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Date: December 2016

BMAB (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #12, DECEMBER 2016, LONG EATON, UK: PR & GRADINGS REPORT

The recent BMAB Ranking Tournament in the UK, the last of the 2016 Season, demonstrated a high level of play for all participants

Simon Barget won the PR Prize having achieved a splendid performance with a PR score of 4.13. Sebastian Wilkinson was runner-up with an excellent PR score of 4.33. Congratulations to Simon and Seb for their very notable achievement.

Four other players also achieved World Class PR scores: Jon Barnes (4.52), Julian Fetterlein (4.53), Michel Lamote (4.67) and Tim Cross (4.88). Congratulations to these players for their notable achievement. The full list of results is shown in the attached table.

Ann Pocknell, with her PR score of 7.06 achieved the Advanced (Class 1) Level. Seven players improved their overall aggregate PR scores, moving closer towards upgraded titles: Simon Barget, Sebastian Wilkinson, Jon Barnes, Michel Lamote, Yan Kit Chan, Richard Furborough and Adam Taylor. Congratulations to all these players for their fine performances.

Many thanks go to all participants and the organisational staff for making this a very successful tournament, enjoyed by all. (Special thanks to David Startin for permitting the use of his photograph of Simon Barget)

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

some info

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Date: December 2016

PR & GRADINGS REPORT: BMAB (RU) #2 RANKING TOURNAMENT, MOSCOW, OCTOBER 2016

The reporting of this tournament has been delayed unfortunately due to the requirement to make videoes of all matches available to for viewing (a standard requirement of BMAB). Because some match videos were deleted in error, regretably they have not been included in the overall analysis.

The second BMAB Ranking tournament in Russia saw three players, Nail Arzukhanov, Sergey Erokhin and Mikayel Vardanyan effectively share first place in the PR results with PRs between 4.37 and 4.38. Alex Arsagov also achieved a PR of 4.88. The full results are shown in the attached table. Congratulations to Nail, Sergey, Mikayel and Alex for all achieving World Class level play in the tournament!

Sergey Erokhin is awarded Master (Class 1) with provisional Grandmaster (Class 3) grading. Timur Azizov is awarded the Master (Class 2) title. Mikayel Vardanyan is awarded Master (Class 3) with provisional Master (Class 2) grading. Nail Arzukhanov also has an overall performance indicative of Master (Class 1) from the two tournaments attended but falls a little short of the experience points threshold required for grading. Congratulations to these players for their very notable achievements.

Alex Arsagov and Sergey Petukhov both achieve the Advanced (Class 1) Level with provisional Master (Class 3) grading. Alexey Askurava and Yaroslav Gusev also achieved the Advanced (Class 1) Levels. Congratulations to these players for their notable achievements.

Thanks and congratulations to all the players and organisers for making the second Russian BMAB ranking tournament a great success.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

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Date: December 2016

BMAB (UK) #12 Ranking Tournament. Long Eaton, 3-4 December 2016

After 6 rounds of 11 point matches played over Saturday and Sunday, UKBGF Board Directors, Peter Bennet and Tim Cross, topped the leader board with 5 wins each. After sharing the prize money, Peter and Tim, two of the most popular players and organisers of Backgammon in the UK, played a one-point match for the honour of winning the Tournament, with Tim emerging as victor, and Peter as gallant runner-up.

Congratulations to both players for their great and well-deserved results, and to all participants for making this a very memorable tournament, with great backgammon, great camaraderie, and first-rate fun. More detailed results to follow.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

some info



Date: November 2016

MISLAV KOVAČIĆ IS AWARDED THE TITLE OF GRANDMASTER

I have the greatest pleasure in announcing that Mislav Kovačić, of Croatia, has been awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) by virtue of his exceptional performances at the German Masters Series Tournament at Frankfurt in September-October this year. By achieving an aggregate PR of 3.65 with 96 experience points he satisfied BMAB'S threshold levels for this grade level. This is a lifetime award which can never be degraded, but may be further enhanced through continued improved performance.

At the German Masters Series Tournament at Frankfurt, Mislav was narrowly beaten by Grandmaster Frank Simon in the final. Both players together with Grandmaster Zdeněk Žižka and many other great players will be battling out in the Grand Finale of this highly prestigious Series held at the Prague Open and Masters on November 24-27 this month. There should be a feast of great backgammon.

Mislav has steadily proven himself as great backgammon player over the last five years or so since he shifted his concentration from Chess to Backgammon. He has gained great international respect through his very high standard of play and great sportsmanship.

Congratulations and Kudos to Mislav Kovačić for his very notable achievement.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

MISLAV KOVAČIĆ



Date: November 2016

JÖRGEN GRANSTEDT, TRIPLE WORLD-CHAMPION, AWARDED GRANDMASTER TITLE

I have the greatest pleasure in announcing that Jörgen Granstedt, of Sweden, has been awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) by virtue of of his exceptional performances at the World Championship in Monte Carlo and the Japan Open in Tokyo this year. By achieving an aggregate PR of 3.83 with over 100 experience points he satisfied BMAB'S threshold levels for this grade level. This is a lifetime award which can never be degraded, but may be further enhanced through continued improved performance.

Jörgen is of course already famous for his remarkable achievement of winning the World Championships three times 1999, 2001 and 2016!) a record which he shares with the now sadly departed Tim Holland (winner in 1967, 1968 and 1971) and USBGF Hall of Fame inductee. It is only fitting, therefore, for him to be awarded the accolade of Grandmaster.

Congratulations and Kudos to Jörgen Granstedt for his very notable achievements.

(Many thanks to the USBGF for their kind permission to use their photograph of Jörgen taken at Monte Carlo this year)

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

JÖRGEN GRANSTEDT



Date: November 2016

VICTOR ASHKENAZI TOPS THE BMAB RANKING LIST

Grandmaster Victor Ashkenazi has reached the top position in the BMAB International Ranking List, following an astonishing sequence of consistently high performance over the last 20 months of play. After his and Mochy's PR results from the recent tournaments in Charlotte and Tokyo were entered into the BMAB statistics databases, Victor overtook Mochy, with scores of 2.82 and 2.84 respectively. Hitherto, since the start of BMAB, nearly two years ago, Mochy has held the top ranked position virtually unchallenged!

Congratulations and Kudos to Victor Ashkenazi for his splendid achievement, demonstrating fully his astonishingly high level of play and remarkable consistency!

An updated BMAB International Ranking List will be released and reported in the next few days, including news of two new Grandmasters!

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

Victor Askenazi Tops BMAB List



Date: October 2016

BMAB (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #11 10-11 OCTOBER 2016 TOURNAMENT REPORT PART 2: PR and GRADINGS RESULTS

Further to part 1 of the tournament report, all transcription, analysis and associated checking are now completed. Unfortunately two of the 60 match videos were corrupted and therefore unusable. However, this only represents a 3% technical failure rate. The results from the 58 matches analysed are included in the attached PR and Gradings Report table, and discussed below.

