Yamin Yamin's 32 Giants of Backgammon

Every two years since 1993, Yamin A. Yamin of the USA, together with a group of other dedicated people from the backgammon community, conduct a poll called the 32 Giants of Backgammon.

The voters are international tournament players, and tournament directors; they are asked who they believe are the strongest backgammon players in the world.

The main requirement is that each voter plays at the Championship (or Masters) level in live events. A voter lists who he considers to be the top 32 players in match play as well as in side action money game play - he is allowed to put his own name as high as #2 on his own ballot.

The results are audited by Jake Jacobs, and up until 2005 by Howard Ring, who passed away in November of 2005. Howard, himself a Backgammon Giant for many years, was a true titan – a great family man, active in many community projects in his hometown of Chicago as well as a benefactor of several international aid and charity groups.

John Stryker serves as Statistician and Carol Joy Cole edits and prepares the list for publication in her print newsletter, Flint Area BackgammoNews, while the entire proceedings are overseen by Chairman Yamin Yamin.

The 2005- 2007 #1 Giant of Backgammon is...

Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon of Israel
Photo Copyright by Kathy Liberopoulos

Below are the top 32 Giants of Backgammon since 1993.

  32 Giants of Backgammon - 2007  
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon Israel
# 2 Nack Ballard USA
# 3 Francois Tardieu France
# 4 Sander Lylloff Denmark
# 5 Neil Kazaross USA
# 6 Masayuki Mochizuki Japan
# 7 Steve Sax USA
# 8 Kit Woolsey USA
# 9 Bob Wachtel USA
# 10 Morten Holm Denmark
# 11 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 12 Paul Magriel "X-22" USA
# 13 Lars Bønding Denmark
# 14 Jake Jacobs USA
# 15 Paul Weaver USA
# 16 Lars Trabolt Denmark
# 17 Bill Robertie USA
# 18 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 19 John O'Hagan USA
# 20 Malcolm Davis USA
# 21 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 22 Ed O'Laughlin USA
# 23 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
# 24 Raymond Fogerlund USA
# 25 Ralf Jonas Germany
# 26 Walter Trice USA
# 27 Mike Corbett USA
# 28 Dirk Schiemann Germany
# 29 Petko Kostadinov Bulgaria
# 30 Richard Munitz USA
# 31 Dana Nazarian USA
# 32 Leo Fernandez Argentina

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 2005
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Nack Ballard USA
# 2 Neil Kazaross USA
# 3 Francois Tardieu France
# 4 Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon Israel
# 5 Kit Woolsey USA
# 6 Steve Sax USA
# 7 Lars Bønding Denmark
# 8 Dirk Schiemann Germany
# 9 Jerry Grandell Sweden
# 10 Paul Magriel "X-22" USA
# 11 Johannes Levermann Germany
# 12 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 13 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
# 14 Jake Jacobs USA
# 15 Bob Wachtel USA
# 16 Paul Weaver USA
# 17 Malcolm Davis USA
# 18 John O'Hagan USA
# 19 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 20 Bill Robertie USA
# 21 Frank Talbot USA
# 22 Mads Andersen Denmark
# 23 Walter Trice USA
# 24 Mike Svobodny USA
# 25 David Wells USA
# 26 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 27 Morten Holm Denmark
# 28 Masayuki Mochizuki Japan
# 29 Ed O'Laughlin USA
# 30 Mike Corbett USA
# 31 Lars Trabolt Denmark
# 32 Michael Meyburg Germany

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 2003
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Nack Ballard USA
# 2 Jerry Grandell Sweden
# 3 Dirk Schiemann Germany
# 4 Johannes Levermann Germany
# 5 Paul Magriel "X-22" USA
# 6 David Wells USA
# 7 Neil Kazaross USA
# 8 Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon Israel
# 9 Mads Andersen Denmark
# 10 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
# 11 Kit Woolsey USA
# 12 Jake Jacobs USA
# 13 Steve Sax USA
# 14 François Tardieu France
# 15 Bill Robertie USA
# 16 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 17 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 18 Michael Meyburg Germany
# 19 Mike Svobodny USA
# 20 Paul Weaver USA
# 21 Malcolm Davis USA
# 22 Howard Ring USA
# 23 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 24 Lars Bønding Denmark
# 25 Brian Elgaard Denmark
# 26 Kent Goulding USA
# 27 Hugh Sconyers USA
# 28 Morten Holm Denmark
# 29 Mike Corbett USA
# 30 Ralf Jonas Germany
# 31 Frank Talbot USA
# 32 Leo Fernandez Argentina

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 2001
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Nack Ballard USA
# 2 Jerry Grandell Sweden
# 3 Johannes Levermann Germany
# 4 Dirk Schiemann Germany
# 5 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
# 6 Paul Magriel "X-22" USA
# 7 Neil Kazaross USA
# 8 Michael Senkiewicz USA
# 9 Jake Jacobs USA
# 10 Kit Woolsey USA
# 11 Michael Meyburg Germany
# 12 Mike Svobodny USA
# 13 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 14 Bill Robertie USA
# 15 Kent Goulding USA
# 16 Mads Andersen Denmark
# 17 Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon Israel
# 18 Howard Ring USA
# 19 Paul Weaver USA
# 20 Steve Sax USA
# 21 François Tardieu France
# 22 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 23 David Wells USA
# 24 Rick Barabino USA
# 25 Leo Fernandez   Argentina
# 26 Abe Mosseri USA
# 27 Harald Johanni Germany
# 28 Mario Kuhl Germany
# 29 Wilcox Snellings USA
# 30 Elliott Winslow USA
# 31 Malcolm Davis USA
# 32 Hugh Sconyers USA

