Popular Backgammon Players

Backgammon Celebrities

http://www.gamblingplanet.org/images/inner/backgammon.gifBackgammon has always attracted members hailing from the upper echelons of society. Often referred to as the ‘Game of Kings,’ it has held a special place in many royal courts throughout history. Accordingly, it’s hardly surprising that backgammon continues to be played by the rich, powerful and, of course, famous.

Here’s a list of well-known people whose penchant for the game has been discovered and documented.

The Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif was known to be an avid backgammon player, and even wrote his own weekly column about the game!

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner reportedly used to throw some pretty wild backgammon parties at his mansion.

Robin Leach, host of the popular 80s TV program and a contender for the Most Annoying Man in the World, has admitted to being a keen player. 

Actor Kevin Bacon apparently has a passion for the game. So do fellow movie stars Joaquin Phoenix and Tobey Macguire.

Female stars Kate Winslet and Kylie Minogue could use their alleged backgammon skills to assemble a pretty hot tandem.

Professional baseballers Roger Clemens and Ken Caminiti, are said to play a few games while on the road.

Brian May, lead guitarist of the rock group Queen, regularly played with members of his road crew.


World Backgammon Association Champions

Every year the best backgammon players in the world head to Monte Carlo to try for the coveted title of World Champion. Here’s a list of previous winners:

1967 Tim Holland USA
1968 Tim Holland USA
1969 No Championships held
1970 No Championships held
1971 Tim Holland USA
1972 Oswald Jacoby USA
1973 Carol Crawford USA
1974 Claude Beer USA
1975 Billy Eisenberg USA
1976 Joel Dwek United Kingdom
1977 Jean Noel Grinda France
1978 Richard de Surmont France
1979 Luigi Villa Italy
1980 Walter Coratella Mexico
1981 Lee Genud USA
1982 Jacques Michel Switzerland
1983 Bill Robertie USA
1984 Mike Svobodny USA
1985 Charles-Henri Sabet Italy
1986 Clement Palacci Italy
1987 Bill Robertie USA
1988 Phillip Marmorstein Germany
1989 Joe Russel USA
1990 Hal Heinrich Canada
1991 Michael Meyburg Germany
1992 Ion Ressu Romania
1993 Peter Thomsen Denmark
1994 Frank Frigo USA
1995 David Ben Zion Israel
1996 David Nahmad Italy
1997 Jerry Grandell Sweden
1998 Michael Meyburg Germany
1999 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
2000 Katie Scalamandre USA
2001 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
2002 Mads Andersen Denmark
2003 Jon Royset Norway
2004 Peter Hallberg Denmark
2005 Dennis Carlsten USA
2006 Philip Vischjager Netherlands
2007 Jorge Pan Argentina
2008 Lars Trabolt Denmark
‘Big Boys’ of Backgammon

Every two years since 1993, Yamin Yamin of Illinois has done a poll to determine the best backgammon players in the world at the moment. The question is put forth to championship-level players and tournament directors from all over the world. For more information regarding this poll, check out the Flint Area Backgammon Club website located here.

Here are the TOP 10 Giants of Backgammon for 2005:

1 Nack Ballard USA
2 Neil Kazaross USA
3 Francois Tardieu France
4 “Falafel” Natanzon Israel
5 Kit Woolsey USA
6 Steve Sax USA
7 Lars Bonding Denmark
8 Dirk Schiemann Germany
9 Jerry Grandell Sweden
10 Paul “X-22” Magriel USA