8th Backgammon BBQ and 1st Belgian Championship 1-Point Matches – Sunday, August 20, Korbeek-Lo

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BMS : Geert and Marc display fine form in 39th Master Series.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, Geert Van der Stricht and Marc Van Damme played, recorded and transcribed six 13-point matches. Here is how they did in MS 0039, which ended in a draw (3-3) :

PR Geert (6 x 13)

With this excellent performance Geert narrowly misses a Grandmaster (Class 3) result and emphatically solidifies his top-3 status.

PR Marc (6 x 13)

Confident below-5 performance by Marc, who remains only a hair’s breadth away from the number 1 spot on the BMS Grading Table.

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BMS : Christian Sörensen wins PR contest at 2nd BMS Belgium tournament (22-23 July).

With an average PR of 4,26 over six 13-point matches, Christian Sörensen  took first prize at the recent BMS tournament held in Bruges. He beat Grandmaster and World’s number three Michihito Kageyama by 0,1 PR point : 4,36.

Congratulations, Christian!

Christian (l) in deep thought against Michy (r)

Best performance by a Belgian player came from Marc Van Damme, who posted a strong  4,64 PR.  This result brings Marc back to the number one spot on the BMS GT.

Belgium’s number 1 Marc (l) playing Kazuko (r)

Five more players managed to stay below the 6 PR threshold : Geert Van der Stricht (5,39), Johan Huyck (5,53), Michel Lamote (5,63), Tatsuya Tanaka (5,67) and Walter Meuwis (5,96). Special mention should go to Johan Huyck, who out-cubed everyone with a powerful cube PR of 5,40 (!). In that domain he beat Michihito Kageyama by 0,03 mps (5,43). Well cubed, Johan!

 

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BMS : Paulus Van Rooijen wins 2nd BMS Belgium tournament! (22-23 July)

With an astonishing streak of 6 consecutive wins Paulus Van Rooijen (Nl) won the 2nd BMS Belgium tournament. With 5 wins out of 6, Michihito ‘Michy’ Kageyama (Japan) took second place.

Paulus (l) pondering a decision. In the background we recognise Tatsuya Tanaka.

World’s number 3 : Michy.

12 players played six 13-point matches over two days in the ‘Hollandse Vismijn’ in Brugge. All matches were recorded and the players’ PR’s will be tabulated in the BMS Grading Table. The results will also count for the BMAB World Ranking.

The tournament was organised by BMS Belgium’s chairman Geert Van der Stricht (with a little help from his friends). Below are some pictures, which were taken by professional photographer Frank Viergever :

(from left to right) : Kazuko Numazawa, Marc Steyvers and Michy.

Tense moments from the Michy – Marc Van Damme encounter.

Marc Steyvers (l) playing Geert (r)

Walter Meuwis

Kazuko Numazawa, wondering what Marc Van Damme is up to…

Christian Sörensen (l) and Johan Huyck (r)

Geert Van der Stricht (l)  and  Kazuko Numazawa (r)

Hisako Nishizawa

These are the players who won at least 4 out of 6 matches :

  1. Paulus Van Rooijen  6/6
  2. Michy                          5/6
  3. Walter Meuwis          4/6
  4. Marc Van Damme    4/6

BMS Belgium would like to thank all players for their sportsmanship and gentlemanlike conduct.

The next BMS event will be the 2nd Xmas Trophy, which will be held during the Christmas holidays.

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World’s number 3 Michihito Kageyama comes to play at 2nd BMS Belgium tournament!

BMS Belgium is proud to announce that Michihito Kageyama, better known as Michy, has agreed to come and play at the upcoming 2nd BMS Belgium tournament, which will be held at the  ‘Hollandse Vismijn’ in Bruges on Saturday and Sunday 22-23 July. His entourage consists of three more Japanese players (among them Tatsuya Tanaka), who will also be taking part.

Michy (Grandmaster Class 1) playing at the Merit Open in Cyprus.

For those who do not know Michy : he is currently considered one of the absolute best players in the world. On the BMAB Ranking list (which is PR based) Michy is currently ranked nr. 3 with an astonishing aggregate PR of 3,18. Only Victor Ashkenazi (1 – USA) and Mochi (2 – Japan) precede him.