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 1999
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Jerry Grandell Sweden
# 2 Nack Ballard USA
# 3 Johannes Levermann Germany
# 4 Neil Kazaross USA
# 5 Paul Magriel "X-22" USA
# 6 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 7 Michael Meyburg Germany
# 8 Dirk Schiemann Germany
# 9 Mike Svobodny  USA
# 10 Kit Woolsey USA
# 11 Howard Ring USA
# 12 Malcolm Davis USA
# 13 Kent Goulding USA
# 14 Jake Jacobs USA
# 15 Bill Robertie USA
# 16 Billy Horan USA
# 17 Wilcox Snellings USA
# 18 Elliott Winslow USA
# 19 David Wells USA
# 20 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 21 Jörgen Granstedt Sweden
# 22 Phillip Marmorstein Germany
# 23 Hal Heinrich Canada
# 24 Abe Mosseri USA
# 25 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 26 Joe Russell USA
# 27 Mike Corbett USA
# 28 Harald Johanni   Germany
# 29 Frank Talbot USA
# 30 Peter Heitmueller Germany
# 31 Rick Barabino USA
# 32 Paul Weaver USA

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 1997
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Wilcox Snellings USA
# 2 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 3 Nack Ballard USA    
# 4 Mike Svobodny USA
# 5 Paul Magriel USA
# 6 Neil Kazaross USA
# 7 Billy Horan USA
# 8 Kit Woolsey USA
# 9 Jerry Grandell Sweden     
# 10 Bill Robertie USA
# 11 Kent Goulding USA
# 12 Joe Sylvester USA
# 13 Malcolm Davis USA
# 14 James Colen USA
# 15 Phillip Marmorstein Germany     
# 16 Hal Heinrich Canada
# 17 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 18 Joe Russell USA
# 19 Jason Lester USA
# 20 Evert van Eijck Holland
# 21 David Wells USA    
# 22 Gus Hansen Denmark
# 23 Howard Ring USA
# 24 Thomas Lumper Germany
# 25 Jake Jacobs USA
# 26 Mike Corbett USA
# 27 Elliott Winslow USA    
# 28 Tino Lechich Australia
# 29 Paul Weaver USA
# 30 Johannes Levermann Germany
# 31 Stuart Hosen USA
# 32 Sandy Lubetkin USA

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 1995
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 2 Wilcox Snellings USA
# 3 Billy Horan USA    
# 4 Nack Ballard USA
# 5 Paul Magriel USA
# 6 Joe Sylvester USA
# 7 Mike Svobodny USA
# 8 Kent Goulding USA
# 9 Bill Robertie USA    
# 10 Neil Kazaross USA
# 11 James Colen USA
# 12 Kit Woolsey USA
# 13 Phillip Marmorstein Germany
# 14 Joe Russell USA
# 15 Evert van Eijck Holland     
# 16 Hal Heinrich Canada
# 17 Tino Lechich Australia
# 18 Howard Ring USA
# 19 Jason Lester USA
# 20 Malcolm Davis USA
# 21 Thomas Lumper Germany     
# 22 Ed O'Laughlin USA
# 23 Sandy Lubetkin USA
# 24 Abbas Zaltash USA
# 25 Peter Jes Thomsen Denmark
# 26 Rolf Schreuder Holland
# 27 Alan Steffen USA    
# 28 Frank Talbot USA
# 29 Harry Cohn USA
# 30 Herb Gurland USA
# 31 Walter Trice USA
# 32 Paul Weaver USA

 
32 Giants of Backgammon - 1993
 
Voted
Player
Country
# 1 Wilcox Snellings USA
# 2 Mike Senkiewicz USA
# 3 Joe Sylvester USA    
# 4 Paul Magriel USA
# 5 Mike Svobodny USA
# 6 Bill Robertie USA
# 7 Nack Ballard USA
# 8 Kent Goulding USA
# 9 Kit Woolsey USA    
# 10 Jason Lester USA
# 11 Billy Horan USA
# 12 Tino Lechich Australia
# 13 Phillip Marmorstein Germany
# 14 Hal Heinrich Canada
# 15 Joe Russell USA    
# 16 Thomas Lumper Germany     
# 17 Neil Kazaross USA
# 18 Ed O'Laughlin USA
# 19 Bob Wachtel USA
# 20 Sandy Lubetkin USA
# 21 Frank Talbot USA    
# 22 Malcolm Davis USA
# 23 Mike Corbett USA
# 24 James Colen USA
# 25 Paul Weaver USA
# 26 Alan Steffen USA
# 27 Walter Trice USA    
# 28 Jack Kissane USA
# 29 Howard Ring USA
# 30 Rolf Schreuder Holland
# 31 Erik Seidel USA
# 32 Herb Gurland USA
     
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