The 40th Swedish Open was played in Stockholm between 30 June and 3 July 2022. The field in the Champions Division contained exactly 100 players, many of whom saw this event as preparation for the upcoming World Championship in Monaco in two weeks’ time. After four days of intense competition, Michel Lamote reached the Grand Final. It turned out to be an exciting 17-point match with numerous spectacular swings. In the end, the Swedish GM Thomas Tenland prevailed 17-12.
All in all, a great achievement by Michel, who beat renowned GM’s from the UK (Gaz Owen), Sweden (Sven-Olav Norén, Johan Moazed), and Croatia (Mislav Kovacic) along the way. Congrats to Michel on an unexpected, but great achievement.
As told in an earlier post, the 4 Cubes 2022 format is simplified to two encounters: first, Brussels and Leuven play to decide who can challenge the current trophy holder Ghent, and second, the winner of the Brussels-Leuven encounter will go to Ghent to play for the title.
The challenger duel between Brussels and Leuven took place on Friday, July 1, at the Sport and Squash Club De Vaart in Wilsele. Each team had fielded five players: Johan Brisaert, Kristoffer Deweert, Paul van Dijke, Paulus Van Rooijen, and BIC 2022 champion Guy Van Middelem for Brussels against Ronny Conaert, Sassan Kashanian, Luc Palmans, Johan Segers, and Toon Van Herreweghen for Leuven. Three rounds of 7-point matches, fifteen matches in total, would bring the decision, the team with eight or more victories winning the confrontation. Players of the two teams were ranked according to the most recent version of the rating list and then paired in three rounds according to the following format:
After Round 1, Brussels was leading 3-2, but Leuven turned the tables in Round 2 drawing the score to 5-5. Round 3 was to bring the decision, and the suspense grew as the first four matches were divided equally among the two teams, bringing it all down to the last match, between Kristoffer and Ronny.
As if it had to be, their match culminated to a double match point game at the score of 6-6, in which a close race would bring the decision. In the end, Kristoffer rolled the better dice, clinching the much coveted victory and the challenger status for his team, Brussels. Congratulations!
As a result, Brussels will meet Ghent in the Fall of this year and fight for the title of Belgium’s Best Backgammon Club. Good luck to both teams!
On Saturday and Sunday June 25 and 26, twenty-four players gathered in the Tennis, Bridge and Hockey club Orée in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe for the Belgian Individual Championship (BIC) 2022 backgammon, organized by BGFed.be president Guy Van Middelem. Nine rounds of 9-point matches were disputed along the Swiss tournament format via the free software ludite, implemented by Toon Van Herreweghen. Before the start of the tournament, the winner of the 2020 edition, Paulus van Rooijen, received his well-deserved trophy. Paulus then proceeded as master of ceremony with the kick-off of the 2022 edition.
After day one, Itzhak Solsky was in pole position with five victories in five matches. On day two, however, his fortunes turned, and he was overtaken by his pursuers. In the end, it was Guy himself who only had to concede one match in the whole tournament, against former champion Paulus, to end on top of the ranking. Runner-up was Johan Segers, who lost only from Itzhak on day one and from Guy on day two. The third place (six victories in nine matches) was shared between Paul van Dijke and Toon Van Herreweghen.
The tournament format was different from that of the previous editions, which was based on a competition spanning a whole year and with players divided into leagues. The format for 2023 is still to be decided.
Congratulations to all players for the high level of play and sportsmanship and a big thanks to everybody involved in making this event a success.
In early 2020, the 4 Cubes competition for Belgian backgammon clubs had barely started when you-know-what happened and the competition had to be cancelled. Now, more than two years later, players from Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven, agreed to restart things in a lighter format.
As the trophy was won by Ghent in 2019, they are the defending champions. Brussels and Leuven compete for the right to challenge Ghent.
On Friday, July 1, Brussels and Leuven will play in Sport and Squash Club De Vaart in Wilsele. Five players of each club will line up for three rounds of 7-point matches, which is fifteen matches in total. The team with eight of more victories will win the challenge and will go to Ghent and fight for the title of Belgium’s Best Backgammon Club and the 4 Cubes. This final will be played in Ghent at a date in Autumn to be convened.
In 2023, we could continue in the same way, or, if more teams would like to join in, expand the format. Stay tuned!
At Orée on Wednesday afternoon, Guy Van Middelem beat Alain Chif 5-1 in a hard-fought duel. Guy now progresses to Level 4 where he will meet Paulus Van Rooijen. Alain, who saw his fine performance marred by two resignation errors, will play Maurits Pino to secure spot (10) in the 2023-2024 RBL playing roster.
On Sunday, Maurits was 0-4 down against Robin Bilderbeek after two matches, which made the 3rd match unimportant. Robin promotes to Level 4 where he will meet Bert Van Kerckhove in Autumn.
The May 2022 edition of the Leuven Monthly series will be played not on Sunday May 15 as announced originally but one week later, on Sunday May 22.
The reason is the City Triatlon Leuven taking place on May 15 and passing by the Kolonel Begaultlaan. The Squash Club De Vaart will be impossible to reach by car. Parking in the neighborhood will be a nightmare.