27th March 2020: The UKBGF Board after much deliberation and in consultation and unanimous agreement with the Tour Sub-Committee regret to announce the cancellation of the 2020 UKBGF Tour (both Masters and Intermediate) and the 2021 Tour Winners Invitational event due to the impact of COVID-19 leading to the near-certain cancellation or postponement of a significant number of Tour Events. This unfortunate announcement is being made as soon as reasonably possible in order to give both TD’s and players the maximum time to take necessary measures regarding their own preparations and arrangements. Please note that cancellation of the Tour does not mean that all Tour Events are being cancelled. Subject to the lifting of social distancing restrictions, some tournaments may go ahead on their originally scheduled dates and some may be postponed to new dates later in the year. See our calendar for the current status of live events.
16th March 2020: In the light of government instruction to avoid all unnecessary social contact as part of measures to combat coronavirus, we have to recommend the suspension of face to face play at all levels. We understand it is deeply frustrating but the health of all must come first. Please keep an eye on Twitter or Facebook where we will post updates as soon as we have them.
While live play is suspended there are of course many online options, and some of these are listed on our Resources page. Note that as a general rule online matches are NOT eligible for inclusion in the UKBGF ratings. However pre-authorised, time-limited exceptions to this rule may be granted in exceptional circumstances. For example, the organisers of existing live leagues, or long-term live tournaments in which deadlines exist for completion of matches, may seek a dispensation. Online tournaments which simply replace weekly or monthly live events are not ratable.
Backgammon is one of the world’s truly great board games. Versions of the game have been played for about 5,000 years – a testament to its enduring fascination. Hundreds of people play live games regularly in the UK and thousands play regularly online.
If you are new to backgammon you can learn how to play by downloading and reading Chris Bray’s ‘Introduction to Backgammon’ which is one of the Newcomer’s Guides on our Resources page. If you are familiar with the game, but are hesitant about visiting a club or entering a tournament, other guides in this section might also be helpful, such as A Beginner’s Introduction to Tournaments and Tournament Etiquette for the Uninitiated. The Resources page also has a link to the current version of the UKBGF Tournament Rules, as well as other useful links.
There are many live tournaments throughout the year which you can enter, either weekly or monthly, at the growing number of backgammon clubs throughout the UK. Most of these clubs submit results to the UKBGF ratings system, enabling you to keep track of your progress in relation to the 1900+ other players in the live national ratings. As you progress you may also want to enter some of the larger annual tournaments, both in the UK and abroad.
The UKBGF oversees the annual UK Open and the UK Clubs Championship and also coordinates the UKBGF Tour, comprising about a dozen tournaments around the UK. All of these can be found on our UK Backgammon Calendar. Some include both ‘Masters’ and ‘Intermediate’ flights, and some also have separate competitions for beginners and inexperienced or ‘social’ players. Live streaming of matches from UK tournaments is becoming more common, and these can be followed on the UKBGF twitchtv channel. To see the UKBGF archive of match recordings from previous tournaments visit the UKBGF YouTube channel. A selection of photos from these and other tournaments can be found in the UKBGF Flickr account.
Backgammon is a friendly and social game. If you are new to the scene you will find a very warm welcome at any UK club night or tournament. You don’t have to be one of the 500+ UKBGF members to play in a UKBGF-affiliated club, but please consider joining to support our efforts to publicise and grow the game.
Click here for details of UKBGF membership benefits, fees and how to join. Please note that UKBGF membership is completely free for all full time students of any age and for all players under the age of 21.