GammonLife Editor Michael Strato Liberopoulos, who is also an international consultant on the game, has been asked to come to Greece to help create the new backgammon federation and is presently in Athens for meetings this weekend and next week, with people who have previously organized tournaments on a small scale in different parts of Greece.
The meetings will explore the potential to create the federation, and to know such things as:
- If there are people who will dedicate time in assisting with the creation of the federation, and eventually, helping to run it.
- If there is sufficient interest of players in Greece to become members of such a federation and compete in championships.
Players that already compete internationally, such as Manos Mastorakis and Alexandros Kolonias, will also attend these meetings.
The Greek variant of the game known as Portes is played exactly like the international or standard version of Backgammon, only without the doubling cube. Therefore, if created, the Greek Backgammon Federation (GBgF) would also introduce the doubling cube (and cube strategy) to its players so that more players can travel abroad to compete in international events such as the World Championship and the World Series of Backgammon, etc.
The federation would also provide reading material to its players to help them improve their skills as well as introduce them to programs created through neural networks, such as GNUbg and Snowie, so that they can train and improve even further.
It is estimated that, easily, between 60 and 70 per cent of the population of Greece play backgammon, or Tavli as it is called in general, on a regular basis. It is the national pastime of the country and children are taught the game when they are as young as five or six years old. Therefore, if the project is developed, Greece would likely have one of the largest organized backgammon federations in the world and would contribute heavily to the attendance of international tournaments.
If you are a Greek player of Tavli, the question is, do you want to be the next Champion of Greece? Or for that matter, the next World Champion? If you are interested in information about the Greek Backgammon Federation or you would like to attend any of these GBgF meetings, contact GammonLife Editor Michael Strato at firstname.lastname@example.org