Red Beaver League: Geert Van der Stricht is 2023 UBC Champion

After the first four matches of the Red Beaver League Final, Geert was leading 6-2. This meant he only needed two points out of the remaining three matches to become the first Winner of the RBL.

Marc Van Damme (l) versus Geert Van der Stricht (r) during the final of the Red Beaver League 2022-2023, played on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in the Sandeman (Ghent).

It was therefore imperative for his opponent Marc to not only win M5, but to do so with a better PR. Marc looked well underway to achieving this, but an avoidable checker-play mistake under extreme time pressure had grave consequences. Marc ended up winning M5, but his PR was just 0,016 too high to earn the PR point: 5,01 v 4,85. The score was now 7-3, which meant Geert only needed one more point out of two matches to take the coveted RBL title.

Geert did not falter. Realizing this was the match that mattered, he produced his best PR of the duel (2,45) and although this was not enough to take the PR point (Marc played PR 2,17), he won M6 quite easily with 7-2, making him the Winner of the first edition of the RBL and 2023 UBC Champion: 8-4.

Although M7 was of no importance, Geert and Marc agreed to play it anyway, bringing the final score of the duel to 9-5.

The Red Beaver League cup, now in possession of UBC Champion Geert Van der Stricht. The cup will be passed on to the winner of the next edition. A player who can win the title three times, can keep the cup.

True, Geert was lucky to win five of the seven matches, but his OPR (= Overall PR) of 4,34 shows that he thoroughly deserves this title. Congratulations! Marc, on the other hand, only produced his A-game when the calf was drowned and will regret not having managed his time better and having lost four valuable points with 5+ PR’s in Matches 1, 2, 3 and 5. Notwithstanding all this, he produced a noteworthy PR of 4,11, something he can find some solace in.

As Champion, Geert can now rest on his laurels till the 2023-2024 edition of the Red Beaver League is completed. He will then defend his title against the Challenger, i.e. the winner of RBL 2024.

Please find the updated Results and Leaderboard via the link in the menu.

— Michel Lamote

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Red Beaver League Final: Geert takes advantage of Marc’s offday

The Final of the Red Beaver League was looked forward to with much anticipation. Insiders expected smooth sailing for Marc Van Damme, as he had scored amazing PRs in his Level 1 duel. Geert Van der Stricht, however, has years of international chess experience under his belt, plenty of stamina, and is by no means a pushover.

With the dice on his side (Luck Rates of +5, +2,6 and +3,8) Geert quite easily won the opening three matches, but did not manage to do so with below-5 PRs. Astonishingly, Marc (feeling slightly out of sorts after some days of illness) failed to take advantage of this as he ended up with (marginally) worse PRs. In each match he made just one error/blunder too many. The result: a bewildering 6-0 lead for Geert.

Surely Geert was not going to become UBC Champion with an 8-0 whitewash? M4 was therefore crucial for Marc, who showed commendable resilience. He was able to remain positive, regrouped and won M4 with a winning PR of 2,5: 6-2.

After all these trials and tribulations Geert is clearly in the driver’s seat: he only needs two points out of the three remaining matches. Marc will be looking for a match win with a better PR in M5, hoping to close the gap to 6-4 and thus keep his chances to become the first winner of the RBL alive.

— Michel Lamote

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Belgian Backgammon Beach Day

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Playing schedule

09:00 Welcome, breakfast & coffee/tea
10:00 Rounds 1 to 3
13:30 Sandwiches and soup
14:30 Rounds 4 to 7
19:00 Prize ceremony


Registration fee: 30 euro. To be paid by bank transfer to

Johan Brisaert
BE58 3101 2364 5279
Please mention your name + BG september Westende

Max. 26 participants


Restaurant Villa Marie Joseph, Henri Jasparlaan 150, 8434 Westende

Free wifi. Tram stop at 50m from the hotel. Easy parking in the neighborhood. Beach at 300m


Swiss format, 7 rounds, 5-point matches.
Clock: Bronstein, 10 minutes bank time plus 12 seconds per move.

The day before, Saturday, September 9, in the afternoon or the evening: possibility to come together for the weekend.

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WBGF 2023 Team Championship: Players Wanted for Belgium’s Red Beavers

The WBGF 2023 Team Championship will take place in Skopje on August, 21-23. Please see the flyer as well as the regulations.

The Red Beavers, Belgium’s national backgammon team, plan to participate. Needed are at least 4 and preferably 5 or 6 players to form a team. In previous editions, Belgium has been reasonably successful but has never made it to the money rounds.

Do you want to play for Belgium? Then please announce your interest to our national coach, Johan Huyck (, who will make the selection. The conditions to be eligible are light: 1) to be a member and 2) to live in Belgium. It is not required to have the Belgian nationality.

Red Beaver captain Johan Huyck shaking hands with Masayuki Mochizuki (Mochy) at the WBGF Team Championship 2019 in Budva, Montenegro. On the next board, Michel Lamote is playing Michihito Kageyama (Michi).

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Introducing Access

Can our opponent really think they could use the space left behind our checkers as their own personal dumpster?

Is that even a safe approach?

Or are they in for some shocking surprises?

Read all about it (and more!) in my first backgammon article: Introducing Access.

— Itzhak Solsky

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4 Cubes 2023: Ghent’s challenger is known

Today, Sunday, March 5, Brussels received Leuven in a duel for the right to challenge Gent, holder of the 4 Cubes since 2019. Play took place in one of the bridge rooms of the Royal Orée in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe. Brussels had fielded a strong team: Ithzak Solsky, Kristoffer De Weert, Paulus van Rooijen and Johan Brisaert. But Leuven had sent its rating top as well: Michel Lamote, Toon Van Herreweghen, Ronny Conaert, Johan Segers and Sonja Custers. Fifteen 7-point matches, in three rounds of five, would determine the outcome.

