Het donderde in Keulen : Winterkampioenschap Backgammon Brisaert – De Weert

[Sinds de zomer van 2014 spelen Kristoffer De Weert en Johan Brisaert, telkens op een andere locatie, een seizoenskampioenschap. Eén wedstrijd per seizoen. Een backgammon wedstrijd tot vijf punten die ze ook laten meetellen voor de rating. Het is een hele leuke traditie geworden waar ze echt naartoe leven. De winnaar mag steeds de volgende locatie kiezen. Zeker de laatste jaren proberen ze telkens een originele plaats te kiezen. Hieronder Johan’s verslag van het winterkampioenschap, gespeeld op 11 maart 2018 aan de Dom in Keulen.]

Aan allen die zijn en komen zullen,

Na het onverdiende fiasco op de Muur (zie: herfstkampioenschap) heb ik heel wat slapeloze nachten doorgebracht op de computer op Xtreme Gammon om mijn niveau naar een hoger punt te brengen. De skills leken me okee toen we de hoofdstad achter ons lieten om ons naar het land van bierworsten en Merkel te begeven. Toen Kristoffer de auto plankgas doorheen de landschap joeg vermoedde ik dat dit te maken had met een enorme faalangst, om af te gaan in ons eerste internationale toptreffen.

Zaterdag hebben we eerst Bonn bezocht, met als culinaire stops ‘s middags een McDonalds’ en ‘s avonds een Burger King. Dit alles weggespoeld met een verfrissende cola, “American juice” zoals ze zeggen. Na Bonn, de oude West-duitse hoofdstad, verplaatsten we ons wat verder naar Keulen, waar de impressionante Dom reeds van ver opdoemde. Hij mag wel eens gereinigd worden met een of ander middel van een bekend wasprodukt, want hij slaat zwart uit tot in het diepste van zijn poriën. Zou een laag douchegel erop spuiten helpen?

Na een goede nachtrust wandelden we dan rustig naar de plaats waar het duel uitgevochten is: Der Döm von Köln. Er waren al heel wat toeristen ter plaatse die waarschijnlijk hun reisdata zo geboekt hadden om dit toch wel historische moment niet te missen. Iets wat ze aan hun kleinkinderen kunnen voortvertellen: een winnaar van de Leuven Open die het daar zomaar opnam tegen een finalist van het Belgische kampioenschap driepunters. Men zou voor minder de spandoeken bovenhalen.

De wedstrijd dan: Zoals verwacht kwam ik vlot voor naar 1 – 0 en 2 – 0. Toen de dobbelstenen me effe in de steek lieten en Kristoffer een dubbel aanbood paste ik wijselijk en ging ik akkoord met de 2 – 1. Hij verdiende wel een eerredder dacht ik zo. Het volgende spel deed me bijna juichen tot er golven van zouden verschijnen op de Rijn. Ik verdubbelde, hij accepteerde en ik won op een haar na een gammon. In plaats van 6 – 1 moest ik echter genoegen nemen met een 4 – 1, wat zeker niet slecht is. De ogen van de toeschouwers werden groter en groter toen ik de dobbelstenen terug op het bord liet rollen om het af te maken. Helaas keerden de kansen toen. Kristoffer won met wat geluk een gammon en kwam terug tot 4 – 3.

Zegezeker vatte ik het laatste spel aan. Kristoffer verdubbelde, ik accepteerde en… iets daarna, de klok van de Dom stond op vijf voor twaalf, hoorde ik het donderen in Keulen. Terwijl ik het ganse spel voorgestaan had en Kristoffer zich al neergelegd had bij zijn nederlaag, slaagde hij er toch nog in om dat laatste spel te winnen. Tot enkele rollen van het einde was het spannend. Dit was wellicht het spannendste seizoenskampioenschap dat we ooit gespeeld hebben. Maar helaas: in mijn nachtmerries hoor ik het nog steeds donderen in Keulen want Kristoffer won vrij verrassend met 4 – 5. Duitsland ligt me blijkbaar niet. Niet als dienstplichtig soldaat in 1990 (krijgsgevangene van de Belgische Staat) en niet nu. Helaas, driewerf helaas.

