We are delighted to confirm that #1 Giant of Backgammon Masayuki “Mochy” Mochizuki will be presenting his Backgammon Proficiency Test starting at 6pm on Friday 19th September – the first day of the UK Open Championship, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. This test will follow the UK v Japan Team Challenge, in which our home team of Lawrence Powell, Julian Fetterlein and Raj Jansari will do battle against the Japanese Giants: Akiko Yazawa (current World Backgammon Champion), Michy (World #2) and Mochy himself. The full weekend schedule for the UK Open can be found here.
At around 2pm on Friday 19th the UK v Japan Team challenge will commence. Of course, depending on the result of a referendum which is being held a day earlier in Scotland, this event may have to be re-named!
The provisional format of the Team Challenge comprises two stages. The first stage is a series of nine 3 point singles matches, in which each team member plays every member of the opposing team. The second stage will be a longer (probably 9 point), fully consulting, match between the two teams. The better-performing team in the singles matches will receive a head-start in the consulting match equal to their singles win differential. So, for example, if Team Japan finishes 5-4 ahead in singles matches, they will receive a 1 point start in the consulting match. Please note that this format may be subject to change. The Team Challenge will finish before 6pm.
The Proficiency Test will follow the Team Challenge and will take one hour (6pm-7pm). An in-depth seminar reviewing all the answers to this test will follow on Sunday morning, 21st September at 9.45am. This is a very enjoyable challenge for all players from Intermediate level upwards; not just super-strong world class players. Everyone who is able to get to the Ricoh Arena by 6pm on Friday 19th is strongly encouraged to participate. The cost of taking the test, including grading, individual results certificate, and seminar, is £15. A further explanatory booklet will be available on the Sunday for anyone who wishes to study the answers further, or who is unable to attend the seminar. You may come along to take the test even if you are not playing in the UK Open. If you do plan to participate it would be helpful if you could email email@example.com so that we can get an idea of numbers.
Over the past year, 140 players have taken the Proficiency Test, which has been presented at major tournaments all over the world, including the Nordic Open in Copenhagen, and the Texas Backgammon Championships in San Antonio. This latest (4th) version, which was taken by some players at last month’s World Championships in Monte Carlo, was devised by Mochy and Michy and contains 50 high quality and well-balanced questions in multiple choice format.
Current rankings for the 4th (and previous) tests are here: http://blog.backgammonexam.com/en/score/#4
Please also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to play in the UK Open and have not already registered. If you do not contact us first, we cannot guarantee a place in the tournament, particularly in the Intermediate Flight which may be closed at 64 players. Just taking a chance and turning up on the Saturday morning is very dangerous. Please remember that you need to be present in the Legends Lounge, with all fees paid, by 10am on Saturday 20th September in order to be entered in the draw.