Julian Fetterlein again demonstrated his consistently exceptionally high level of skill by achieving a brilliant PR score of 3.40. His overall aggregate PR score now reduces to 3.84, inching ever closer to the threshold level of 3.5, required to obtain the award of Grandmaster (Class 2), which he has shown to be within his grasp. Similarly, Sebastian Wilkinson demonstrated his consistently high skill level in achieving an excellent PR score of 4.17, improving his overall aggregate PR score to 4.38. Congratulations to Julian and Sebastian who were respectively winner and runner-up in the PR side pool. Other notable performers at the tournament include:

  • Sean Casey who with his excellent PR score of 5.07 achieved an upgrade to Master (Class 2).
  • Andy Bell who achieved an upgrade to Master (Class 3) through his PR of 6.19
  • David Phillips who achieved an upgrade to Advanced Level (Class 3)
  • Dod Davies who achieved an excellent PR score of 5.32 indicative of Master (Class 2)

Congratulations to Andy, David, Dod and Sean for their fine PR performances, earning them their well-deserved accolades (except Dod who will have to wait for his a little while yet). Congratulations are also due to Rachel Rhodes and Julia Hayward for making significant improvements in the aggregate PR levels inching closer to upgrade threshold levels.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

BMAB (UK) #12 GR Report



Date: October 2016

BMAB (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #11 10-11 OCTOBER 2016 TOURNAMENT REPORT PART 1: WIN/LOSS RESULTS

The recent BMAB (UK) Ranking Tournament held in the splendid new venue at the Best Western Hotel at Long Eaton, between Derby and Nottingham was a great success. Twenty players participated in in this very competitive event very kindly sponsored by Paul Plumptre. Fifteen experienced BMAB players were joined by five new players attending their first ranking tournament: Iulian Chirita..., Dod Davies, Richard Furborough, Ann Pocknell and Ion Tudor were all warmly welcomed and all fitted very easily into the convivial club-like atmosphere of the BMAB tournaments in the UK.

The tournament was highly competitive with Martin Barkwill the clear frontrunner until the sixth round having won his previous five matches. Only Richard Furborough and Rachel Rhodes, both on four wins, could catch him. Richard missed his opportunity by losing 11-0 to a rampant Julian Fetterlein; however Rachel managed to overcome a significant points deficit in her match against David Phillips to reach the overall score of five wins from six. As Martin had narrowly lost his final round match to Andy Bell, despite having had a 10-7 lead, both he and Rachel were tied as the joint leaders after the full six rounds were completed, and duly shared the prize money. They then chose to play a 1-point match for the honour of winning the champion's and runner's-up trophies and certificates. Rachel prevailed taking the Winner's accolades. Both players also receive BMAB masterclass vouchers entitling them to a free online lesson from a Grandmaster. Full details of the player results are provided in the tournament leader-board attached below.

Congratulations to Rachel Rhodes and Martin Barkwill, the tournament winner and gallant runner-up and to all participants for making the tournament very competitive and convivial; a great success overall. Thanks especially to Paul Plumptre for his fantastic and generous support for BMAB, for which he was awarded with a special prize of "Sponsor to BMAB", the first of its kind.

The 60 match videos from the tournament are currently being transcribed and analysed. After proper checking, following normal BMAB procedures, they will be incorporated into the database and reported. Expect Part 2 of the tournament report in the next few days which will cover PR and grading results

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

BMAB (UK) #11 Leaderboard



Date: October 2016

BMAB (US) RANKING EVENT #4, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, USA, SEPTEMBER 2016 TOURNAMENT REPORT

The fourth BMAB (US) Ranking event was held as a special event within the busy schedule of the Florida State Backgammon Championship at Fort Lauderdale on 29 September this year. Under the excellent direction of Jeb Horton, the event was a great success. Everything went off smoothly.

There were 8 entrants: Arkadiy Tsinis, Ray Fogerlund, George Nader, Julius High, Rick Wolf, Perry Gartner, Brian Lonergan and Karen Davis (the overall Tournament Organiser). All participants and organisers enjoyed the BMAB experience; a nice quiet room was made available in which to concentrate, and afterwards there was splendid evening meal.

At the end of the one-day event, which comprised four rounds of 9-point matches, Arkadiy and Brian tied for first place with three wins, and shared the score-based prize-pool. The attached photograph shows Arkadiy (left) and Brian Lonergan (right) flanking the tournament director Jeb Horton.

All matches were recorded and have now been transcribed, analysed and checked, the results of which are included in the attached PR and Grading results table. It can be seen that Arkadiy made a superb performance achieving a superb average PR of 3.52, indicative of Grandmaster performance level! For all new BMAB players at the event (all except Ray) the 36 Experience points (EP) achieved are less than the minimum threshold requirement of 65 EP. Consequently, full and provisional gradings are still pending until the players gain more experience points.

Congratulations to Arkadiy, Brian and all the participants and organisers for making the fourth BMAB (US) ranking event a great success!

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

BMABUS4 PR GR Report



Date: August 2016

BMAB ACCREDITED TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR (CLASS 1) TITLE AWARDED TO GRANDMASTER DMITRIY OBUKHOV

I have the great pleasure of announcing that Grandmaster Dmitriy Obukhov been awarded the title of BMAB Accredited Tournament Director (Class 1) by virtue of his very successful organisation and direction of the BMAB Ranking Tournaments held in Glenview, Illinois, USA, and the BMAB Event held in Michigan, Illinois, and USA in 2015 and 2016, demonstrating a very high level of competence throughout. With this accreditation, BMAB is fully confident of his ability to organise and direct international BMAB-tournaments, BMAB-events, and BMAB-partnered events. Congratulations to Dmitriy for this very notable achievement.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director - BMAB International)

Award Letter



Date: August 2016

SPEEDGAMMON -- PR RATINGS & MASTERSHIP AWARDS

A select consultancy panel comprising Grandmasters, BMAB Directors, major BG Federations and other players of the highest pedigree has recently been assembled to occasionally debate and vote on wider BMAB policy issues. The first topic for debate has been the implementation of a separate and parallel Rating and Grading system for Speedgammon matches. The following proposal received 65% of the votes and will be adopted:
SuperSpeed...Master (PR <= 3.0, EP >= 250)
GrandSpeedMaster Class 1 (PR <= 3.5, EP >= 200)
GrandSpeedMaster Class 2 (PR <= 4.0, EP >= 150)
GrandSpeedMaster Class 3 (PR <= 4.7, EP >= 100)
SpeedMaster Class 1 (PR <= 5.5, EP >= 100)
SpeedMaster Class 2 (PR <= 6.5, EP >= 100)
SpeedMaster Class 3 (PR <= 7.5, EP >= 100)

The experience points (EP) thresholds are in line with those for normal backgammon, but the PR thresholds have been relaxed by one class level. The following game clock settings will apply:
Bank Time: Less than or equal to 0.5 minutes per game point.
Delay time: Less than or equal to 10 seconds per move.
Only match lengths of 5 points or more are rateable. There is no restriction on the proportion of 5 point matches as there is for normal backgammon rating.

The attached table summarises the Speedgammon PR and EP thresholds.

Speed PR ER GR



Date: August 2016

HEIMO LÖBLER AWARDED MASTER (CLASS 3) TITLE -- A TRUE MAGISTER LUDI!

On behalf of the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB), I have great pleasure in announcing that Heimo Löbler, from Austria has been awarded a Master (Class 3) title by virtue of his excellent performances at the three BMAB Ranking tournaments held in Austria in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Heimo, an Austrian chess master, has been a staunch supporter of BMAB since its infancy in 2014. He attended the very first tournament held in Schwaz, Austria, in December 2014, helping to pioneer the subsequent success of many subsequent BMAB tournaments around the World.

Heimo has steadily improved his PR score through the three BMAB tournaments he has played culminating in him achieving an aggregate score of 6.51, a hair's breadth away from the PR threshold of 6.50 required for the Master (Class 3) title. However, recent a special check analysis was carried out on several of players who like Heimo just missed out on achieving a higher grade. Heimo was the only player to benefit from this exercise; achieving an adjusted score of 6.50 and elevation from an Advanced Level grading to a Master title.

Congratulations to Heimo Löbler for achieving this prestigious title which he richly deserves. He is now a master in both Chess and Backgammon, a rare and special achievement - a true magister ludi!

Rick Janowski (Executive Director, BMAB-International)

Heimo Photo



Date: August 2016

GRANDMASTER AWARD TO MIKE SENKIEWICZ

I have the greatest of pleasure in announcing that Mike Senkiewicz, one of the great icons of backgammon, has been awarded the prestigious title of Grandmaster, by virtue of his excellent performances on the ABT backgammon circuit over the last 20 months. Mike has played at championship backgammon level over five decades and was listed in the original Giants List in 1993 in second place and has featured regularly henceforth. Mike was the t...op ranked player in 1995 and was again second placed in 1997. Besides being an extraordinarily gifted player, excelling in many mind-sports, he is also an author and theoretical analyst of great renown.

