The American Backgammon Tour master points have been recalculated for this year’s Chicago Open Memorial Day backgammon tournament in the Open division. Calculations made following the tournament had the winner Bill Davis receiving 14.22 points and the other seven players (tied for 2/3/4/5/6/7/8) receiving 7.11 points each.

ABT initially calculated points based on the following statement at the ABT rules website:

Standardized Point Factors: A 1st place win is always worth exactly double that of a 2nd place win.

So the winner received 2/9 of 64 and the rest of the field received 1/9 of 64.

A seven way tie for second should not have been equated to a second place finish. The stated formula, developed by Gregg Cattanach in 2006, was created for three flight, double elimination, and round robin with playoff formats. In 2006, the “More Swiss” format had yet to be utilized in ABT tourney play.

Pittsburgh director Steve Hast thought that 14.22 points was not enough for the winner of a 64-field tournament. He didn’t want the winner of his upcoming Pittsburgh Labor Day “More Swiss” event to experience a similar fate. So Steve lodged a formal complaint with ABT in accordance with the following rule:

In the event of a dispute on how to award “standardized” points, ABT directors will come together to settle the dispute.

With a two-thirds vote required to modify, 15 out of 16 ABT 2012 season directors concurred that the points were “out of the mainstream” with what is normally paid out for an event of this size. It was agreed that the points must be recalculated. (ABT director Bill Davis recused himself from the vote.)

A new points system for “More Swiss” was needed. After a week of discussion with Richard Munitz, Patrick Gibson, Neil Kazaross, Rory Pascar, Steve Hast, Danny Kleinman, and others, the following method, largely developed by Richard Munitz, has been officially accepted and adapted.


The point factors for up to 8 payouts (in order of finish) are established as:

32, 20, 13, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4

If more payouts factors are needed, they are calculated as 32/N where N is the payout number. Thus the ninth payout would be 32/9, the tenth payout would be 32/10, etc.

This is how the Chicago Open master points were officially recalculated (The final results showed one winner and seven players tied for second place).

With eight places paid, eight point factors are needed: 32, 20, 13, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4

The winner’s factor is 32. Add up the first eight payout factors: (32+20+13+9+7+6+5+4) = 96. Now divide 32 by 96 and multiply the total by the number of players in the tournament to determine the master point award:

(32/96) x 64 players = 21.33 master points

The seven tied players’ factor is determined by adding up factors 2 through 8 and dividing by 7 = (20+13+9+7+6+5+4)/7 = 9.1429. Divide this total by 96 and multiply by the number of players in the tournament:

9.1429/96 x 64 players = 6.10 master points

Therefore the corrected Chicago Open calculation, now posted at the ABT website shows Bill Davis (IL) receiving 21.33 points and Victor Ashkenazi (NJ) / Gary Bauer (NJ) / Steve Brown (MN) / Matt Cohn-Geier (NV) / Alfred Mamlet (MD) / Justin Nunez (CA) / Bill Phipps (NY) all receiving 6.10 points.