M & M in Toon!

The two top players in the world, Mochy & Michy from Japan, visited our club after playing in a tournament in Bradford in 2018. Mochy faced a challenge from one of our members, John Horton. John sensationally beat Mochy 7-3.

Later Mochy & Michy gave a lecture at our club & took on all comers, Mochy playing two players simultaneously!

League Champions

The 2018 season has crowned two new NEBA League Champions.

Congratulations to John Horton, who picked up the Division Two Trophy and earns a promotion to Division One after securing 5 wins out of his 6 matches played.

John receives his Divion Two Trophy from Club Chairman Martin Barkwill

Division One was won by Grandmaster Tim Cross, who pipped Martin Barkwill to the title. They both finished with 5 wins out of 6 and Tim came out on top in the play-off.

Martin presents Tim with his Dision One Trophy


The final of the latest Bradford Monthly tournament, organised by Steve Lee and held at Napoleon’s Casino, was contested by two NEBA players, Martin Barkwill & Tim Cross.

Martin came out on top on this occasion, avenging the 2018 NEBA League One play-off defeat to Tim earlier this year.

Here he is claiming his victory handshake from Steve Lee…

Coming just one week before both Tim and Martin will represent NEBA in the UK Clubs Championship in York, it can only bode well for the club that these two great players are in such fine form.

In Memory of Antony Crerar

This year has been a sad year for the club, following the untimely death of another NEBA member in their fifties.
Antony Crerar was instrumental – along with his good friend Chris Humble, and others – in setting up the club in 2015, and attended early meetings in The County, Gosforth.
Sadly, his illness prevented him from retaining his involvement, so he will not be known to many current members.
He fought a long and brave fight against his severe brain tumour, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pam, children Jordan and George, and extended family.

RIP Paul Gilbertson

It is with the deepest sadness in our hearts that we have to say goodbye to our very dear friend and NEBA member Paul Gilbertson, who was taken from us far, far too soon.

Nothing can be said about Paul that hasn’t already been said since his passing.
The outpouring of tributes from the backgammon community shows us all just how loved he was.
He was a man that had absolutely no idea at all of how popular he was, and as tragic as fact is, now that he has passed, it may well be the biggest reason (among many, many reasons) that he was just so very special.

NEBA will honour Paul with a minute of silence and some tributes at 7.25pm on Monday 4th June at our monthly meeting and Paul’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 13th June 2018 at Durham Crematorium, South Road, DH1 3TQ beginning at 11am and all are welcome.
No flowers, please. Instead donations to the MIND mental health charity would be appreciated.

Paul’s family are hosting is a tournament at 1pm on Tuesday 12th June at the Honest Lawyer Hotel, Croxdale Bridge, Croxdale, Durham, DH1 3SP & several players from around the UK are expected.

Rest in Peace Paul, you’ll never be forgotten.

Two “Greats” from the World of Backgammon visit Newcastle

Two of the leading backgammon players in the world will visit Newcastle next month.

Masayuki Mochizuki – aka Mochy – and Phil Simborg are to visit the North East Backgammon Association on Monday 26th March.

Mochy is the current world No.1 ranked player and a former world champion, while Phil is one of the leading lecturers and tutors of the game in the world.

 They will give an hour-long presentation about strategy and tactics of backgammon.

If time permits, Mochy will be available to play a 3-point game for £50.  He is willing to play two matches simultaneously and for players to buddy up in consultation doubles or trebles against him.  A trebles team would therefore only have to play £17 each.

 Mochy and Phil are guests of the North East Backgammon Association (NEBA).
Club chairman Martin Barkwill said:
“It’s a great honour to have two of the most famous backgammon players in the world come to Newcastle to give a lecture and be available to play matches.
“The event is not just open to members of NEBA.  Anyone is welcome to come along and take part.”
 There is a £15 charge for attending the event.
The event will be held from 7pm at the Royal British Legion Club next to West Jesmond Metro Station (NE2 3EX).  There is free parking at the club.
If you are interested in attending, please email Martin at: martinbarkwill@btinternet.com

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.