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Istavder Backgammon Tournament Report

Posted By: David Presser
Date: Tuesday, 25 February 2014, at 5:49 a.m.

In Response To: Istavder Backgammon Tournament Report (stw672)

I have been to the recent Istanbul Open this past January. It was run by Arda Findikoglu and his staff, and it was also one field of about 128 players. I have nothing but good things to say.

It was my first non US tournament experience and Arda made it a great one. First of all, everything is reasonably priced (entry fee, accommodation, food, etc.). Then, they put so much effort in good hosting. It starts from picking all the international players from the airport and making sure that everything meets your expectations. Moreover, the local players are extremely nice and friendly, and it is important for them that, as an international player, you would have a good experience.

Turkey has a recently new political problem with backgammon cash prizes (illegal gambling), and I got the impression that it is something temporarily. Therefore, the tournaments in Turkey don't attract the top players who make a living out of it. Having said that, It was nice to see so many players, local and international, when the cash reward isn't the incentive.

At the end there was an award ceremony, which was something new for me. It was nice because many players showed respect to the winners. I can't imagine it in the US because some players don't have the patient to stay for the last chance, so they would certainly not stay until all tournaments end. I can only hope to see it more often.

In summary, my experience from the Istanbul Open is very similar to Sean's. I highly recommend it.

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