After valiant campaigns in Hungary (2015), Denmark (2016) and Iceland (2017), the Belgium Backgammon Team will compete in the 2018 European Backgammon Team Championship in Gibraltar with 6 of our best players.
Due to the fortuitous scheduling of the event in early July, the complete top-5 of the BMS Grading Table will represent Belgium at this high-level event. Only Johan Segers (ranked 6) will be absent due to an overlapping family holiday. Fortunately Guy Van Middelem was able to make himself available to complete the team, notwithstanding loads of other responsibilities and commitments.
The event consists of 7 rounds. In each round, 5 Belgian players will each play a 13-point match against 5 players from another country. After 7 rounds, the four highest ranked countries will play in a Final Four knock-out phase.
This is the Belgium Team : 1) Marc Van Damme 2) Michel Lamote 3) Geert Van der Stricht 4) Johan Huyck 5) Walter Meuwis 6) Guy Van Middelem.
The playing schedule : on Tuesday 10 July four rounds will be played (11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm, and 9 pm) and on Wednesday 11 July rounds 5 to 7 are scheduled (10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm).
The Final Four will play semi-finals on Thursday 12 July at 10 am and the final at 3 pm.
Needless to say that this is an extremely demanding and challenging format staged in a prestigious international arena. Our players will have to find their best form in three to four 13-point matches a day and be able to hold their nerve under pressure-cooker conditions. Not only skill, but focus and stamina will be required to achieve success. Nobody can afford to play casually, since all 35 matches (or more…) of Belgium’s Best will be recorded and open for scrutiny.
Could 2018 be our year?