Het zal voor in de lente zijn. Kristoffer heeft de eer om de plaats aan te duiden waar hij in de lente wil verliezen (hoop ik). Komt dat zien!

Johan Brisaert

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4 Cubes 2018 – results round 1

Here are the results of the 1st round of the 4 Cubes 2018 :

  • Brussels 2 vs Brussels 1 : 5-4
  • Gent vs Brugge : 3-6
  • Leuven 2 vs Leuven 1 : 6-3

For detailed results, please see the tournament book.

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2nd Belgium Championship 3-point matches – Sat Apr 24 in Le Rouseau

Dear backgammon friend,

Last call for the 2nd Belgium Championship 3-point matches, 14 rounds, on Saturday the 24th of February, in la Réserve du Roseau, rue du Roseau – Rietstraat, 60 in 1180 Brussels, very easy parking. See all info on the included flyers : [ EN | NL | FR ].

9.30 hours : registration and breakfast ;
10.15 hours : presumably Swiss movement tournament ;
+/- 14.00 hours : light lunch ;
+/- 21.30 hours : finals, cocktail drink, proclamation and prize-giving ceremony.

Please, mandatory registration before Thursday the 22nd of February and BYOB (try to bring a board and a clock).

Registered already : Ates Metin, Brisaert Johan, Chif Alain, De Ruyck Nick, Lamote Michel, Palmans Luc, Pourmousavi Jalal, Steyvers Marc, van Dijke Paul, van Rooijen Paulus, Van Middelem Guy

Come & join us, we expect a thrilling tourney !

Hope to see you then, Guy

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BMS : Fine PR’s by Johan H. and Michel in Four Cubes encounter Gent-Brugge (3-6).

The Four Cubes encounter between Gent and Brugge was validated as a BMS-event after both TC’s ( = Team Captains), Geert Van der Stricht (Gent) and Guy Van Middelem (Brugge), agreed to record and transcribe all 9 matches. The players had all the matches transcribed within 48 hours and Johan Huyck re-analysed the matches and processed the data within a day.

Here is how the players did (in brackets is the number of victories, followed by the overall PR, the checkerplay PR and the cube PR) :

Michel Lamote (3)                3,84     3,58     5,21

Johan Huyck (1)                    4,30     4,26     4,48

Geert Van der Stricht (1)     6,21     5,14      10,40

Guy Van Middelem (2)        7,15     6,59      12,02

Bert Van Kerckhove (1)        8,13     4,46     23,30

Paul Van Dijke (1)                 8,39     5,31     21,54

These PR’s show that it is not easy to play well after a hard day’s work and that it is difficult to achieve a below-10 PR in cube handling. Johan H. and myself were the exceptions.

I also campaigned in Gibraltar. I got off to a bad start in the 11-pointers (1/4), but managed to string 3 wins together in the Consolation (9-point matches). I filmed all my matches and came up with this encourageing result :

PR Michel in Gibraltar (4 x 11, 4 x 9)

 

 

 

 

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Marc Van Damme baffles international backgammon community in Gibraltar.

The international backgammon event in Gibraltar (8-10 February) ranks among the most prominent tournaments in the world. Top players from all over the globe compete for victory. Several grandmasters from Denmark are present (Trabolt, Noehr, Myhr, Bredahl, …), as well as the crème de la crème from Germany (Orlowski, Papachristopoulos, Jonas, Söhnchen, Sonnabend, …), the UK (Wilkinson, Bennet, Hurst, McAlpine, …), the USA (McLaughlin, Edilson, Bauer, Matig, Neagu, …), Japan (Akiko, Kenji), Norway (Snarheim, Liby, Farewag, Kritikos, …), and other countries like Switzerland, France, etc.

