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A very special tribute - Prof. Monty

Posted By: Stick
Date: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, at 8:31 a.m.

It's 3am, I'm bored, and I'm sick of hearing it on rgb so I'm bringing it to my forums to bash the hell out of Monty. If you don't read on rgb (smart choice, wiser than I am) than you won't know that it's 1/2 ok, 1/2 trash. The person I've decided to trash is Monty because I can't believe anyone is constantly this .... this, you take your choice of words, I'll refrain. This is all from one thread as if I were to expand to others I could write a book.

First he posts the following position and tries to discuss equity and why one play is better than another. I would never pick on someone [I didn't know] if they were simply trying to learn, even if they failed time & time again, but Monty has constantly refuted the fact that equity is important to play World Class backgammon, which apparently, according to GNU, he plays quite often. He also said he's requested on numerous occasions that the people who think "equity" is so important explain what it means and provide an example. I've never seen such a request and I have seen plenty of people post examples in other threads that he has flat out ignored.

The score (after 0 games) is: gnubg 0, user 0 (match to 5 points)


3X2X '1X '3X3X ' ' ' ' '

 ' '1O2X2O4O '4O1X2O '2O


Position ID: N7kDCAZkzzMDAA Match ID: cImwAAAAAAAA

After posting the above position I asked him why he didn't double before the roll because I thought it was a cube. He then tells us:

I was well ahead in a long match against a very weak opponent, and I knew it was a close call. I did a 500+ game rollout on GNUBG in the position above, and it was a double and take by .001, as close a call as there can be. In the actual situation, which I think was 5-1 in a 9 pointer, I would certainly play it the same way again

A long match is apparently a 9 pointer for this World Class Player. He also showed us the wrong position since the score comes into play. A 500 game rollout has it as D/T by .001, which he doesn't actually show us the rollout so who knows what settings he used and we all know where the variance lies there.

He rolls along, ignoring posts left & right per usual, and decides to post another position in the same thread.

The score (after 0 games) is: gnubg 0, user 0 (match to 5 points)


1O ' ' '3X4X '2X '1X '6O

 '2X2O1O2O3O ' ' ' ' '3X


Position ID: cM/EARisHfADIA Match ID: cIm5AAAAAAAA

He says: Here's another one. Question for those who don't know: what is the key to why one hit has more "equity" than the other?

Now is it just me or is putting quotes around "equity" getting a bit annoying as if it was some invented concept we don't quite believe in? Oh wait..

David Ullrich then pipes up and gives an excellent example of equity, hammering out all the math in plain English, of an endgame bearoff position. A bit more complex than you should be giving as an absolute intro to equity but fairly simple nonetheless. (both players have a checker on their respective 2 & 3 points, he explains why it's a D/T & the RD/T etc...)

After this beautiful example Monty replies that what David explained is a money game scenario and he doesn't play money games. If this World Class Player actually played a long match and realized a lot of the decisions in such matches were the same decisions as money play ... He says he'd rather concentrate on other things, which is fine, no argument there. Now..here's where it gets good.... Monty constantly talks about how his decisions against weaker players change his plays and his cube actions. As we all know playing a weaker player can change both, but any play Monty makes that GNU doesn't agree with is suddenly thanks to the weakness of his opponent. He states in the above mentioned position in a 'long match' which we'll assume is to 9 by Monty's standards with the score 0-0 that "against a very weak opponent, I would just drop the initial double."

The score (after 0 games) is: gnubg 0, user 0 (match to 9 points)


 '1X1X ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '

 '1O1O ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '



Cube decision
2-ply cubeless equity +0.5756(Money: +0.5756)
0.7878 0.0000 0.0000 - 0.2122 0.0000 0.0000
Cubeful equities:
1.Double, take +0.8980
2.Double, pass +1.0000 +0.1020
3.No double +0.4566 -0.4414
Proper cube action:Double, take

Ignore the dice (sorry, getting lazy as this gets longer) and note that a DP is a blunder and someone else can figure out the ELO difference the players would have to be to consider this to be a drop. I doubt in reality Monty's opposition comes anywhere near this. IMMEDIATELY after his post about his DP decision if it was a long match he posts the following:

The score (after 0 games) is: gnubg 0, user 0 (match to 9 points)


4X ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '

1O2O1O ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '



Cube decision
2-ply cubeless equity +0.5700(Money: +0.5700)
0.7850 0.0000 0.0000 - 0.2150 0.0000 0.0000
Cubeful equities:
1.Double, pass +1.0000
2.Double, take +1.1407 +0.1407
3.No double +0.6730 -0.3270
Proper cube action:Double, pass

Again ignore the dice. Now Monty states I doubled and he took! Neither one of us rolled a double. I rolled 1,1, followed by 2,1 and lost (he didn't redouble). I then went on to win the next 10 points. Now I'll ignore the obvious stab at "neither of us rolled doubles, I rolled 11" [lol though, seriously] and even skip over why the hell he put "he didn't redouble" as if he was supposed to and come to --- Monty being all excited because his fish took an obvious pass but Monty, did you notice how much of an error it is to take that cube? Only slightly larger than your error to drop the cube before ... maybe this player knows how much better you are than him and is hoping to get lucky!?

He goes on some more how he uses Neil's numbers from time to time and a neat "little trick" he calls the EPC. I'm not sure how he can use Neil's numbers to calculate doubling/take points at various scores without things like equity creeping in but maybe he knows another little trick. Ok..I'm bored of this bash, once I get some sleep though, maybe I'll go on a rampage :)


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