Monthly Tournaments

The New England Backgammon Club is currently exploring a variety of venue options for holding our tournaments. Please pay careful attention to this space to find out the location and date for each event.

The May vent is confirmed for May 1st at the Boylston Chess Club!

Doors open at 11:30, draw closes 11:45. . .  Don’t be late! If you are running late, please text 617-417-6743 to secure a place in the draw.

Proof of Vaccination & Masking are required of tournament participants.

Scroll down this page for details on entry fees, prizes and more.

Annual Points Race

Players are awarded points for each match they win and bonus points for advancing to the semi-finals or further in each tournament. The top seven points-earners in each division engage in the seasonal playoffs, vying for the title of Club Champion (Open) and Player of the Year (Intermediate), and for cash prizes generated by entry fees over the course of the season.

Scroll down this page to view the current standings!

2020-21 Calendar & Venue

Doors open at 11:00, and registration closes at 11:30. If you are running late, please text 617-417-6743 to secure a place in the draw.

DateEventTime / Place
Sept. 19thMonthly Tournament
11:30 - Boylston Chess Club
October 17thMonthly Tournament
Aeronaut Cannery & Taproom
November 21st
Bonus Tournament
Aeronaut Cannery & Taproom
December 19th - Date Change!
Monthly Tournament
Aeronaut Cannery & Taproom
January 16th
Monthly Tournament
February 20th (new date)
Monthly Tournament
11:30 - Boylston Chess Club
March 20th (new date)
Monthly Tournament
11:30 - Dorchester Brewing Co.
April 3rd
Monthly Tournament
11:00 - Lord Hobo, Woburn
May 1st
Bonus Tournament
11:30 - Boylston Chess Club
June 5th (provisional)Club Championship Finals
11:30 - TBA

New venue April 3rd!

LORD HOBO is located in Woburn not far from where Rte 93 meets 95. There is ample free parking in the Lord Hobo parking lot and right along the quiet street adjacent to it. Players are encouraged to enjoy the food and drink offerings at the venue, and to tip generously, in order to maintain our welcome at this popular venue, which is being extended to us free of charge

Format & Prizes

The NEBC hosts a consolation-style tournament, which means all players are  randomly placed in the Main tournament bracket, and anyone who loses before reaching the “money” round (typically the semi-final), is entered into a Consolation tournament bracket, still in the running for a cash prize and bonus points. Therefore all entrants are guaranteed to play at least two matches. Match lengths typically range from 7 points to 13 points in the Main and 5 in the Consolation bracket.

Entry Fees & Prizes

Entry fees for regular tournaments are $60 for Open, $30 for Intermediate.

Entry fees for the two annual ‘Bonus Point’ events (November, May) are $100 for Open, $50 for Intermediate.

85% of Open and 80% of Intermediate entry fees are returned in cash prizes for the current event. The remaining funds are applied to the year-end ‘Playoffs’ prize pool and pay for incidental club costs such as our MeetUp group. Organizers are unpaid and do not profit from entry fees.

In a typical tournament with 16+ players in the Main bracket, we will pay cash prizes to six players: 1st Place, 2nd Place, and both Semi-Finalists in the Main, as well as 1st and 2nd Place contestants in the Consolation bracket.  With 14 or 15 entrants we pay four places. With 13 or fewer, three players will receive prizes.

Cash Prizes

85% of Open and 80% of Intermediate entry fees are returned in cash prizes for the current event. The remaining funds are applied to the year-end ‘Playoffs’ prize pool and for tipping the restaurant staff.

In a typical tournament with 16+ players in the Main bracket, we will pay cash prizes to six players: 1st Place, 2nd Place, and both Semi-Finalists in the Main, as well as 1st and 2nd Place contestants in the Consolation bracket.  With 14 or 15 entrants we pay four places. With 13 or fewer, three players will receive prizes.

Open or Intermediate?

An ‘Open’ Division is generally the strongest division at any backgammon tournament. it is ‘Open’ in the sense that anyone, regardless of expertise, is welcome to play so long as they pony up the entry fee.  Part of the excitement of backgammon is that a player of moderate experience can beat a world-class master perhaps 30% of the time.  So whether you rate yourself a very strong contender against any opponent, or whether you just want to “play in the bigs” and don’t mind the somewhat higher entry fee, the Open Division is for you.

