Nearly 30 players inclusive of 2 from the United States will compete in the 2nd Annual Kingston International Backgammon Tournament scheduled for June 22 and 23 at the Spanish Court Hotel.
This year’s event is being staged under the patronage of the Mayor of Kingston, Angella Brown Burke. Launching the tournament on Tuesday at the Spanish Court Hotel Mayor Brown-Burke said it is always exciting to add an item to the city’s signature events. She also welcomed the competition saying that in today’s Jamaica it is good to have people promoting the de-stressing aspect of life.
Marian Ross, Business Development Officer of Title Sponsor, Sterling Asset Management, welcomed the staging of the competition: “We are pleased to be associated with the competition as it advocates many of the same values which Sterling incorporates in our daily business activities as Investment Counsellors. These include patience, skill, strategy, dedication and focus.”
Ms. Ross also indicated that the introduction of the doubling cube in the game as a heightened strategy was akin to the many innovative products that Sterling has introduced to the market over the past ten years to diversify and modernise the investment landscape in Jamaica.
Many of the competitive backgammon players in Jamaica are successful entrepreneurs, top business executives, leaders and innovators who are master strategists in their field and are equally fiercely competitive and passionate about the game. The list of this year’s competitors includes Mike Hirst - 2010 and 2011 Champion, Andrew Issa, Chris Blackwell, Mark and William Mahfood, Eddie Azan, Simon Brownie, Warren Burrowes, Ruddy Armstrong, Joey Issa, Tony Hart, Knolly Moses among many others.
Championship prizes for the tournament are $400,000, $250,000 and $150,000 for first, second and third places respectively. For the Lost Souls, prizes are $100,000, $75,000 and $50,000 for the first, second and third prizes respectively.
Backgammon has been gaining popularity in Jamaica recently, two decades after the first major tournament at Eddie Chai’s Countryside Club in 1995, won by the late Advertising Executive, Brian Paisley. Alastair MacBeath coordinated competitions in 2006 at Strawberry Hill and in 2011 at the Spanish Court Hotel. Later in 2011, at the invitation of Chris Blackwell, a team led by Andrew Issa, William Mahfood and Knolly Moses organized a tournament at Strawberry Hill.
Other sponsors are Coldwell Banker, Spanish Court Hotel, Supreme Ventures, Caribbean Producers Jamaica, Haagen Daz, Rainforest Seafoods and Panmedia.
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