Jay's View

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A year and two months.


That’s how long it’s been between our club’s last gathering— March 11, 2020— and last night’s return to live play to the Winnetka Community House. Our hiatus, due to restrictions and health safety protocol imposed because of the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be much longer and onerous than any of us thought it would be. It is only because of the increase in number of people in the country that are now fully vaccinated that we are willing and able to return to live play. Personally, Like most of you, playing backgammon is an important segment in my life, providing me with my mental sorbet from the tedium of the duties and responsibilities in the rest of my day. 


I also feel it’s important to state here how thankful I am to the club and tournament directors in the backgammon community throughout the country that did an incredible job in providing a forum for play online throughout the past year and for however long going forward. We should all be grateful that, thanks to these people, we were able to still engage socially with friends new and old, playing the game that we all love. 


On a side note, I’m looking forward to hearing whether all the people that complained about the “rigged” algorithm for the dice on Backgammon Galaxy and Backgammon Studio Heroes will complain less about crappy dice rolls when they return to live play. Hmmm.


And speaking of live play, how about that great initial turnout last night at our club? Even with the restrictions imposed by the Community House (adhering to the Cook County Department of Health safety protocol for social gatherings), we had eleven players show up! Not bad, I’d say for a group of people venturing out for a first time for live play during a pandemic. The group included many of our regular players, as well as one of the club’s original players from when it first started almost 40 years ago (Wright B. George), and a newcomer who also happens to be a professional bridge player (Eli Jolley) who learned about our club from Tim Mabee, Director at the Pub Club (many thanks, Tim!). You would have thought you were attending a high school reunion the way people were smiling and fist bumping each other, asking each other about what’s going on in their lives since last year. Other than feeling a little rusty serving as the tournament director for the evening (what’s a pencil?), I thought it was great. 


There were also some great matches throughout the evening. The championship match pitted the afore mentioned Wright B. George against our usual Tournament Director Extraordinaire, David Hanold. It was a tight, exciting match that went down to the wire with David edging Wright, 5-4. The win gave David a 4-0, plus 6 record for first place. Wright finished in a tie with Neil Banoff for 2nd and 3rd place with 3-1, plus 11 records. Fourth place also ended in a tie, with Ted Jones and Club Director, Bill Chibnik finishing with equal 2-2, plus 2 records.


The evening was a great start and hopefully, will serve as a springboard for our return to live play for the rest of the year. I hope to see everyone that attended last night return next week, as well as more of you that are looking to return to live play at a fun, friendly and competitive club. It’s backgammon, folks. Let’s play! Have a great weekend!