Updated Tuesday, October 6, 2015 8:59

 

The British Isles Backgammon Association are supporting the BMS. For event and entry details please log onto their FaceBook Page or email Rick Janowski on rick.janowski@btinternet.com.

 

 

BMS Group Organisational & Structural Plan 2014

Backgammon Master Series (BMS) Group – Structure of Affiliated Bodies

The group of affiliated bodies will comprise:

  • Independent though affiliated tournament organising bodies, e.g., BMS(AT), BMS(IR), BMS(JP), BMS(UK), etc, who share resources, standard tournament rules and procedures where practical. These bodies promote live tournaments where all matches are clocked, recorded and transcribed, to high standards of transparency to guarantee and demonstrate fairness.
  • A single awarding and moderating body, “Backgammon Masters Awarding Body” (BMAB) which receives videos and transcribed matches from the various affiliated tournament organising bodies, then analyses, checks and moderates where necessary. BMAB will provide results for all participating players, awarding mastership titles and certifying proficiency levels. In addition to the primary role of reporting BMS tournament results, the body will also accept and process individual applications for awards.

The basic organisational structure of the Group is shown in the following schematic diagram:

BMS Tournament Organising Bodies

These independent though affiliated bodies will promote and organise live tournaments where all matches are clocked, recorded by webcam (or other video) and transcribed to standard electronic files. Where practical, the various bodies will share resources (e.g., starter packs and resource packs) and adopt a uniformity of approach to tournament rules and the process for match recording, to ensure both transparency and fairness. Typically, these bodies will operate on a national basis but they should also welcome and encourage foreign visitors to attend their tournaments to promote unity and add interest for the participants. The results from the tournaments, in the form of electronic videos and match files will be sent to the BMAB, together with statements from the Tournament Directors that the documents submitted are complete, honest and transparent records of the tournaments which were undertaken in accordance with the Group’s rules and guidelines.

Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB)

This centralised awarding and moderating body within the Group receives videos and transcribed matches from the various affiliated tournament organising bodies, then analyses, checks and moderates where necessary. The results will be published for all participating players. Results tables will be provided, including average PR, average win-rate, and Elo rating. Using agreed criteria, mastership titles will be awarded and proficiency levels will be certified where appropriate. These awards will be reported both by inclusion in the published results and within the content of periodic newsletters. The newsletters will also contain reports from completed tournaments and details of forthcoming tournaments (also covered in an events calendar). The body will have a committee structure representing both the interests of the participating bodies and the participating players. In addition to the primary role of reporting BMS tournament results, the body will be able to accept individual applications for awards, where applicants are able to demonstrate that matches forming the submission are either pre-designated or continuous and played in accordance with the specific requirements/rules of the body. In its role as moderator and coordinator for the Group, the body will also provide a resources library, containing starter packs, resource packs, tournament rules, match recording guidelines, etc. Recorded information from BMS tournaments or from individual applications will become public domain, whilst respecting the rights of opponents requiring anonymity, in the latter case.

BMS Tournament Formats

BMS Tournament Organising Bodies may choose to adopt a range of different formats. In most cases however, formats which 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 which would involve 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. All matches must be clocked in accordance with both BMAB and National Federation requirements. Ideally, between 20% and 33% of prize money will be assigned to PR-related prizes. 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). Players must pay a minimum entry fee of $50 (or the monetary equivalent as agreed with BMAB). At least 50% of prize-money must be reserved for traditional results related prizes (i.e., non-PR related), however 67-80% is desirable

BMS 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 analysis of the match files using the current version of eXtremeGammon (XG) using the following settings: Standard World Class Analysis but with “Gigantic” search interval, 15 x 8 bearoff database, and resignation errors counting. A report of the analysis results (average PRs and provisional gradings) will be returned to the TD who will then confirm with the participants if they wish the Stage-2 checking to proceed. Players which reach Advanced and Intermediate Level gradings and do not wish Stage 2 analysis to proceed will receive official BMAB letters confirming their proficiency levels.

Stage-2 checking is only strictly required for mastership titles, and involves an independent analysis of the match files, spot or full checking of the video files, occasional full re-transcription of matches, and moderation where the results of the stage one and stage two analyses conflict. Stage 2 ends with the players receiving official BMAB letters of results including confirmation of grading level reached and, where applicable, mastership titles conferred. The following table summarises the masterships titles and proficiency levels grading structure.

BMAB Mastership Titles and Proficiency Levels Grading Structure

Mastership Title

Class

Key

Normal-Route

Fast-Track

PR Target

EP Target

PR Target

EP Target

Super Grandmaster

1

S1

≤ 2.00

≥ 300

 

 

Super Grandmaster

2

S2

≤ 2.25

≥ 300

 

 

Super Grandmaster

3

S3

≤ 2.50

≥ 250

 

 

Grandmaster

1

G1

≤ 3.00

≥ 200

 

 

Grandmaster

2

G2

≤ 3.50

≥ 150

 

 

Grandmaster

3

G3

≤ 4.00

≥ 100

≤ 3.50

≥ 65

Master

1

M1

≤ 4.75

≥ 100

≤ 4.00

≥ 65

Master

2

M2

≤ 5.50

≥ 100

≤ 4.75

≥ 65

Master

3

M3

≤ 6.50

≥ 100

≤ 5.50

≥ 65

 

Proficiency Level

Class

Key

BMS Tournaments

Individual Application

PR Target

EP Target

PR Target

EP Target

Advanced

1 (Expert)

