Tal Sade (pictured left), visiting from Israel, is the 2015 Newcastle Backgammon Open Champion after doing a demolition job on Jan Spillekom 9-1 in Sunday's final.

Only 23 players attended the 2015 Open which is our lowest crowd for a while. There were 4 new players to the Open, Tal Sade, Nathan Collins, Susie McCarthy and John Symon.

Six groups were drawn (5 x 4 and 1 group of 3) with the 6 winners progressing to the Final bracket with 2 byes.

In the round robin qualifying Robert Disney won the group of 3, Alex Ivanovski and Michelle Taubman both won through with 3 wins each and Tony Walker, Tal and Jan won the other heats with 2 wins on countback.

The draw for the Final bracket was made from "the hat" with Michelle and Alex drawing the byes and Jan (7) defeating Robert (3) and Tal vs Tony. Tal and Tony were locked at 5-5 and Tal cubed to make it DMP. Tal had 4 men left (2 on the 6 and 2 on the 1 point) against Tony's 1 on the 4pt and 1 on the 1pt. Tal's 4-2 roll he correctly played from the 6 and Tony's 3-1 roll opened the door for a roll that saw the crowd go wild...a 3-3!!

From there, Jan defeated Alex 7-2 in the semi with Tal making it a brace of Walker family conquests by beating Michelle (Tony's sister) also 7-2.

Sadly for Jan, after winning the first game of the Final to take a 1-0 lead the Tal buzzsaw kicked into gear and 1-0 became 1-9 six games later.

Congratulations to all the finalists and thank you to everyone that attended.

The First Creek wine prize was won by Shaun Harding. The $20 side tournament was won by Gerhardt Macor from John Symon.

Thanks go to both Club Kotara for accommodating the tournament in the Down Under Bar and First Creek wines for their support.