Mike has achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) with an aggregate PR score of 3.97 over 134 experience points. Mike was one of the very greatest of backgammon players in the pre-bot age from the late 70s through to the mid-90s. Before the mid-70s, the absolute best players were playing at a level higher than PR 8. Paul Magriel with his modern and systematic approach to backgammon was the catalyst for improving the top level of play to about PR 6 by the mid to late 70s, but only for a handful of players. By about 1980, Magriel's two protégés Jason Lester and Roger Low, together with Mike Senkiewicz, were playing at a level very close to 5, improving the level of play mainly through excellent cube play (most other players had cube PRs well above 10 at that time and for the next decade). By the early to mid-90s, before the first bots were released commercially, perhaps a handful of players were pushing the boundary to about PR 4.75. These included Mike, Wilcox Snelling and the late lamented Howard Ring.

Congratulations and Kudos to Mike Senkiewicz, who through his superb performances has deservedly reached Grandmaster level joining thirty-four other great players who have previously reached this level! This is a very fitting accolade for one of Backgammon's few true geniuses!

Mike Senkiewicz



Date: August 2016

BMAB RULE CHANGE: GRANDMASTERS & STREAMED MATCHES

After discussion on the BMAB Executive Board and consultation with Grandmasters the flowing additional rule has been agreed:
Where Grandmasters are streamed, the PR results from such matches should be included in their individual records, wherever practicable. Grandmasters must agree to be streamed if requested to do so by event and tournament organisers, and must use a game clock. There may be extreme extenuating circumstance... where a relaxation may be made on a case-by-case basis provided that the notification and basis for the appeal are made before the tournament commences and adequate time is allowed for the decision of the board.

Note that speedgammon and/or matches shorter than seven points are only included in streamed match submissions if the applicant pre- notifies BMAB or its representatives.

This rule change takes effect immediately.

Rick Janowski (Executive Director, BMAB International)



Date: August 2016

BMAB EVENT - THE FIRST IN SWEDEN

Best wishes for the success of the first BMAB event planned and organised by Jesper Carlsson, the new Director of BMAB (SE), the new Swedish member of the BMAB Group of affiliated organisations. Under Jesper's very capable and inspired direction, this should be a very exciting event for all the participants fortunate to be able to attend! Welcome to the BMAB Family, Jesper!

The first BMAB Event in Sweden will be the prequal of the Göteborg Open 2017 It is limited to 12 players.

PRE REGISTER for this event will be binding, after confirmation between player and tournament director.

You can find all the details at www.dubbel5.se

BMAB-Sweden



Date: July 2016

XG MASTERS 2016: STAGE 1: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK BMAB PR & GRADINGS REPORT PLUS OTHER NEWS FOUR NEW GRANDMASTERS!

Stage 1 of the XG Masters held in Copenhagen, and very ably directed by Karsten Bredahl, has been a brilliant showcase for top quality backgammon. 43 participants, the largest number yet for a live XG Masters tournament has produced scintillating results with superb level of play as can be seen in the attached table. The overall average PR for the field was less than... 6.0! Seven players achieved PR scores below 4.0 and a further seven players below PR 5.0.

Michael Larsen achieved the lowest PR score with 2.92 closely followed by the rising new Swedish star, Thomas Tenland with PR 3.07; both astonishing scores! Both these players together with Thomas Myhr, the reigning XG Masters Champion from 2015, achieve Grandmaster (Class 3) titles by virtue of the performances and previous tournaments in Denmark. Congratulations and Kudos for these remarkable achievements which are rewarded by very prestigious accolades.

Simon Coban, Clement Lessél, Hans Christian Mathiesen and BMAB newcomer Hallur Sævarsson achieved Master (Class 2) awards. Hallur from Iceland also achieved a provisional grading of Master (Class 1) which he is likely to upgrade to when he reaches the threshold of 100 experience points Jens Christian Pedersen, Steffen Lundstrøm, Klaus Switton and BMAB newcomer Claes Noreen achieved Master (Class 3) awards , with Claes also achieving a provisional grading of Master (Class 2). BMAB newcomers Morten Jacobsen, Axel Stemark, Peter Toftsø, Peter Hallberg, Jonas Moehrdel and Lars Brinkgaard all achieved Advanced (Class 1) Expert levels, Axel and the two Peters also achieving provisional Master (Class 3) grades. Congratulations to all these players for their notable achievements. Also, congratulations to all participants and the Organisational staff for making Stage 1 of XG Masters 2016 a resounding success. I look forward to the subsequent stages which I expect will be just as exciting.

In addition to news of the XG Masters tournament I also have great pleasure in announcing that Danish superstar Lars Trabolt has been awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) by virtue of his superb streamed match performance in Denmark, Monte Carlo and Gibraltar in 2015 and 2016. Lars achieved an over PR score pf 3.35 over 150 experience points.

Congratulations and Kudos for this remarkable achievement which is rewarded by a very well earned and prestigious accolade.

PR Report


Trabolt


Myhr


Larsen


Tenland




Date: July 2016

VICTOR ASHKENAZI AWARDED GRANDMASTER (CLASS 1) TITLE

I have the greatest pleasure in announcing that Victor Ashkenazi has been awarded the very prestigious title of Grandmaster (Class 1) by virtue of his sustained incredible performances at American Backgammon Tour (ABT) tournaments in 2015 and 2016, culminating in brilliant technical results at the recent World Championships in Monte Carlo, where his average PR was less than 2.90. Victor is only the third player to achieve t...his incredibly difficult award, following Mochy and Michi before him. Only players who manage to sustain an average PR of 3.00 or less over 200 experience points receive this highest of honours. Victor achieved BMAB's threshold requirements after playing 35 rated matches, amounting to nearly 400 experience points.

This is a lifetime award which can never be degraded, but may be subsequently enhanced through continued improved performance. The next level up, Super-Grandmaster, requires a similarly sustained performance with average PR of 2.50 or less.

Congratulations and kudos to Victor Ashkenazi for achieving this highest of accolades; a truly great player in our game!

Victor Ashkenazi




Date: July 2016

BMAB (US) RANKING TOURNAMENT #2 JULY 2016 REPORT

The third BMAB tournament held in the USA produced scintilating PR results, with 6 players achieving PRs below 5.0 and one result below 2.5! This was a brilliantly run event directed by Grandmaster Dmitriy Obukhov, and very ably assisted by Ben Friesen and Keene Marin. Special thanks are due to Carol Joy Cole for very kindly hosting the event at the venue for the annual Michigan Championships at Novi.

The attached table summarises the main PR and grading results from the tournament.

John O'Hagan heads the table by achieving the astonishing low PR of 2.45, closely followed by Kit Woolsey with a similarly astonishing 2.65. By virtue of his fantasic results at all three BMAB tournaments in the USA and by similary superlative streamed performances at the ABT tournaments at Chicago and Novi, John is awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) with an overall average PR of 3.19, securing his position in the elite pantheon of backgammon greats.

Paul Weaver also achieved a remarkable PR of 3.02, reducing his overall average PR to 3.51, a hair's breadth away from reaching an upgrade to Grandmaster (Class 2). Keene Marin achieved the title of Master (Class 3) with provisional grading of Master (Class 2), which he is likely to achieve when he reaches the threshold requirement of 100 experience points. Schlomo Karbal achieved an upgrade to Master (Class 3). Greg Merriman also achieved an upgrade to Advanced (Class 1) Expert proficiency level.

