10th Leuven Open, Sun 11 Nov 2018

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Johan H. and Michel confirm current status in Master Series.

Johan Huyck and I played, recorded and transcribed ten 11-point matches over the past months. This is how we performed :

PR Johan (10*11). Johan loses 2-8.

Johan has nestled himself in pole-position to turn Belgium’s below-5 trio into a quartet. Some consistence will be required to achieve this, of course.

PR Michel (10*11). Michel wins 8-2.

As for me, I will have to keep putting in the dedicated practice if I want to continue making progress. Needless to say that this is true for all of you readers out there…

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Great stuff by Geert and Johan in 56th Master Series.

One of the best ways to learn and improve your game is to record your matches, transcribe them into XG and study your mistakes carefully. This is what the best players in Belgium have been doing for some years and the results are there for all to see.

Over the past month, Geert Van der Stricht (BMS GT : 4,67 PR, ranked number 2) and Johan Huyck (BMS GT : 5,67 PR, ranked number 4) played, recorded and transcribed six 19-point matches. This 56th Master Series ended in a 3-3 draw, but more important is how  both players performed :

PR Geert (6*19)

Geert’s dedication and hard work are bearing fruit. XG’s evaluation (“World Class”) is not just a flattering epithet. It is a reliable and accurate reflection of a player’s skill level. True, in a Master Series, there is not much at stake and players can approach the challenges on the board in a purely academic fashion, but have a look at how Geert did in Monte Carlo, during the most recent World Championships :

Geert’s overall PR at the World Championship in Monte Carlo 2018 (67 EP)

This is a pretty strong PR, bearing in mind that these matches were played under high-pressure conditions with the prestigious title of World Champion at stake. It was certainly not for lack of skill that Geert was eliminated in the early rounds of the Championship…

Also Johan Huyck excelled in this Master Series :

PR Johan (6*19)

After some months away from the game, Johan seems to have come back refreshed and eager to improve. This encourageing PR may well be the boost Johan needed to continue his progress towards the 5 PR boundary. Especially his Cube Play in these long matches is worth noting.



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Sonja Custers becomes Beginners World Champion in Monte Carlo.

Four consecutive victories (9-point matches + 11-point final) gave Sonja Custers (Leuven BC) the title of World Champion (!) in the Beginners Division.

The final against a female player from Russia was a particularly tense affair. Sonja was able to come back from 0-6 down to reach equality at 9-9. In an unbearably exciting DMP-game, Sonja was able to keep a cool head under time pressure and eventually won after some gruelling swings of fortune.

Although the playing field was small and the opposition modest, this title has a prestigious ring to it and should give Sonja the motivation and confidence to continue her dedicated efforts to improve her game. She will of course from this day forward no longer be allowed to compete with the Beginners, but will have to defend her colours in the Intermediate divisions. Surely a fine achievement after barely one year of study.

Congratulations, Sonja!

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EUBTC Gibraltar : Belgium fails to qualify for Final Four.

In a tie-break with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the UK, Belgium could not win sufficient 1-point matches to reach the Final Four.

Currently, Sweden and Denmark are playing 1-point matches to see who will join Austria, Germany and Italy in the Final Four.


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EUBTC Gibraltar : Belgium loses to UK 2-3 and becomes joined 4rth.

With 19 victories, Belgium will have to play a 5-team play-off to decide who qualifies for the Final Four.

Results :

Marc Van Damme v Gaz Owen 1-0

Michel Lamote v Raj Jansaari 1-0

Geert Van der Stricht v Sebastian Wilkinson 0-1

Johan Huyck v Tim Cross 0-1

Guy Van Middelem v Eric McAlpine 0-1

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EUBTC Gibraltar : 4-1 victory against Turkey keeps Red Devils in title race.

Results :

Marc Van Damme v Kader Turk 1-0

Michel Lamote v Gural Bulut 0-1

Geert Van der Stricht v Arda Findikoglu 1-0

Johan Huyck v Gökhan Günes 1-0

Guy Van Middelem v Fatih Simer 1-0

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EUBTC Gibraltar : Belgium lose against Germany 2-3…

The results :

Marc Van Damme v Dirk Schiemann 0-1

Michel Lamote v Tobias Hellwag 1-0

Geert Van der Stricht v Jürgen Orlowski 0-1

Johan Huyck v Volker Sonnabend 0-1

Guy Van Middelem v Andreas Hoffman 1-0

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EUBTC Gibraltar : Red Beavers beat Denmark 3-2 in Round 4.

After Day 1 (four rounds played) Belgium have won their third victory of the day. With three rounds to play, a spot in the Final Four is within reach.

Walter Meuwis was the Player of the Day with 4 out of 4.

The results :

Marc Van Damme v Thomas Kristensen 1-0

Michel Lamote v Thomas Myhr 0-1

Geert Van dder Stricht v Steen Gronbech 1-0

Johan Huyck v Karsten Bredahl 0-1

Walter Meuwis v Peter Friberg 1-0

Round 5 is scheduled for 10 am tomorrow. Opponent will most likely be Germany, who lead the pack.

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EUBTC Gibraltar : Red Beavers beat Norway 3-2 in Round 3.

The Belgium Backgammon team beat current European champions Norway in thriller.

The results :

Michel Lamote v Dagfinn Snarheim 1-0

Geert Van der Stricht v Hans Liby 0-1

Johan Huyck v Sandre Rike 1-0

Guy Van Middelem v Rune Faerewag 0-1

Walter Meuwis v Kim Nordberg 1-0

With 8 victories and 5 losses, Belgium remains in contention for a Final Four spot.

Round 4 will be played after the World Cup semi-final between Belgium and France.


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