Forum Archive : Equipment

Leather boards

From:   HGM
Date:   18 December 1999
Subject:   "The Best"

If you were giving someone the best leather (must be leather) folding
backgammon board where expense was NOT A CONCERN, who makes the ultimate
product? I see different name brands in the $600-$1000 and up range. Any
ideas???? Thanks

Art Grater  writes:

You have just described the boards at

Walter Trice  writes:

Bob Zavoral also makes excellent leather boards starting at the low end of
your price range, and does custom work. See .
You'll find other sources of equipment if you go to the Chicago Point site and click "gammon links."

I've owned one of Bob's boards for years. I've also played on a magnificent
wooden backgammon table that he made, with an inlaid leather surface.

Chuck Bower  writes:

If you're going to the trouble and expense of getting someone a really
nice board, I recommend getting a set with 1.75 inch (45 mm) checkers.
They may cost a little more, but they are more comfortable to use in
tournament situations, in my experience.  The web page which Art posted has
two sized checkers (40 mm and 45 mm).  I'm pretty sure all of Bob Zavoral's
boards (recommended by Walter) contain 1.75 inch checkers--the favored size
of US tournament players.

Naylor boards (the web page Art posted) come in two sizes:
    40 mm (1 9/16 in.) & 45 mm (1 3/4 in.)
Zavoral boards come in only one size (I think):
    1 3/4 in. (45 mm)

So, if a person decides to buy a Naylor board, go with the larger size.
If a person decides on a Zavoral board, you don't have to specify the
checker size (but don't forget the color  :).

Finally, I can imagine someone saying "does 5 mm really make a difference
in the checkers?"  Since good boards are properly proportioned, checker
size determines overall board size.  It's not specifically the checker size
that makes US tournament players prefer sets containing 45 mm checkers,
it's the overall dimensions of the board.  To me, it's a lot easier to get
a feel for the entire set size by knowing the checker size.  If you tell me
the board dimensions, I have to get out the calculator, divide by 12,
adjust for wall thickness, etc.  To someone who hasn't experienced
different sized sets, this probably is confusing.

And if you want more empirical evidence, watch the prices realized on
EBay.  Sets (of equal quality--e.g. both Crisloids) with 1.75 inch checkers
bring about twice (or maybe even more) the price as sets with 1.5 inch
checkers.  Of course it could be my harping on this newsgroup that has
caused this EBay phenomenon, but if that's true I want my cut from the
winning sellers!  :)
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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



Bakelite checkers  (Albert Steg, Nov 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Board design  (Chuck Bower, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Board design  (Adam Stocks, July 2002) 
Board design  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2000) 
Board design  (Michael Poche+, Dec 1998) 
Board design  (Albert Steg, Jan 1998) 
Boards  (Bert Van Kerckhove+, Aug 2002) 
Boards--Custom-made  (N Merrigan, Mar 2003) 
Boards--Dal Negro  (Erin+, Jan 2004) 
Boards--Features to look for  (Matthew Mueller+, Dec 2000) 
Boards--Hardwood Creations  (Ben Fairbank, May 1998) 
Boards--Tak Morioka  (Gregg Cattanach, Feb 2002) 
Boards--Tak Morioka  (Ed Zell, Jan 1999) 
Boards--Zavoral  (Robert Zavoral, Oct 1999) 
Buying a tournament board  (Chuck Bower, June 2011) 
Care of backgammon boards  (Ken Bame+, Mar 2009) 
Checkers  (Mike O.+, Feb 2003) 
Checkers  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1997) 
Dice  (Gregg Cattanach, July 2004) 
Dice cups  (David Montgomery, Nov 1999) 
Dice cups  (Leo Bueno, Feb 1998) 
How much to spend on a board?  (Ian Shaw, Apr 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Leather boards  (HGM+, Dec 1999) 
Luxury boards  (Paul Vianna+, Feb 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube issues  (Stick+, July 2010) 
Meyer Dice Tube usage  (Justin Nunez+, Feb 2011) 
Meyer Dice Tube--Why I hate it  (Bob Glass+, Dec 2010) 
Moderately priced boards  (William Womack+, Feb 2010) 
Precision dice  (Patti Beadles+, Jan 2001) 
Precision dice  (Larry Strommen, Feb 1998) 
Precision dice  (Chuck Bower+, Feb 1998) 
Replacing cork on backgammon boards  (JP White, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Suppliers--BG Shop  (Michael Nelson, Jan 2002) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (CKT, July 2004) 
Suppliers--Backgammon boards  (Ian Shaw+, June 2002) 
Suppliers--Where to buy dice  (Andrew B.+, Jan 2008) 
Suppliers--Yenigun  (yenigun, Sept 2005) 
What finish to use on a cork board?  (JP White+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
What is "standard size"?  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 2001) 
What is "tournament size"?  (Rodrigo Andrade+, July 1999) 
Woodworking--Finishing a board  (M Moore+, Jan 2008) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page