Not Enough Hours for Backgammon — and a few other things

I know this blog is suppose to be about Backgammon Boot Camp, but since it is my blog I can take a few liberties I hope.

So here are a couple of things I want to get off my chest.

1.  I am not posting as often as I had planned because I am having trouble finding the time to do it between my other obligations and playing in online tournaments most nights.  I am reading way ahead of where I am posting, which is really not a bad thing since I am really reading Boot Camp twice through.  My initial read I don’t spend as much time studying or working through the positions,  I am mainly trying to catch the main ideas and concepts. Even at this level applying some of these ideas has greatly improved my play!  I actually got an “Advanced”  rating  from gnubg (2-ply) for an entire 7 point match tonight!!  Not that I can to that all the time, but I am seeing “Awful”  a lot less than I was.

2. The other thing is there is almost too much good information. Between the book, online articles, and the excellent forum at (which has some of the best players in the world posting to it)  there is a lot to study. I have been trying to use the other resources to supplement where I am in Trice, but I always seem to be chasing another backgammon rabbit, usually into a hole way deeper than I am ready for.

3.  We have all heard people complain about computer generated dice — or the programs using the dice — cheating. This is almost always invalid. If you understand anything about statistics you know that it is hard to determine anything without really analyzing the data, and even then the answers are often counter intuitive. (For a good example of this answer this question, how many people to you have to have in a group before there is a least a 50/50 chance of two people being born on the same month and day?).  Anyway, the past weekend we found a real problem with online dice at Safe Harbor Games, not that they cheat but that for some yet to be explained reason, they come up doubles about 45% less often than they should. Check out the bgonline forum for details!

4. And finally a bit of a rant — and I know  you could care less but I still want to get it off my chest.   If you are going to complain about your opponents dice — DON’T.  I have a particular person that I have beaten three times in a row recently when we have meet in online tournaments. Each time he  has whined about how good my dice was, even to the point of posting comments in the game room after the match. Now I should not let this get to me, and I will admit that he is probably slightly better than me, but when I am playing really well we are pretty close.  Two of the matches gnubg showed I had a slim edge in checker play, better cube handling, and while a little up on luck not enough to register as good/bad on its good/bad luck scale.  I admit the other match I was pretty lucky,  and did not play well, but my opponent did a lot to beat himself with the cube.  It was a five point match and in the first game he sent over an early cube that should not have been a cube. Later in the game he, much to my surprise, took my recube  which was a clear pass and so spotted me 4 points in the first game. I will admit that I won the second game on luck, but had the first game been a 1 pointer like it should have been he would have a much better chance to overcome my lucky game.


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