EUBTC : R3 : Belgium and France play equally well.

With two draws under our belt, Belgium badly needed a win against France. Unfortunately, things turned out sour for us as we were beaten 1-3. Both teams came up with similar PR’s :

PR France v Belgium (4 x 13)

PR Belgium v France (4 x 13)

Marc Van Damme made his maiden appearance on Board 1 and did not disappoint. He won his match and scored an excellent PR :

Marc Van Damme (PR 3,66) wins against Vincent Nardi (PR 5,80)

Johan Huyck (PR 5,61) loses against Olivier Croisille (PR 5,26)

Johan Segers (PR 7,69) loses against Eric Maillebiau (PR 8,45)

Walter Meuwis (PR 5,77) loses against Aurélien Bionnet (PR 3,27)

After this defeat, Belgium was left with 5/12. We needed to score heavily on Day 2 if we wanted to qualify for the Final Four. Will we be able to lift our game a notch or two?

Come and see next week!

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EUBTC : R 2 : solid performance by Belgium versus Norway.

After drawing 2-2 against Greece in Round 1, we faced Norway in Round 2. Norway is a strong backgammon country, but amateurish selection procedures prevent some of the very best players to be part of the team. Hence their slightly disappointing performance against us :

PR Norway v Belgium (4 x 13)

The Belgium Team did slightly better :

PR Belgium v Norway (4 x 13)

I seldom perform well during siesta hours, and my PR  certainly hurt the team performance. Walter, however, got rolling  and also Johan Huyck outplayed his opponent :

All PR’s :

Michel Lamote (PR 6,40) loses to Dagfinn Snarheim (PR 4,78)

Johan Huyck (PR 4,71) wins against Jostein Flood (PR 9,19)

Johan Segers (PR 7,40) loses to Rune Hallvorsen (PR 8,15)

Walter Meuwis (PR 2,99) wins against Beate Siglem (PR 5,20)

Can we keep this up in R3 (or even do better?). Check this website and you’ll soon know.

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EUBTC : Round 1 : Belgium v Greece : below-par performance by Belgium.

The European Backgammon Team Championship was won by Norway after a thrilling finish. In the semi finals, Norway drew against Denmark (2-2), but won a team consultation match to 7 points. They repeated that feat against Germany in the final by first winning two encounters and losing two and then winning a team consultation tie-breaking match to 7. Congratulations to our Norwegian friends on behalf of!

You can see pictures of the jubilant winners here :

Closing ceremony European backgammon championship Reykjavik 2017

The Belgium Team recorded all its matches. In the upcoming days, BMS Belgium will publish the Performance Ratings of all our matches. Here is how we did in the opening round against Greece :

This is not good. Everybody played at least one PR-point above their skill level, with myself ending up with an uncharacteristic 7+. Remarkably, the Greek GM Konstantinos Mitrellis scored an even more shocking PR, at least 3 PR points above his acknowledged skill level. These PR’s are surely an indication of the complexity of the match.

Check this website for our results in R 2 versus Norway.


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5th Brussels Backgammon Day, Wed Nov 1, at Longchamp’s

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Belgium at the 2017 European Team Championship

Results and standings



  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • ​Iceland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

The Belgian team

  1. Michel Lamote
  2. Marc Van Damme
  3. Johan Huyck
  4. Johan Segers
  5. Walter Meuwis

Results of Belgium

Round 1: Belgium vs Greece 2-2

Round 1: Belgium vs Greece

Round 1: Belgium vs Greece

  1. Michel Lamote vs Konstantantinos Mitrelis 1-0
  2. Marc Van Damme vs Nikos Dikaros 0-1
  3. Johan Huyck vs Stefanos Bonanos 1-0
  4. Walter Meuwis vs George Lazaris 0-1

Round 2: Belgium vs Norway 2-2

Round 2: Belgium vs Norway

  1. Michel Lamote vs Dagfinn Snarheim 0-1
  2. Johan Huyck vs Jostein Flood 1-0
  3. Johan Segers vs Rune Hallvorsen 0-1
  4. Walter Meuwis vs Beate Siglem 1-0

