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Backgammon Giants: Statistics

 

As stated at the Giants of Backgammon website (link provided at the bottom of this page): “Every two years since 1993, Yamin Yamin of Illinois has surveyed Championship-level players and tournament directors around the world. He asks them to rank the best currently active players in the world, considering both their tournament skills and side games. Which players are the most respected and feared by their fellow competitors?”

 

The statistics below are compiled from the information found on that website. Under the year columns (each actually representing a span of two years), the ranking of the player is listed (1 is best, 2 is second best, etc.). 32 points are given for finishing first (“1”) in a given year, 31 points for finishing second (“2”), etc., and these points are tallied in the “Total Points” column. There is further discussion below the table.

 
Backgammon Giants: All Time Best
Total
Points
Player
Country
1993
1995
1997
1999
2001
2003
2005
2007
2009

Nack Ballard

USA

  7

  4

  3

  2

  1

  1

  1

  2

6

270

Neil Kazaross

USA

 17

 10

  6

  4

  7

  7

  2

  5

3

236

Paul Magriel

USA

  4

  5

  5

  5

  6

  5

 10

 12

-

212

Kit Woolsey

USA

  9

 12

  8

 10

 10

 11

  5

  8

13

211

Mike Senkiewicz

USA

  2

  1

  2

  6

  8

 16

 19

 18

32

193

Bill Robertie

USA

  6

  9

 10

 15

 14

 15

 20

 17

26

165

Mike Svobodny

USA

  5

  7

  4

  9

 12

 19

 24

  -
-

151

Jerry Grandell

Sweden

   

  9

  1

  2

  2

  9

-
-

142

Falafel Natanzon

Israel

       

 17

  8

  4

  1

2

133

Peter Jes Thomsen

Denmark

 

 25

 17

 20

 13

 17

 12

 11

24

125

Jake Jacobs

USA

   

 25

 14

  9

 12

 14

 14

19

124

Malcolm Davis

USA

 22

 20

 13

 12

 31

 21

 17

 20

20

121

Francois Tardieu

France

       

 21

 14

  3

  3

5

119

Kent Goulding

USA

  8

  8

 11

 13

 15

 26

 
  -
-

117

Wilcox Snellings

USA

  1

  2

  1

 17

 29

   
-
-

115

Johannes Levermann

Germany

   

 30

  3

  3

  4

 11

-
-

114

Dirk Schiemann

Germany

     

  8

  4

  3

  8

 28

-

114

Steve Sax

USA

       

 20

 13

  6

  7

14

 105

Billy Horan

USA

 11

  3

  7

 16

     
-
-

95

Jorgen Grandstedt

Sweden

     

 21

  5

 10

 13

 23

-

93

Paul Weaver

USA

 25

 32

 29

 32

 19

 20

 16

 15

25

84

Bob Wachtel

USA

 19

         

 15

  9

10

79

Joe Sylvester

USA

  3

  6

 12

       
-
-

78

Howard Ring

USA

 29

 18

 23

 11

 18

 22

 
-
-

77

David Wells

USA

   

 21

 19

 23

  6

 25

-
-

71

Gus Hansen

Denmark

   

 22

 25

 22

 23

 26

 21

23

69

Philip Marmorstein

Germany

 13

 13

 15

 22

     
-
-

69

Michael Meyburg

Germany

     

  7

 11

 18

 32

-
-

64

Masayuki Mochizuki
Japan
           
28
6
1
64

Hal Heinrich

Canada

 14

 16

 16

 23

     
-
-

63

Joe Russell

USA

 15

 14

 18

 26

       
30

62

Sander Lylloff

Denmark

             

  4

4

58

Ed O’laughlin
USA
18
22
29
22
18
56

Lars Bonding

Denmark

         

 24

  7

 13

12

55

Morten Holm Lassen
Denmark
         
28
27
10
12
55

Mads Andersen

Denmark

       

 16

  9

 22

 
-

52

Mike Corbett
USA
23
26
27
29
30
27
17
52
John O'Hagan
USA
         
18
19
11
51
 

There are some limitations to the meaningfulness of this table: 

  • The Giants list is an opinion poll, though the opinions on which it is based are highly informed.
  • The Total Points criterion is not to be confused with current strength (which correlates better with the 2009 rankings). The table is designed to ultimately weed out flashes in the pan and is a list of all-time great backgammon players.
  • Players who were active before the inception of the Giants poll (including many giants whose rankings appear only in the 1990s columns) are underrepresented.
  • The table is most significant for players who have been playing since 1993. Today’s young and upcoming players are underrepresented. However, as this table is expanded in the future, they will be fully included.
  • Nearly half (46%) of the votes in 2009 still come from the USA. It is expected that a greater percentage of non-USA players will vote in the future, allowing for a fairer international representation over time.

