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About BMAB

The Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB) confers mastership titles and proficiency level certificates based on calculated error rate (the Performance Rating (PR), according to eXtreme Gammon) in live clocked matches in tournament conditions.

A fundamental goal of BMAB is to promote backgammon as a leading international mind-sport.

The BMAB Executive Board was established in 2014, and the first pilot tournament successfully organised and completed in Austria. Many nations subsequently started running BMAB tournaments, and many players have made "Indivdual Applications" for BMAB titles.

BMAB receives videos and transcribed matches from the various affiliated tournament organisers, then analyses, checks and moderates where necessary. The results are published for all participating players. Result data includes average PR, average win rate, and Elo rating. Using published criteria, mastership titles are awarded and proficiency levels certified where appropriate.

These lifetime awards are reported both by inclusion in the published results and within the content of periodic newsletters, and in databases of partner organisations such as WBGF and WBIF.

The newsletters also contain reports from completed tournaments and details of forthcoming tournaments (also covered in an events calendar in cooperation with WBGF).

Individual applicants have to be able to demonstrate that matches forming their submission are pre-designated and played in accordance with the specific requirements/rules of BMAB.

In its role as moderator and coordinator, BMAB will also provide:

  • a resources library, containing starter packs, resource packs, tournament rules, match recording guidelines, etc.
  • hardware: One suitcase project – together with WBGF.

Recorded information from BMAB tournaments or from individual applications will become public domain, whilst respecting the rights of opponents actively requiring anonymity (if allowed by Rules).

BMAB Tournament Formats

Tournament Organisers may choose to adopt a range of different formats, however formats that guarantee a minimum number of matches for each participating player are generally preferable. Swiss and round robin type formats are often advantageous in this regard.

Typically, tournaments will cater for between 6 and 20 participants each playing 5 to 10 matches.

One simple format involving minimal administrative effort for the Tournament Director (TD) is the truncated round robin format. Using this format for say 16 players and 10 rounds, the standard play sequence for a 15 round all-play-all round robin is used as a framework, but the last 5 of the 15 rounds are omitted with the player positions drawn randomly. (Minimum 7 point matches.)

All matches must be clocked in accordance with both BMAB and National Federation requirements. All matches played in the tournament are included in the submission to BMAB (there is no cherry picking or opting out in the middle of a tournament).

Clock settings are minimum 1:30 per point and 12 sec delay; standard is 2:00 per point and 12 sec delay.

BMAB Tournament Match Analysis and Award of Mastership Titles and Proficiency Levels

On receipt of all the match transcriptions and video recordings from a tournament, together with an authentication statement from the Tournament Director, BMAB will carry out a first stage double analysis of the match files using the current version of eXtreme Gammon (XG) using the following settings: Standard World Class Analysis but with “Gigantic” search interval, 15x8 bearoff database, with resignation errors counting. We analyse each match at least twice and use the match file with the lowest overall PR.

The second stage involves checking videos and transcription in detail of all or selected matches

BMAB Mastership Titles and Proficiency Levels Grading Structure


  1. All matches must be live, clocked and pre-designated.
  2. Matches only count for EP/PR purposes for current BMAB members at a BMAB tournament or in an Individual Application
  3. Matches must be at least 7 points in length
  4. EP = Experience Points = sum of match lengths played (e.g., an 11 point match = 11 EP).
  5. PR is the average PR of the most recent matches until 300 EP is reached. If fewer than 300 EP have been accumulated, the whole match history is used
  6. Once a title has been achieved, it is never lost

Measuring Average PR for Grading Purposes

The maximum requirement for experience for any grade is 300 Experience Points. Before a player reaches 300 EP, the average PR considers the total experience points played. Once 300 EP has been reached, the average PR is taken from the most recent matches with a total of 300 EP. A match on the boundary of 300 EP is counted in its entirety.

Treatment of Inactive Players

Where a player has not played BMAB rated matches within any rolling 18 month period they will be deemed to be inactive. Inactive players will be removed from the PR and Grading Table. Any titles or awards they achieved will be retained.

Should inactive players decide to resume playing BMAB rated matches, either through BMAB tournaments or Individual Applications, they will start with previously earned Experience Points and PR.

Due to COVID disruption, the inactivity threshold date will be held at 2018-08-01 until the end of 2022.

BMAB Tournament Match Recording and Transcription

BMAB Tournament Organisers are responsible for providing video recording equipment and for recording the matches. Generally, the participants are responsible for the transcription of half the number of matches played (their "fair share").

Participants are expected to complete the transcription work, or arrange for a third party to compete on their behalf, within 7 days from the end of the tournament.

The following information must be included in each file (under Game – Game Information menu option)

  1. Player's forename and surname
  2. Location
  3. Event
  4. Round
  5. Date and approximate time the match was played (not of transcription!)

The TD will coordinate match transcription work, so as to ensure full coverage and avoid unnecessary duplication. Once the TD has collected and vetted all the match transcriptions, they should be sent to BMAB together with a statement confirming that the tournament matches, match recordings, and transcriptions conformed to BMAB rules and guidelines.

How to Submit your Matches to BMAB – Individual Applications

Individuals may record, transcribe, and submit their own tournament matches through the Individual Application process. It costs €50 for one year, or €30 for 150 Experience Points (7pt match = 7 experience points). Qualifying matches will be at random-draw tournaments, using clocks, match length 7 or longer. Participation in an official BMAB tournament cannot be used for an individual application.

You may send your request to register to Bernard Mayr and/or Dmitriy Obukhov.

Include the following in that draft:

  • Name
  • Country
  • Tournament and Events for your first submission

Once you are registered and paid with BMAB, you must ALWAYS notify BMAB in advance of tournaments and events you intend to record and submit. All of your “declared” matches will count, and you will be expected to submit videos and transcriptions for all matches within 2 weeks. Request an extension if more time is needed. You may not decide AFTER the tournament to submit matches that weren’t declared. You also MUST submit any matches that you did declare - you may not change your mind later. This is all to ensure fairness of submissions and prevent “cherry picking” of matches.

BMAB will generally verify your submissions against publicly available results postings. Videos should be made publicly available for verification of play and transcription. Videos should be unedited, and available to the public for as long as they’re part of your most recent 300 Experience Points. If you have tech issues with your recording, you may still capture partial matches. Do your best to note it directly in the video - speak to the camera, or write on a note what occurred. Also, let BMAB know in writing as soon as possible about any issues that occurred.

If you wish to submit for a smaller tournament, such as a local club tournament, this will often be allowed - but be sure to check the details of the tournament with BMAB first. Send tournament details with your declaration, such as match length, number of players, draw style, whether or not clocks are being used, and where results will be reported.

BMAB takes the integrity of submissions and ratings very seriously! It’s extremely important you follow all of these rules very closely. Repeated issues with recordings, transcriptions, or declarations may result in your loss of the privilege to continue to submit individual applications in the future.

This Site

This website is written and maintained by Tony Lezard. Matches are analysed and uploaded by Dmitriy Obukhov and Bernhard Mayr.