Round 3: Belgium vs France 1-3

Round 3: Belgium vs France

  1. Marc Van Damme vs Vincent Nardi 1-0
  2. Johan Huyck vs Olivier Croisille 0-1
  3. Johan Segers vs Eric Maillebiau 0-1
  4. Walter Meuwis vs Aurélien Bionnet 0-1

Round 4: Belgium vs Sweden 1-3

Round 4: Belgium vs Sweden

  1. Michel Lamote vs Kare Aronsson 0-1
  2. Marc Van Damme vs Tomas Tenland 1-0
  3. Johan Huyck vs Johan Bynell 0-1
  4. Johan Segers vs Aron Tendler 0-1

Round 5: Belgium vs Gibraltar 3-1

Round 5: Belgium vs Gibraltar

  1. Michel Lamote vs Gilbert Licudi 1-0
  2. Marc Van Damme vs David Frier 1-0
  3. Johan Segers vs  Steve Blake 0-1
  4. Walter Meuwis vs Michael Pitaluga 1-0

Round 6: Belgium vs Turkey 2-2

Round 6: Belgium vs Turkey

  1. Michel Lamote vs Arda Findikoglu 1-0
  2. Marc Van Damme vs Mahir Kasuto 0-1
  3. Johan Huyck vs Cumhur Bekture 0-1
  4. Walter Meuwis vs Gokhan Kazandag 1-0

Belgium finishes with 11 out 24 and does not make it to the semi-finals. The match analyses will tell us how well we played…

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Belgium Backgammon Team is off to Iceland for EUBTC.

On Thursday 5 October, the 4th edition of the European Backgammon Team Championship (EUBTC) gets underway in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. After valiant campaigns in Hungary (2015) and Denmark (2016) Belgium is once again represented by a worthy team.

The championship consists of 6 rounds of play. In each round, four 13-point matches are played between teams of two different countries. Each country can  be represented by one team only. After 6 rounds (played on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 October) the four highest ranked countries qualify for the Final Four. These 4 teams play semi-finals and the final on Sunday 8 October. You can find more info on the tournament format here.

In 2015 and 2016 we were just one match win away from qualification for the Final Four. There was disappointment, but also satisfaction. With less than 100 active players, Belgium is a small backgammon nation compared to pioneering countries like Denmark (current European Champion), Germany, the UK, etc. Still, is one of the best structured backgammon federations in the world and many countries envy our professionally organised initiatives, like the 4 Cubes ( = annual club competition), the BIC ( = the Belgian Individual Championship), the result-based ranking, and the BMS ( = Belgium Master Series = PR-based ranking).

The EUBTC is a great opportunity for Belgium to manifest itself on the international backgammon scene. Our top players are not of Grandmaster level, which makes us underdogs against countries who can field one or more GM’s (Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Czech Republic, …). However, all players on the team are seasoned backgammon Masters, with plenty of international experience. They are all ranked in the top-6 of the BMS Grading Table (which ranks players according to acknowledged skill level). So, it is safe to say that, with the exception of Geert Van der Stricht (who could not make himself available because of job obligations), the team consists of ‘Belgium’s Best’. They are : Michel Lamote (1), Marc Van Damme (2), Johan Huyck (4), Walter Meuwis (5) and Johan Segers (6).

As Team Captain, I would like to thank all these players for making themselves available and investing time and money in this joint effort. Let us do our best to play (and roll) well.


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The Alligators of the Cayman Islands

by Luc Palmans

It’s not my habit to (ab)use this website for communicating personal messages, but the recent events in the Caribbean reminded me at a personal hurricane I experienced when I was active in that part of the world, a very long time ago.

A business partner from Panama (a country only famous for its canal and baseball players) informed me about an interesting job offer at the Cayman Islands. Because economic prospects in Europe were those days not high, I tried my luck. Tests and interviews went very well, and to make a long story short: I got the job. There only remained the discussion about my moderate fee. A meeting with the CEO of the firm was arranged.

At the parking of the impressive office building, the security didn’t show much interest in my Lamborghini, and finally there was an apprentice who was willing to park my car somewhere in a faraway corner, behind the Rolls Royces and the Bentleys.