Steve Sax (PR 4.00) performed excellently, as did BMAB newcomers Frank Talbot (PR 4.09), Steve Brown (PR 4.68) and Brent Cohen (PR 5.21).

Congratulations to all these players and to all the participants, organisers and supporters for making BMAB (US) #3 a spectacularly successful event.

BMAB-USA 3 PR Report Table


John O'Hagan




Date: July 2016

BMAB (BE) RANKING TOURNAMENT #1 JULY 2016 REPORT

BMAB (BE), the organisation promoting and organising BMAB tournaments and events in Belgium, held its first BMAB Ranking tournament recently, under the very capable hands of Michel Lamote, its director, who also played in the tournament.

Ten very strong players, both regular BMAB players and newcomers, from Belgium, Czechia and the Netherlands played in a truncated round-robin format comprising six rounds of 13 point matches ov...er two days. Michel has written a tournament report on the Belgian Backgammon Federation website which I have posted on facebook already as shared links.

The attached table summarises the key PR and grading related results. Overall the standard of play was very high, averaging just over 6.0. The most notable achievements are discussed below.

Grandmaster Zdeněk Žižka, the young star from Czechia, continued to demonstrate his amazing talent by achieving the lowest PR score for each of the four BMAB tournaments he has paticipated in, this time with an World class score of PR 4.19. Michel Lamote, despite having the responsibility of both tournament and technical director, achieved the second best score withe an excellent score of PR 4.72. Congratulations to these two great stalwarts of BMAB for their excellent performances.

Honza Černý, from Czechia, also produced an excellent performance of PR 5.07 which also takes him a hair's breadth away from achieving an upgrade to Master (Class 2). Talented newcomers to BMAB, Geert Van der Stricht and Johan Huyck, both from Belgium, achieved Advanced (Class 1) levels with provisional Master (Class 3) gradings. Pavel Zaoral from Czechia and Paulus Van Rooijen from the Netherlands also acheived Advanced (Class 1) levels. Maurits Pino from the Netherlands and Guy Van Middelem also achieved Advance levels; Class 2 and Class 3 respectively. Congratultions to all these playeres for their notable achievements, and to all participants, supporters and organisers for making the first BMAB (BE) tournament a splendid success.

Iran 1 Table


Zdenek


Michel



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Date: July 2016

BMAB (IR) RANKING TOURNAMENTS #3, #4 & #5 PR & GRADINGS REPORT -- AMIR ESHRAGHI AWARDED GRANDMASTER TITLE

Three BMAB ranking tournament have been held in Iran in recent months, very successfully organised and directed by Amir Eshraghi and Houshidar Ildari, with both regular BMAB players and newcomers participating. This format is proving to be incredibly popular in Iran with great demand to hold regular tournaments.

...

Three tables are attached which summarise the PR and Grading results; one for each tournament. In general these results show both a high and constantly improving level of play, so congratulations are due to all participating players. The special achievements are also summarised below: Amir Eshraghi has achieved the lowest PR at each tournament with astonishing scores of 4.36, 3.36 and 3.16! With these superb performances and those from previous tournaments, Amir has been awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 3). Congratulations and kudos for such a fantastic achievement, very well deserved!

Roohollah Amiri Andy played in the third and fifth tournaments, each time achieving the second best PRs with excellent scores of 4.67 and 4.20! With these remarkable performances, combined with similarly excellent scores at previous tournaments, Roohollah is awarded the title of Master (Class 1), just one level below Grandmaster. Congratulations for such a fine achievement which is well deserved.

Other notable achievements include the proficiency level upgrades for Mohammadreza Moeinfar (Advanced - Class 1) and to Masoud Aghdam and Hamidreza Shahrokhi (both Advance - Class 3). Congratulations to Mohammadreza, Masoud and the 14 year old Hamidreza for making such significant improvements.

Massive congratulations to Amir, who joins an elite group of 30 Grandmasters. He has earned this accolade both by great natural talent and through constant study and experience!

Iran 1 Table


Iran 2 Table


Iran 1 Table


Amir 1



...

Date: June 2016

BMAB (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #9 JUNE 2016 REPORT

Congratulations to Chris Rogers for winning the tournament with an unbeaten record of 6/6 wins; quite an achievement against a very strong field! Chris also won a BMAB Masterclass Voucher entitling him to a free lesson from an international Grandmaster. Julian "Jooles" Fetterlein and Mark Calderbank continued their very high win-rates at BMAB tournaments with 5/6 wins. After sharing the Runner-Up prize money, Jooles and Mark pl...ayed a 1-point match for the honour of attaining the Runner-Up title and trophy. The Tournament staff and regular players were very pleased to invite four new BMAB participants: Andy Bell, Mick Butterfield, Romolo Mudu and Sean Casey (from Ireland), who fitted in perfectly with the congenial atmosphere of the BMAB (UK) Ranking tournaments.

At the Awards Ceremony, presided by the superb and very gracious Tournament Sponsor, Julian Minwalla, Prizes were awarded to Chris, Jooles and Mark for performances in the tournament. There was also a special presentation for Jooles and Gaz Owen, where Certificates were awarded together with bottles of champagne (very kindly provided by the Master of Ceremonies, Julian Minwalla) to record their superb achievement of becoming Britain's first Grandmasters! All 60 matches played at the tournament were subsequently transcribed from videos and analysed in the detail, with the key results shown in the table attached.

Special congratulations go to Julian Fetterlein for achieving the lowest PR of 3.63 in the tournament! Congratulations are also due to Seb Wilkinson (PR 4.00), Jon Barnes (PR 4.80) and Chris Rogers (PR 4.82) for their excellent PR scores. Similarly, congratulations go to Andy Bell, Mick Butterfield, Sean Casey and Rachel Rhodes for achieving Advanced (Class 1) Expert gradings.

Outside of the tournament I am very pleased to report that Charles Hill after playing a BMAB rated match at the UKBGF UK Open, achieved the award of Master (Class 2) together with provisional grading of Master (Class 1). Thank you to all participants for making this a very successful, strong and memorable tournament. And a very big thank you to the Tournament Sponsor, Julian Minwalla.

PR Table



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Date: 21 June 2016

3RD ROLL MASTER

3rd Roll Master Created by Kanade Kubota and approved by number 1 Giant of backgammon Mochy, 3rd Roll Master promises to become one of the leading software to learn early part of the game. Powered by Anki software this product offers limitless options to the user. Mochy and Kanade Kubota will donate several copies of 3rd Roll Master to the winners of BMAB ranking tournaments. Therefore, the winner of upcoming 3rd BMS-USA Tournament (June 30th, Novi) will also get this attractive bonus. More info can be found by clicking on the image.



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Date: 5 April 2016

GRANDMASTER TITLE AWARDED TO "FALAFEL" NATANZON

We have great pleasure in announcing that "Falafel" Natanzon has been awarded the title of Grandmaster by virtue of his excellent streamed match performances at American Backgammon Tour (ABT) tournaments and the Nordic Open in Denmark over the last eighteen months. Falafel achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) with a superb aggregate PR of 3.31, whilst meeting the experience threshold requirement for this grade.

Michael Natanzon, better known by his pseudonym "Falafel" was born in Russia in 1969, and moved to Israel with his mother in 1972, before they moved to New York in the 1980s. After graduating with a degree in accounting, he became a chess and then backgammon hustler based at Washington Square Park, Manhattan, and its thriving games playing scene. For a period of months, he was homeless, sleeping in the park, whilst playing chess for low stakes, he only ate falafel, which gave him his famous nickname.

His most notable tournament victories include the main events in Flint (2003), Las Vegas (2006) and Portugal (2008). He won the Masters events in Paris (2008), Chicago (2011), Pittsburgh (2012) and the High Roller in New York (2016). He also won Super Jackpots in Cannes (2006) and at the French Open (2008). In 2001, he was voted onto the 32 Giants List for the first time and has remained in the list ever since, reaching #1 on two occasions (2007 and 2011). In 2010 he was selected for the World vs. Denmark in the inaugural event and has been a member in every year since except 2015. He also captained the American Team in the World vs USA event in 2016. His GridGammon nickname is "fanar".

