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World Backgammon Champion Crowned

20 Jul 2006

MONTE CARLO, Monaco – (PRESS RELEASE) -- The 31st World Backgammon Championship finished with an epic final on Sunday 16th July at the Fairmont Luxury Resort, Monte Carlo. The two finalists were Luigi Villa (Italy) who was the first ever World Backgammon Champion in 1979 and Philip Vischjager (Netherlands) who was a first time player at the World Championships and was previously a finalist in 4 major Dutch tournaments. Vischjager was leading the match throughout until the tension mounted when Villa caught up in 19-19/25 after reaching 4 hours of match play. Vischjager finally won the ultimate 2006 World Backgammon Championship title when he took Luigi by 23-25/25 and with that the championship prize money of over € 75,000 from the total prize pool of € 240'000.

The first semi-final draw (€ 20,000 winning prize money) saw Luigi Villa beat Andreas Humke (Germany) after he came back from a 14-1/ 23 loss to finally win 22-16/23 in the Crawford game. In the second draw Philip Vischjager beat Kayuhiro Shino (Japan/England) 23-6/23 point game.

This 31st edition of the Championship attracted 335 players in the main Event which included the 212 Championship Expert players, Intermediate and Beginner flights. Among the former World Champions and Backgammon legends who showed up to play for a chance of this prestigious title were Paul Magriel, Falafel Nathanson, Mike Svobodny and John O'Hagan and 2005 winner Dennis Carlston. Some went on to play and win in the consolations rounds. First Consolation Winners :1C-Fabrizio Losurdo (Italy), 2C-Pierre Svara (Monaco), 3C/4C-Martin Foldager (Denmark) / Daisuke Katagami (Japan) Second Consolation Winners: 1C-Masayuki Mochizuki (Japan), 2C-Slava Pryadkin (Ukraine), 3C/4C-Richard Persson (Sweden) / Johan Moazed (Iran/Sweden).

The Fairmont luxury resort ideally located in the heart of the Principality of Monte Carlo has hosted the event for over 30 years and once again offered an outstanding entertainment schedule which included daily golf and tennis tournaments and atmospheric cocktail drinks and a Championship Gala dinner at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club which many distinguished guests attended.

The 2006 World Backgammon Championship will was recorded as live for TV and will have a leading Championship commentator. The TV four hour highlight package is produced by IEC in Sports, the well-established Swedish-based TV distribution agency who will also distribute the highlight package worldwide from September 2006 onwards to capture the excitement, emotions and best moments of this outstanding World Backgammon Tournament.

As proud sponsors of the Event and with its world class online Backgammon server TrueMoneygames reported and saved key matches of the Tournament, including semi-finals and finals live with automated real time match analysis by SNOWIE, the unique world class Backgammon software powered by Artificial Intelligence.

With the popularity of Backgammon and online Backgammon increasing rapidly over the last few years with over one million online players, internet gambling experts to see one of the world's oldest and best known games as "the next big thing" after Poker.

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