Never before has a backgammon player of such calibre set foot on Belgian soil. Michy is not only an outstanding player, he is also much respected for his strikingly serene table presence.  Michy’s zen approach to the game has, together with his warm and outgoing personality, made him one of the most esteemed and admired players in the world.

BGFed.be members are welcome to come and watch this Backgammon Giant (currently nr. 2 on the Giant-32 list) play in Bruges on 22-23 July. Play starts at 10am.

 

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Paul and Paulus win 1st Belgian Championship Double Consulting.

Almost all of Belgium’s top-10 players were present at the 1st Belgian Championship Double Consulting. Six teams played five 7-point matches in a round robin. At the end of the day, Paul Van Dijke (Brugge BC) and Paulus Van Rooijen (Brugge BC) came out on top with 4/5 :

Belgian champions Paul (l) and Paulus (r) with the trophies (donated by BGFed.be).

Three teams shared 2nd place with three victories and two losses : Walter Meuwis  & Ronny Conaert (Hasselt BC), Luc Palmans & Johan Segers (Leuven BC) and Sonja Custers (Leuven BC) & Michel Lamote (Brugge BC). Johan Huyck & Geert Van der Stricht (Gent BC) (2/5) and Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek (Gent BC) (0/5) were the ones not favoured by Lady Fortune.

Ronny (l) &Walter (r)

Michel & Sonja

Johan S. & Luc (l) versus Geert & Johan H. (r)

Marc  (l) & Robin (r)

The tournament was conceived and organised by Johan Huyck, who did a splendid job setting it all up in a matter of weeks. It took place at the Sandeman Club in Gent, which, for the occasion, was reserved for players and supporters only. Tineke, who tends the bar at the Sandeman, made sure all players received immaculate service.

Only hours after the tournament ended, one of the players (who prefers to remain anonymous) sent out this thank you mail : “Hartelijk dank en proficiat aan Johan Huyck voor een puike organisatie van een geslaagd tornooi. Alles zat goed : formaat, timing, locatie, catering. Echt top, bravo!”

I am sure the other 11 players wholeheartedly agree :

The 6 teams : (from left to right) Geert & Johan, Paulus & Paul, Robin & Marc, Johan & Luc, Ronny & Walter, Sonja & Michel.

Looking forward to the 2nd Belgian Championship Double Consulting 2018!

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Johan and Michel win Double Consulting in Rimini (It).

The 3rd Summer Cup in Rimini attracted about 45 players, who enjoyed an amazing package deal at the fancy Ambassador Hotel (located on the beach promenade): for 80€/day, we got a comfortable room with balcony, airco and electric shutters (which darken the room completely).  Also included is breakfast and … a 4-course dinner, including red and white wine.  As far as I can remember, this is the best deal I ever got in 15 years on the international backgammon circuit.

I was eliminated from the main event by German Championship runner-up Tilman Söhnchen, notwithstanding an acceptable performance (3,59 PR). Johan Huyck, on the other hand, managed one of the great comebacks of the tournament by winning his 1st round match from a 1-10 (11) deficit. Johan even got to the Final Eight, but eventually his luck ran out. He saw a 9-4 (11) lead evaporate against the later winner.

Johan and I did manage to win the Double Consulting event, however, which provides some satisfying consolation. We beat two Italian teams, a German team (Tilman Söhnchen, who played with his alter ego), and a French team in the final.

Johan (r) and me (l) celebrating our win at the hotel bar with our trophies and a Hemingway cocktail (foto : Tilman Söhnchen)

This first taste of the Italian tour has yielded only positive impressions. I would like to thank Alfonso Sara and Cesare Nanti for a well-run and beautifully staged tournament.

On Sunday 2 July, you can come and see how Double Consulting works when 6 teams will compete for the title of Belgian Champion Double Consulting at the Sandeman Club in Gent. Start of play : 10:00 am.

M

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Draw for Belgian Championship Double Consultation.