Congratulations to Falafel who through his excellent performances has deservedly reached Grandmaster level joining twenty-six other great players who have previously reached this level!



...

Date: 19 March 2016

GRANDMASTER TITLE AWARDED TO JACOB "STICK" RICE

We have great pleasure in announcing that Jacob "Stick" Rice has been awarded the title of Grandmaster by virtue of his superb streamed match performances at American Backgammon Tour (ABT) tournaments since the start of 2015. Stick achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) with an astonishing aggregate PR of 3.09, whilst meeting the experience threshold requirement for this grade. His most recent performances from New York and San Antonio this year indicate that he is a very strong candidate to achieve the Grandmaster (Class 1) level when he meets the experience threshold requirement of 200 EP (experience points).
Stick has made a major impact in the Backgammon World since becoming active ten years ago. As a player he has regularly been placed very highly as a "Giant" and has captained the World Team vs Denmark in the prestigious event held at the Nordic Open this year. He has developed a significant reputation as analyst, author and teaching professional (through the Backgammon Learning Centre). He created and manages BGOnline which is the leading international online forum. He also has a very significant role in the USBGF as a member of the Board of Governors and co-chair of the Joint Membership and Marketing Committee. His Gridgammon nickname is what one might expect, simply "Stick".
Congratulations to Stick who through his superb performances has deservedly reached Grandmaster level joining twenty-five other great players who have previously reached this level!



...

Date: 18 March 2016

BMAB (AT) RANKING TOURNAMENT #3, VIENNA, AUSTRIA 5-6 MARCH 2016 (DIRECTED BY HELMUT GERDENITS)

The transcription work and detailed analysis with XG is now completed. The overall results are shown in the table bellow.
Zdeněk Žižka of the Czech Republic won the PR prize with an excellent score of 3.52, and overall aggregate score of 3.84, earning him the prestigious award of Grandmaster (Class 3). Congratulations to Zdeněk for this splendid achievement.
Newcomer to BMAB, Thomas Köb, made an excellent start achieving second place with his PR score of 4.98, and the award of Master (Class 3) and provisional grading of Master (Class 2). Mario Lazzer, in his second BMAB tournament, achieved the third best PR with a score of 5.08, giving himself an aggregate score of 5.32 and a well-deserved upgrade to Master (Class 2).
Other players made steady improvement in their overall aggregate PRs moving closer towards upgrades. Bernhard Mayr who had the fourth best PR with 5.48 improving his overall aggregate PR to 5.78. Heimo Löbler who achieved the equal fifth best PR with a score of 6.0 (shared with Honza Černý) improved his overall aggregate PR to 6.51, almost reaching Master (Class 3) level. Wolfgang Bacher, Eva Žižková (the mother of Žižková) and Fritz Rattinger, all moved a little closer towards achieving an upgrade to Master (Class 2).
Of the other newcomers to BMAB, Albert Reiter from Austria and Nigel Clarkson from Germany, both achieved the Advanced (Class 1) level, with Albert also achieving a provisional Master (Class 3) grading.
Congratulations to all the players for their achievements and for making a tournament a great success. Congratulations especially to Helmut Gerdenits (a very strong player in his own right), for promoting and directing his first BMAB tournament so effectively. Bravo Helmut!
As a final note, we would like to thank Helmut and the players for transcribing the matches very quickly. Similarly, we would like to thank Bernhard, Karsten Bredahl from Denmark and Bruce Farquahar, from Canada, for each independently analysing all the match files from the tournament.

PR Table



...

Date: 18 March 2016

BMAB (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #7, CASTLE DONINGTON, 27-28 FEBRUARY 2016

FThe transcription work is now completed for all 60 matches together with detailed analysis with XG. The overall results are shown in the table bellow.
Gaz Owen won the PR prize with a tremendous score of 3.14, with Julian Fetterlein taking the runner-up position with an excellent 3.74. In the fourth BMAB (UK) tournament in August last year, Julian had achieved an astonishing PR of 3.01). Both players have achieved Grandmaster (Class 3) titles by virtue of excellent performances at this and previous BMAB (UK) tournaments. Congratulations to Julian and Gaz for reaching this prestigious level.
Tim Cross achieved the third best PR with 4.65, reducing his aggregate score to 4.84, moving him ever closer to the Master (Class 1) level. Sebastian Wilkinson, with his PR of 4.81, in 4th place, maintains his consistently high level of performance. Antonio Sgambato achieved the fifth best PR with 5.05, reducing his aggregates score to 5.48 and earning himself an upgrade to Master (Class 2). Alastair Woods, Julian Minwalla and Julia Hayward also earned upgrades to Master (Class 3), Advanced (Class2) and Advanced (Class 3) respectively. Congratulations to all these players for their significant achievements. As a final note, We would like to thank the match transcribers, Michael Roumeliotis, Julian Fetterlein, Alastair Woods, Sebastian Wilkinson, Jon Barnes, Cecilia Sparke, Julia Hayward and Simon Barget for their very professional work. Similarly, We would like to thank Alastair together with Bernhard Mayr, from Austria, and Bruce Farquahar, from Canada, for each independently analysing the 60 match files.

PR Table



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Date: 8 March 2016

GRANDMASTER AWARDS TO JULIAN FETTERLEIN & GAZ OWEN

We have tremendous pleasure in announcing that Julian Fetterlein and Gaz Owen, two of the top backgammon players from the United Kingdom have both been awarded Grandmaster titles by virtue of their excellent performances in BMAB (UK) tournaments over the last 12 months, and specifically from excellent performances at the 7thBMAB ranking tournament at Castle Donington, UK over the weekend of 27-28 February 2016. Gaz won the PR Prize with an astonishing performance of 3.14 over six 11 point matches, which emulated Julian's similarly astonishing performance a few months ago. This time Julian was runner-up with a splendid tournament performance of 3.74.

Julian has built up a reputation as perhaps the foremost British backgammon match player over the last 15-20 years, and has made a significant impact as a lecturer and teacher/trainer. Many of the newer generation of top players have thrived from his tutelage. Julian has developed a significant standing and status in the international backgammon world through the excellent quality of play and knowledge and through his ubiquitous good sportsmanship. He achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) with an aggregate PR of 3.94 over more than 400 experience points.

Gaz, once a pupil of Julian, has steadily built up a reputation as a top class international player over the last ten years with notable tournament successes in the UK, Monte Carlo and Cyprus. Currently he leads the UKBGF Elo-based ratings table through a consistently excellent level of performance over the last few years. Gaz, like Julian his former mentor, has deservedly developed a strong reputation as an extremely knowledgeable and effective teacher/trainer. . He achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) with an aggregate PR of 3.97 over nearly 200 experience points.

Congratulations to Julian and Gaz who through their superb performances have deservedly reached Grandmaster levels joining twenty-two other great players who have previously reached this level!



...

Date: 8 March 2016

GRANDMASTER AWARDS TO BOB WACHTEL & KIT WOOLSEY

We have the great pleasure in announcing that Bob Wachtel and Kit Woolsey, two of the great icons of backgammon have both been awarded Grandmaster titles by virtue of their excellent performances on the backgammon circuit over the last 14 months. Both players have played at championship backgammon level over five decades and were both listed in the original Giants List in 1993 and have featured regularly henceforth. Bob has reached as high as #8 and Kit as high as #5 on the lists published every two years. Besides being extraordinarily gifted players, both are authors and theoretical analysts of great renown.

Bob has achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) with an aggregate PR of 3.25 over more than 200 experience points. Kit has achieved the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) with an aggregate PR of 3.97 over more than 150 experience points.

