What Students Say about our Teachers
August 28, 2012
From Mehmet Akis, Izmur, Turkey
Yesterday we have ended up our summer season in our backgammon club in Izmir.I won 2 cups in this particular season.(season is 2 months period) I won the championship of one point tournament which was around 40 players.And I also won the Izmir city cup(9 point matches until quarter final and 13 and 15 point matches semi and final match)
I have learned a lot from you over the past 3-4 months and i know i will learn lot more in the future.Thank you one more time for all your help and guidance.
Just executed my first ever successful blitz — lol — and only a success because of your lesson. Thanks! Not only that, I had just doubled the opponent–it was a double / take — a huge take, and a 4% error to not double. I won a gammon )
Thanks for your lessons. You are a great teacher and a wise and witty person, all of which makes it a pleasure to work with you. I look forward to continue the privilege of continuing under your tutelage, Yoda of Backgammon!
All best for the holidays and the new year,
Andrew Kaye, Bethlehem PA
I finally admitted it to myself, that having been involved in backgammon for more than twenty years my game had hit the proverbial brick wall. If I was ever going to reach the higher echelons that would enable me to compete with the big guns on a level playing field I was going to need a new game face; a whole new way of thinking. In so many words, I explained all this to Phil in an email I sent him several months ago. Phil proposed a series of lessons designed to restructure my knowledge of the cube and equip me with the necessary tools I needed to lower my PR and achieve my endeavor.
Let me start off by saying, distance learning via WebEx is a blast! From the onset of lesson 1, I was introduced to Phil’s Desktop which, by the way is an encyclopedia of backgammon literature. If Phil doesn’t have a lesson plan for a particular topic, then it probably hasn’t been invented yet. As an instructor, Phil’s ability to simplify the most complicated of backgammon themes is merely the tip of the iceberg of his teaching prowess. What I appreciate the most about Phil is that he follows up each lesson by sending me all the key aspects covered in the lesson; equally important, Phil records the session enabling me to return to it as often as I need to. My lessons with Phil are ongoing and I can honestly say, that the ground I have made up in the last two months has put the last twenty years into perspective. If I was ever asked to comment on Phil as an instructor, I would simply say this:
“Phil’s greatest asset is his ability to empower students to develop beyond the scope of their limitations”.
Nigel Merrigan a.k.a. Mr. Majestyk
I want to thank you. I won the quiz for the advanced that Mochy gave on backgames at the Chicago Open. Most of the positions, or at least the ideas behind the right play, I learned from the 1.5 hour lesson on back games with you. Not only that but I am first in my clube with a .666 winning percentage, thanks almost entirely to the lessons I took from you. (By the way, I also got 1st Consolation at the Chicago Open.)
Lucas Bauer, Bloomington IL
Tonight I played a 5 point match against Uri from Northwestern in the USBGF Collegiate Room. I have attached it. I played at 2.7. Not only that, but my average for the last 2 weeks is 5.6 (42 matches that were all 5 or 7 point matches).
When I started taking lessons from you just over two months ago I did not know what a take point was, gammon value, market loser, Wollsey Law. I didn’t even know there were 36 rolls on the dice. I am very proud of my new skill because I have worked very hard, but you are an awesome teacher and all the time and help you give all the college players is amazing and we all appreciate it.
I know I will be playing backgammon the rest of my life and some day I will teach my children and tell them about you. I hope you will add this to the testimony on your web site.
University of Chicago
From Marcel Mander, Germany
I love Backgammon more and more with every day. I have dedicated most of my time learning, training and analyzing blunders, and I’m nearly obsessed by the game. My game has improved dramatically over the past 10 months and you can take full credit for the results. Without John’s and your help, I wouldn’t have an effective system to analyze every position, and would have some trouble to come up with my own system while studying backgammon literature. I wouldn’t have any type of a didactal structure and in order to come up with one, I would need to know more about the game. There are many disciplines, even complex accademic disciplines, which allows you to be an autodidact or even to learn without any kind of structure.
But when it comes to Backgammon, every system I’ve learned during the last years broke down. The results were disappointingly bad. I’m very glad that I contacted you last year. I’m quite sure that my game otherwise wouldn’t have improved that much.
From Tony Mann, Manchester, England (living in Germany)
I have just completed my 10th hour of ongoing lessons with Phil Simborg. I could not be more satisfied. The format is superb and highly professional, incorporating a direct link to Mr Simborgs desktop, with powerpoint presentations, logical and coherent progression of themes and full explanations. After each lesson I can access a recording of the lesson, and I receive excellent information relevant to the current theme. In addition to learning world class cube and chequer methods, bad habits are identified and corrected. I can hardly believe the extent of the useful new information which I have recently assimilated, not least an entirely new system to evaluate cube decisions. I have been an intermediate level full time money player for almost 2 years. My only regret is that I didn’t begin this 2 years earlier. I can honestly say that I am 100% satisfied with my choice of teacher. Not only is Mr. Simborg a great player, but his many years of teaching experience are immediately apparent. In addition he is well connected to most of the best players in the world. I have no doubt that I will recoup the cost of the lessons from increased money play profit, and that I will achieve my dream of becoming an open level professional player.
Since I started taking lessons from Phil Simborg my game has improved greatly. I can now not only see my mistakes, but I understand why I made the mistake and can improve. When I started taking lessons I was an intermediate player and now my PR rating is consistently below 5.0 according to ExtremeGammon. I continue to take lessons from Stick (in French by the way) and my game continues to improve. Stick’s mind is amazing and I look forward to my lessons as I learn more every time. The most important lesson I have learned from Phil and Stick is how to continue to learn and improve on my own.
