Forum Archive : Miscellaneous

Giants of Backgammon list

From:   Raccoon
Address:   racgammon@yahoo.com
Date:   27 March 2006
Subject:   They Might Have Been Giants
Forum:   GammOnLine

The 2005 GIANTS of BACKGAMMON list is due out at the end of the month.
Here's a recap of previous Giants:

Rank         1993                     1995
  1    Wilcox Snellings US      Mike Senkiewicz US
  2    Mike Senkiewicz US       Wilcox Snellings US
  3    Joe Sylvester US         Billy Horan US
  4    Paul Magriel US          Nack Ballard US
  5    Mike Svobodny US         Paul Magriel US
  6    Bill Robertie US         Joe Sylvester US
  7    Nack Ballard US          Mike Svobodny US
  8    Kent Goulding US         Kent Goulding US
  9    Kit Woolsey US           Bill Robertie US
 10    Jason Lester US          Neil Kazaross US
 11    Billy Horan US           James Colen US
 12    Tino Lechich AU          Kit Woolsey US
 13    Phillip Marmorstein DE   Phillip Marmorstein DE
 14    Hal Heinrich CA          Joe Russell US
 15    Joe Russell US           Evert van Eijck NL
 16    Tom Lumper DE            Hal Heinrich CA
 17    Neil Kazaross US         Tino Lechich AU
 18    Ed O'Laughlin US         Howard Ring US
 19    Bob Wachtel US           Jason Lester US
 20    Sandy Lubetkin US        Malcolm Davis US
 21    Frank Talbot US          Thomas Lumper DE
 22    Malcolm Davis US         Ed O'Laughlin US
 23    Mike Corbett US          Sandy Lubetkin US
 24    James Colen US           Abbas Zaltash US
 25    Paul Weaver US           Peter Jes Thomsen DK
 26    Alan Steffen US          Rolf Schreuder NL
 27    Walter Trice US          Alan Steffen US
 28    Jack Kissane US          Frank Talbot US
 29    Howard Ring US           Harry Cohn US
 30    Rolf Schreuder NL        Herb Gurland US
 31    Erik Seidel US           Walter Trice US
 32    Herb Gurland US          Paul Weaver US

Rank         1997                     1999
  1    Wilcox Snellings US      Jerry Grandell SE
  2    Mike Senkiewicz US       Nack Ballard US
  3    Nack Ballard US          Johannes Levermann DE
  4    Mike Svobodny US         Neil Kazaross US
  5    Paul Magriel US          Paul Magriel US
  6    Neil Kazaross US         Mike Senkiewicz US
  7    Billy Horan US           Michael Meyburg DE
  8    Kit Woolsey US           Dirk Schiemann DE
  9    Jerry Grandell SE        Mike Svobodny US
 10    Bill Robertie US         Kit Woolsey US
 11    Kent Goulding US         Howard Ring US
 12    Joe Sylvester US         Malcolm Davis US
 13    Malcolm Davis US         Kent Goulding US
 14    James Colen US           Jake Jacobs US
 15    Phillip Marmorstein DE   Bill Robertie US
 16    Hal Heinrich C           Billy Horan US
 17    Peter Jes Thomsen DK     Wilcox Snellings US
 18    Joe Russell US           Elliott Winslow US
 19    Jason Lester US          David Wells US
 20    Evert van Eijck NL       Peter Jes Thomsen DK
 21    David Wells US           Jorgen Granstedt SE
 22    Gus Hansen DK            Phillip Marmorstein DE
 23    Howard Ring US           Hal Heinrich CA
 24    Thomas Lumper DE         Abe Mosseri US
 25    Jake Jacobs USA          Gus Hansen DK
 26    Mike Corbett US          Joe Russell US
 27    Elliott Winslow US       Mike Corbett US
 28    Tino Lechich AU          Harald Johanni DE
 29    Paul Weaver US           Frank Talbot US
 30    Johannes Levermann DE    Peter Heitmueller DE
 31    Stuart Hosen US          Rick Barabino US
 32    Sandy Lubetkin US        Paul Weaver US

