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What Students Say about Phil, Perry, John and Stick

September, 2010:

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.

Mikhail Lazartchouk



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:

"Dear Phil:

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."


Martin Sterel

Amsterdam/ the Netherlands

PS:  Here is my current ExtremeGammon progress chart.


I am sharing this with you not to brag.  However, as my coach, I wanted to show you the progress I have made with my backgammon play.

The attached chart shows the progress I have made since I started using XG (late July)
Since late July I have basically done 2 things to improve my backgammon play
1) Use ExtremeGammon
2) Take lessons with you (How to us XG and lessons to improve play)
I realize I still have a long ways to go (especially with cube play!)
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

February, 2010


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.


Inna Radu


17 March, 2010


I play mostly on-line at Gand ammonSite and had a pretty steady rating for about a  year. After taking my first introductory lesson from Phil Simborg I was impressed and decided to continue. After about 3 months and 5 more lessons my rating has increased by over 100 points. Needless to say I will be taking more lessons. My knowledge and understanding of the game has vastly increased from working with Phil.
Larry Brown
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.    


Scott Casty

Chicago IL

September, 2009


“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.”

Mete Topcuoglu

Istambul, Turkey




"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. 


Larry Buckingham

Dayton, OH


home:  http://www.simborgbackgammonlessons.com/