1st Belgium Backgammon Championship 3-point matches

Dear backgammon friends & BGFed.be members,

Save the date – on Sunday the 26th of February at 10.00 hours :

1st Belgium Backgammon Championship 3-point matches

Format depending on the number of participants : presumably Swiss tournament with everybody playing 14 rounds of 3-point matches. Open to all BGFed.be members. All info on included flyers [ EN | FR | NL ].

Registration is mandatory before Friday the 24th of February ! BYOB (try to bring a board and a clock). Location : Longchamp Tennis Club, chaussée de Waterloo 836, 1180 Brussels.

Registration &/or information : Guy Van Middelem : 0476/41.86.88

Hope to see you then,

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4 Cubes 2017 – Round 1

The results of Round 1 of the 4 Cubes 2017, played on Friday, February 17:

Brugge vs Brussels : 9-3
Leuven 1 vs Leuven Cubers 2 : 4-8
Gent : bye

For detailed results, please check the rating list or the tournament book, see the menubar.

Round 2

Round 2 will take place in April: Gent vs Brugge (Tue Apr 18) and Brussels vs Leuven 1 (Fri Apr 21). The Leuven Cubers 2 are bye.

The four team captains are kindly asked to fix the dates and the line-ups are quickly as possible.

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Leuven Monthly replaces 4th Friday

In December 2016, the Backgammon Club Leuven launched a survey to know more about its players’ preferences. Thirty-eight people responded. Following up, the club decided to change the format of its 4th Friday tournament series: the Leuven Monthly was born. In 2017, the tournaments take place on Friday evenings or on Sunday afternoons, depending on the particular month. The tournament format is a mix of 7-point and 5-point matches. The rules of the Leuven Club Championship have been modified too, giving higher winning chances to less regular players. Read more.

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BMS : four high-level Master Series wrapped up.

Losing a backgammon match can be a frustrating affair. You feel you played better than your opponent, but still ended up losing. Fortunately, some satisfaction can be derived from the computer’s evaluation of your stellar performance. The other side of the coin, however, is that a performance you thought was excellent, may turn out to be nothing better than mediocre…

In their quest for mastery, 5 of our best players played, recorded and transcribed 36 long matches in the last months of 2016. Except for Johan Huyck, nobody seems to have made significant progress.

Geert Van der Stricht challenged Bert Van Kerckhove to a contest of six 15-point matches (6 x 15).  The action took place on Tuesday nights, at the Sandeman in Gent,  after a hard day’s work, so players can be forgiven not to have found their best form. Still, both Geert and Bert might feel slightly uncomfortable when confronted with the numbers. Bert, however, did make progress on the BMS Grading Table. He is only one good performance away from dipping below 7 (current standing : 7,13) :

PR Geert (loses 2-4)

PR Geert (loses 2-4)

PR Bert (wins 4-2)

PR Bert (wins 4-2)

Geert played another series of 15-pointers against Paul Van Dijke (6 x 15). This time, Geert managed to come closer to what is perceived to be his true potential, while Paul comfortably dipped below 6,50. Both players can rightfully feel encouraged by this performance :

PR Geert (wins 5-1)

PR Geert (wins 5-1)

PR Paul (loses 1-5)

PR Paul (loses 1-5)

Johan Huyck and I also played an MS1 (6 x 15). Consistent study and dedicated practice are bearing fruit for Johan.  In the past 6 months he has gained a full PR point on the BMS Grading Table, which is a remarkable achievement. He has elbowed his way past Walter Meuwis to the number 3 spot on the BMS table with a current PR of 5,77. Insiders expect Johan to dive below 5 before June 30, 2017 :

PR Johan (wins 4-2)

PR Johan (wins 4-2)

My PR, on the other hand, is nothing less than a set-back. I had hoped to solidify my below-5 rating, but the 6th match proved one too many. Clearly, focused study will be required to climb another rung on the ladder :

PR Michel (loses 2-4)

PR Michel (loses 2-4)

Walter Meuwis and Luc Palmans opted for 17-point matches (6 x 17). Walter, current holder of the prestigious BIC title (Belgian Individual Champion) and certified BMAB Master (Class 3),  seems to be struggling a bit with his game. His PR in this MS1 is surely below his inherent skill level. Sadly,  this below-par performance is ruthlessly reflected in the BMS Table, where Walter now stands with a worrisome 6,15 behind his name :

PR Walter (wins 4-2)

PR Walter (wins 4-2)

His opponent, Luc Palmans, has recently shifted his attention away from backgammon to chess and … other interests. As the numbers show, it is hard to come up with Expert performances when playing in recreational mode, even as one of the most gifted players in the country :

PR Luc (loses 2-4)

PR Luc (loses 2-4)

Maurits Pino and Alain Chif have also finished an MS1 (8 x 9),  but the data are still being processed. Of others (Kristoffer De Weert, Sassan Kachanian, Leonidas Sotiriadis, Paulus Van Rooijen, Toon Van Herreweghen, a.o.) we remain in the dark as to their playing strengths.


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Belgian 3-point Match Championship 2017 on Sunday, February 26, at Longchamp’s

On Sunday, February 26, BGFed.be will organize the first Belgian 3-point Match Championship.

