Category Archives: News 2017

Second Half Round-Up

Having not posted in 6 months (in my defence, I got a new job and moved to a new area), I am going to have to summarise the second half of 2017 in one fell swoop!

So here goes…


Gary Bratton beat Martin Barkwill to win the NEBA 2nd Anniversary tournament at the Legion and the NEBA team, comprising captain Martin Barkwill, Pol Lapidakis, John Horton, Ian Baker and Gary Bratton, finished runner-up in the UK Club Championships.


Mike Snowdon beat John Horton to take the win in the September Monthly.


Gary Bratton won the October Monthly, beating our newest member, Steve McGarvie, in the final.

Scot Alastair Woods lifted the Newcastle Open 2017 Trophy, with NEBA member Graeme Turner finishing as Runner Up.
The event was a great success and was superbly run by Tournament Director Keith Gill


Tassio Serra defeated John Horton to take the November Monthly crown.


It was Alex Schofield who took the December Monthly, with a final win over Keith Gill.

Level at the Legion

Dexter eyes up Paul's share of the cash, wondering how much of it will be spent on him

Mike & Paul split the £50 prize money, having both made it through to our mini-tournament final at the Royal Legion.

We welcomed a new member, Alex Schofield, who acquitted himself very well on his first visit, narrowly losing out to Mike in the semi-final.

Tie in Tynemouth

Honours were even in our second meeting of June, held at The Dolphin Inn in the beautiful seaside town of Tynemouth.

Martin & Gary shared the win and the trophy in a closely contested mini-tournament featuring 8 players.

The third Thursday of each month will be held at a different venue around the North East and next up is The Butcher’s Arms in Chester-le-Street on Monday 17th July.

We are grateful to Don for organising the venue for us; this being his local pub.

Pol Position!

Pol Lapidakis came out on top in the mini tournament at our first June meeting.
Playing 5pt matches, Pol twice came from 4-0 on his road to victory, including in the final against Keith.

Runner Up Keith congratulates Pol and Martin initiates one of his trademark 3-way handshakes

Eight players took part in the 3-round mini tournament, and there were also 6 league matches played on the night.
Another healthy turnout of 12 players made for a really enjoyable evening of backgammon at the Royal Legion Club.

NEBA in Champions League Finals Stage

Martin would be very happy if Gary brought the Champions League Trophy back to NEBA

Representing NEBA in the UK Champions League 2017, Gary Bratton has qualified for the Champions Final Stage by virtue of finishing in the top two of Group G.

Group G players:
Eric Maillebiau
Ken Gibson
Gary Bratton
Matthew Fisher
Rich McQuillan

Players played an eleven-point match against each of their Group opponents three times; a total of 12 eleven-point matches.

Gary was pipped to first place in the group by Eric Maillebiau and now faces Group H winner Lawrence Powell in the Last 16.

Eric’s (rather unfortunate) reward for finishing top of the group is a Last 16 tie against Gaz Owen, one of only two Backgammon Grandmasters in the UK.

Last 16 ties are the best of three 11pt matches to be completed by 31st August.

NEBA Constitution

Constitution of the North East Backgammon Association (the “Constitution”)

  1. The club shall be called the “North East Backgammon Association” (and may also be referred to as the “NEBA” or the “Club”) and shall be affiliated to the United Kingdom Backgammon Federation (the “UKBGF”). The Objects of the Club are to promote the playing of backgammon in the North East of England and to provide facilities within the North East of England where members (each such member a “Member”) may meet and play backgammon.

  2. The Club shall form a committee (the “Committee”) to administer all aspects of the running of the Club. The Committee shall appoint persons to hold the positions specified further below to carry out the administrative tasks of the Club.

  3. Club tournaments shall follow the latest rules adopted by the UKBGF.

  4. Membership shall be open to all applicants, subject to the discretion of the Committee, provided that the appropriate subscription is tendered on demand and that entry to the Club is not temporarily restricted. If entry is restricted, then applications for membership shall be placed on a waiting list and processed in order of receipt of application.

  5. The supreme authority of the Club is vested in a general meeting of the membership (a “General Meeting”) which alone shall have the power to change the Constitution. A quorum for a General Meeting shall be the lesser of 6 members or one third of the Club membership. To carry any proposal at a General Meeting a simple majority of those present and voting is required except that to carry a proposal affecting the Constitution a majority of at least two to one of those members present and voting is required. The Secretary shall notify all members when a General Meeting is to be held. The Secretary shall give 14 days’ advance notice of the date, time, venue and agenda.

  6. An annual general meeting of the Club (an “Annual General Meeting” or “AGM”) shall be held once between February and April in each year and shall appoint a Committee comprising the following officers of the Club. For the avoidance of doubt, the same person may hold more than one such position:

    i) The “Chair”, who shall chair General Meetings and Annual General Meetings;

    ii) The “Secretary”, who shall maintain and preserve the records of the Club, especially the minutes, and shall be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Club;

    iii) The “Treasurer”, who shall be responsible for the management of the Club’s finances;

    iv) The “Social Media Secretary”;

    v) The “Publicity Officer”; and

    vi) Any further Committee Members may be elected at the AGM, either without portfolio or to fulfil specific roles.