Congratulations to Bob and Kit who through their superb performances have deservedly reached Grandmaster levels joining twenty other great players who have previously reached this level!



...

Date: 6 March 2016

BMS(US) RANKING TOURNAMENTS ANOUNCEMENT

2nd BMS(US) Invitational Ranking tournament will take place on 24 April 2016 in Glenview, IL. Details can be found in the attached PDF document. Interested players should contact Dmitriy Obukhov or Linda Rockwell as soon as possible, because this event is limited to 20 participants.



...

Date: 5 March 2016

BMS(UK) RANKING TOURNAMENTS 2016 SCHEDULE

Ranking Tournament No. 8: 4-5 June 2016
Ranking Tournament No. 9: 6-7 August 2016
Ranking Tournament No. 10: 8-9 October 2016
Ranking Tournament No. 11: 10-11 December 2016



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Date: 31 January 2016

STEVE SAX IS AWARDED A GRANDMASTER (CLASS 2) TITLE

We have the pleasure in announcing that Steve Sax has been awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) by virtue of brilliant performances at ABT tournaments at the end of 2015, which took his overall aggregate PR below the threshold level of 3.5 (his current aggregate PR is 3.44). This is an upgrade from Steve's previous level of Grandmaster (Class 3).

Congratulations to Steve on this very notable achievement. This is a lifetime award which can never be degraded, but may be improved upon through continued improved performance.



...

Date: 29 December 2015

BMAB INDIVIDUAL APPLICATIONS REPORT, December 2015

The recent PR and Gradings Report for the first Backgammon Masters Series detailed how Neil Kazaross and David Presser had achieved the Grandmaster grades of Class 2 and Class 3 respectively by virtue of superb performances on the ABT (American Backgammon Tour) and the BMS tournament. I am also pleased to report other excellent recent achievements as detailed below:

Yoshiyuki Nakamura of Japan, one of the first members of the Mochy 4 Club, the main precursor to BMAB, has now extended his experience beyond the threshold level required for Grandmaster (Class 2) and has achieved this title with an astonishing overall aggregate PR of 3.05! Congratulations to Yoshi for this superb achievement.

Malcolm Davis universally acknowledged as one of Backgammon's great players and ambassadors, recently decided to register with BMAB and to submit his streamed clocked matches for rating purposes. I am pleased to report that Malcolm has achieved the title of Master (Class 1), the level just below Grandmaster, as a first stepping stone in the BMAB stream. Congratulations to Malcolm.

Jason Pack of the USA, by virtue of his performances on the ABT and the second BMS (UK) tournament earlier this year, achieves the title of Master (Class 3). Well done Jason!

Elsewhere, Victor Ashkenazi (USA) and Amir Eshraghi (Iran) improve their overall aggregate PRs to 3.18 and 4.06 respectively, pushing closer to achieving upgraded titles. Steve Sax (USA) has also had a collection of astonishing performances at recent ABT tournaments which indicate that he will achieve a very well earned upgrade to Grandmaster (Class 2). However, BMAB is not able to confirm this result yet until full documentary information is received, but this should be a routine matter. Kit Woolsey is also undertaking an individual application but is currently below the 100 experience points threshold required to enter the PR and Gradings database.

It's great to see Backgammon's Cream naturally rising through the ranks and lists of BMAB.

PR Table



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Date: 24 December 2015

BMS (US) RANKING TOURNAMENT #1: GLENVIEW, IL, USA, 13 DECEMBER 2015 TOURNAMENT PR & GRADINGS REPORT

We are pleased to report that all 32 matches played at the first BMS Tournament in the USA were successfully recorded and transcribed. The match-files have since been analysed, checked and moderated. The overall standard of play in the tournament was high with an overall average PR of about 6.6 for all 16 players. The individual PR scores for each player are shown in the attached table. The most notable performances were as follows:
1st Neil Kazaross (3.00)
2nd John O'Hagan (3.66)
3rd David Presser (3.99)
4th Dmitriy Obukhov (4.00)
5th Keene Marin (4.07)

Accordingly, Neil and John took the first and second place cash prizes from the two progressive PR side-pools, with added prize money from the generous Tournament Sponsor, Phil Simborg.

This superb performance by Neil when combined with his previous BMAB rated performance gives him an overall PR of 2.97 over 152 experience points. Consequently, he is awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 2) and provisional Class 1 grading. Should he maintain a similar level of performance over the next 50 experience points he will achieve the level of Grandmaster (Class 1), joining Mochy and Michy, the only players to have achieved this title so far.

John's PR of 3.66 gives strong indication that he will achieve a Grandmaster title as soon as he reaches the required threshold level for experience. David Presser's PR of 3.99 when combined with his previous BMAB rated performances gives him an overall PR of 3.57 over 111 experience points. Consequently, he is awarded the title of Grandmaster (Class 3). Congratulations to David who becomes the twentieth BMAB Grandmaster!

Dmitriy's PR of 4.00 is within the range of Grandmaster (Class 3) a title he achieved previously. Keene's PR of 4.07 gives strong indication that he will achieve the Master (Class 1) title as soon as he reaches the required threshold level for experience. With a slightly performance he could reach Grandmaster level.

We would like to thank the following team of transcribers coordinated by Michelle Steinberg (who also transcribed): Ken Bame, Mike Clapsadle, Jack Edelson, Bruce Farquhar, Neil Kazaross, Taper Mike, Dmitriy Obukhov, Bill Patterson, David Rennie, Adrian Rios, Larry Whittenburg, Daniel Wittkopp and Chris Yep. Similarly, We would like to thank Bruce Farquhar, Bernhard Mayr and Alastair Woods, the team of analysts.

PR Table



...

Date: 19 December 2015

BMS (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #6 - CASTLE DONNINGTON 5-6 DECEMBER 2015 - TOURNAMENT REPORT (PART 2)

Further to Part 1 of the Tournament Report, posted on 10 December 2015, I am able to report that the match transcription and detailed analysis/checking/moderation of the 72 matches played at the tournament is now completed. Congratulations to Chris Rogers who achieved the lowest PR of 4.33 and reduced his overall aggregate PR to 5.09 moving closer to the level of Master (Class 1). Julian Fetterlein and Sebastian Wilkinson, who had jointly achieved the lowest PR at the October tournament, took second and third places, with PRs of 4.48 and 4.90 respectively. Congratulations also to Julian and Sebastian who took first and second places in the PR-Side Pools. Julian remains on the cusp of achieving a Grandmaster title with his overall aggregate PR of 4.08.

Other notable personal performances include those by Mark Calderbank and Dale Taylor who, with PR scores of 5.71 and 5.79 respectively, achieve Master (Class 3) titles, upgrading from their previous grades of Advanced (Class 1). The generous Tournament Sponsor, Paul Gilbertson also had a great performance with his PR of 6.43, which significantly lowered his overall aggregate PR to 7.53, achieving an upgrade to Advanced (Class 2) and narrowly missing Class 1. Rachel Rhodes and Julian Minwalla, very experienced and accomplished players but newcomers to the Backgammon Masters Series, achieved Advanced (Class 2) and Advanced (Class 3) gradings respectively. Rachel, like Paul, narrowly missed the Advanced (Class 1) grading. Julian would have achieved an Advanced (Class 1) and provisional Master (Class 3) grading were it not for an unfortunate time-out loss in round 1 of the tournament. Congratulations to Mark, Dale, Paul, Rachel and Julian for their achievements. Based on current form, it is quite likely that all these players will achieve further upgrades at forthcoming tournaments.

The full results are tabulated below.

I would like to thank all the participants for their enthusiastic, courteous and friendly attitudes throughout the weekend which helped very much in ensuring the tournament's success. I would also like to give special thanks to Michael Roumeliotis, Jon Barnes, Julian Fetterlein, Sebastian Wilkinson, Mark Calderbank, Julia Hayward and Michel Lamote for their speedy and effective match transcription work. Similarly, special thanks are due to Bernhard Mayr from Austria and Bruce Farquhar from Canada for their significant contribution to BMAB's analysis and checking process.