Marc in the semi against Jack Edilson (r)

In this eminent and tough field, Belgium’s number 1, Marc Van Damme, succeeded in excelling. He won 5 matches in a row in the preliminary round of 11-pointers, thus gaining a bye in the final sheet of the last 32. There he eliminated the recent winner of the New York Metropolitan Open, Kimon Papachristopoulos in a crazy 15-pointer which took 21 games and culminated in a thrilling DMP-game. In the 1/4 finals Marc swept Rune Farewag (NO) off the table with exciting, aggressive play (and some luck, of course…), only to succumb to Jack Edilson (USA) in the semis. Marc reached a 15-11 lead (match to 17), but eventually saw victory slip away.

Marc’s matches against Farewag and Edilson can be watched on YouTube.

Great job, Marc!

 

 

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Metin Ates defeats Johan Huyck in final of BIC 2017

Twenty-five players registered for BIC (Belgium Individual Championship) 2017, eight of which qualified for Division 1 through 2016 results, while the others (17) joined Division 2,  divided in groups A & B. After playing a lot of 13- and 11-points matches at home and/or away throughout the year till September, the best four from D1 and D2 qualified for the BIC play-off. There, the slaughter begun : in the ¼ finals, two-times overall winner Walter Meuwis fell surprisingly to Metin Ates, who qualified narrowly in D2 group B ; ranked n°1 Michel Lamote lost from Johan Huyck, easy winner of D1 group A ; Guy Van Middelem, ultimate survivor from D2, beat Paulus van Rooijen, 2nd in D1 in Vlissingen (NL) and Johan Segers, BGFed.be vice-president, won against 1st ever champion Geert Van der Stricht. The slugfest continued in the semi-finals : Johan H. beat deservingly Guy and Metin had his share of luck at the right moment against Johan S.

Finalist Johan Huyck (left) en winner Metin Ates (middle) of BIC 2017. Maurits Pino (right) represented BGFed.be.

The big BIC final 2017 (best of 3 till 13-points) would be Metin Ates against Johan Huyck on Saturday the 16th of December, in Longchamp (Brussels) in front of an interested crowd. There was really no match : Metin emerged 2-0 with some checker play magic and could lift the BGFed.be trophy despite outstanding play by Johan in the second set.

Congratulations to the 4th winner of the 5th BIC competition : Metin Ates.

BIC records :
2017 : Metin Ates ;
2016 : Walter Meuwis ;
2015 : Michel Lamote ;
2014 : Walter Meuwis ;
2013 : Geert Van der Stricht

Looking forward to BIC 2018 !
— GVM

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BMS : Dirk Schiemann (GER) wins PR prize at 2nd Xmas Trophy.

Spurred on by Tournament Director Geert Van der Stricht, the 12 participants transcribed all thirty 9-point matches within 48 hours, an unprecedented achievement. Here are the results :

The field consisted of 7 Belgian players, 3 Dutch players and two German players. It was Dirk Schiemann from Germany who took the PR prize with a grandmasterly performance of 3,85 PR. Marc Van Damme and myself did our best to play like a grandmaster… but could not quite pull it off. Still, our PR’s promise good things for the future.

All in all, the level of play at this tournament was very decent. The average PR of all players combined was 6,01. Most players played slightly better than their current BMS rating, which deserves praise. Funnily, the bottom 6 players on the PR list scored the most wins, namely 16 versus only 14 for the top 6. Most victories were scored by Paul Van Dijke (4 wins : winner of the Xmas Trophy) and Johan Huyck (4 wins : runner-up).

Playing conditions in the Sandeman Club in Gent were excellent. The schedule was meticulously respected and the catering and service were top. BMS(BE) would like to thank all participants for their sportsmanship and transcribing zeal. Many thanks also to Geert and his team (Johan Huyck and Paulus Van Rooijen) for making this great event happen. The 3rd Xmas Trophy will be held at the same location somewhere in the last week of 2018.