At 13:56 sharp I presented myself at the desk. A six-foot high beautiful blond secretary directed me to the office of the CEO at the end of a long corridor. The renaissance paintings and 18th century classical sculptures gave me the feeling that I was in the Uffizi in Florence. But I must also confess that my eyes were mostly blurred by the bumping derrière of the secretary. And the sound of the 16 centimetre high steel point heels, who mercilessly tortured the marble floor, ricocheted several days in my ears.

I was received by the CEO in a luxurious conference room with another marble floor and more pictures, sculptures and antique furniture. I took place at a long table; at the opposite site there were sitting three people. In the middle there was Xavier, the CEO, who did most of the talking. A woman and a man were sitting next to him and they only agreed with what Xavier was saying. The name of the man was “De Herdt” or something. I don’t remember the name of the woman, but she reminded me at the actress who played Snow White in a movie I saw in my childhood. A butler served us drinks and remained in the room.

After some introductory small talk, and a discussion about the results of my tests came finally the big moment: the money. How little would I earn if I joined the firm?

Before I continue I will explain something about the payments and taxes on the Cayman Island, for the few readers who are not familiar with this. There are three sort of payments: a normal fee, an extra fee and a super extra fee. Of course, on the Cayman Island we gladly like to pay our taxes. After all, someone has to pay the roads to our gated communities, don’t they? Not surprisingly, there are also three sort of taxes: a normal, an extra and a super extra.

Xavier gave me the choice between two propositions. Without going into details, the difference in these propositions concerned mostly the timing of payment.

In the first proposition (let’s call it “pay me later”) I would earn 8540 $ per hour; plus an extra 85 $ and even a super extra 1 $. I had to pay 1460 $ taxes, plus 6 $ extra taxes. Luckily, in this proposition I didn’t have to pay any super extra taxes.

I would earn more in the second proposition (“pay me now”): 8683 $ per hour; plus 346 $ extra and 8 $ super extra. And I had to pay less taxes: 1317 $, although a little bit more extra taxes (39 $) and even 1 $ super taxes.

I don’t claim that I can write and read, but I can count figures. Especially when there are $- or €-signs behind these figures, not to mention Swiss Francs. I had no doubts. “Pay me now” was the best for me: Highest fee and lowest taxes. That’s my idea of a contract.

“I take the second proposition,” I firmly stated, with an air of “I am a man of the world and you can’t fool me”.

Xavier observed me a long time with a poker face, and then slowly asked: “Are you sure?”

I didn’t have to look again at the figures. I was never so sure in my life.

“I take the second proposition,” I repeated, and I made a personal note that in a next life I should be an actor in mafia-movies.

“O.K. Agreed,” said Xavier.

Suddenly, I heard the butler behind me scream “Yeees!”. Xavier, Snow White and De Herdt jumped out of their seats, jelled some sounds and started to make high-fives. Immediately, Xavier took the contract and put it under my nose, and pushed a Mont Blanc fountain pen in my hands.

I must confess that I was a little bit surprised by their reaction, but before I realized what was happening, I had put my signature under the contract, and immediately a security guard grabbed the documents out of my hands and would undoubtedly hide them in a safe, deep down in the cellars of the building.

The celebrating Xavier and his associates didn’t notice me anymore and another security guard guided me politely but firmly out of the room. I left the building via a backdoor, where the Latino cleaning ladies held their smoke break.

The apprentice at the parking threw the keys to me, and while I was searching my car, I was still wandering what had happened. I was 100% sure about my decision, and I really couldn’t understand the reaction of Xavier and his co-workers.

I was still flabbergasted when I drove back in my Lamborghini to my trophy wife in our penthouse on the beach (“Her penthouse after the divorce,” one of her lawyers informed me at my wedding party). By the way, she was furious when I told her what had happened.

Meanwhile the webmaster of will go berserk and because this is a backgammon website I will, for good measures, include a backgammon position, completely unrelated with the story above.

Blackk to play 63

I was witnessing the match. Black was leading 2-away/4-away with the cube still in the middle. He played the safe 8/2 6/3. After the match I told him that in this sort of positions you have to push the defender away. 7/1* 4/1 is the move. Every backgammon hustler knows this.