  7. An Honorary Auditor shall also be appointed who shall not be an officer of the Club. The Committee shall retire annually and shall be eligible for re-election at the AGM. Any Member may propose an item for inclusion on the agenda of the AGM provided that it reaches the Secretary in writing at least 21 days prior to the AGM.

    7. A special general meeting (a “Special General Meeting”) shall be called by the Secretary within 4 weeks of receiving a written proposal from at least six Members or one third of the membership if this is less. No business shall be discharged other than that for which the meeting was called. If such proposals are received 4 weeks or less before the AGM then, at the discretion of the Committee, they may be included in the AGM.

  8. The Committee shall have the power to suspend from the Club until the next General Meeting any Member deemed to be acting against the interests of the Club. The General Meeting may consider a motion to expel a Member acting in this way. The Member will be entitled to be present at the General Meeting and state their case as to why they should not be expelled. The motion may then proceed to a vote of Members present and if a simple majority of votes approves the expulsion, it shall take immediate effect.

  9. Funds shall be expended wholly and exclusively for the furtherance of the objects of the club. The Treasurer shall prepare a balance sheet and statement of income and expenditure, at 31st January each year and shall present these duly audited to the AGM. The funds shall be held in a Bank or Building Society account in the name of the Club and withdrawals shall be made against any of the signatures of the President, Secretary or Treasurer.

  10. Any funds remaining upon dissolution of the Club after satisfying any outstanding debts and liabilities shall be distributed proportionately to the Members of the Club who have paid a subscription covering the last year of the existence of the Club.

NEBA AGM May 2017

Minutes of the North East Backgammon Association AGM on 1st May 2017:


1. Treasurer’s Report & Accounts
2. Reports of other officers
3. Election of Officers
4. Election of Auditor
5. Proposal to adopt draft constitution
6. Any Other Business


Martin Barkwill (chair)
John Horton
Lawrence Jones
Pol Lapidakis
John Oxley
Mike Snowdon
Don Irving
Julia Brenchley
Tim Cross
Gary Bratton
Keith Gill


Treasurer’s Report & Accounts

It is with sad news that we had to announce the resignation of our current Treasurer Graeme Turner, who is therefore unable to deliver his report.
Graeme was a founder member of NEBA; he made a significant contribution to the club throughout his involvement and will be greatly missed.
It is now necessary to find a replacement Treasurer.

Reports of other officers

Social Media update from Pol Lapidakis
Pol reported that we currently have 120 followers on the NEBA Facebook page.
He welcomes additional content contributions from other members.
Tim asked if Pol could adjust the page settings to allow member posts to appear more prominently.

Promotional activity report from Mike Snowdon
Posters & leaflets/postcards need to be finalised by Gary & Mike.
Then they can be distributed throughout different locations by our members.
John Horton was tasked with inquiring about a half-page advert in a local chess magazine.
Mike & Gary would co-ordinate the design of the ad.

Election of officers

Chairman – Martin Barkwill
Nominated by Pol, seconded by Don and unanimously re-elected

Secretary – Gary Bratton
Nominated by Martin, seconded by Mike and unanimously elected

Treasurer – Pol Lapidakis
Nominated by Martin, seconded by Gary and unanimously elected

Social Media Secretary – Pol Lapidakis

Nominated by Martin, seconded by John O. and unanimously re-elected

Publicity Officer – Mike Snowdon
Nominated by Martin, seconded by Pol and unanimously re-elected

Election of Auditor

Independent Auditor – Allan Dye
Nominated by Gary, seconded by Pol and unanimously elected

Proposal to accept draft constitution

Mike asked the question of how members are defined.
Tim asked about how non-members will feel and how they will be treated.
John O. suggested that non-members be allowed to attend twice before they are asked to become a paying member.
Martin suggested that all members pay an annual membership fee of £10 and this was unanimously agreed upon by all in attendance.
Pol advised that the fee would be payable in June 2017 for the following 12 months.
Martin proposed that the draft constitution be adopted and this was unanimously agreed upon.
Mike suggested that other UK Clubs be allowed access to our constitution and Martin offered to send it to the UKBGF.

Any Other Business

Mike suggested that the second monthly meeting be held at the Royal British Legion, rather than the casino as it has been.
It was decided that we should keep reviewing the venue for the second meeting.

Gary suggested changing the name of NEBA to ‘Newcastle Backgammon Club’ but the majority of members preferred to stick with the current name.
Gary asked if we could change our name on the UKBGF Clubs page to ‘North East’ instead of NEBA.

Tim offered that any suggestions for the UKBGF from our members would be passed on, as he is a UKBGF board member.
Tim also asked if there can be more club nights devoted to playing league matches.

Martin advised that we would be having our One Day tournament on 17th June at the casino.
July’s first meeting will include an anniversary competition.
We will need to decide the line-up of either one or two teams to enter into the UK Club Championships in August.
And finally, the Newcastle Open will be held upstairs in the Royal British Legion on 21st-22nd October.