attended by Masayuki Mochizuki (Mochi) of Japan the current world's #1 Giant of Backgammon.

Mike Svobodny, Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon, Sander Lylloff and other top tournament players from the international backgammon circuit also participated.

Pamela's 18-year-old son, Brandon Lee, was the youngest competitor at the tournament and reached the top four.

The backgammon event took place during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival from May 14 to May 25, 2014 and was used to launch the Pamela Anderson Foundation.

At one stage in the event, Ms. Anderson revealed accounts of sexual abuse when she was a young child and how she found solace in nature and animals.

Above a scene from the tournament room where you can see Pamela chatting with Mochi and an opponent as they play backgammon.

CNN Entertainment has two articles on this news, one about the revelation of the sex abuse and another article a few days later reporting that the Mounties in Canada will check Pamela Anderson's sex abuse allegations.

Backgammon on the Rock

The Gibraltar Institute of Backgammon have announced its formation. The G.I.B.'s primary aim is to promote the game of Backgammon in Gibraltar with a view to holding regular Tournaments in Gibraltar with participation from both Gibraltar and International players alike.

Claude Landry Wins Montreal
Invitational Backgammon Tournament

by Director Garry Kallos

The first Montreal Invitational Backgammon Tournament held at Trophy's Resto-Bar on Sunday May 19th was a resounding success with 33 participants in three classes. The tournament attracted a dozen players who had never experienced tournament backgammon before.

The winners were:

Open: 20 participants; 1st Claude Landry, 2nd Frank Cheichi, 3-4th Patrick St-Laurent, Robert Lessard - Consolation: 1st Claude Forget, 2nd Mourad Wahba, 3-4th Francois Ethier, Daniel Dorinbaum

Intermediate: 8 participants; 1st Jean-Francois Grondin, 2nd Reginald Proulx - Consolation: 1st Marie-Claude Grondin, 2nd Denise Berkowitz

Novice: 5 participants; 1st Marc Proulx, 2nd Sylvain Brassard

From left to right: Open Winner Claude Landry, Tournament
Director Garry Kallos and Open Runner-up Frank Cheichi.

Takumitsu Suzuki of Japan
2011 World Backgammon Champion

Takumitsu Suzuki of Japan (L) the 2011 World Backgammon Champion

with Tsuyoshi Minakami (R) who with teammates Daisuke Katagami

and Masahiko Nasu won the three-player World
Championships Team Tournament.
Photo provided by Masayuki Mochizuki.

MONTE CARLO, Monaco: Takumitsu Suzuki of Japan became the 2011 World Backgammon Champion this week defeating Fabio Gullotta of Italy 25 to 6 in the final 25-point match of the 36th World Backgammon Championship held from July 15 to 23, 2011 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

A total of 138 players participated in the top Championship flight, while 31 played in the Intermediate category and another 25 in the Beginner flight for a total attendance of 191 players from around the world.

Suzuki won in the semi-finals against his fellow countryman and the current #1 Giant of Backgammon, Masayuki Mochizuki, who was aiming to become a two-time World Champion having won this prestigious title in 2009.

Paul Weaver of the USA, the current #25 Giant of Backgammon, was the other semi-finalist, and was eliminated by Gullotta. Just before the semi-finals most of the worldwide backgammon community was expecting that Mochizuki and Weaver would dispute the title.

Pictured above with Suzuki is Tsuyoshi Minakami, who with teammates Daisuke Katagami and Masahiko Nasu, won the World Championship 3-player Team Tournament for Japan. A total of 34 teams participated in the side event.

By the way, Daisuke Katagami is a famous professional Shogi (Japanese Chess) player and according to Masayuki Mochizuki, the news of the Japanese winning in Monte Carlo was published in Yomiuri, the biggest-selling newspaper in Japan with close to 9.5 million copies sold daily. Yes, that is not an error, potentially 9.5 million people in Japan have read about Japan’s success at the World Championships of Backgammon, which is likely to attract many new players to our game in that country.

GNUbg Tutorial GNUBG Tutorial Returns to
14 September 2009 - by Michael Strato

The GNU backgammon tutorial by Robert-Jan Veldhuizen is back up on GammonLife. The three-part article on how to use this free world-class software had been removed due to maintenance of the site. Read the tutorial, download the software and start improving your game today at the following link:

Click here to go to the GNUbg Tutorial...

Learn from some of the best players in the world
Nack Ballard Nack Ballard
Go to Writer's Section
  Phil Simborg Phil Simborg
Go to Writer's Section
François Tardieu François Tardieu
Go to Writer's Section
  Mary Hickey Mary Hickey
Go to Writer's Section
Paul Money Paul Money
Go to Writer's Section
  Jay Bidal

Jay Bidal

Go to Writer's Section

Walter Trice Walter Trice
Go to Writer's Section
  Frank Frigo Frank Frigo
Go to Writer's Section

Many more free articles from the world's
best players are in our Writers Section.

Click here to see our list of contributors…


Copyright © 2006-2007 by All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, re-written, or re-distributed in any form.