11th Proficiency Test – Round 2 @ 42nd Chicago Open

On May 3rd, the new season of the Backgammon Proficiency Test began, and just three weeks later, on May 24th, the second round of the 11th Backgammon Proficiency Test took place at the 42nd Chicago Open.

The Chicago Open is a major event that attracts many backgammon enthusiasts every year, and the Backgammon Proficiency Test draws significant attention as well. Since the 4th Proficiency Test in 2014, the Chicago Open has hosted every Proficiency Test, making it the most frequently held event in the United States. This year saw a record 42 participants, including 8 women.

The test is based on situations commonly encountered in actual backgammon matches. Many of the problems challenge players’ strategic thinking and quick decision-making, which is why many players take on this test each year to measure their skills.

The highest score in this round was achieved by Gerry Tansey, who is also listed among the Backgammon Giants. He has now topped the Proficiency Test at the Chicago Open for three consecutive times.

The scores of all participants are as follows:

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 39 1367 Gerry Tansey USA
2 37 2099 (Anonymous) USA
3 35 1783 Chuck Bower USA
3 35 2057 Frank Frigo USA
5 33 2173 David Klausa USA
5 33 2429 Frank Talbot USA
7 32 2236 Art Benjamin USA
8 30 2418 Craig Anderson USA
8 30 2789 Steve Hairgrove USA
10 28 2595 Richard Munitz USA
11 26 2944 Paul Swain USA
12 25 3133 Bill Lonergan USA
13 24 3325 Richard Stubbe USA
13 24 3368 David Habib FranceCanada
15 23 3011 Jimmy DeRosier USA
15 23 3249 A. M. USA
15 23 3698 J. H USA
15 23 3942 Karen Davis USA
19 21 3400 A. S. USA
19 21 4211 Roberto Gaui Brazil
19 21 4644 Amelia Pascar USA
22 20 3367 Allen Tish USA
22 20 4135 Clinton Laird USA
22 20 4455 Kratz Robert USA
25 19 4093 David Himebaugh USA
25 19 4485 D. S. USA
25 19 4488 John Stryker USA
28 17 3873 (Anonymous) USA
28 17 4340 Jeremy Ly USA
28 17 4839 Greg Merriman USA
28 17 4911 Hakki Baltaci Turkey
32 16 4146 Brett Hemes USA
32 16 4385 George Kourdahi
32 16 5707 Carol Joy Cole USA
32 16 5735 Hannah DeRosier USA
36 15 4343 (Anonymous) USA
37 14 5223 I. M. USA
38 12 4670 (Anonymous) Greece
38 12 6008 Terese Flynn USA
40 11 5608 (Anonymous) Canada
40 11 5833 A. J. USA
42 10 6073 A. P. USA
Total 19 Ave. 24.5 Ave. 3289

Two days after the test, a review session was conducted by professional player Michihito “Michy” Kageyama. The session featured lively discussions among the participants and served as an excellent opportunity to deepen their understanding of backgammon, a sentiment shared by many attendees.

The Backgammon Proficiency Test has become an annual highlight at the Chicago Open, drawing considerable attention each year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rory Pascar, the tournament organizer, Michy for his oversight and management on-site, and all the participants in Chicago.

For a list of the current scores of all participants, please check here. We look forward to seeing many of you participate in the next round.

11th Proficiency Test – Round 1 @ Backgammon Festival 2024

The Backgammon Proficiency Test, which started in 2011, celebrates its 13th anniversary at this year’s Backgammon Festival. This marks the 11th edition, with three postponements over the years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and scheduling issues.

This time, to further enhance the excitement of the Backgammon Proficiency Test, an anonymous sponsor has offered to select one top-performing candidate as the “Backgammon Proficiency Test Ambassador.” The chosen ambassador will receive ¥100,000 to participate in an international backgammon tournament. A challenging criterion was set for selection: a minimum of 40 correct answers out of 50 questions. This requirement added an extra layer of tension to the examination atmosphere.

Among the candidates this round were Kiyokazu Nishikawa, Daisuke Katagami, and Kengo Nakasuka, who were also the top three Japanese participants in the 10th test.

After the test, Mr. Katagami remarked, “Scoring 40 this time would really be something.” The highest score was achieved by Mr. Nishikawa, who, despite this, requested that if anyone else scored over 40, they should be considered first for the ambassador role. Consequently, Mr. Nakasuka, who scored 40, was chosen as the ambassador. Congratulations!

During the awards ceremony, Mr. Nishikawa’s statement was read on his behalf as he was unable to attend: “After learning that Mr. Nakasuka scored 40, we spoke, and personally, I’m very pleased. Players who are actively shaping the future of backgammon are most fitting as ambassadors. Mr. Nakasuka is an excellent choice, truly deserving of this role.”

Responding to this, Mr. Nakasuka said, “Hearing Mr. Nishikawa speak so highly of me and knowing the sponsorship behind my participation, I am committed to preparing well and achieving good results. Thank you.” He added, “Knowing he scored 45, I’m reminded once again what an incredible player Mr. Nishikawa is.”