The current NEBC ‘Intermediate’ Division is limited to players who have yet to develop sufficient mastery to place them on a competitive footing against Open-level players. There is quite a broad range of experience in this division, from those who are playing in their first tournaments to those who have several years of experience.  NEBC would like to encourage and enable all players to improve their game to the Open level over time, but it is perfectly fine to treat our tournaments as a stimulating social pastime without getting too “serious” about it!  So if you are a more casual player, or if you are an ambitious but less-experienced player, you are welcome to play in our Intermediate Division. The Intermediate Division is closed to players who have demonstrated expertise deemed by the tournament director to confer an inordinate advantage in that pool of players.

Players who are not restricted to the Open division may choose to play Intermediate one month and Open the next, as they like.  However, bonus points earned in one division are not transferable to the other, so if you are interested in earning a spot in the playoffs at the end of the season, you will do best to stick to one division over the course of a season.

Newcomers to backgammon or players not quite ready to dive into to tournament play are welcome to drop by NEBC at any point during the day to watch matches, play socially, and learn about backgammon strategy at their own pace, free of charge.

What Version of Backgammon?

Backgammon is one of the world’s most ancient games, and a standard game board can host a variety of similar but distinct games: Plakoto, Moultezim, Shesh Besh, Acey-Deucy, to name a few.  NEBC plays the popular version of the game that has become standard in the United States and in the international tournament community, most akin to the game called “Portes” in the Middle East and Greece.  The fundamentals of this version of the game can be found on the the USBGF website. Tournament play also includes use of the doubling cube, and employs the Crawford Rule in a contest to reach the number of points specified as the “match length.” These details are also explained in the USBGF primer cited above. Many newcomers arrive for their first NEBC tournament unfamiliar with some of these features of tournament play, but quickly learn the ropes from our friendly members — so don’t be shy.

Food & Drink

Some venues where NEBC holds events prefer for us to run a single tab so that wait staff don’t have to keep track of individuals moving around the venue during the course of the day. In any case, we ask that players patronize the establishment in order for us to earn our welcome for the free use of space, and that you tip generously.

When NEBC runs a single tab for everyone, we ask that you keep track of your purchases and pay the tournament director a total including tax + a 30% tip.

We encourage each player to keep score on paper even if a scoring flip-board is used.  In the event of a scoring dispute, failure to keep score creates a presumption in favor of one’s opponent.

The third column on the scoresheet may be used to note wins and losses, cube actions, or other reminders of how the match progressed.


House Rules - Frank's Steakhouse

We are fortunate that Frank’s is able to accommodate our tournaments, so we must always be good guests.  Please do not bring any food or drink into  the restaurant.  Remember that regular patrons are also dining in the restaurant space, so do your best not to linger in the central walkway, and do not set up games outside of the sections we have been assigned unless all our tables are filled with active games and you get permission from wait staff.

Tournament Rules & Procedures

NEBC employs a modified version of the popular Chicago Point “Rules & Procedures” guidelines, laid out here in sections.  We have adopted the “Legal Plays” standard that is now widely followed at ABT events.  We have not adopted the “dice on checkers” variation promoted in recent years by the USBGF.


1.1 INTERPRETATION. The Tournament Rules and Procedures cannot and should not regulate all possible situations that may arise during a match. No set of rules should deprive the Director of his freedom of judgment or prevent him from finding the solution dictated by fairness and compatible with the circumstances of a particular case.

1.2 SCOPE. Except where otherwise specified, the commonly accepted rules of backgammon apply.

1.3 STAFF. The NEBC organizer administering the draw shall assume the responsibilities of Director. The Director may consult with other organizers in delivering rulings and managing irregularities in the course of the tournament.

1.4 ENTRIES. All entries are subject to the approval of the Tournament Director. Reasons for exclusion need not be stated. Where more than one Tournament division exists, an entrant may be restricted from playing in a lower division.

1.5 AIDS. Once a match is in progress, players shall not use written, mechanical or electronic aids except to keep score.

1.6 COMMUNICATIONS. The official Tournament language is English. Speech in any other language will not be permitted between players and/or spectators while matches are in progress. Players may not use cell phones or other electronic communication devices except during authorized breaks.

1.7 SPECTATORS. Spectators shall remain silent while observing a match. Spectators have no right to draw attention to any misplays or comment on plays. Spectators who observe improprieties or irregularities during a match should discuss them in private with the Director. A player may request the Director to bar one or more spectators from viewing his match.


2.1 PLACE. Matches shall be played in designated Tournament areas.

2.2 TIME. Matches shall start promptly at the appointed times. Each player may take one 5 minute recess (between games) in a match not exceeding 13 points in length. The Director may permit additional recess time in longer or especially important matches.