PR Table



...

Date: 10 December 2015

BMS (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #6 - CASTLE DONNINGTON 5-6 DECEMBER 2015 - TOURNAMENT REPORT (PART 1)

I have great pleasure in reporting that the sixth Backgammon Masters Series (UK) Ranking Tournament held on the weekend of 5-6 December was a splendid success, and would like to acknowledge my appreciation to Dexter and Paul Gilbertson for their kind sponsorship of the event. 24 players participated in the usual format of a truncated round robin comprising six rounds of 11 point matches. Altogether 72 matches were played under normal clock settings with each match videoed by webcams.

The list of players included most of the top performers at BMS(UK) tournaments, including Jysen Quah from Singapore and Michel Lamote from Belgium who had made special journeys just to play at the tournament. I was also very pleased to invite new players, David Dennis, Andy Marshall, Julian Minwalla, Rachel Rhodes and CJ Uttley, who fitted in perfectly with the friendly club-like atmosphere of the BMS(UK) tournaments, held at the Holiday Inn Hotel at East Midlands Airport.

On Saturday, after the first three rounds, Mark Calderbank, Michel Lamote and Andy Marshall were the only players without losses. On Sunday, each of these players suffered losses in a very competitive tournament, but Mark and Michel remained at the top of the Leaderboard as the only players with five wins from six. After sharing the prize money from the main pool, a three point match was played for the honour of winning the tournament, with Mark prevailing after trailing 0-2. Congratulations to Mark the Tournament Winner and Michel the Runner-Up, for their splendid performances!

In the prize giving ceremony, Chris Rogers was awarded with his certificate for achieving the title of Master (Class 2),and Julian Fetterlein and Sebastian Wilkinson were awarded certificates for jointly achieving the lowest PR score (4.25) at the previous BMS(UK) tournament in October. Moreover, Sebastian together with Peter Bennett, Gaz Owen, Antonio Sgambato and Dale Taylor were awarded money prizes for their success in the side pools. Finally, Mark and Michel received trophies and certificates to honour their worthy successes as the Winner and Runner-Up in the final BMS(UK) Ranking Tournament of the 2015 Season.

I would like to thank all participants for making this a very successful tournament. In particular I wish to thank CJ Uttley who volunteered to act as a player substitute at very short notice. Without her participation, the tournament schedule would have suffered considerably. Thanks very much CJ!

The Tournament Report (Part 2) will follow within the next two weeks after the 72 matches have been transcribed, analysed, checked and moderated, in accordance with BMAB requirements, and then new gradings and re-gradings agreed and entered into the BMAB statistics database together with overall aggregate PR scores. Moreover, at this stage the PR Prize winners and runners-up will be known and reported.



...

Date: 10 December 2015

BACKGAMMON MASTERS SERIES (US) RANKING TOURNAMENT #1: LIST OF PLAYERS

A year after the first ever BMS tournament held in Austria the first ever BMS (US) tournament will take place in Glenview, IL on 13 December. This tournament is kindly sponsored by Phil Simborg, whose donation will be used to provide trophies, and added prize-money in the PR side-pools.

The format of the tournament is truncated round-robin where each player plays four rounds of 9 point matches. All matches will be played with game clocks, which will be set with 18 minutes bank time and 12 seconds delay for each match. Several matches will be streamed. Look for announcements on Stick's Forums

16 players participating in this event are:
Dmitriy Obukhov
David Presser
Allen Tish
Steve Blanchard
Herb Roman
John O`Hagan
Tim Mabee
Neil Kazaross
Keene Marin
Jack Edelson
Greg Merriman
Phil Simborg
Craig Anderson
Shlomo Karbal
David Hanold
Amy Trudeau



...

Date: 20 November 2015

BACKGAMMON MASTERS SERIES (DK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #1: XG MASTERS 2015, COPENHAGEN, 2 APRIL - 18 OCTOBER 2015 TOURNAMENT REPORT

The annual XG Masters tournament is a splendid and prestigious event, which has run very successfully for several years, due both to the excellent organisational and directional skills of Jan Jefta Larsen, and the enthusiasm and high skill level of the participants. The format comprises three stages: Preliminary groups from which the top performing players qualify to second stage groups, from which the top performing players qualify for the Final playoffs. Generally, the matches are to 17 points and players earn points from (1) winning, (2) having superior PR, and (3) having superior MWC Cost. All matches are clocked, recorded live and typically played out over a six month period with over 30 participants.

The XG Masters tournament this year was fully endorsed as a BMAB ranking tournament by mutual agreement with the XG Masters Organisers. The format is perfect for BMAB ranking purposes as all players will generally achieve 68 experience points, sufficient to obtain full grades. Moreover, First stage qualifiers and second stage qualifiers will typically achieve experience points of over 100 and over 150, respectively, allowing possible access to the higher grades.

In the XG Masters event this year there were 33 participants who together played 99 matches all of which were recorded and transcribed. After more than six months of play, Thomas Myhr and Steen Grønbech qualified for the final, where Thomas was the eventual winner and Steen the runner-up.

The matches from the tournament have since been analysed in detail by BMAB with the results in terms of overall average PR and Grading achieved being incorporated into the statistics database. The results from this tournament are shown in detail in the pdf file. The most notable PR results are listed below:

Steen Grønbech 3.11
Thomas Myhr 3.64
Freddie Noer 3.71
Thomas Kristensen 3.91
Michael Larsen 4.13
Karsten Bredahl 4.14

Steen with his fantastic score of 3.11 over 139 experience points takes his aggregate BMAB PR score to 3.44, using the Rolling 300 EP average PR, and achieves the prestigious title of Grandmaster (Class 2) joining Thomas Kristensen as the top ranked European players. Both Thomas Myhr and Michael Larsen, narrowly missed obtaining Grandmaster (Class 3) titles with 300 EP rolling average PRs of 4.06 and 4.01 respectively, bit this could change easily change in future applications.

Twenty-six of the participants of the tournament enter the lists of BMAB for the first time. The most notable performances from the newcomers were:

Master (Class 1) titles: Mads Peter Andersen, Jess Danielsen and Michael Weile
Master (Class 2) titles: Peter Michael Bosse
Master (Class 3) titles: Simon Coban, Thomas Fuglheim and Clement Lessél

Provisional Master (Class 3) grades: Morten Hessner, Steffen Lundstrøm, Jens Christian Pedersen, Klaus Switon and Kim Vestergaard.

Congratulations to all participants and especially to the organisers for making this a very successful tournament with superlative performances in skill, determination and enthusiasm, Bravo!

XG Masters



...

Date: 8 November 2015

TOURNAMENT REPORT: BACKGAMMON MASTERS SERIES (UK) RANKING TOURNAMENT #5 CASTLE DONINGTON, 24-25 OCTOBER 2015

As previously reported on the UKBGF facebook page, eighteen players participated in the fifth Backgammon Masters Series (UK) Ranking tournaments held this year and kindly sponsored by Paul Plumptre. This was the first BMS tournament for six of the players – Michel Lamote from Belgium, Brendan Burgess from Ireland, and David Brown, Yan Kit Chan, Tim Line and Anna Price from the UK.

The tournament and its 54 matches ran very smoothly in the very pleasant playing environment provided by the conference rooms of the East Midlands Holiday Inn Hotel.

The winner, with a clean sheet of six wins, was Dale Taylor. Tim Cross and Sebastian Wilkinson both finished on five wins and Tim won the tie-breaker to take second place. Certificates were presented to Dale and Tim. Julian Fetterlein was also presented with a certificate for achieving the astonishing average PR of 3.01 over his six matches at the August BMS event. The full round-by round scores are shown in the attached Leaderboard.

