BMS : Johan H. and Michel find good form in Master Series (6 x 15).

In their endeavour to become better players, Johan Huyck and Michel Lamote played, recorded and transcribed six 15-point matches in the course of 2 months. Matches were played on Tuesday afternoons in the Sandeman Club (Gent).

Notwithstanding the ever occurring, mind-boggling blunders, both players ended up with fine PR’s :

PR Michel (wins 4-2)

PR Michel (wins 4-2)

PR Johan (loses 2-4)

PR Johan (loses 2-4)

With this result, both players edge slightly closer to the 5-PR boundary. Click BMS(BE) in the black banner above to see the current standings on the BMS Grading Table.

On Tuesday 27 December, BMS(BE) organises its 2nd BMS Belgium tournament. Five 9-point matches will be played at Longchamp. All matches will be recorded and transcribed and performance ratings (PR’s) will be incorporated in the BMS Grading Table. This is another opportunity for Belgium’s most ambitious players to improve their skill level in a competitive setting.

Have already registered : Geert Van der Stricht, Johan Huyck, Johan Segers, Guy Van Middelem, Paul Van Dijke, Christian Sörensen, Johan Vervust and Michel Lamote. If you play at Advanced level or better, you are welcome to join. Contact : Start of play : 10am (clocks activated).


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General Assembly on Friday, December 2, 2016, 18:00, at Longchamp’s

Dear backgammon friend, member of a backgammon club,

You’re kindly invited to the General Assembly of – Belgian Backgammon Federation – on Friday the 2nd of December 2016 at 18:00 in the ‘Les Brasseries du Longchamp’, Waterloosesteenweg 836 in Uccle, Brussels. The Assembly will be followed at 20:00 by the Brussels Friendly 68 tournament.


  1. Welcome drink & word by the President (Guy Van Middelem) : approval of the Minutes of the General Assembly of December 4, 2015.
  2. Financial report of the Treasurer (Line Vandamme) : balance 2016, budget 2017, fees.
  3. Report of the 2016 4 Cubes committee (Luc Palmans, Chairman) : report 2016 (format, teams, calendar) ; project for 2017 idem but presumably teams of 4 players.
  4. Report of the 2016 BIC committee (Guy Van Middelem, Chairman) : report 2016 (format, participants, calendar) ; project for 2017 (new committee Member, Kristoffer De Weert; new BIC-playoffs rules).
  5. Report of the BMSB committee (new composition of the committee : Geert Van Der Stricht replacing Michel Lamote as Chairman) ; report 2016 (BMS series, BPR clusters, BMAB tournament) ; projects for 2017.
  6. Report of the Rating committee (Johan Segers) : report 2016, project for 2017: no changes.
  7. Club reports (for Brugge: Line ; for Gent: Geert Van Der Stricht or… ; for Brussels: Alain Chif ; for Leuven: Johan Segers ; for Hasselt: Luc Palmans) : members, venue, activities, organisation of championships (blitz, 1-point, 5-point, …).
  8. Report of the 2016 Selection committee (Johan Segers in the absence of Michel Lamote, excused) : report European Championships 2016 in Helsingör, Denmark ; proposals about Reykjavik 2017.
  9. Relation to the EUBGF (Johan Segers & Maurits Pino) : report of the EUBGF GA, October 22, 2016.
  10. Varia (Guy Van Middelem) : as mentioned : organisation of championships (blitz, 1-point, 5-point, …). Please send any questions or different points of interest beforehand to

Please note:

  • Every individual member of a is invited to the GA (please tell Guy Van Middelem if you plan to come).
  • In case of voting : voting rights are per member (1 vote per club) and per founding member (1 vote per member).

Kind regards & keep on rolling,
Guy van Middelem, President

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BMS : Johan Huyck and Paul Van Dijke fail to improve in Master Series.

Over the past 6 weeks, Johan Huyck (Gent BC) and Paul Van Dijke (Brugge BC) played, recorded and transcribed six 15-point matches.  As the data show, both players performed slightly below par :

PR Johan Huyck

PR Johan Huyck (wins 4-2)

PR Paul

PR Paul Van Dijke (loses 2-4)

With an average PR of 5,87 Johan is one of 3 players who can boast a below-6 PR on the BMS Grading Table. Johan plans to have crossed the 5,50 threshold by New Year.

Paul’s ambitions are only slightly more modest. Since he is currently playing another Master Series against Geert Van der Stricht,  he should be able to dip below 6,50 any day now. He currently stands at 6,61 PR.



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New Venue for Brugge Backgammon Club

Brugge Backgammon Club heeft een nieuw lokaal vanaf 1 december 2016:

Cultuurcafé de Biekorf
Naaldenstraat 4
8000 Brugge

Onze speelavond blijft donderdagavond vanaf 19.30 uur.
Allen welkom !


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European Team Championship : Belgium’s Best remain undefeated at Helsingor.