Venue: Longchamp Tennis Club, chaussée de Waterloo 836, 1180 Brussels.
Starting time: 10:00.
Format: to be decided. Most probably Swiss.
Tournament director: Guy Van Middelem (T 0032 476 41 86 88, E guy.van.middelem@telenet.be)

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Video BIC 2016 final – with live commentary and analysis

This is the second and last 13-point match of the BIC 2016 final between Sassan Kashanian and Walter Meuwis. The match was played on December 16, 2016, at Longchamp’s, Uccle (Brussels).

Live commentary: Michel Lamote and Geert Van der Stricht
Transcription and XG analysis: Luc Palmans
Tournament director: Guy Van Middelem
Video: Nader K. Rad and Johan Segers


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BMS Xmas Trophy 2016 : historic performance by Christian Sörensen.

Grandmaster-to-be Christian Sörensen

Grandmaster-to-be Christian Sörensen

If you record and transcribe a batch of five 9-point matches for a total EP of 45, very seldom will the resulting Performance Rating (PR) deviate substantially from the players’ known playing strength. It was known beforehand that Christian Sörensen (24 – see profile below) played better than Belgium’s Best, but … hey… that remained to be seen, right?

Well, here it is : a PR of 2,99 is absolutely stunning. This is a Super Grandmaster performance (PR < 3) that will resound on all continents. True, the opposition was average, so it is well possible that cube decisions were not as difficult as they would have been again stronger opponents. Christian may also have been circumstantially lucky in that he was mostly crushed in his matches, so was not faced with complex, creative opportunities. Nevertheless, this result proves without any doubt that this player has the potential to reach the absolute top in backgammon. Congratulations, Christian! And thank you for coming to Brussels and showing us the stuff Grandmasters are made of :



In the shade of that oak, some lesser vegetation tried to get a ray of sunlight. I was able to play at Master Class 1 level, which is encourageing, and Geert has to be delighted with a fine 4,78.  Both Johans will probably be slightly disappointed not to have dipped below 6. Further down, Paul and Guy could not rise above themselves and Zsolt, Johan V. and Nick know that the road ahead to Advanced level will be hard.

A word of thanks to BMS(BE) (i.e. Geert Van der Stricht, Johan Huyck and Walter Meuwis) for organizing and orchestrating this event, and to BGFed.be for their encouragement and support.

Happy 2017!

Profile Christan Sörensen :

24 years old

Finalist Nordic Open 2011 (at 17…)

Winner Dutch Championship 2012

Winner Double Consultation Nordic Open 2014 (with GM Bob Wachtel)

Semi-finalist XG Masters Nordic Open 2016.


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BMS : Michel wins BMS Belgium Xmas Trophy 2016.

At Longchamp on Tuesday 27 December, 10 players played 5 rounds of 9-point matches in a truncated round robin. All matches were recorded and PRs will be validated for BMS and BMAB.

Johan Segers, Zsolt Tasnadi and myself each won 4 out of 5 and shared first prize. I was able to win the three-way mini tie-break for the trophy, which was donated by BGFed.be.

Zsolt (l), Michel (with trophy) and Johan (r)

Zsolt (l), Michel (with trophy) and Johan (r)


Full report follows when all matches have been transcribed.


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BMS : 7 players wrap up BIC 2016 series.

In 2016, for the first time, players could have their matches validated for BMAB. That meant they would have to record ALL their matches, transcribe them, and make the videos and XG transcriptions available to BMS(BE) and BMAB.

The three best performances came from the three players who, in the past 4 years, have divided the 4 BIC titles among them. They played at Master Class 2 level :


MS2 14 x 13 : BIC 2016 PR Michel Lamote (EP 182)


MS2 14 x 11 : BIC 2016 PR Geert Van der Stricht (EP 154)


MS2 22 x 13  : BIC 2016 PR Walter Meuwis (EP 286)

Not too far behind is Johan Segers, who played at Master Class 3 level :

johan s

MS2 19 x 11 : BIC 2016 PR Johan Segers (EP 209)

Guy Van Middelem and Luc Palmans played at Advanced Class 2 level, whereas Maurits Pino only narrowly found an Advanced performance :


MS2 14 x 11 : BIC 2016 PR Guy Van Middelem (EP 154)


MS2 14 x 13 : BIC 2016 PR Luc Palmans (EP 182)


MS2 13 x 13 : BIC 2016 PR Maurits Pino (EP 169)

Congratulations to all players, who played to the best of their abilities and emerged with satisfactory results. Let us not forget that BIC is played over the course of a whole year in different settings. Sometimes players have to travel hours by train or car to go and play an away encounter at the home or club of their opponent. It is not easy to find consistency in that format.

Out of this batch of 80 matches, only 1 recording failure occurred. The 2nd match between Maurits Pino and Johan Huyck was incomplete and could not be validated. All other match recordings went flawlessly. Thank you to all players for their care in recording and transcribing the action.

In 2017, competitors in BIC can again apply for BMS and BMAB validation. Remember that you have to film ALL your matches and make the videos and XG files available to BMS and your opponent. For BMAB, processing fees have to be paid (50€). BMS(BE) validation is – as yet – free of charge, thanks to the dedicated voluntary work of BMS(BE) sympathizers.


(for : BMS Committee)




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The 2017 backgammon season has started – BIC and 4 Cubes

Main page: BIC 2017. See also the link ‘BIC results 2017’ in the menu for pairings, results, and standings.

Main page: 4 Cubes 2017. See also the link ‘4 Cubes 2017 results’ for the tournament book, containing the calendar and the rules.

We wish you lots of fun playing live backgammon in 2017!

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