The table below lists (alphabetically) all players who have ever been in the top 32:

 
Backgammon Giants: All Players - Top 32
Total
Points
Player
Country
1993
1995
1997
1999
2001
2003
2005
2007
2009

Mads Andersen

Denmark

       

 16

  9

 22

   

52

Nack Ballard

USA

  7

  4

  3

  2

  1

  1

  1

  2

6

270

Rick Barabino

USA

     

 31

 24

       

11

Lars Bonding

Denmark

         

 24

  7

 13

 

55

Harry Cohn

USA

 

 29

             

4

Matt Cohn-Geier
USA
               
15
18

James Colen

USA

 24

 11

 14

           

50

Mike Corbett

USA

 23

 

 26

 27

 

 29

 30

 27

17

52

Malcolm Davis

USA

 22

 20

 13

 12

 31

 21

 17

 20

20

121

Brian Elgaard

Denmark

         

 25

     

8

Evert van Eijck

Holland

 

 15

 20

           

31

Leo Fernandez

Argentina

       

 25

 32

 

 32

 

10

Ray Fogerlund

USA

             

 24

16

26

Kent Goulding

USA

  8

  8

 11

 13

 15

 26

     

117

Jerry Grandell

Sweden

   

  9

  1

  2

  2

  9

   

142

Jorgen Grandstedt

Sweden

     

 21

  5

 10

 13

 23

 

93

Steen Grønbech
Denmark
               
22
11

Herb Gurland

USA

 32

 30

             

4

Gus Hansen

Denmark

   

 22

 25

 22

 23

 26

 21

23

69

Hal Heinrich

Canada

 14

 16

 16

 23

         

63

Peter Heitmueller

Germany

     

 30

         

3

Billy Horan

USA

 11

  3

  7

 16

         

95

Stuart Hosen

USA

   

 31

           

2

Jake Jacobs

USA

   

 25

 14

  9

 12

 14

 14

19

124

Harald Johanni

Germany

     

 28

 27

       

11

Ralf Jonas

Germany

         

 30

 

 25

 

11

Michihito Kageyama
Japan
               
9
24

Neil Kazaross

USA

 17

 10

  6

  4

  7

  7

  2

  5

3

236

Jack Kissane

USA

 28

               

5

Petko Kostadinov

Bulgaria

             

 29

28

9

Bob Koca
USA
               
29
4

Mario Kuehl

Germany

       

 28

       

5

Morten Holm Lassen

Denmark

         

 28

 27

 10

12

55

Tino Lechich

Australia

 12

 17

 28

           

42

Jason Lester

USA

 10

 19

 19

           

51

Johannes Levermann

Germany

   

 30

  3

  3

  4

 11

   

114

Sandy Lubetkin

USA

 20

 23

 32

           

24

Thomas Lumper

Germany

 16

 21

 24

           

38

Sander Lylloff

Denmark

             

  4

4

58

Paul Magriel

USA

  4

  5

  5

  5

  6

  5

 10

 12

 

212

Philip Marmorstein

Germany

 13

 13

 15

 22

         

69

Michael Meyburg

Germany

     

  7

 11

 18

 32

   

64

Masayuki Mochizuki

Japan

           

 28

  6

1

64

Abe Mosseri

USA

     

 24

 26

       

16

Richard Munitz

USA

             

 30

21

15

Falafel Natanzon

Israel

       

 17

  8

  4

  1

2

133

Dana Nazarian

USA

             

 31

 

2

John O’Hagan

USA

           

 18

 19

11

51

Ed O’Laughlin

USA

 18

 22

       

 29

 22

18

56

Jurgen Orlowski
Germany
               
27
6
Stick Rice
USA
               
7
26

Howard Ring

USA

 29

 18

 23

 11

 18

 22

     

77

Bill Robertie

USA

  6

  9

 10

 15

 14

 15

 20

 17

26

165

Joe Russell

USA

 15

 14

 18

 26

       
30

62

Steve Sax

USA

       

 20

 13

  6

  7

14

105

Dirk Schiemann

Germany

     

  8

  4

  3

  8

 28

 

114

Rolf Schreuder

Holland

 30

 26

             

10

Hugh Sconyers

USA

       

 32

 27

     

7

Erik Seidel

USA

 31

               

2

Mike Senkiewicz

USA

  2

  1

  2

  6

  8

 16

 19

 18

32

193

Wilcox Snellings

USA

  1

  2

  1

 17

 29

       

115

Alan Steffen

USA

 26

 27

             

13

Mike Svobodny

USA

  5

  7

  4

  9

 12

 19

 24

   

151

Joe Sylvester

USA

  3

  6

 12

           

78

Frank Talbot

USA

 21

 28

 

 29

 

 31

 21

   

35

Francois Tardieu

France

       

 21

 14

  3

  3

5

119

Peter Jes Thomsen

Denmark

 

 25

 17

 20

 13

 17

 12

 11

24

125

Lars Trabolt

Denmark

           

 31

 16

8

44

Walter Trice

USA

 27

 31

       

 23

 26

31

27

Bob Wachtel

USA

 19

         

 15

  9

10

79

Paul Weaver

USA

 25

 32

 29

 32

 19

 20

 16

 15

25

84

David Wells

USA

   

 21

 19

 23

  6

 25

   

71

Elliott Winslow

USA

   

 27

 18

 30

       

24

Kit Woolsey

USA

  9

 12

  8

 10

 10

 11

  5

  8

13

211

Abbas Zaltash

USA

 

 24

             

9

 

The statistics above were compiled from www.flintbg.com/giants.html (where you can also find the #33 through #64 rankings for 2009). The Giants of Backgammon list is and has been maintained only by the joint efforts of Yamin A. Yamin (Founder and Chairman), Carol Joy Cole (Editor), John Stryker (Statistician), Jake Jacobs (Auditor) and Howard Ring (former auditor).

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