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Istavder Backgammon Tournament Report

Posted By: stw672
Date: Monday, 24 February 2014, at 8:46 p.m.

Istavder Backgammon Tournament Report


I only attended this tournament at the last minute after Sabri posted about it here on bgonline:


I am so glad that I did.

Where to start?

A 256 player tournament - a huge playing space filled with people playing backgammon. Just the sight was awesome. This tournament was bigger than the Nordic Open. 256 players all playing our favourite game was quite a sight to behold. The vast majority of players were Turkish - I recognised very few players from the international backgammon circuit. This tournament would be huge if people from outside Turkey knew just how good it was.

A good low-cost hotel with great amenities - everybody got vouchers for food and drink. There was a trolley service in the main playing area. Food was fine and very reasonably priced.

Major sponsorship - registration was just Euro25 and the prizes ranged from TL10,000 to fantastic boards. Playing for money is illegal in Turkey if there is an entry fee but playing for the sponsors cash is fine! I know how hard it is to get sponsors on board and was enormously impressed that the organisers had got so much additional value into the tournament.

The tournament began with TV cameras, flashing lights, dry ice and thumping music - all adding to the sense of spectacle.

The format was triple elimination - this is not a tournament for the faint-hearted. To win you need to play three 11-point matches on the Friday, three 9-point matches and four 7-point matches on the Saturday and a possible four or five 7-point matches on the Sunday. Pretty serious stuff.

The tournament ended with a prize-giving ceremony with free drinks, food and a live band.

All-in-all a fantastic experience. Maybe the best tournament that I have ever been to.

I will definitely be back next year and would recommend this tournament to any backgammon afficionado.


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