Welcome to Colorado Backgammon (a USBGF Prime Club)

2024 Wild West Shootout!

BG Friends,

Welcome to 2024. Last year was a great year and our club continued to grow with some of the finest people I have had the privilege to meet. We had over a dozen new players join the Colorado Backgammon Clubs. Those new members have added additional depth to our organization; bringing kindness, humor and skill.

Last year our clubs made a great showing at many national events of the American Backgammon Tour (ABT) as well as a few international tour events. With all that said, I am looking forward to 2024 as our clubs continue to grow even stronger. Additional clinics will be offered for those newer to the game, as well as new and unique tournament events, in addition to possibly some intermural play.

Raymond Gronek 11/22/54 – 4/27/24

Sadly, we have lost a beloved member of our club. Ray was one of the most unique backgammon players you would ever meet. Several years ago, due to a stroke, the right hemisphere of Ray’s brain suffered extensive damage. Although the damage impaired his memory greatly, such as names or general items, it in no way affected his backgammon skills. Ray rarely missed weekly club night in spite of riding the bus 40 to 60 minutes to get to the venue. He was a very strong player and would often work his way into the weekly finals. In 2021, Ray won the Division 3 Warriors at the ABT Wild West Shootout and was usually in the top 10 in the yearly club standings. Ray was a solid tournament player, but he also loved a good Chouette. Ray would be the first to let you know when you were making a bad play, but he never stayed angry and he never held it against you. We will miss him greatly, and his absence leaves a hole in our hearts. We will never forget our amazing friend. We miss you buddy.

If you’d like to make a donation in Ray’s name, click HERE to donate to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Ray’s preferred charity.

Colorado Backgammon – Denver

Denver league play is every Wednesday at one of two venues – Hangar 101 on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday, and The Dam Grille on the 2nd, 4th Wednesday (league play begins at 7:00pm). Additional venues will be chosen for monthly events, which are typically either the last Saturday or Sunday of the month. There is usually something for everyone during league night, including a chance to participate in a Chouette (usually before, during and after league play). If you haven’t participated in a Chou, it’s a great opportunity to learn and play with some of the best players in the state.

You must be a member of the U.S. Backgammon Federation to play in Denver club tournaments. Basic USBGF membership is $45 per year (donation). However, if this is your first time, please join us without registration. If you enjoyed the event, please speak to a Director and they will assist you in becoming a USBGF member: http://usbgf.org/membership/join/ MeetUp is our primary tool for communication, so I encourage you to check out the upcoming dates and locations. Also, please indicate if you plan to attend. This allows others to know how many players are likely for a given week – if it’s a long drive, they at least have an expectation.

Colorado Backgammon – Fort Collins

Fort Collins two division club play is at either Beau Jo’s or Wolverine Farm Publick House on the 3rd Sunday (club play begins at 11:30am). Additional venues will be chosen including the occasional Friday night event. MeetUp is our primary tool for communication, so I encourage you to check out the upcoming dates and locations. There is usually something for everyone during club night, including a chance to participate in a Chouette (usually before, during and after league play). If you haven’t participated in a Chou, it’s a great opportunity to learn and play with some of the best players in the state.

2024 Wild West Shootout – Premier American Backgammon Tour (ABT) Event

Colorado players had a fantastic showing once again at the 2023 Wild West Shootout. Check out the results HERE. We’ve already started with the preparations for the 2023 Wild West Shootout October 4-8, which will again include a chance to participate in the BMAB (http://bgmastersab.com/) – The Wild West Shootout is the only ABT tournament in the Rocky Mountain region (https://denverbg.org/).

It’s Just a Game

As many players return to live play, I’d like to take a moment and remind everyone that BACKGAMMON IS JUST A GAME. However, it is a game with very specific rules, and the tournament director (TD) is there to help guide you through those rules should there be a misplay, question, conflict, or just poor sportsmanship. Most plays or rule clarifications go without the need for a TD, but if there is doubt, pause the clock and call for the TD.

Backgammon is a game of honor and respect, and we try to maintain a high standard of fair play at our clubs. We abide by the ethics of fair play as defined by the USBGF. So, please leave the drama at home. I’m not sure if Lynda Clay (current member and past director) originally coined the following phrase, but I like it – Win with Grace / Lose with Class / Play with Passion. We should all be playing with this phrase in mind. Yes, you will get some bad rolls. Yes, you will get some good rolls. Yes, you will lose a game or match that you should have won. And yes, you will win a game or match that you should have lost…That’s backgammon and it’s just a game!

If you are new (or a seasoned player), below are some basic USBGF rules to keep in mind – some may be new to you, but these rules are the standard by which we play:

  • If you are an observer, there is absolutely no talking or kibitzing during a match. If you see an illegal play, notify the TD only, unless BOTH players request your observations.

  • Only one set of dice are to be used between the two players.

  • To maintain the speed of tournament play, Colorado Backgammon requires all players to play with a clock.

  • Either player may use a baffle box (dice scrambler) or dice cup to roll. If you use a dice cup (per the rules), “… the dice must be vigorously shaken at least twice up and down and rolled together freely on the right-hand side of the bar from a minimum height of 2.5cm/1”, and the cup should not touch the playing field.

  • If dice land on checkers, the roll counts, as long as the dice are flat on the surface (concave checkers are considered a flat surface).

  • If the dice are rolled and are not flat, they may be considered to be cocked. If either player is unsure, pause the clock and call the TD.

  • Never touch your dice once they are rolled (except to move them for checker play). Once you’ve indicated you have completed your move (typically by hitting your clock), the other player may pick up your roll.

  • If you’re unsure about anything, pause the clock and call the TD.

  • Legal moves are observed, which means if either player sees an illegal move, it is your obligation to call it out, regardless of if it favors you or not. That’s the honor side of backgammon.

  • If an illegal play has been made, just be calm and indicate the illegal move. If the move is not corrected, pause the clock and call the TD.

Check out the following links for information regarding basic play and detailed USBGF rules for Tournament Backgammon.

USBGF Basic Backgammon and How to Play

USBGF Abridged Tournament Rules Guide

USBGF Tournament Rules 2019


The Colorado Backgammon Clubs support the USBGF initiatives and the focus on growing the game.  As such, we will continue to strive to be a club with 100% membership.  With as little as a $45 a year donation to the USBGF, you can enjoy many resources and events the USBGF provides.

New USBGF and Supported Initiatives

Kids Backgammon Club

Backgammon 101

Women’s World of Backgammon

Your donation helps fund programs like “Kids Backgammon Club“, “Backgammon 101” and “Women in Backgammon“.  Additionally, the USBGF has a fantastic new website, including a whole new online member tournament section.  This is an automated management system to play in multiple tournament events against other members for monthly points, custom backgammon boards or specialty events.  This is a small part of the all new USBGF website.

There is much to look forward to in 2024.  And as always, be safe and I hope to see you across a backgammon board!

Warmest Regards,

Dan Minardi

Please spend a moment and check out these websites – DenverBG.org and USBGF.org. Again, the Colorado Backgammon clubs use Meetup for all venue information as well as updated tournament details.   We play using the Crawford rule and legal moves.

*All Staff are strictly volunteer. Please contact us if you would like to help.

**100% of any and all donations and / or proceeds go towards maintaining the Colorado and Denver Backgammon programs, websites, MeetUp, and member benefits.

Win with Grace / Lose with Class / Play with Passion