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Observations on the Boston Open

Posted By: Bill Riles
Date: Monday, 27 February 2017, at 5:48 p.m.

Great to see a new, well received tournament on the ABT tour. Congrats to all involved in the organization and execution of the event.

And congrats to all of the winners.

1) As you all know Phil and I will rarely agree on anything, however I saw him post something on a streamed match that I wholeheartedly agree with. The die flat on a checker rule is a huge improvement to the game. If we want to promote the game and get people interested in watching streamed matches and, if we are ever so fortunate, other manners of broadcast matches, there is nothing more boring than watching someone roll over repeatedly after putting die/dice flat on checkers. The one match we were watching, I forget the participants, it was like every other roll was cocked because of a die on a checker.

2) I think no one ever anticipated that the two players would ever use two different dice delivery methods within a single match -- I know I spoke to the principle rules author last night and he never imagined this happening. In the Masters final Victor used a baffle box and Dennis rolled from a cup. In my opinion, the rules, equipment, and methods should be the same for both players in any match. We can discuss what those should be, but in my opinion they shouldn't vary between the two players.

3) The new rules say dice should be delivered to a baffle box from a cup. Many players prefer to deliver them by hand -- and do so. I've mixed emotions, I don't like baffle boxes anyway. But I think this rule needs to be clarified and enforced so there are no misunderstandings.

4) Streaming is becoming an increasingly significant factor in our game with any tournament. I applaud the streaming efforts from Boston and enjoyed Matt's commentary. However, the stream quality needs to be monitored. For most, if not all, of the weekend on the tournament streams Matt, and the viewers, could not see/read the dice. This is a real turnoff. I don't know what the problem was but I suspect it was just settings -- the streams by Michelle and by Alia were much much clearer and better. I assume they were all using the same wi-fi system. Anyway, when a problem is identified, and Matt commented on this several times, some attempt should be made to remedy it. The tournament streaming unfortunately, in my opinion, became counterproductive.

Again, congratulations to all involved. I hope to see other new tournaments be supported as well.

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