Lake District has new backgammon champion

The new Lake District backgammon champion is Edinburgh-based science researcher Samantha Wilkinson.

She took the title after a thrilling final against financier Barry Teece, also from Edinburgh, at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel. Last year’s winner Graeme Turner from Newcastle was knocked out in the first round by Grasmere Gingerbread owner Andrew Hunter. Andrew’s 11 year old son Monty, playing in his first big tournament, was defeated by Ambleside chef Robert Shaw.

The only other woman in the contest, 17 year old Dallam school student Kate Watton, was beaten by finalist Barry Teece in the first round.

Sixteen players from across the UK took part in the competition, part of the British Isles Backgammon Association Backgammon Tour and Grand Prix, which is organised by the Cedar Manor’s owner Jonathan Kaye. Champion Samantha won a two night stay at the hotel and a cash prize.

Jonathan Kaye, who runs a regular backgammon club at the hotel, said: “It was a terrific day with some really thrilling games. It proves that backgammon is growing in popularity. We’d like to see it played in cafes and bars across the Lakes, as happens elsewhere in Europe.” ends

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