In Round 1, Leuven took a small 3-2 lead. But in Round 2, Brussels struck back, winning 4 matches out of 5. The score after two rounds was therefore 6-4 to Brussels’ advantage, meaning that 2 victories in Round 3 were already enough for them to win the majority of the 15 matches.

And so they did, with even one match to spare: 3-2 for Brussels in the last round, and thus 9-6 for them in total, a convincing victory. This means that last year’s Gent-Brussels final will be repeated sometime in the fall.

Will Gent confirm its title as Belgium’s Best Backgammon Club one more year or will Brussels succeed this time to snatch the trophy home?

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Live Backgammon in March

Club gatherings

  • Brugge: alternatingly on Thursday or Friday evening, Sports bar Extra Time, Nijverheidsstraat 113, 8310 Assebroek. Contact: Line Vandamme,
  • Brussels: every Wednesday evening at 18h15, at The Black Beard — La Barbe Noire, Lakensestraat 166 Rue de Laeken, Brussels 1000
  • Ghent: every Tuesday evening, at 19h, at Union-Sandeman, Kantienberg 5, 9000 Gent
  • Leuven Monthly, Sunday, March 19, at 12h45, at Squash Club De Vaart, Kolonel Begaultlaan 15, 3012 Wilsele

Looking ahead

  • 4 Cubes 2023 encounter Brussels vs Leuven: March 5, 2023, Royal Orée, Sint-Pieters-Woluwe. The winning team challenges Ghent, winner of the 4 Cubes 2022, for the trophy.
  • Gent Open Backgammon XVI: April 22, 2023. Union-Sandeman, Ghent
  • Belgian Individual Championship: June 24-25, 2023Royal Orée, Sint-Pieters-Woluwe
  • Belgian Backgammon Beach Day: September 10, 2023, Restaurant Villa Marie Joseph, Westende. Contact: Johan Brisaert
  • 14th Leuven Open: November 12, 2023. Venue to be confirmed
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Gent Open Backgammon XVI: April 22, 2023

Dear Backgammon friend,

I’d like to invite you to participate in the 16th edition of the Gent Open Backgammon tournament which will take place on Saturday April 22, 2023, from 10:00 to 23:00, in the K.A. Club Union Sandeman, Kantienberg 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium. Swiss tournament format, 7 rounds, 7 point matches with clock (Bronstein, 14 minutes per match + 12 seconds per move). Please register in advance. Registration and catering: 25 euro. All information is to be found in the flyer.

Kind regards,

— Bert Van Kerckhove

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Brussels Backgammon Club: New Venue

The Brussels Backgammon Club is happy to welcome you in their new venue:

The Black Beard — La Barbe Noire
Lakensestraat 166 Rue de Laeken
Brussels 1000

Everybody welcome for a live game in a friendly atmosphere every Wednesday evening starting at 18h15.

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Red Beaver League: Marc, Maurits and Nick book important victories

The Red Beaver League season is getting into its final stages. In Level 1, Marc Van Damme slaughtered Michel Lamote 10-2 while in the Level 5 barrage duel, Maurits Pino came back from 2-4 down against Alain Chif to win 6-4. In RBLQ Nick De Ruyck narrowly defeated Sonja Custers in a crucial promotion duel.

Marc Van Damme has been the standard bearer of Belgian backgammon for more than 20 years. In the beginning of the century, he was already competing in the international arena and today, after long spells of absence (covid, other interests such as chess) he is back. And how…

In his first appearance in the RBL Marc started off his Level 1 duel (seven matches to 7) against Michel Lamote with two SGM (= Super Grandmaster) PRs of 1,94 and 2,57, good for a confidence boosting lead: 3-1. In M3, however, Marc’s 4,25 PR was not enough to take the PR point, but luckily a 17-to-1 shot from the bar saved the match so that it was not 3-3, but 4-2. Then Match 4 proved to be the match too many for both Marc and Michel. Marc won the match point and was unhappy with his 7+ PR, but Michel suffered a complete mental meltdown (dejection, fatigue…?) and played a 17+ PR (!). This meant that the opening session of the duel (four matches) ended with a 6-2 score. With his better OPR (= Overall PR), Marc would only need two points out of the last three matches to reach Level O (= the Final).

The week after, on Tuesday 21 February, both players met again at the Sandeman (Ghent) to play their duel to a finish. Marc delivered the coup de grâce by winning M5 with another SGM PR of 1,77 so that Michel’s PR of 3,00 was of no consequence: 8-2. Although the duel was thereby decided, M6 was played as a gentleman’s gesture: 10-2.

In short, Marc mercilessly steamrollered Michel into insignificance with a first-rate OPR of 3,43 and progresses to Level 0 where he awaits the winner of the Level 1 duel between Belgium’s numbers 2 and 3, Geert Van der Stricht and Johan Huyck.

Meanwhile, in the lower regions of the RBL, Maurits Pino staged a remarkable comeback in his Level 5 barrage duel against Alain Chif. After the opening session (three matches), Alain was 4-2 up, but saw his advantage evaporate as Maurits won both M4 and M5 with better PRs: 4-6. Maurits thereby secures his spot in the 2023-2024 RBL Playing Grid whereas Alain will play the runner-up of RBLQ (= the qualifiers) in a last-ditch effort to stay in the RBL.

In the RBLQ, Nick De Ruyck won a nervy duel against Sonja Custers (3-3/Nick wins narrowly on OPR) and stays in contention for promotion to the RBL. Nick will meet the favourite, Itzhak Solsky, on Wednesday 1 March in the Sandeman.

Please find the updated Results and Leaderboards by clicking on the RBL tab.

— Michel Lamote

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