Jean-Francois Martaille, Brive, France
Dear Phil and Stick: Thank you for all of your advice and help. I’ve won Consolation on Saturday in Mannheim. It’s small tournament (about 30 people), but still I give you a lot of credit as I can say that I definitely used the material I’ve learned from you, and in addition I feel more confident and concentrated, because I use less of my intuition and more skill. I know what I’m doing most of time (or at least I think I know)Many thanks for your time and efforts.Regards
————————————————Re: Lessons from Perry:
I absolutely recommend backgammon lessons with Perry Gartner. I have seen my game make giant conceptual leaps forward through the time that I have spent with him. His lessons are clear and concise and build on my existing knowledge. Perry is an expert at explaining not just the right play but the reasons behind it and the process for arriving at better backgammon decisions. I am making plays now that I know that I wouldn’t have found before. Bottom line, my average error rate is getting lower as a result of Perry’s tuition.
Sean Williams, London England
Received 6/29/10 from Marcel Mander, Germany:
I’ve checked my recordings and found that my overall Elo was 1753 when I first contacted you 2 months ago. Now I am 1888, and my last 10 matches average 2047. I attribute this to the checker play and cube process that you taught me. I think it it time to thank you for your support. Backgammon is a very new game to me, and you gave me the feeling that I am able to improve my game.”
“As a student of Phil Simborg and Perry Gartner I have had good experiences. Although English isn’t my native langue I had no problems understanding the lessons. I started with Phil, and he is able to explain every aspect in a thorough way, by using a lesson plan that teaches you step by step how to learn backgammon and improve your play. I was playing at the Beginner level according to Extremegammon. After 4 months of lessons, twice a week, I am now consistently playing at the expert level and have become the No. 1 player on Gammonsite. I have continued to take lessons from Phil and Perry and I am now confident I can play competitively with anyone in the world as my P.R. ratings are often below 3.0.”
Amsterdam/ the Netherlands
PS: Here is my current ExtremeGammon progress chart.
I will be in touch soon regarding additional lessons
Kurt Thompson, Minneapolis MN (February, 2010)
Phil Simborg is a very special person for me.
He is a great teacher, great player and good friend. His methodology for teaching allows you to improve your skills of backgammon at every level. He tells you in what area you have to work more and test your skills with the problems and quiz. He advices you many practical ways to improve your game.
When you work with him you can follow every detail of Backgammon world. He is connected to everyone and every organization related to Backgammon.
You can follow his web-site www.simborgbackgammonlessons.com which is daily updated. There are position of day, interviews, links, many lesson materials , news from tournaments and backgammon society. This is a wonderful site which I follow every day.
I am working now with Mr. Simborg more than 4 months. I made improve on checker play and specially on cube decisions. I am now looking at the backgammon in a different point of view. In the short run and long run I can tell myself what to do, how to work, how to practice, where to look, who to connect. That’s what will happen to you when you start taking lessons from Phil Simborg.
Murat Akcan, Ankara Turkey
Dear Mr. Simborg:
I hope you will share this letter with your readers on your web site. I am Romanian and have played backgammon for many years. I play mostly on line, but also with friends and family. 4 months ago I started to take lessons from you one time a week. I was 1600 and I am now over 2000. It is a different game for me now and I thank you so much for helping me. You are a great teacher and a good friend. I will take more lessons from you and Perry when I return from vacation.
17 March, 2010
Green Homes, LLC
I have been playing backgammon over 20 years. Two years ago I was an average intermediate player. With coaching from Phil I soon won the intermediate division of a major tournament, and I am now currently a highly-ranked player in the Championship Division (No. 11 on the American Backgammon Tour as of September, 2009). I have beaten many of the top players in the world and have one of the best W/L records in the Championship division. As my game improved, I also get help form Perry Gartner and others, but it was Phil’s basic approach to cube and checker play, along with his helping me to use Extremegammon as a learning tool, that helped me improve my game so quickly.
“Taking lessons from Phil Simborg was the wisest decision I made for improving my game of backgammon. He single handedly took me from a low intermediate level and carried me to open level in record time. He gave the basics of checker play, cube decisions and match equity to form a solid foundation which I built my game upon. And most important of all, he taught me how to use Snowie correctly which is one of the best tools for perpetual improvement.
I am a regular tournament player here in Istanbul, Turkey. Before Phil’s tutoring, I didn’t have any significant results and I was blaming other people’s good luck for my miserable results (sounds familiar?).
After he was done with me, I became a force to be reckoned with. Won two major tournaments (96 participants or more) and lost in the semis of two more. Now, I am considered to be one of the top ten players here in Turkey.
In short, I am really grateful for everything he has done for me.”
“My lessons with Phil Simborg were easily the most productive and enjoyable backgammon investment I ever made. Phil’s knowledge of the game, his rules of thumb, excellent explanatory ability and pure enthusiasm for the game are some of the many assets he brings to the experience. At the time I approached Phil for lessons, I had some intermediate level tournament experience under my belt, but I needed to work to get to the next level of playing and thinking about the game. Phil definitely provided that support. I heartily endorse and recommend Phil for backgammon lessons, or presentations.”
Steve Schreiber, Carmel NY
“What can I say? There is NOBODY as good as my son, Phil.
Rose Simborg, Boca Raton FL (age 99 and still gammoning me!)
Some time in 2006 I contacted Phil by email and inquired about gaining some insights about backgammon that I knew I needed and scheduled some lessons.
I would recommend Phil to anyone wanting to learn more about this game and improve because he provided me with valuable information in every aspect I wanted. He speaks in plain English and uses great examples to explain his teachings and actually makes it a fun experience. I feel I have improved through these valuable insights and have cashed several times in tournaments since taking lessons from Phil. I’m now a lot more competitive than I was and to that I directly give the credit to Phil Simborg for sharing his knowledge about the basics, cubing, equities, and all aspects of the game.