Along with much else in 2020, the backgammon world was turned upside down because of COVID-19.
The first lockdown towards the end of March 2020 put an end to almost all live play for the rest of the year so very few results were entered between April and December 2020. As a result, the live ratings have stagnated for the last nine months. As more time passes without results being entered, its usefulness as a measure of current relative skill levels of players will continue to diminish. Nevertheless at the start of 2021 it is still the best measure we have and we are therefore again publishing a snapshot of the Top 100 members from the live ratings site for 2020 here.
In response to the shift to online play during 2020, a separate UKBGF Online Ratings site (screen shot above), mirroring the live ratings site, was set up by UKBGF Board member Tony Lezard. Results are constantly being fed into the new online site, but it is of limited value until it contains many more results. The new UKBGF Online League will provide a big boost to the total number of results recorded, and if you are involved in organising online tournaments you can also contribute to the online ratings. If you would like to submit results please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Over time the online list will mature and become more meaningful; however right now we have two ratings lists, neither of which is a particularly accurate guide but for different reasons.
We are therefore publishing both Members’ Top 100 lists this year….the online one for the first time, with the following ‘health warning’: Don’t read too much into the online player rankings at this early stage before they have approached any degree of stability. During the first 400 experience points (EP) accumulated by a player, movement up or down (as matches are won or lost) is much more volatile than it is subsequently. At the end of 2020, only 27 members had accumulated 400 or more online EP, and even this figure is regarded by many as far from sufficient to be considered meaningful.
Top 100 – Live
The top 5 positions were unchanged from 2019….except for Chris Bray who replaced Brian Lever in the #4 spot. Twenty new names broke into the list, but in many cases these were players already ranked quite highly who decided to join the UKBGF during the year. With barely three months of live play possible, the number of players exceeding 10,000 EP remained the same as last year (seven) and only one broke through the 15,000 barrier…yes, Tariq Siddiqi! This figure was not exceeded by much, certainly not the thousands that Julia was expecting to see on this date last year “if the most prolific players keep it up”! Sadly that turned out to be impossible.
The cut-off rating for the top 100 continues its inexorable upward movement in spite of the short playing window, from 1637 last year to 1651 now.
Top 100 – Online
As mentioned above, these rankings should be treated with extreme caution at this very early stage. Many of those listed have fewer than 100 EP, only twenty-seven have more than 400, and a mere five have accumulated more than 1000.
Check to see if you’ve made the cut in one or both lists here.