As the UK and France celebrate the countries’ co-operation during the Second World War with the visit of President Macron to Westminster, another example of the Entente Cordiale has broken out across the backgammon board.
A team of some of the best players in the UK will be pitting their backgammon wits and talents against a team from across La Manche this weekend.
The challenge will comprise 27 nine-point matches – with three rounds of nine matches, with the winning team the first to win 14 matches.
The matches – on Backgammon Studio Heroes and Grid Gammon – will take place on Sunday at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm (UK time).
The UK team consists of three grand masters: Julian Fetterlein, Gaz Owen and Tim Cross along with seven other strong players – Jon Barnes, Steve Bibby, Chris Bray, Charles Hill, Andrew Fotiadis, Oliver Squire and Chris Rogers. (There are 10 players as there is a substitute available in each round.)
UK team captain Chris Rogers said:
“We’ve all been missing being able to play live, but online tournaments have kept us all going over the last couple of months.
“The idea started when Peter Bennet spotted that France played Italy and he thought it would be a good idea for the UK to play France, seeing as the French captain lives in London.
“Although it’s very much a friendly event, both sides will be doing their best to come out on top.”
Update: After a very hard-fought match the French team emerged 15-12 winners – congratulations to them all! We won both the first and third rounds 5-4, but a bit of a nightmare in the middle cost us very dearly. The women’s team will now be trying to restore our national pride against a French women’s team on 11th July… watch this space!