The 6th Merit Open International Backgammon Championship is a monster event in Cyprus (40.000€ added prize money) which starts on Wednesday 31 October. Johan Huyck will be the only BgFed.be member present. The strike by the luggage handlers in Zaventem forced him to make a costly detour to Warshau, but there is no doubt Johan will be well-rested and eager to perform when he appears at the board on Day 1 (Wednesday, 2 pm).
Johan has been making progress lately. Long stranded with a 6+ PR on the BMS GT, he is now slowly making his way to the 5,50 PR region. Over the past two months, Johan played two Master Series, assembling 188 EP in the process. Here is how he did in the first one, against Paul Van Dijke :
These PR’s are a clear indication that Johan is establishing a significant skill gap between himself and his his closest pursuer, Paul Van Dijke.
In the same period, Johan played another Master Series against Geert Van der Stricht, currently Belgium’s second-highest ranked player (PR 4,81). This series consisted of ten 11-pointers:
Again the skill difference is clear. One PR point is close to indisputable in a Master Series of 110 EP. Johan again manages a below-6 PR and seems to have found some solidity in his performances. So has Geert, of course, who will surely dip below 4,50 PR in the months leading up to the European Team Championship in Montenegro next year (8-10 April 2019).
Johan is now firmly positioned on spot 4 on the BMS Grading Table with 5,60 PR.