This round saw 19 participants with an average score of 24.5 and an average total error of 3,289. Here are the results of the first round of the 11th Backgammon Certification.

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 45 685 Kiyokazu Nishikawa Japan
2 40 963 Kengo Nakasuka Japan
3 38 1511 Daisuke Katagami Japan
4 34 1780 Yukihiro Ninomiya Japan
5 26 2682 Kensaku Okatani Japan
6 25 3465 H. G. Japan
7 24 3865 Toshiya Yatagawa Japan
8 23 3171 Junko Nakamura Japan
8 23 3356 Ryo Matsuura Japan
8 23 3613 Satoshi Ozaki Japan
11 22 3237 Naoki Chiba Japan
11 22 3534 Kouki Miyaji Japan
13 19 4079 Hiroyuki Kawakami Japan
13 19 4359 Ryota Asano Japan
15 17 3729 Raito Hongo Japan
15 17 4255 Kazunori Miyata Japan
15 17 4713 M. F. Japan
15 17 5312 Riho Hosokawa Japan
19 15 4176 Taro Ogura Japan
Total 19 Ave. 24.5 Ave. 3289

As always, it’s important to remember that the Backgammon Proficiency Test isn’t just about scores. The quality of the question set and the expert commentary from world-class professionals are what make this certification stand out. Rather than fretting over scores, we hope participants will use this opportunity to reassess and strengthen their skills.

The Backgammon Proficiency Test is now in its 14th year. Up until the 10th edition, the total number of participants was 1,296, but now we have surpassed 1,300. The ongoing support from all of you has made this possible, and we extend our gratitude to everyone who has participated.

This year, we plan to continue hosting the Backgammon Certification around the world. Stay tuned for updates on our blog and social media. The second round is scheduled to take place at the Chicago Open 2024.

10th Proficiency Test – Round 7 @ 41st Chicago Open

On Friday evening, May 26th, the third day of the 41st Chicago Open Backgammon Tournament & WBGF Club World Championship, Michihito “Michy” Kageyama conducted the 10th Backgammon Proficiency Test. He also gave a lecture about the test to the participants on Sunday.

The Chicago Open has held this test six times in the past, and they have all been well received. This year’s event was again very well received with 27 participants. More than half of the participants were repeaters. This time we also had a 10-year-old girl participate. We are committed to the education of young backgammon players and decided to let her take the test for free to support her studies.

After scoring, Gerry Tansey came out on top with 38 correct answers (out of 50). He described our test as “Very thorough and fair test of backgammon skills, as always. All problems are “real” backgammon situations and decisions. To the extent that the test is difficult, it is because backgammon itself is challenging. Thank you for producing such a high quality product, every player who wants to measure and improve their game must try this test”.

Scores for all participants are as follows:

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 38 1348 Gerry Tansey USA
2 35 1590 Ary Nogueira Brazil
3 34 1578 Kit Woolsey USA
4 33 1803 Bill Lonergan USA
5 32 2214 Joseph Sheppard UK
5 32 2531 Craig Anderson USA
7 31 1880 Frank Talbot USA
8 30 1648 Allen Tish USA
8 30 2519 Ken Bame USA
10 28 2428 Fredrik Carlsson Sweden
11 27 2390 Gree Lilley USA
12 26 3613 Marc Emrich USA
13 25 3262 (Anonymous) USA
14 24 3214 John Stryker USA
15 22 3331 Richard Stubbe USA
15 22 3423 Jim Zinkhon USA
15 22 3627 Carol Joy Cole USA
15 22 3684 Julius High USA
19 21 3195 J. D. USA
20 20 3550 V. E. USA
21 19 3761 Daniel Vargas USA
22 18 3556 N. A. USA
22 18 4136 Donna Lafferty USA
24 16 4158 Jeb Horton USA
25 15 5083 K. A. USA
26 14 4497 Eric Wazner USA
27 11 4404 H. D. USA
Total 27 Ave. 24.6 Ave. 3053

The overall scores for the 10th test at this time can be found here.

10th Proficiency Test – Round 6 @ LAS Vegas Open

The Las Vegas Open was held from November 14 to 20, and the 10th Backgammon Proficiency Test was conducted on the morning of November 18. This is the second time in 11 years since the first test was held here.

Giant #1 Masayuki Mochizuki, a.k.a. Mochy, administered the test and 9 players took it, joined by Giants #14 Steve Sax. The following day, Steve gave a lecture on reviewing for the test takers.

The results for the 10 participants are as follows. As expected, Steve Sax did very well. His score puts him in second place overall at this time. Overall scores can be found here.

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 41 679 Steve Sax USA
2 28 3292 D. K. USA
3 22 3442 Julius High USA
4 20 3353 Mark Danburg-Wyld USA
5 19 4671 J. G. R. Canada
5 19 5000 B. O.
7 16 5342 John Banks USA
8 14 4576 Marianne Bowen
9 13 4886 L. L. USA
9 13 5073 Al Piran Canada
Total 10 Ave. 20.5 Ave. 4031

Thanks to everyone who took the test in Las Vegas, and thanks to Steve for the lecture. We are very happy to announce that the total number of participants for the 10th test exceeded 100. Thanks to all of you for your support!

