Dario De Toffoli

Dario De Toffoli

Dario De Toffoli is an Italian board game designer, gamebook author and elite games player who founded the games company Studiogiochi and established many games events. Born in 1953 Venice,[1] after an early career as Chemist he entered the world of games. Winner of over 60 medals at the Mind Sports Olympiad.[2] He won the 2002 Pentamind Competition for the best games all-rounder in the world.[3] In 2006, he won a special award for his contribution to games which includes contribution to all aspects of games.[4]


Contribution to games

The Personalita Ludica dell'Anno (PLDA) award the prize to the games personality of the year. In 2006, instead of the normal competition the PLDA made a lifetime achievement award to Dario De Toffoli for his "career" in games.[4][5]

In the 90's Dario, with the help of his company, staged the first 5 Italian Festivals of games,[6] the largest in Italy. Other significant events established by Dario include the Mind Sports player competition Giocatore dell'Anno[1] and the Venice International Backgammon Tournament.[7]

Another event that Dario established is one of the few board game design competitions: Premio Archemede (the Archemedes prize) dedicated to Alex Randolph.[8] An international competition where the along with the prize the winner has their game displayed in the Swiss museum of games.[9]

Scrabble in Italian

Dario was one of the top players in scrabble in Italian. The world championship in Italian scrabble was not founded until 2008 before that there were Majors. Dario had multiple top 3 finishes in these competitions and won the Masters in 1997.[10]


Dario De Toffoli is the foremost expert in backgammon in Italy.[1] He wrote two of the key books on backgammon in Italian: "the rules of the game" and "the big book of backgammon" [11] In the latter, he is credited with bringing to light that the origins of backgammon went back 500 years further than had previously been reported.[12] He is also a successful backgammon player having won numerous competitions and produced a book on the subject for La Stampa newspaper.[13] He is a top class player having world rating of over 1500 at the end of the 2009 season.[14]

However, Dario's impact on the game is most significant through his involvement in establishing the European backgammon scene. The Venice International Backgammon Tournament established by De Toffoli [7] was one of the first two major backgammon tournaments in Europe along with the Nordic Open Backgammon Tournament.[15] The tournament is one of the most important in the world [16] and forms part of the European Backgammon Tour [17]


Dario wrote the first book on Texas Hold'em in Italian [4][18] and has since then co-written two more of the only books in Italian on poker with Max Pescatori.[19] Dario is primarily known for being a leading technician[20] in the game being asked for views on poker[21] and as a TV commentator[4] as he has yet to win a major cash tournament. In 2008, Dario became the Amateur Poker World Champion[22] an event that is not played for money[23]

Games All-rounder

Dario is one of the of the most successful games players of all-time. Perhaps his most notable achievement is as an all-round games player. He has won championships in games ranging from Oware[24] to world championships in two new games: Continuo[25] in 2002 and David Parlett's Hare and Tortoise [26] in 2010. He has won over 60 medals at the Mind Sports Olympiad.[2] In 2002 he became the oldest winner of the Pentamind World championship [2][3] an event to find the best games all-rounder in the world.[27] This victory was achieved in the middle of Demis Hassabis [28] 5 victories to whom he had earlier managed to finish second against.[29]

Games Journalist

Dario has contributed hundreds of articles and puzzles for newspapers and magazines. His contributions include for Giochi Magazine,[30] Il Gazzettino[31] and for La Stampa newspaper.[32]

Game and Puzzle Book Author

As well as strategic books De Toffoli is one of the leading authorities on games[33] having written "the encyclopedia of games" and the "1001 games for everyone". His works also include several puzzle books and a book on draughts.

Games Designer

As well as owning the company Studiogiochi, Dario has personally designed and co-designed several board games. The most notable of which are Lex Arcana[34] and Vampiri in salsa rossa[4] role-playing based games. More recent games have had a more mainstream focus such as Sudoku and Kakuro board games and themed board games such as for the Totally Spies! cartoon series.