2.3 PENALTY POINTS. Unless excused by the Director, a late player shall be penalized by points awarded to the opponent. The first penalty point shall be awarded 15 minutes after the appointed starting time and accrue thereafter at the rate of 1 point for each 5 minute delay. When the penalty points awarded exceed half the number needed to win the match, the absent player loses by forfeit. To avoid penalties, a player shall obtain the Director’s consent when leaving the Tournament site for more than 10 minutes. Not having alerted the Director of intention to return, a player who does not appear for a Consolation match within 10 minutes of his opponent becoming available shall forfeit his match.

2.4 SLOW PLAY. Players are expected to play at a reasonable pace. The Director may require a time clock to pace slow matches.

2.5 MONITORS. On his own initiative or at the request of a player, the Director may appoint a monitor to observe a match and protect against irregularities during play.


3.1 EQUIPMENT. Either player may demand that both use, when available and approved by the Director: (a) precision dice (over any others) and/or (b) lipped dice cups (over unlipped). By mutual agreement, players may use a single pair of dice, signaling the end of each play with a finger tap or other signal. So long as a single pair of dice are agreed upon, either or both players may choose to use a baffle box. The Director may require mutual use of a baffle box, or of a single pair of dice.

3.2 PREFERENCES. Prior to the commencement of a match, the backgammon board, direction of play, checker color, seat location, and baffle box location (right or left side) may be decided by rolls of the dice. If only one player uses a baffle box, he or she will choose which side to place it on.

3.3 EQUIPMENT CHANGES. The Director may replace equipment at any time. Otherwise the equipment initially selected shall be used throughout. Either player may demand a mixing of the four initially selected dice prior to the start of any game. To mix the dice the demanding player shakes the four dice together in one cup and rolls them out. The opponent selects a die, then roller, then opponent, with roller taking the last die.


4.1 RANDOM ROLLS. Dice are strictly a means of obtaining random numbers; any other use violates the rules and the spirit of backgammon. A legal roll consists of shaking the dice vigorously in a dice cup and then simultaneously tossing them out at a discernible height above the playing surface, allowing them to bounce and roll freely. Both dice must leave the cup before either die contacts the board; otherwise they must be rerolled. Between turns the dice shall remain in the dice cup with the cup kept in plain view. Alternatively, players may roll legally by casting both dice simultaneously through a baffle box.

4.2 VALID ROLLS. Both dice must come to rest flat on the playing surface to the right of the bar; otherwise they are “cocked” and must be rerolled. In the event of dispute, a player who rerolls prior to receiving acknowledgment from his opponent that the dice are cocked will be at a disadvantage.

4.3 MOVING. A player shall move the checkers in an unambiguous manner, using only one hand. Checkers must be reentered from the bar before moving any other checker. A player shall not touch any checkers or dice during the opponent’s turn.

4.4 CHECKER HANDLING. Checkers which have been hit must be kept on the bar pending reentry. Checkers which have been borne off must be kept off the entire playing surface for the rest of the game. A player with a checker illegally removed from play may still be gammoned or backgammoned.

4.5 LIFTING DICE. Having made a legal checker play, a player’s move is final when he lifts either or both of his dice from the playing surface.  If a player wishes to reposition the dice on the table to facilitate moving the checkers, he should give notice and confirm the dice roll with his opponent; otherwise he will be at a disadvantage in the event of a dispute over the dice roll.

4.6 PREMATURE ACTIONS. The opponent of a player who rolls prematurely shall complete his turn and then either let the premature roll stand or require a reroll. The opponent of a player who doubles prematurely shall complete his turn and then pass or take.

4.7 ERROR IN SETUP. An incorrect starting position must be corrected prior to the fifth roll of the game. Thereafter the existing setup becomes official. Players starting with less than 15 checkers in play may still be gammoned or backgammoned.

4.8. LEGAL PLAYS. Players are obligated to immediately identify any illegal play, regardless of whom the error favors. Illegal plays must be corrected before the subsequent turn begins (a valid dice roll or an offered cube). Otherwise, the illegal play will stand. An illegal play is corrected by returning the checkers and dice to the original position before the error was made and resuming play. Repeated offenses will result in a warning, and may be followed by disqualification.

4.9 COMPLETION. Each game must be rolled to completion, unless ended by passing a double or redouble, or conceding a no-contact position as a single game, gammon or backgammon loss. Neither matches nor games may be canceled, replayed or settled. Players are responsible for playing to the posted match length. The first player to reach the posted match length is the winner.

4.10 REPORTING RESULTS. The match result shall be reported to a Tournament official by the winner. The official shall verify and post the result on the draw sheet. The director may correct a wrongly-posted result and should do so in a timely manner fair to all.