Belgium's Best in Helsingor (left to right : Maurits, Walter, Johan Huyck, Johan Segers, Geert and Alain. Bottom : Michel.

Left to right : Maurits, Walter, Johan Huyck, Johan Segers, Geert and Alain. Bottom : Michel.

With one victory (3-1 against France) and draws against Norway, the UK, Greece, Iceland and Turkey, Belgium performed well in Denmark. Narrowly missing the Final Four was of course a huge disappointment, but luck just was not on our side in the crucial phase of the championship.

I would like to thank all the players for their good-humoured competitiveness. Belgium was undoubtedly one of the most determined and motivated teams in the field. All players played to the best of their abilities and there was not a whiff of discord in the team. Maurits and Alain (1st and 2nd substitute) were unfailing in their support and their presence gave the team the required robustness and peace of mind.

Next year’s European Team Championship Backgammon will take place in Reykjavik (Iceland). intends to send a team.



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European Championship, Helsingor (DK), 20-23 Oct 2016

The Belgian team: Michel Lamote, Geert Van der Stricht, Walter Meuwis, Johan Huyck, Johan Segers, Alain Chif, Maurits Pino.

Live stream:


Round 1: Belgium – Norway 2-2

Michel Lamote (PR: 4.4) vs Dagfinn Snarheim (PR: 4.6) 1-0
Johan Huyck vs Rune Færevåg 0-1
Johan Segers vs Hall Skåra 1-0
Walter Meuwis vs Tore Fredriksson 0-1

Round 2: Belgium – UK 2-2

Michel Lamote vs Gaz Owen 1-0
Johan Huyck vs Sebastian Wilkinson 0-1
Johan Segers vs Lawrence Powell 0-1
Walter Meuwis vs Eric McAlpine 1-0

Round 3: Belgium – France 3-1

Michel Lamote vs Olivier Decultot 0-1
Johan Huyck vs Raphaël Rosalba 1-0
Johan Segers vs Stéphane Chenevière 1-0
Walter Meuwis vs Gildas Racape 1-0

Round 4: Belgium – Greece 2-2

Geert Van der Stricht vs Nikos Dikaros 0-1
Michel Lamote vs Athanasios Katsios 1-0
Johan Segers vs Haris Christidis 0-1
Walter Meuwis vs Michalis Manolios 1-0

Round 5: Belgium – Iceland 2-2

Geert Van der Stricht vs Hallur Jon Saevarsson 0-1
Michel Lamote vs Stefan Gudmundsson 0-1
Johan Huyck vs Ingi Tandri Traustason 1-0
Walter Meuwis vs Fjalarr Páll Mánason 1-0

Round 6: Belgium – Turkey 2-2

Geert Van der Stricht vs Mahir Kasuto 0-1
Michel Lamote vs Murat Hazır 1-1
Johan Segers vs Gokhan Kazandag 1-0
Walter Meuwis vs Zafer Önder 1-0

Team ranking after the Swiss stage

  1. Hungary 18
  2. Croatia 16
  3. Denmark 15
  4. United Kingdom 14
  5. Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Turkey 13
  6. France, Austria 11
  7. Gibraltar 7
  8. Cyprus 6

We missed the final 4 by a hair. It all ended with an exciting double match point by Michel in extreme time pressure. Just a little bit more luck and we would have made it. Next time perhaps!

Posted in EUBGF, Tournaments | Tagged | 6 Comments

Souvenirs from Budapest

As the countdown to the European Team Championship starts, I picked some of the photos taken during last year’s edition in Budapest to share with you.


The European Championship was preceded by the Budapest Open. The masters division was played in the Panorama room. The shutters had to be closed because of the scorching sun; outside temperatures reached 35°C.


Guy Van Middelem (right) preferred to play in the more spacious lobby; Michel Lamote and Alain Chif are watching. Guy had a good start, winning the first two matches but lost to a Norwegian player in the third round.


Luc Palmans (left) playing Tore Frederiksen (Norway) in the first round. After losing this match, Luc had to continue in the fighter bracket.


After an easy win in the first round, Walter Meuwis (left) was leading 10:7 (in an 11-point match) against top Danish player Thomas Kristensen. Michel Lamote keeps his fingers crossed but finally Walter had to surrender.


Players of the intermediate division in the Venus room, including Maurits Pino and Alain Chif. The lady on the left, Laurence Sinitzky-Billard went on to win the tournament without loosing a match.

Spectators admiring the skills of the blind British player, Yan Kit Chan (on the right).

Spectators admiring the skills of the blind British player, Yan Kit Chan (right). Occasionally he palpates the checkers but in general he keeps the position of all the 30 checkers in mind.


After several changes of the rules and some discussion with the tournament director, Maurits Pino (left) and Zsolt Tasnádi won a shared third price in the intermediate division – in fact shared with three other players.


Walter Meuwis (right) received the 2014 Belgian Individual Championship (BIC) trophy from president Guy Van Middelem in Budapest. He won the title in December 2014, defeating Maurits Pino in the final.