List of Games Designed[1]

  • Kluges Kopfchen
  • Totally Spies
  • Poker Cinese
  • Trova le mine
  • Joker Poker
  • Happy birthday!
  • Nebraska
  • Babar et le mistere des lettres perdues
  • Kakuro challenge
  • Kakuro (board game)
  • Challenge Sudoku
  • Mango Tango
  • Sudoku (board game)
  • Challenge Sudoku - Kakuro Challenge
  • Number one
  • Ketch up
  • Yummy
  • Buon compleanno
  • Adventure cards
  • Dummy
  • Theseus
  • I giochi della frutta
  • Abaco zuzzurellone
  • Lex Arcana
  • Jagd der Vampire

List of Books Written[1]

  • Dario De Toffoli, Max Pescatori & Giorgio Sigon, A scuola di Poker, Sperling & Kupfer, 2010, ISBN 978-82-2004-890-7
  • Giampaolo Dossena & Dario De Toffoli,Enciclopedia dei giochi,Mondadori, Milan, 2009, ISBN 978-88-2004-760-3
  • Max Pescatori & Dario De Toffoli, Giocare e vincere a poker online, Sperling &Kupfer, Milan, 2009, ISBN 88-2004-760-8
  • Dario De Toffoli & Leo Colovini, Il grande libro degli scacchi, ISBN 978-88-2004-794-8
  • Dario De Toffoli, Il grande libro del Backgammon, Stampa Alternativa, 2008, ISBN 978-88-6222-035-4
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, 1001 Giochi per tutti, Mondolibri, Milan, 2008, ISBN 978-88-2004-712-2
  • Dario De Toffoli, Dario Zaccariotto & Leo Colovini, Brainquiz, Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 2008, ISBN 978-88-2004-550-0
  • Dario De Toffoli, Dario Zaccariotto & Margot De Rosa, Numeri, Stampa Alternativa,Viterbo, ISBN 978-88-6222-052-1
  • Dario De Toffoli,Il grande gioco del Poker, Mondadori, Verona, 2008
  • Dario De Toffoli, Il grande libro del Poker, Sperling and Kupfer, Milan, 2007ISBN 978-88-2004-389-6
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, Cibo per la mente - Vol III,Stampa Alternativa, Viterbo, 2007, ISBN 88-7226-960-1
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, KAFKA, Sperling and Kupfer, Milan, 2007
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, Sfida al quadrato, Sperling and Kupfer, Milan, 2006, ISBN 978-88-7339-120-3
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, Cibo per la mente II, Stampa Alternativa, Viterbo, 2005, ISBN 978-88-7226-893-3
  • Dario De Toffoli, Il giocatore consapevole, Stampa Alternativa, Viterbo, 2004, ISBN 88-7226-824-9
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, Cibo per la mente I, Stampa Alternativa, 2004, ISBN 88-7226-816-8
  • Dario De Toffoli, Guida al poker, Conde Nast, Milan, 2004
  • Dario De Toffoli, Giochi, Unicopli, Viterbo, 2003, ISBN 88-400-0914-0
  • Dario De Toffoli, Backgammon, Tutte le regole del gioco, Nuovi Equilibri, Stampa Alternativa, Viterbo, 2002, ISBN 88-7226-704-8
  • Dario De Toffoli, Giocare e vincere a Poker, Stampa Alternativa, 2002, ISBN 978-88-7226-716-5
  • Dario De Toffoli, Dario Zaccariotto, Michele Comerci & Claudio Borgnino, Giocare con le parole, La Scuola, Brescia, 2000
  • Dario De Toffoli & Dario Zaccariotto, Dama, Unicopli, Viterbo, 2000 ISBN 978-88-8776-608-0
  • Dario De Toffoli, Nel mondo dei cruciverba, Unicopli, Viterbo, 2000, ISBN 978-88-8776-605-9
  • Dario De Toffoli, Scala quaranta, pinnacolo e dintorni, Unicopli, Viterbo, 2000, ISBN 978-88-7307-317-4
  • Dario De Toffoli, Backgammon, La Stampa, 1999
  • Dario De Toffoli, Giocare a Backgammon, Arsenale, Venice, 1991 ISBN 978-88-6222-035-4
  • Dario De Toffoli, Giocare a Scarabeo, Sansoni Editore, Florence, 1985