5.1 KEEPING SCORE. Each player shall keep a running match score and compare it to his opponent’s score at the start of every game. In the event of a scoring dispute, a player not keeping a written log of the score will be at a disadvantage.

5.2 CUBE SETUP. Both players shall take care that each game (except the Crawford game) begins with the cube centered at 1 (or “64″). Should a dispute arise, the current position and level of the cube will influence the Director’s ruling.

5.3 CUBE RULES. Gammons and backgammons count at all times whether or not the cube has been turned.

5.4 CUBE HANDLING. A player may double when it is his turn only before rolling the dice, but not after rolling cocked dice. To double or redouble, a player moves the cube toward his opponent with the higher value face up while saying “double” or words to that effect. To take, the opponent says “take” or words to that effect while placing the cube on his side of the board in plain view with the new value face up. To reject the double, the opponent says “pass” or words to that effect, records the score and resets the board. The cube should not be handled capriciously; verbal or physical acts may be interpreted as cube actions.

5.5 CRAWFORD RULE. When either player reaches one point from victory, the next game (the “Crawford game”) shall be played to conclusion with a cube value of 1. The cube shall be removed from the board during the Crawford game.

5.6 DEAD CUBE. A player may not double when he or she would win the match at its current value simply by winning the game. Any such cube action is void.


6.1 DISPUTES. When a dispute arises, all players must leave dice, checkers, cube and score unchanged while the Director is summoned. Violations by players in this area are most serious and create a presumption in favor of the opponent.

6.2 TESTIMONY. Any player may argue issues of fact or rule. Spectators shall only testify at the Director’s request.

6.3 APPEALS. A player may appeal a Director’s ruling, but he must do so promptly while timely redress may still be obtained. To resolve an appeal, the Director shall convene a committee of three knowledgeable and disinterested backgammon players. The committee shall hear relevant testimony and arguments and may only overturn the Director’s ruling by unanimous decision. This exhausts a player’s right to appeal.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of the NEBC Rules.

Standards of Ethical Practice

NEBC subscribes to the ideals of fair play, positive behavior, and inclusion expressed in the USBGF “Standards of Ethical Practices.”

Annual Points Race

Playoff points within each division accumulate throughout the season based on the results of the monthly tournaments. After the May tournament, he top 7 points earners in each division qualify for the Championship Playoffs, competing for the titles of Intermediate Player of the Year and, for the winner of the Open division, NEBC Club Champion.

Match Points

Each time you win a match, you are awarded a number of points equal to the length of that match. (7 points for a 7-point match, etc.) In the event your match is shortened due to time pressures, you would still be awarded the number of points specified as the original match length.

Bonus Points

Anytime you reach a “cashing” round in a tournament, you are awarded bonus points as follows:

Main Bracket
1st: 50 points
2nd: 25 points
Semi-finalists: 12 points*

Consolation Bracket
1st: 25 points
2nd: 12 points**

*In the event that fewer than 16 players enter a tournament, the semi-finalists do not cash, but are entered in the consolation bracket. In this case, these players would receive either their 12 semi-finalist points, or their 25 consolation winner points, whichever is greater.

**In the event that fewer than 14 players enter a tournament, no cash award will be given for 2nd-place Consolation, but Bonus points still accrue.

In the event that fewer than 8 players enter, Bonus points will still be awarded so long as a player wins at least one match to earn them.

Participation Points

If you show up, but don’t win any matches, you receive 2 points for participating.

Double-Bonus Events

In our November and May tournaments, Bonus Points are doubled (but with usual 12-point winners earning 25 points) and match lengths are increased in the Open division. These exciting events provide opportunities for large leaps in the standings, so the race remains competitive throughout the year.

June Attendance Points

A regular tournament will be held in June, in concert with the playoff finals in both divisions. All participants in attendance will earn 15 Bonus Points applied to the following season’s points race.

Playoff Format

Six of the nine monthly tournaments must be successfully completed in order to hold a Championship playoff. The top scorer in each division receives a valuable 1st-round bye. The other six players are seeded according to standing: 2nd vs. 7th; 3rd vs. 6th; 4th vs. 5th (winner meets 1st place player in the semis). NEBC will provide cash prizes for the winners, finalists and semi-finalists, commensurate with the cash accumulated by NEBC over the course of the current season.

Open Division
Rounds 1 & 2: Best 2 out of 3, 9-point matches.
Finals: Best 3 out of 5, 9-point matches.

Intermediate Division
Rounds 1 & 2: Best 2 out of 3, 7-point matches.
Finals: Best 3 out of 5, 7-point matches.