(日本語) 第10回バックギャモン検定 – ラウンド5 @ 王位戦2022

長雨とともに季節先取りの寒さが到来した10月ですが、バックギャモン王位戦 の初日を迎えるとそれまでとは一転、気持ちの良い秋晴れとなりました。今年の王位戦の会場となった住友不動産大崎ガーデンタワー11Fのサミー株式会社での開催は今回が初めてです。

そして今年の王位戦は、8日10時の「バックギャモン検定」からスタートしました。受検用の部屋はとても広くてきれいな会場を用意していただきました。

参加者は、会場での受検が2名、オンライン受検が3名で合計5名となりました。

結果は、西川清一さんが40点で現時点での暫定2位、片上大輔さんが38点で暫定4位となる好成績を収めました。そして片上さんは今回の王位戦で優勝し、連覇を達成しました。おめでとうございます!

受検者5名の結果は次の通りです。

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 40 1035 Kiyokazu Nishikawa Japan
2 38 1232 Daisuke Katagami Japan
3 26 3146 Y. U. Japan
4 25 2507 Satoshi Ozaki Japan
5 18 4285 Y. Y. Japan
Total 5 Ave. 29.4 Ave. 2441

現時点での全体のスコア一覧は こちら から確認することができます。

会場から新幹線が見下ろせる素敵なロケーションでおこなわれた今回の王位戦ですが、中上級の枠を取り払ったトーナメント、自作ボードの展示企画、バルーンプレゼント、似顔絵コーナーなど、これまでにない新しい試みもたくさんあり、非常に盛り上がった大会ではなかったでしょうか。大会スタッフの皆さま、ありがとうございました。

10th Proficiency Test – Round 3 @ 53rd World Championship

On Friday, July 29, the 10th “Backgammon Proficiency Test” was held for the first time in three years at the 53rd Backgammon World Championship in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Michihito “Michy” Kageyama, who presented an original seminar two days ago that was very well received, ran the test.

Our test is now in its 10th iteration this year, and here in Monte Carlo for the 7th time since 2014 (see 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), while Zdenek Zizka is participating for the 6th time and G.C. for the 7th time! It’s thanks to enthusiastic supporters like them that we have been able to keep it going. We are very grateful 😉

Here, a total of 24 players took up the challenge, including four Giants: John O’Hagan, Zdenek Zizka, Wilcox Snellings, and Marc Olsen (also the organizer of the 53rd BGWC). And all four of the Giants scored very well. In particular, Zdenek and Wilcox both took the time to take the test in spite of their hard schedule, as they were still in the Championship Main at the time. In the end, Zdenek ended up with a runner-up finish in the Championship Main. Congratulations!

The results of all 24 participants are as follows.

Rank Total score Total errors Name
1 42 906 John O’Hagan USA
2 40 806 Wilcox Snellings USACosta Rica
3 38 1247 Zdenek Zizka Czech
4 34 1711 K. H. Germany
5 33 1671 Marc Olsen Denmark
6 31 2847 Stephan Hartmann Germany
7 30 1793 G. C. Italy
7 30 2332 Geert Van der Stricht Belgium
9 27 2232 Johan Huyck Belgium
10 24 4276 M. W. Ireland
11 23 3595 Peter Hallberg Denmark
12 21 3295 Pavlos Hatzinikolaou UK
12 21 4018 Ian Anderson UK
12 21 4290 Ray Lightbourn Bahamas
15 20 3888 Kaspar Basse Denmark
16 19 4315 Anis Samaha Lebanon
17 16 4109 (Anonymous) UK
18 15 3714 Nicole Coleman UK
18 15 4571 (Anonymous) England
20 14 4975 D. V. USA
21 13 4651 Gigi Goyette USA
22 12 4707 George Forsyth UK
23 11 4407 Brenda Rosen UK
24 9 5325 (Anonymous) USA
Total 24 Ave. 23.3 Ave. 3320

If you have never taken our “Backgammon Proficiency Test” and are interested in it, here are the advantages of taking it:
1. you can measure your backgammon skills
2. you can find categories in which you have weaknesses
3. you can understand the key ideas of backgammon by reading the commentaries

In particular, the commentary booklet written by four world-class professional players, Masayuki “Mochy” Mochizuki (Giant #1 2019-2020), Michy (Giant #2), Kazuki Yokota, and Hideaki Ueda (Giant #27), is really worth reading. I believe it is worth the money to know the thoughts of these professionals on positions that come up many times in real games. For more information, please click here. If you have the opportunity to take it in the future, I hope you will.

And for those of you who took the test this time, thank you very much! 😉 It is our pleasure if you enjoyed it. You can see the current results for all participants of the 10th test here.

Finally, we would like to express our great appreciation to Marc Olsen and Arda Fındıkoğlu for their cooperation in advance despite their busy schedules.