Admittedly … there is a little risk involved with 4 immediate hits from the bar (52 and 53), and 55 would be the start of a close race. But after 8/2 6/3 the position of Black is by no means safe. And in fact a few moves later (after he correctly doubled and his opponent erred with a take) Black had to leave a blot, was hit and lost the game and match. But that’s of course immaterial for the decision he has to make in the diagram position.

As I expected, the bots confirmed my explanation with cool and undisputable figures.


1. Rollout1 8/2 6/3 eq: +0,984
85,40% (G:0,85% B:0,01%)
14,60% (G:0,06% B:0,00%)
Conf.: ± 0,002 (+0,982…+0,986) – [100,0%]
Duration: 1,5 seconds
2. Rollout1 7/1* 4/1 eq: +0,857 (-0,127)
86,83% (G:3,46% B:0,08%)
13,17% (G:0,39% B:0,01%)
Conf.: ± 0,003 (+0,854…+0,859) – [0,0%]
Duration: 17,3 seconds
3. 2-ply 8/2 4/1* eq: +0,685 (-0,299)
75,93% (G:3,02% B:0,07%)
24,07% (G:0,72% B:0,02%)
4. 1-ply 7/4 7/1* eq: +0,580 (-0,404)
71,37% (G:2,35% B:0,04%)
28,63% (G:2,40% B:0,01%)
5. 1-ply 8/2 7/4 eq: +0,448 (-0,537)
66,54% (G:1,11% B:0,01%)
33,46% (G:1,20% B:0,00%)
1 1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller Version: 2.10, MET: Kazaross XG2

Or not?

Comments welcome below!

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BMS : Michel breaks 4,75 PR barrier and attains Master (Class 1) status.

Michel Lamote, Belgium’s first player to reach BMS Master (Class 1) status

For the first time since its inception in 2015, the BMS Grading Table  sees a player with 500 experience points (= the equivalent of, say, thirty 13-point matches and ten 11-point matches) dip below 4,75 PR.

This feat was accomplished by Michel Lamote, whose PR’s in his two most recent MS1 matches (3,18 PR (match to 13) and 2,47 PR (match to 11) got him over the line.

With this accomplishment, Michel becomes the first Belgian player to get a taste of Master (Class 1) status.

Congratulations, Michel!

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BMS : Huyck and Van der Stricht fail to improve in Master Series (6*17).

In an effort to make progress on the BMS Grading Table, Johan Huyck and Geert Van der Stricht played, recorded and transcribed six 17-point matches.  These matches were played on Tuesday afternoons at the Sandeman Club in Gent.

Here is how they did :

PR Geert (loses MS1 0037 by 1-5)

This is a bit of set-back for Geert, who seems to be moving away from the 5 PR threshold, instead of towards it. As a Backgammon Master (Class 2), Geert is expected to score PR’s between 5,50 and 4,75, so in this series of long matches, Geert played slightly below his acknowledged skill level. His current PR over the last 500 Experience Points (EP) is 5,45, eerily close to the cursed 5,50 PR boundary.

Moreover, Geert’s number 3 status may be in jeopardy as Walter Meuwis (4) is only 0,13 PR behind (5,58) and Johan Huyck (5) is also edging closer (5,87). Johan seems to have missed an opportunity to catch up as he could not find a below-6 PR in this MS :

PR Johan (wins MS1 0037 by 5-1)

Find the current standings of Belgium’s Best and all their match PR’s by clicking on BMS(BE)/Backgammon Master Series in the black banner above.

The upcoming quarter finals of the Belgian Individual Championship (BIC) provide another opportunity for our top players to display their skills. Here is the draw :

Walter Meuwis (4) versus Metin Ates (unranked)

Johan Segers  (7) v Geert Van der Stricht (3)

Paulus Van Rooijen (8) v Guy Van Middelem (12)/Maurits Pino (14)

Michel Lamote (1) v Johan Huyck (5)

All matches are best of three 13-point matches.



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Online calendar of backgammon events in Belgium

Looking for some live backgammon in Belgium? Have a look at our calendar. See also the new item in the menu above.

Want to add your event to the calendar? It’s simple: just send us an email. Please see the instructions right below the calendar.

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