Red Beaver League: Paulus van Rooijen progresses to Level 3

At Orée on Monday afternoon, a hard-fought UBC-duel between Paulus van Rooijen and Belgian Champion Guy Van Middelem ended in a 3-3 draw. Paulus took a 2-0 lead after winning the first 7-point match, lost the 2nd (but took a point for a better PR) and so went into match 3 with a 3-1 lead. Guy, however, did what he had to do, namely: win the match, both in score and (narrowly) on PR. So the final score was 3-3, which meant that the overall PR had to decide the winner. As could be expected from both players’ known skill levels, Paulus had the edge in that department (PR 5,58 v PR 7,77) making him the winner of this UBC-duel.

Paulus now moves up to Level 3 where he will meet Paul van Dijke. Guy will need to win against the loser of the match between Bert Van Kerckhove and Robin Bilderbeek to secure his spot in Level 4 of the 2023-2024 RBL playing roster.

For complete results, rules, and the schedule, please see the links in the menu.

Interested in joining the RBL 2023? Check out the call for candidates.

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Red Beaver League 2023-2024 Candidates

[Note added on October 6, 2022] The registration for RBL 2023 is now closed, as the maximum number of inscriptions has been reached.

On June 1, 2023, the Red Beaver League will enter its second season. At least one spot (maybe two or three) will become available for new players. Maybe you are the one ready to take up the gauntlet?

Want to know more? Please read the official call for candidates by organizer Michel Lamote.

Interested? Then you can already preregister.

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Vlissingen Masters, Jan 14-15, 2023

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Michel Lamote reaches final of Swedish Open 2022

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.

The match can be viewed on YouTube on

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.

Michel Lamote and GM Thomas Tenland reaching for the trophy right before the final of the Swedish Backgammon Open 2022 in Stockholm
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Brussels defeats Leuven and will challenge Ghent for the 4 Cubes 2022

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:

Given two teams of five players each and three rounds to play, how to make the pairings? The picture shows Toon’s elegant solution, applied in the 4 Cubes 2022 encounter between Brussels and Leuven.

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.

The crowd gathering to watch the double match point game in the decisive match in the team encounter between Brussels and Leuven in the 4 Cubes 2022 backgammon competition.

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!

An artistic sketch book impression of an exciting backgammon evening in Leuven drawn by couch surfer Nina from Switzerland, staying over at Johan B.’s in Brussels.
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Guy Van Middelem wins BIC 2022

Final ranking of the Belgian Individual Championship 2022 backgammon played on 25 and 26 June 2022 in Tennis, Bridge and Hockey Club Orée, Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, Brussels. Score: number of matches won (out of 9). Resistance Points (RP): sum of opponents’ scores. Neustadtl Score (NS): sum of scores of defeated opponents. Tournament Rating (TR): Elo-type rating calculated based on tournament matches only.
BIC 2022 organizer and champion Guy Van Middelem receiving the trophy from BIC 2020 champion Paulus van Rooijen.
One of the two playing rooms of BIC 2022 at Tennis, Bridge and Hockey club Orée in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe. Paulus van Rooijen, Champion of the 2020 edition, kicks off the 2022 event.

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 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.

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4 Cubes 2022

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!

The 4 Cubes
The Four Cubes

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Live Backgammon in June

  • Brussels: every Wednesday evening, starting at 19h, at Au Bassin, Baksteenkaai 74 Quai Aux Briques, 1000 Brussels
  • Ghent: every Tuesday evening, starting at 20h, at Union-Sandeman, Kantienberg 5, 9000 Gent
  • Leuven Monthly, Sunday, June 19, starting at 12h45, at Squash Club De Vaart, Kolonel Begaultlaan 15, 3012 Wilsele.
  • Belgian Individual Championship 2022: Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, at the Tennis/Hockey/Bridge Club Orée, Verbrandendreef 59 Drève des Brûlés, 1150 Brussels. members only. More info.

Matches played between members of the Belgian Backgammon Federation (10 euro per year, registration possible at the start of each event) count for the national rating list.

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Red Beaver League 2022: Level 5 complete

Maurits Pino vs Robin Bilderbeek at the start of Level 5 of the Red Beaver League 2022. Organizer and transcriber Michel Lamote in the background.

Last week, the two Level 5 duels were played.

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.

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Kickoff Red Beaver League 2022

The first edition of the Red Beaver League, created by Michel Lamote, is about to kick off. More information here. For results, check out the RBL 2022 link in the menu on the right.

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