Phil Simborg Interviews Sabri Buyuksoy of Istanbul

by Phil Simborg
18 July 2013

Sabri Buyuksoy

Phil: I first heard of Sabri when he won the European Championship, and then I began hearing his name from some of my students (I have several students from Turkey at this time). In May of this year, Sabri came to Chicago to play in the Giants event at the Chicago Open, and I was one of his first opponents. I was, of course, highly impressed by his play, but even more impressed by his demeanor over the board. Sabri was highly professional, extremely intent, and never lost his composure no matter how poorly he rolled or how well I rolled. I wanted to know more about this exceptional player, and then and there I decided to interview him. Note that I have interviewed Falafel, Mochy, MCG and many other top players and leaders in the game, and I am proud to add Sabri to that list.

Sabri Buyuksoy, of Istanbul, is the current WBA European Champion. He has won many tournaments and done well in Open and Masters events in the past few years around the world, competing in Denmark, Japan, USA, Cyrpus, Georgia, Austria and throughout Europe. He is one of the many highly gifted Turkish players who have discovered tournament Backgammon in recent years after having played Tavla since childhood.

Phil: What is Tavla, and how does it differ from tournament Backgammon?

Sabri: Tavla is backgammon without the doubling cube and backgammons count as double like gammons. The transition is a lot more than just learning about the use of the doubling cube, as score affects checker play greatly as well. I have seen many players in Turkey become excellent backgammon players, however it takes at least 2 or 3 years of study to convert.

Phil: Tell us a little about your personal life and background.

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