The start of the team championship was delayed because we had to wait for the EUBGF president Steen Grønbech (opposite) to finish his match in the masters division…


… but finally it started, although without Belgium who was bye. Zdeněk Žižka, the 17-year-old Czech talent is on the right playing Bjørnar Bugge (Norway).


In the second round, Belgium played Austria. Geert Van der Stricht (left) faces Mario Lazzer; German top player Tobias Hellwag stands on the right. Geert won 15:11, making the score Belgium 3 – Austria 1.


Walter Meuwis, Luc Palmans, Maurits Pino and Geert van der Stricht (from left to right) starts the night shift facing Greece in the third round. Luc was the last to finish at around half past 3, the final score was 2-2.


Next day, in the 4th round, Belgium played host nation Hungary. In the foreground, Belgian champion Walter Meuwis (left) faces the Hungarian champion Attila Kenéz. Walter won 15:7.


Michel Lamote (left) playing the Crawford game against János Baranyai (Hungary). Nothing went right for Michel in this match. His opponent finished the tournament with an impressive 7/7 result.


After two draws (against Hungary and Croatia), Belgium faced tournament leader and top favourite Denmark. Luc Palmans (left) contemplates an 8-cube against Mik Larsen. Doble/take, well played by both players. Luc won this game but sadly he lost the match 15:13.


Michel Lamote (right) faces Thomas Kristensen (Denmark), deploying two chairs to get a better view of the board. In the background, captain Guy van Middelem is joking with his Danish colleague. At this time we were confident, with all four Belgian players leading.


Geert van der Stricht plays Steen Grønbech (right). Geert was very close to winning but Steen rolled a 44 to enter his 2 checkers in a 5-point board, turning the game and the match around. This match was live streamed on the website of the Danish federation.


Kristensen redoubled at this position. If Michel takes and redoubles to 8, he can play for the (15-point) match. Tough decision, he preferred to start a new game.


Belgium lost 1:3 to Denmark (Walter Meuwis won his match) but, before the last round, still had a realistic chance to make the final four.


In the last round, we played Italy who already secured their place in the semifinal. Because of the other results, in particular Germany’s surprise 4:0 win against Denmark, the team would have needed to win all four matches in order to qualify for the final four. Alain Chif (right) won his match but the final result was Belgium 2 – Italy 2.


Denmark and Germany met again in the semifinal. After a 2-2 draw, the encounter was decided by a 7-point team consultation match. Germany made it to the final.


The final, played by Croatia (left) and Germany. Croatia prevailed by winning the deciding 7-point consultation match.


An interesting position from the final. Looks simple but in fact white has several options to play the 2:1. Some good players among the spectators could not agree what the best move is.

The European Championship starts on 20 October in Helsingør, Denmark. Good luck to the Belgian team! Read the introduction of the team members here.

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BMS : Johan Segers solidifies top-5 status in demanding BIC Series.

In the past 9 months, Johan Segers recorded and transcribed the 19 matches (11 points) that made up his BIC 2016 BMS Series. Here is how he did :

Johan's PR in BIC Series (19 x 11)

Johan’s PR in BIC Series (19 x 11)

There can be no doubt that Johan has made significant progress over the past year.  Making the step from Advanced Class 1 (or Expert) level to Master (Class 3) level is not a walk in the park. Although Johan has to combine his backgammon study with the duties of a professional career and those of a devoted husband and father, he has succesfully managed to lift his game to the skill level that earns him the title of Backgammon Master. Congratulations!

Johan Segers earns Master (Class 3) grading.

Johan Segers earns Master (Class 3) grading.

Check the current BMS standings by clicking on BMS (BE) in the black banner above.


Posted in BIC, BMS(BE) | 1 Comment

4th Brussels Backgammon Day, Sun 30 Oct 2016

Breakfast at 09.30 hours, 10 rounds of 5-points matches with a light lunch around 14.30 hours, end of play & prize-giving ceremony around 22.00 hours. Venue: Brasseries du Lonchamp, Uccle.

Detailed program and registration

Posted in Announcements, Tournaments | Tagged | 1 Comment

BMS : Michel sees fine performance ruined by resign error.

To stay in Div I and remain in contention for the BIC title, I had to win at least one out of 2 13-pointers against Alain Chif.  If I lost both, I would probably be relegated to Div II. Well, for those interested, I lost both, the last one through a Resign Error (read : I lost on time). 3 seconds on the clock just was not enough to play a DMP game…

As if this was not bad enough, this unforgivable time management blunder ruined an otherwise fine  PR : after thirteen 13-pointers, I stood at 4,85, but match 14 proved one too many. A merciless 9,35 PR in this fate decider sadly turned my overall performance from laudable to mediocre :

BIC 2016 : PR Michel Lamote (14 x 13)

BIC 2016 : PR Michel Lamote (14 x 13)

Why hasn’t anyone ever admonished me for managing my time so poorly?


Posted in BIC, BMS(BE) | 1 Comment