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Requirements For Mochy's "Under 4 PR" Club in Japan

Posted By: Paul Weaver
Date: Friday, 27 December 2013, at 6:07 p.m.

I recently sent Mochy an email, asking him if he believes there are forty people on the planet who average under 4.0. Mochy gave me his permission to edit his English and post this email he sent me:

Hi all,

The following six Japanese play with an average PR below 4.0.

Mochy, Michy, Kiyokazu Nishikawa (fairytails on GG), Masanori Itikawa (othello on GG), Yoshiyuki Nakamura (yoshiyuki on GG) and Hironobu Yazawa.

There may also be a few others who can do that, but I am 100% sure the six listed above average under 4.0. So Japan alone has at least six. I am quite confident that there are more than 40 active players (though I don't know the definition of "active") in the world.

By the way, in Japan there is a club called "Under 4" which I created. To become a member, you must meet these requirements:

1) You have to play ten matches (each longer than 7 points). They must be played in public with a clock and recorded. 2) You have to state to Mochy in advance that a given match is one of your ten. You do not get to decide after the match if you want it to count. 3) I recommend that the matches are for money or important matches in a tournament, so that both players are trying seriously. 4) Matches should be analyzed by XG2 world class and stored on your computer.

After your ten matches have been played, Mochy will analyze all of them with XG2, and XG will compute the average PR. If your average in these ten matches is under 4, you become a member of Under 4 club. I post all matches in my blog, including info on opponents and locations. If your average PR is over 4, you must wait at least a month before trying again.

There are now only three members in the Under 4 Club: Mochy, Michy and Yoshiyuki, but many others are currently attempting it now. Of course, there are some who play under 4.0 who hate the idea or just do not want to go through the hassle of attempting it.

I founded this club with two purposes in mind. 1) To give people a goal, encouraging them to improve their game. Winning a tournament or raising your online rating is a good goal but there is way too much luck involved. Playing with a lower PR involves less luck and is easier to try. Many intermediates have asked me to create an "Under 10" club, because this is the first main goal for intermediate players.

2) To know how well various people play. Statistically, ten matches is not a large enough sample to say who plays X PR precisely, but at least we will be in the ballpark. If you play 6 on average, it is almost impossible to average under 4.0 in ten matches. (I think it is less than 1%.)

I also believe that playing under 4 is a minimum requirement to be called a "World Class player". Even if you are super good at adjusting your strategy according to your opponent, to be considered a world class player, you should average under 4.0.

I might extend the Under 4 Club to make it world-wide after I have more members in Japan, if enough people are enthusiastic about Japan. What do you think?

Kind Regards, MOCHY

My response:

Mochy, you are to be commended for the many things you do to promote backgammon, both in Japan and in the rest of the world. I like your idea very much and I hope the USBGF will try to create an "Under 4" Club in the USA. There are many ways to rank backgammon players (Giant-32 List, ABT points, Ken Larsen's plan, USBGF elo system, and others), but I like your plan better than any of the others. Your Under 4 club is objective and fair, with little luck involved. It allows a relatively new player to get instant recognition, if he or she can qualify.

I think the Danes already have a similar system. I hope CMC or another Dane will post the details.

All backgammon players in the USA enthusiastically welcome the Japanese to play in tournaments in our country. We are very happy you will be in New Jersey next month.

Happy New Year!


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