External links

  • studiogiochi website [2]
  • Video interview for la stampa alternativa [3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Studiogichi profile of Dario De Toffoli http://www.studiogiochi.com/en/autori/Dario-De-Toffoli.html retrieved 4 March 2011
  2. ^ a b c Mind Sports Olympiad profile of Dario De Toffoli http://www.boardability.com/profile.php?id=dario_de_toffoli retrieved 4 March 2011
  3. ^ a b The publisher Stampalternitiva official author profile http://www.sperling.it/autore/0002995
  4. ^ a b c d e PLDA jury profiles for 2011 retrieved 2 March 2011
  5. ^ History of PLDA http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plda.it%2Fstoria.html
  6. ^ "La Stampa - Consultazione Archivio". Archiviolastampa.it. http://www.archiviolastampa.it/component/option,com_lastampa/task,search/action,viewer/Itemid,3/page,0010/articleid,1307_02_1990_0257_0010_19025449/. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  7. ^ a b German Backgammon magazine report on Venice tournament http://www.backgammonmagazin.de/turnier/Venice2001/Venice2001.htm
  8. ^ Game designers association page on Premio Archemde resuts http://www.spieleautorenzunft.de/newsreader-en/items/premio-archimede-the-winners-of-the-game-designer-competion.html retrieved 4 March 2011
  9. ^ Premio Archemde exhibition announcement http://www.museedujeu.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=131&Itemid=94
  10. ^ Official Italian scrabble role of honour http://www.scrabbleitalia.com/albodoro.html
  11. ^ Official Italian backgammon site on book http://www.backgammon.it/libri/index.dhtml?c_libro=32
  12. ^ Publishers page on backgammon book http://www.stampalternativa.it/wordpress/?s=Dario+De+Toffoli
  13. ^ Backgammon, La Stampa, December 1999
  14. ^ World Backgammon ratings matches for Dario De Toffoli http://www.worldbackgammonratings.com/TMPlayerViewPage.aspx?Player=Dario_De_Toffoli retrieved 3 March 2011
  15. ^ History of Nordic backgammon http://www.mastersofbackgammon.com/tournaments/nordic-open-backgammon-tournament/
  16. ^ Results of 19th Venice International Backgammon Tournament http://www.play65.com/pr3.html Retrieved 4 March 2011
  17. ^ Article on European Backgammon Tour http://www.mastersofbackgammon.com/tournaments/european-backgammon-tour/
  18. ^ "Google Translate". Translate.google.co.uk. http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?sl=it&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guadagnaresoldi.cc%2Fpoker%2Fpoker2.php. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  19. ^ Book review La Repubblica, 13 November 2010, Google translation of http://www.repubblica.it/sport/poker/2010/11/13/news/recensione-9076987/index.html?ref=search
  20. ^ review of book on poker site http://www.pokeritaliaweb.org/notizie-poker/poker-italia/dario-de-toffoli-multithinking-process.html retrieved 27 February 2011
  21. ^ Corriere della Sera, 19 February 2008, Google translation of http://www.corriere.it/cronache/08_febbraio_19/magazine_poker_c9cbd55c-ded5-11dc-9d37-0003ba99c667.shtml
  22. ^ Amateur Poker World Champions http://www.boardability.com/game.php?id=poker retrieved 04 March 2011
  23. ^ David Spanier, Independent Pursuits: Poker, The Independent, 10 September 1998
  24. ^ Italian Open Results http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdigilander.libero.it%2Fgiochisforzeschi%2F2001%2Frisultati.html
  25. ^ Article and results on Continuo http://www.boardability.com/game.php?id=continuo retrieved 04 March 2011
  26. ^ Article and results on Hare and Tortoise http://www.boardability.com/game.php?id=hare_and_tortoise retrieved 04 March 2011
  27. ^ The Mind Sports Olympiad Supplement, The Pentamind, The Times, July 1997
  28. ^ Child prodigy stands by originality, The Guardian, 9th September 2004, by Steve Boxer, [1]
  29. ^ Interview article from 99 http://www.msoworld.com/brain/mental/toffoli.html retrieved 1 March 2011
  30. ^ Giochi Magazine, May 1987-March 1988
  31. ^ Example article by De Toffoli, Il Gazettino, 7 december 1988, http://www.studiogiochi.com/editori/118/Gazzettino-7-12-88.pdf Retrieved 4 March 2011
  32. ^ e.g. http://www.archiviolastampa.it/component/option,com_lastampa/task,search/action,viewer/Itemid,3/page,0017/articleid,0007_01_1995_0352_0019_15731305/anews,true/
  33. ^ "Google Translate". Translate.google.co.uk. http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fit.pokernews.com%2Fnews%2F2009%2F02%2Frecensione-dario-de-toffoli-grande-libro-poker-1116.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  34. ^ Board game review of Lex Arcana http://www.brigata.it/cantiere/recensioni/lex-arcana

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