In the two weeks since the tournament, the match recordings from the tournament have been transcribed, analysed in detail and moderated, by a very efficient and dedicated team including Michael Roumeliotis, Jon Barnes, Julian Fetterlein, Sebastian Wilkinson, Alastair Woods, Michel Lamote, Bernhard Mayr, Dmitriy Obukhov and Mark Adkins. Unfortunately one of the 54 matches could not be transcribed due to a technical mishap. However, this was not critical to the PR results.

Amazingly, Julian Fetterlein and Sebastian Wilkinson both achieved the best PR score of 4.25, to share the PR-Prize for the tournament. With these results Julian inches every closer to being awarded the title of Grandmaster, and Sebastian achieves the title of Master (Class 1). Tim Cross, the appointed Captain of the UKBGF National Live and Online Teams also achieved an excellent PR of 4.44, which improves his aggregate PR score to 4.87, moving closer to the Master (Class 1) level.

Other notable performances included those by Paul Plumptre and Alastair Woods, who both made very significant improvements to their aggregate PRs. Paul achieves an upgrade to Advanced (Class 1) bordering on the Master class grades, and Alastair achieved a provisional Master (Class 2) grading. Mark Dixon and Ian Hesketh also achieved upgrades to Advanced (Class 2) and Advanced (Class 3) respectively. The full results are shown in the attached Tournament PR and Grading Report. Congratulations to the exemplary achievers and to all participants for helping to create an environment where quality can thrive.

In an exciting finale to the tournament, Brendan Burgess won the "Predict My PR Handicap Stakes" by at least eight lengths, subject to an ongoing Stewards Enquiry.

T0011: PR and Grading Report BMS (UK) Ranking Tournament #5 LeaderBoard



...

Date: 8 October 2015

Grandmaster Titles Awarded to Four Top American Players

4 US GMs

In the last couple of weeks Grandmaster titles have been awarded to American players Victor Ashkenazi, Neil Kazaross, Steve Sax and Marty Storer. These titles were all earned by virtue of superb performances on the American Backgammon Tour (ABT) this year. Victor, Neil, Steve and Marty join four other Americans who have already been awarded this prestigious title: Matt Cohn-Geier, Petko Kostadinov, Dmitriy Obukhov and Paul Weaver. USA top the table with 8 Grandmasters followed by Denmark and Japan, with 4 Grandmasters each.



...

Date: 22 September 2015

TOURNAMENT REPORT: BMS (CZ) Ranking Tournament #1, Prague, Czech Republic, 12-13 August 2015

Eight players participated in the first Backgammon Masters Series Tournament held in the Czech Republic, which was promoted, organised and directed by Honza Èerný who also played in the tournament. Five Czech players were joined by two Belgian Players (Michel Lamote and Walter Meuwis) and the WBA International Tournament Director, Chiva Tafazzoli, who "came to play with his friends in beautiful Prague".

Besides the main event, a full round-robin tournament of 7 rounds of 11 point matches, the players managed to fit in a number of side events including warm-up, speedgammon and chouette tournaments. The results of the main event were as follows:
1. Michel Lamote 5
2. Zdenìk Žižka 5
3. Chiva Tafazzoli 4
4. Pavel Zaoral 4
5. Tomáš Kosièka 3
6. Honza Èerný 3
7. Eva Žižková 3
8. Walter Meuwis 1
Congratulations to Michel and Zdenek for performing so well in a very tough field.

These two players also had the best PR’s of the tournament, with Zdenìk achieving an amazing 3.53 and Michel an excellent 4.57. Zdenìk has achieved the best tournament PR at both the BMAB tournaments he has attended and is proving himself to be a star player, one to watch out for in the near future. The full PR results of the PR Tournament are given below:
Honza Cerny 6.08
Pavel Zaoral 7.58
Zdenek Zizka 3.53
Eva Zizkova 6.44
Tomas Kosicka 12.71
Michel Lamote 4.57
Chiva Tafazolli 6.76
Walter Meuwis 6.17

Four of the players who had previous BMAB rankings now have recalculated average PRs as follows:
Honza Cerny 5.53
Pavel Zaoral 7.60
Zdenek Zizka 4.07
Eva Zizkova 6.26

Honza and Pavel maintain their grades of Master (Class 3) and Advanced (Class 2) though both are very close to the boundary of the next level up. Congratulations to Eva and Zdenek, mother and son, who both achieve upgraded titles, to Master (Class 3) and Master (Class 1). Zdenek is now very close to achieving a Grandmaster title.

Of the new players, Michel achieves the title of Master (Class 2) with a provisional title of Master (Class 1) which he is expected to achieve after the next tournament or individual application if he maintains a similar standard of play. Walter and Chiva achieve the proficiency level of A1E, with Walter also achieving a provisional title of Master (Class 3).

Congratulations to all the participants for making this tournament a great success! The transcription, 2-stage analysis and reporting were completed in less than a week - many thanks to all participants in the chain.

Eva, Honza, Pavel and Zdenek subsequently represented the Czech Republic, and Michel and Walter represented Belgium (amongst others), at the EuBGF National Team Championship recently held in Budapest.



...

Date: 07 September 2015

PR RESULTS AND GRADINGS REPORT: BMS (IR) Ranking Tournament #2, Tehran, Iran, August 2015

Like the first BMS (IR) tournament held in May this tournament was very successfully promoted and directed by Amir Eshraghi, the BMS (IR) Director who also participated in the tournament, despite the additional burden of being technical and tournament director for a larger field of 11 players. The transcribed match-files have now been analysed with results summarised below.

Tournament PR Results:
Masoud Aghdam 8.72
Roohollah Amiri Andy 6.05
Amir Eshraghi 4.05
Jalil Khalili 6.82
Saeed Mousavi 7.38
Houshidar Ildari 6.72
Kamyar Karimi 4.25
Mohammadreza Moeinfar 7.75
Amir Mojtabavi 9.24
Salar Rassoolzadeh 7.36
Hamidreza Shahrokhi 13.34

Congratulations to Amir and Kamyar for achieving playing levels close to Grandmaster standard.

The following four players played at the first tournament thus achieving 132 experience points. Their overall average PRs are summarized as follows:
Masoud Aghdam 10.21
Roohollah Amiri Andy 5.12
Amir Eshraghi 4.22
Jalil Khalili 6.18

Amir and Jalil both achieve upgraded titles, of Master (Class 1) and Master (Class 3) respectively. Masoud and Roohollah maintain the titles and proficiency levels obtained at the first BMS (IR) tournament. The players new to BMS (IR), where this was their first tournament, achieved the following titles and proficiency levels:
Saeed Mousavi A1E
Houshidar Ildari A1E
Kamyar Karimi M2 (M1 provisional)
Mohammadreza Moeinfar A2
Amir Mojtabavi A3
Salar Rassoolzadeh A1
Hamidreza Shahrokhi I2
These grading are life-long but may be improved with sustained high performance.

Kamyar achieves his Master (Class 2) title through "fast-track". If he should maintain this playing level he will achieve an Master (Class 1) title after playing a second BMAB tournament or after obtaining 100 experience points.



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Date: 07 September 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Grandmastership Title awarded to Bernhard Kaiser (Germany)

We have great pleasure in announcing the award of the title of Grandmaster (Class 3) to Bernhard Kaiser. Bernhard is the second German player to achieve this prestigious title after Frank Simon had achieved this level earlier this year. Both Bernhard and Frank are also German Grandmasters through the CBiD awarding body. They are Doppel-Grossmeisters of Backgammon!

Bernhard earned his title by achieving an average PR of 3.96 from over 100 experience points from matches played in Germany over the last 12 month, in compliance with the requirements of CBiD, the German Awarding Body. Congratulations to Bernhard for displaying such high standard of play and for achieving the title of Grandmaster.



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