Top UK players heading to the Lakes for backgammon contest

The annual Lake District backgammon championship will be staged in March at Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel and is likely to attract top players from around the country.

The Lakes event is being staged for the fourth time and now has the backing of the UK Backgammon Federation and the British Isles Backgammon Association.

One of the world’s oldest board games, combining skill and chance, backgammon is played in cafés across the Mediterranean and in the most exclusive of London clubs, with world championships staged in exotic locations.

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Last year the contest attracted 16 top players from around the UK. The winner, Edinburgh’s Ian Hesketh, took the top prize after beating British UKBGF team captain Tim Cross in a nail-biting final game. Ian was the runner-up in 2014, when the first Lakes tournament was held.

The championship is organised by Cedar Manor owner Jonathan Kaye who learned to play backgammon when he was manager of Raffles nightclub in London. His dream is to see backgammon established as part of the café culture of the Lake District, as it is in Mediterranean countries, and he hosts a regular local backgammon club.

“The response to the championship has been fantastic and we are now recognised as one of the major tournaments on the UK calendar,” he said.

“But while we attract the top players, we also welcome people of all abilities. We’ve had some great surprise results in the past, and we will be very pleased to hear from any local players who want to take part.”

He added: “We have the best location, the best hospitality, and a great prize – the winner gets to come and stay here.”

Anyone interested in taking part should ring 015394 43192. The championship will be held on Sunday March 19.

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