A1E

≤ 7.50

≥ 65

≤ 7.50

≥ 100

Advanced

2

A2

≤ 8.50

≥ 65

≤ 8.50

≥ 100

Advanced

3

A3

≤ 10.0

≥ 65

≤ 10.0

≥ 100

Intermediate

1

I1

≤ 12.0

≥ 65

≤ 12.0

≥ 100

Intermediate

2

I2

≤ 14.0

≥ 65

≤ 14.0

≥ 100

Intermediate

3

I3

≤ 16.0

≥ 65

≤ 16.0

≥ 100

Notes:

1. All matches must be live, clocked and continuous or pre-designated.

2. Match lengths of 7 points and above are acceptable.

3. A submission containing 25% or less 5-point matches is also acceptable (measured in EP).

4. EP = Experience points = sum of match lengths played (e.g., an 11 point match = 11 EP)

5. The Fast-Track option, may be adopted by National BMS Tournament Directors/Promoters

6. The Fast-Track option, where implemented, only applies to player’s first BMS tournaments.

7. EPs within 5% of required target values shall be deemed to have met the requirements.

 

BMS Tournament Match Recording and Transcribing

BMS Tournament Organising Bodies 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). The participants are expected to complete the transcription work, or arrange for a third party to compete on their behalf, within 7 days after the end of the tournament. 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 the Group’s rules and guidelines.

BMAB Committee and Organisational Structure

To ensure the interests of the participating bodies and the participating players are effectively represented there will be a Steering Committee comprising the following members:

  • Members of the Executive Board: President, Vice-Presidents, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Assistant CEOs (any of whom may act as Chair).
  • Representatives from the affiliated tournament organising bodies.
  • The highest ranked players from participating countries.
  • All Grandmasters.
  • Additional co-opted representatives, e.g., representatives from National and Continental Backgammon Federations.

The Committee will periodically vote on major policy issues, including modifications to the mastership titles and proficiency levels grading structure, committee/organisational structure and periodic elections for Executive posts. For minor policy and ruling issues, the Chief Executive Officer will consult with a quorum of three or five active members of the committee.

BMAB Consideration of Individual Applications for Awards

Although the primary role of BMAB is to provide a centralised awarding and moderating body from the various affiliated tournament organising bodies within the Backgammon Master Series Group, individual applications for awards may also be accepted under the following conditions:

  • The matches forming the submission are either continuous or pre-designated.
  • The matches are all clocked and generally played to 7 points or above at advertised tournaments. However submissions containing 25% or less 5-point matches are also acceptable (measured in EP).
  • The applicant must notify (by email) BMAB which matches will apply, and receive confirmation of notice received (by email), before the start of the tournament.
  • The Tournament Director (TD) must also be notified of which matches apply in the submission, by use of a standard pro-forma, before the start of the tournament. On completion of the matches listed on the pro-forma, the TD should sign to confirm that these matches were played against the opponents listed and were recorded. The pro-forma should then be sent to BMAB by scanning and emailing.
  • Completed matches should be transcribed by the applicant or by a third party. Electronic match files and video files should be submitted to BMAB by emailing or uploading.
  • The requirement for first-stage analysis and second stage checking required for BMS tournaments also applies.

 

Current and Forthcoming Developments

BMS Tournament organising bodies in Austria, Iran, Japan and UK {BMS(AT), BMS(IR), BMS(JP) and BMS(UK)}, are planning to stage their first pilot tournaments within the next few weeks. In the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Russia and USA, there is commitment to form similar bodies in the near future.

In December 2014 a consultation panel was formed from 21 leading backgammon players, promoters and organisers from around the world to discuss and agree on fundamental policy for BMAB and the affiliated tournament organising bodies. This panel will form the initial Steering Committee for BMAB, reviewing policy as and when required. During the course of the discussions and voting, the Chair of the panel, Rick Janowski, was elected as Chief Executive Officer, for a period of 2-3 years, before new elections take place. Rick, based in the UK, will be ably assisted by Bernhard Mayr, the Director of EBIF, based in Austria, and Dmitriy Obukhov, USCF Chess Master and Mochy 4.0 Club member, based in the USA. Masayuki Mochizuki accepted the position of President of BMAB, together with Vice-Presidents, Michihito Kageyama, Neil Kazaross and Petko Kostadinov. The President, three Vice-Presidents and three Executive Officers will collectively form the Executive Board of BMAB. Founding Patron, Tim Cross, Joint Director of BMS(UK), helped to kick-start this project whose fundamental aim is to promote Backgammon as a leading international mind-sport.

The BMAB Consultation Panel / Steering Committee comprises:

Peter Bennet   (UK)

Jan Cerny   (Czech Republic)

Tim Cross   (UK)

Sergey Erokhin   (Russia)

Amir Eshraghi   (Iran)

Rick Janowski    (UK)

Michihito Kageyama   (Japan)

Bernard Kaiser   (Germany)

Thanasis Katsios   (Greece)

Giorgos Kleitsas   (Greece)

Petko Kostadinov   (Bulgaria/USA)

Thomas Kristensen   (Denmark)

Kedde  Mathiessen   (Denmark)

Bernhard Mayr   (Austria)

Carlo Melzi   (Italy)

Masayuki Mochizuki   (Japan)

Dmitriy Obhukov    (Latvia/USA)

Rory Pascar   (USA)

Dankwart Plattner   (Germany)

Paul Weaver    (USA)                                             Observer: Matt Cohn-Geir (USA)