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Changes that Do and Don't Gain Acceptance

Posted By: mamabear
Date: Monday, 26 August 2013, at 8:48 a.m.

In Response To: Changes that Do and Don't Gain Acceptance (Colin Owen)

I meant "integrity" in the sense of wholeness, completeness, or unity, not any moral sense. The three changes I mentioned that were accepted (clocks, legal moves, nonsmoking venues) didn't change anything about how the game itself is played, or the rules that govern checker play, cube action, or match scoring.

In contrast, changing the way the cube is used at the 2a2a score changes the game itself in match play. That doesn't mean it would be impossible to get the change accepted, just that the barriers are higher because it would require more work reprogramming the bots and the online servers, and would be one more rule you have to explain to tournament newbies. It is also a change that would lead to problems at tournaments as players used to the old rules would double without thinking, then play a few moves as if it were DMP before either player realized something illegal had been done.

Changes to the game itself have happened before, though. One that is often cited here is the addition of the Crawford rule, added some time back in the 70s. But attempts to further complicate the endings with the Holland rule were rejected, both then and more recently. I suspect this was because the Holland rule is more difficult to implement (or explain to a newbie) than the Crawford, and in the majority's view, didn't add enough value to make up for these difficulties. The Crawford rule's one-time benefit to the player who reaches one-away first has been considered by a large majority to be a sufficient reward.

One reason I think 86ing the Jacoby rule in money play may be an accepted change is that this rule was a complicating accretion to the game in the first place. The game is actually simpler without it, and getting rid of it makes money play more like tournament play. I have no dog in that fight, and am equally happy to live with Jacoby or not, and I won't be surprised if that is the view of many other players, too. If that is the case, then the barrier to acceptance of that change is quite low, so we may see it happen.

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