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BMS : Marc Van Damme in grandmaster form!

Days before the last important BMS event of the year, the 2nd Xmas Trophy, Marc Van Damme en Geert Van der Stricht wrapped up another Master Series. They played, recorded and transcribed nine 9-point matches. Marc produced some high quality backgammon and came up with this groundbreaking result :

PR Marc (MS 0049 9*9). Marc loses 4-5.

This is by far the highest level of backgammon ever played in Belgium by a local player. Undoubtedly the result of hard work and daily practice. Marc hereby confirms his unchallenged number 1 spot in Belgium and looks poised to aim for Grandmaster status in 2018. Congratulations, Marc!

Geert was not able to match this ferocious form and failed to improve on his BMS standing. Still a very worthy performance of course :

PR Geert (MS 0049 9*9). Geert wins 5-4.

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BMS : fine PR’s by Marc and Michel.

Marc Van Damme is currently the highest ranked player on the BMS Grading Table. Only spectacular improvement by his two closest pursuers, Geert Van der Stricht and myself, could pose a threat to Marc’s dominant position.

Some cracks in Marc’s armour showed in our most recent Master Series (MS 0049). In six 13-point matches, Marc played a bit below his known skill level, whereas I was able to slightly outperform myself :

PR Marc (MS 0049 6*13). Marc wins 4-2.

PR Michel (MS 0049 6*13). Michel loses 2-4.

The 2nd Xmas Trophy, which will be held on Wednesday 27 December, will pit the vanguard of Belgian backgammon against each other at the Sandeman Club in Gent. 12 players will play five 9-point matches. Start of the first round is 10am. A report on ALL players’ performances will be published on this website before 10 january 2018.

Keep learning!

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BMS : consistent progress at the top.

Recording your matches with a webcam (or otherwise), transcribing them in XG and afterwards studiously analysing your errors, is a very efficient and fun way to get ahead in backgammon. This is demonstrated by the significant progress made by those who invest time and effort in this exercise.

Geert Van der Stricht and Robin Bilderbeek played, recorded and transcribed six 13-point matches over the past month. Here is how they did :

PR Geert (MS 0043 6*15). Geert wins 4-2.

PR Robin (MS 0043 6*15). Robin loses 2-4.

It looks like the days of 5+ PR’s are over for Geert. Nothing more or less than the result of sustained study. The same can be said of Robin, who has taken spectacular steps forward in the past year :

Robin pondering a backgammon position at the recent Gent Open

Geert played another Master Series against Belgium’s star attraction, Marc Van Damme, currently our undisputed number one. They played ten 13-point matches :

PR Geert (MS 0046 10*13). Geert wins 6-4.

PR Marc (MS 0046 10*13). Marc loses 4-6.

Pretty solid stuff by both players. True, the absence of pressure (there is no pecuniary reward at stake) may cause these PR’s to be slightly inflated and thus a bit flattering, but it is my guess that they will not diverge by more than 0,3 PR from both players’ real playing strengths.

I also played a Master Series. I travelled to Dubrovnik (Croatia) and took part in the tournament there. I played two 13-pointers in the Main Flight, four 9-pointers in the Second Chance, and one 5-point match in the Last Chance. I filmed and transcribed all my matches and came up with this PR :

PR Michel (2*13, 4*9, 1*5).

One can always hope for more and better, but all in all that is a satisfying PR for matches played in tournament conditions.

Next challenge on the agenda is the 2nd Xmas Trophy, which will be held on Wednesday 27 December 2017 at the Sandeman Club in Gent. Among the contenders are almost the complete top-10 of the BMS GT and … the winner of the Dubrovnik Open 2017 : Tilman Söhnchen from Berlin (GER). Also attending is the German top player (GM?) Dirk Schiemann.

 

 

 

 

 

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