WBGF President Bernhard Mayr has many dreams for backgammon… BIG dreams. And one of them is the live Club World Championship. This dream will become a reality in Neum, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 11-16 October 2022. The only qualification is that players must be a member of an official club or play regularly with that club or at regional tournaments. Teams consist of three players with up to 2 reserves. Bernhard is hoping that 100+ teams will participate.
“We already had several WBIF club events online and these were quite successful. This is a much more social event, as any club can nominate any number of teams; and it’s much easier to form a team of three. This is a totally new format – not based on national qualifications, but groups that live or play together.” The tournament format will be round robin groups of maybe 6 teams with matches to 9 points. After these preliminary rounds, the best 16 teams play single elimination 11 point matches.
Choosing a location that was reasonably accessible to many was very important to Bernhard and Tournament Director Arda Fındıkoğlu. Says Bernhard: “The destination is cheaper and is much easier to travel to by car. It’s our best chance to get as many teams participating as possible. It’s a nice central location. And also many people in B&H speak English which makes it easier.” Food and accommodation are also relatively inexpensive. Aside from the Grand Hotel Neum, there are many places to stay for a reasonable price. And you don’t have to be shy about eating well… a nice meal can be had for as little as 10 euros.
“The idea is to promote clubs because I think there are many people playing together and maybe they didn’t form an official club so hopefully this will motivate people to establish an official club or organisation.”
Backgammon clubs are a great way to improve your game. Play tournaments, discuss the game, meet new friends, and generally have a great time with fellow backgammon tragics. If you already meet up with friends for a game or two, why not start a club? Bernhard suggests contacting your national federation or association for help, or even contact Bernhard himself at the WBGF.