Rank         2001                     2003
  1    Nack Ballard US          Nack Ballard US
  2    Jerry Grandell SE        Jerry Grandell SE
  3    Johannes Levermann DE    Dirk Schiemann DE
  4    Dirk Schiemann DE        Johannes Levermann DE
  5    Jorgen Granstedt SE      Paul Magriel US
  6    Paul Magriel US          David Wells US
  7    Neil Kazaross US         Neil Kazaross US
  8    Mike Senkiewicz US       Matvey Natanzon IS
  9    Jake Jacobs US           Mads Andersen DK
 10    Kit Woolsey US           J�rgen Granstedt SE
 11    Michael Meyburg DE       Kit Woolsey US
 12    Mike Svobodny US         Jake Jacobs US
 13    Peter Jes Thomsen DK     Steve Sax US
 14    Bill Robertie US         Fran�ois Tardieu FR
 15    Kent Goulding US         Bill Robertie US
 16    Mads Andersen DK         Mike Senkiewicz US
 17    Matvey Natanzon IS       Peter Jes Thomsen DK
 18    Howard Ring US           Michael Meyburg DE
 19    Paul Weaver US           Mike Svobodny US
 20    Steve Sax US             Paul Weaver US
 21    Francois Tardieu FR      Malcolm Davis US
 22    Gus Hansen DK            Howard Ring US
 23    David Wells US           Gus Hansen DK
 24    Rick Barabino US         Lars B�nding DK
 25    Leo Fernandez AR         Brian Elgaard DK
 26    Abe Mosseri US           Kent Goulding US
 27    Harald Johanni DE        Hugh Sconyers US
 28    Mario Kuehl DE           Morten Holm DK
 29    Wilcox Snellings US      Mike Corbett US
 30    Elliott Winslow US       Ralf Jonas DE
 31    Malcolm Davis US         Frank Talbot US
 32    Hugh Sconyers US         Leo Fernandez AR

Klaus Evers  writes:

I wonder who qualifies for sending in a vote/ballot. Can every bg player
do this? Or do I have to be an international, experienced player?

Raccoon  writes:

Voter eligibility is determined by the Giant Committee named at at
http://www.flintbg.com/giants.html. The Giant 32 (and 64) is supposed
to be a survey of "championship-level players and tournament directors
around the world." I don't think anyone can vote, but I'm sure the
committee would be glad to have more open level players cast votes.
It's been my impression that the Committee has desired and encouraged
more players from more places to vote, not fewer. If you wanted to
vote and were unknown to the committee, I suppose they might ask you
who you are and where you've played.

In past years ballots were distributed with Flint BackgammoNews and
also, I think, with Chicago Point. Or you could ask for one from Flint
newsletter editor Carol Joy Cole.

It's interesting to see how some names appear on the list and then
sometimes linger even though they're no longer active or play only
rarely. In the 2003 list I count six names who, if they hadn't retired
from the circuit already, have since. But I've a bias for and know more
about the tournament players. "Side action" reputation counts, too.
Curiously, only 4 of the top 25 point earners on the ABT tour in 2003
made the Giant list that year.

In the early years, U.S. voters dominated the selection process, and in
1993 27 of 32 Giants were American. That's changed some, as backgammon
grew and some great players emerged from Denmark, Germany, England and
France, and more voters came from outside the USA. In 1995, seven Giants
were not from the USA; in 1997, eight; in 1999, eleven; in 2001,
thirteen; and in 2003, fifteen.

Unfortunately, for the past five or six years not as many Americans have
been playing in Europe and vice versa, and neither group of players may
be very aware of the other half of the who's who. The 2005 list could
stand some Norwegian, English, Japanese and Armenian-from-Armenia names,
another from France, and a half-dozen more Danes wouldn't be out of
place on the list, either. Interestingly, winning the world championship
doesn't guarantee a spot in the Giant 32. Nature of the game, I guess.

Other ratings lists:

KG List June '92 '93 and '94 Top 30 are at

World Backgammon Association rating list at
http://www.world-backgammon-association.com/wba_elo-rating.htm -- lot of
new (?) names there.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



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