Six teams entered the upcoming Belgian Championship Double Consultation, to be held at the Sandeman Club in Gent on Sunday 2 July.  The draw was made at the Ambassador Hotel in Rimini, Italy, by organiser Johan Huyck and overseen by myself. The draw went smoothly and produced the following pairings :

Round 1 (10:00 am)
Paul Van Dijke & Paulus Van Rooijen v Geert Van der Stricht & Johan Huyck
Michel Lamote & Sonja Custers v Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek
Walter Meuwis & Ronny Conaert v Luc Palmans & Johan Segers

Round 2 (12:30 pm)
Geert Van der Stricht & Johan Huyck v Luc Palmans & Johan Segers
Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek v Walter Meuwis & Ronny Conaert
Paul Van Dijke & Paulus Van Rooijen v Michel Lamote & Sonja Custers

Round 3 (14:45 pm)
Michel Lamote & Sonja Custers v Geert Van der Stricht & Johan Huyck
Walter Meuwis & Ronny Conaert v Paul Van Dijke & Paulus Van Rooijen
Luc Palmans & Johan Segers v Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek

Round 4 (17:00 pm)
Geert Van der Stricht & Johan Huyck v Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek
Paul Van Dijke & Paulus Van Rooijen v Luc Palmans & Johan Segers
Michel Lamote & Sonja Custers v Walter Meuwis & Ronny Conaert

Round 5 (19:15 pm)
Walter Meuwis & Ronny Conaert v Geert Van der Stricht & Johan Huyck
Luc Palmans & Johan Segers v Michel Lamote & Sonja Custers
Marc Van Damme & Robin Bilderbeek v Paul Van Dijke & Paulus Van Rooijen

 

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4 Cubes : This is Belgium

On Friday, June 16, the Brussels team went to Leuven for the annual 4 Cubes encounter. The Bxl team consisted of a Francophone and a Neerlandophone Bruxellois, a Hungarian and a Dutchman (they left the Greek at home). The home team was a Francophone Iranian, a Frenchman and two Flemish (one of whom is a prof @LLN). Great atmosphere, interesting games. Better, the result was 6-6 – a thriller.

— the Dutchman

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BMS : Marc, Geert, Michel confirm top-3 status with commanding PR’s.

After an absence of many years, Marc Van Damme has catapulted himself to the number 1 spot in Belgian backgammon. In his slipstream follow Geert Van der Stricht and Michel Lamote, trying to benefit from the leader’s pull.

Marc and Paul Van Dijke played, recorded and transcribed six 13-point matches (6*13) over the past weeks. Here is how they did :

PR Marc (wins 6-0)

An affirmative performance (!) by Marc. It is tempting to ascribe his results to some form of innate talent, whereas, of course, such level of play can only be the fruit of hard work and sustained study.

PR Paul (loses 0-6) 

Paul at the Sandeman Club…

Paul too will surely be satisfied with his result.   Although he was blasted with a numbing 6-0, he can find solace in the unmistakable progress he has made.

Geert and I played six 17-point matches in the course of the past 2 months :

PR Geert (loses 1-5)

Geert looks happy with a surprisingly good roll…

PR Michel (wins 5-1)

PR’s below 5 are both acceptable and encourageing for Geert and I, bringing us closer to the 5 PR boundary on the BMS Grading Table.

I played another Master Series of six 17-point matches against Johan Huyck :

PR Michel (draws 3-3)

PR Johan (draws 3-3)

Probably not a coincidence that my PR seems to hover around the 4,90 mark. I think I will grant myself a small psychological boost by optimistically assuming that my level of play is currently somewhere in that neighbourhood. Johan, on the other hand, surely hoped for something better than 6,80. Mitigating circumstances abound of course : it is hard to play your best after 8 stressful hours on the workfloor, to mention just one.

Robin Bilderbeek and Nick De Ruyck tried their hand at eight 9-point matches :

PR Robin (draws 4-4)

Robin pondering a backgammon position at the recent Gent Open…

In eight highly entertaining matches Robin proved that the progress he made in the past 6 months is real. With this result he has overtaken seasoned players like Luc Palmans (13) and Guy Van Middelem (12) on the BMS Grading Table and only narrowly fails to grab the number 10 spot. Only 0.02 PR separate him from Ronny Conaert (10) : 7,47 v 7,45…

PR Nick (draws 4-4)

Nick for his part knows that the road ahead is long and windy. Although his table presence is admirably composed and professional, Nick will have to be patient and determined to make the step from Intermediate to Advanced.

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