Rounds 1 & 2 are to be scheduled by participants at a time and place of mutual convenience in advance of the final tournament of our season in June, when the finals in both divisions will take place, leading to the naming of the “NEBC Club Champion” and the “Intermediate Player of the Year”.

Points Race Standings (2021 - 2022)


1Alex Zamanian420
2Marty Storer334
3Paul A. Caracciolo275
4Emir Kapanci218
5Michael Kay185
6Brad Mampe172
7Duncan Noyes168
8Dougie Roberts148
9David Kornwitz146
10Tim Churella131
11Eric Sulkala128
12Rich Sweetman124
13Albert Steg108
14Danny Lynch93
15John Leonard82
16Howard Rosenthal64
17Andrew Hoy50
18Al Theriault48
19Stephen Hassman45
20Steve Douglas36
21Ross Jett29
22Tom O'Riordan24
23David Bowen21
24Weston Stewart-Tennes15
25Alex Cohen13
26Gary Dodge12
27Joe Peck12
28Jim McKenna9
29Ed Ahola7
30Matt Bynorth7
31Desiree D'agostino7
32Frank DiMaggio5
33Phil Perelmuter5
34Harrison Romero5
35Eric Packer4
36Albert Cantito2
37Jason Haskell2
38Ed Rozmiarek2
39Bob Shepley2
40John Smidt2


1Ed Rozmiarek314
2Pam Keeney148
3Andrew Hoy136
4Bernie Harlow132
5Wanda Roberts111
6Steve Bohn86
7Eric Packer71
8Eric Bohn64
9Maurice B.42
10Gary Dodge42
11Nathan Berger41
12Sam Kurker32
13Peter Shewmaker29
14Allyson Kurker24
15Mary Lou Bohn22
16Rodrigo Montenegro7
17Don Weng7
18Barclay Douglas2
19Christina Founier2
20Tom Greaves2
21Caryn Mushlin2
22Tony Papandrea2
23Jim Weitzman2

Tournament Results


Open Division (19)
1st: Marty Storer
2nd: Duncan Noyes
Semis: John Leonard
Semis: Tim Churella
1st Cons: Dougie Roberts
2nd Cons: Emir Kapanci
Intermediate Division (4)
1st: Andrew Hoy
2nd: Ed Rozmiarek


Open Division (22)
1st: Emir Kapanci
2nd: Marty Storer
Semis: John Leonard
Semis: Duncan Noyes
1st Cons: Dougie Roberts
2nd Cons: Albert Steg
Intermediate Division (4)
1st: Ed Rozmiarek
2nd: Wanda Roberts


Open Division (20)
1st: Alex Zamanian
2nd: Michael Kay
Semis: Marty Storer
Semis: Al Theriault
1st Cons: David Kornwitz
2nd Cons: Duncan Noyes
Intermediate Division (8)
1st: Bernie Harlow
2nd: Pam Keeney
Semis: Sam Kurker
1st Cons: Wanda Roberts
2nd Cons: Ed Rozmiarek


Open Division (17)
1st: Rich Sweetman
2nd: Paul A. Caracciolo
Semis: Alex Zamanian
Semis: Stephen Hassman
1st Cons: Eric Sulkala
2nd Cons: Ross Jett
Intermediate Division (8)
1st: Ed Rozmiarek
2nd: Nathan Berger
Semis: Allyson Kurker
1st Cons: Maurice Boueri
2nd Cons: Steve Bohn


Event Cancelled


Open Division (12)
1st: Paul A. Caracciolo
2nd: Michael Kay
Semis: Brad Mampe
1st Cons: Alex Zamanian
2nd Cons: Dougie Roberts
Intermediate Division (9)
1st: Ed Rozmiarek
2nd: Eric Packer
Semis: Pam Keeney
1st Cons: Steve Bohn
2nd Cons: Peter Shewmaker


Open Division (19)
1st: Tim Churella
2nd: Danny Lynch
Semis: Marty Storer
Semis: Howard Rosenthal
1st Cons: David Kornwitz
2nd Cons: Albert Steg


Open Division (16)
1st: Emir Kapanci
2nd: Brad Mampe
Semis: Paul A. Caracciolo
Semis: Duncan Noyes
1st Cons: Michael Kay
2nd Cons: Alex Zamanian
Intermediate Division (4)
1st: Eric Bohn
2nd: Pam Keeney
Semis: Mary Lou Bohn
Semis: Steve Bohn


Open Division (18)
1st: Alex Zamanian
2nd: Paul A. Caracciolo
Semis: Brad Mampe
Semis: Eric Sulkala
1st Cons: Marty Storer
2nd Cons: Andrew Hoy