Walter Meuwis and Ronny Conaert played, recorded and transcribed six 15-point matches in the course of the past 3 months. These matches were played in the cosy surroundings of Walter’s Hasselt home. With no money, shiny trophies or prestigious titles at stake, players could focus their attention fully on optimal decision making.
Here is how they did :
A heartening performance by Walter, comfortably within his Master Class 3 range. The rightful jubilation of Walter’s many fans will be slightly dampened, however, when they see that this below-6 PR does not translate into a step forward on the BMS Grading Table (current standing : 6,27 (5)). Culprit to that are the below-par performances by Walter in the 2017 BIC competition. Although Walter has been steamrollering all opposition, he has not done so by playing world-class backgammon. Or has he become a convert to the anti-dogmatic play-worse-to-win-more school of thought?
Anyway, Walter’s competitiveness and dogged determination are likely to keep him within sight of the top-3 spot in the coming months. Performing well in the upcoming Nordic Open (14-17 April) is infinitely more important than worrying about PR’s. Walter is on a winning streak, but should be aware that streaks, whether lucky or unlucky, are correlative with skill level. Playing better remains the best recipe for success, notwithstanding current obscurantist views to the contrary.
Ronny played well in this demanding format. As is so often the case, however, one slip (a 7,90 in match 1) marred his over-all performance. A Master Class 3 level of play is certainly within Ronny’s reach (current standing : 7,45 (10)). Still, talent alone is seldom enough to make progress in this bewilderingly complex game. Ronny is one of Belgium’s many gifted players who, untethered from familial duties, job obligations and other distractions, would improve dramatically if they could muster the required discipline and dedication. Life is a patchwork of passions, however, and scaling priorities wisely is the mark of sensible men…