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How do you deal with obnoxious strong players?

Posted By: DaveT
Date: Sunday, 6 May 2012, at 11:12 p.m.

One of the things that annoys me the most in backgammon is when you win a match against a strong player and then they tell you after the match how lucky you were and how badly you played some of your moves.

I expect that most people reading this don’t encounter this too often because they are strong players who make few significant mistakes but I would be interested in views as to whether you have to listen to someone complain and denigrate your play just because you have played a match against them ?

Do I think I probably made lots of blunders – hey yes of course I did. But they were my blunders and if they were legal plays then they were my choice and one else’s business. If I have paid my money to enter a tournament then as far as I am concerned if I make legal moves and play with courtesy and at a brisk speed then what I choose to play is my decision and it really is not my opponent’s place to offer univited post match commentary.

There is a world of difference between a match against a friend who offers a view in a friendly way and playing someone you hardly know who inflicts their analysis on you unrequested and unwelcome. There is usually a not very pleasant sub text to all that is being said – what they are actually saying is “I am a very skillful player – you played a much weaker game and it is only by sheer luck that you beat me.”

If someone has studied the game and is expert – good for them – I respect that and let them get every ounce of equity out of their efforts. But why should weaker players have to listen to someone complain just because they have lost a match. It is a game with a luck element and sometimes the weaker player is going to win. Why can’t those players either grow up and accept that reality or move on and play games that are all skill like chess or go?

What of courses is the pattern of these arrogant players is that when they win they will not make any comments on your game. Then they will politely thank you and move on. But if they lose then you are expected to listen to them tell you about a catalogue of errors made on your part.

Just because you have played a game against someone what possible right do they have to inflict their hard luck stories on you or why should you have to listen to them complaining about how unfair it is that you won despite playing so many bad moves?

Most strong players are not like this at all and except the rough with the smooth but I have complete contempt for those few that think it is their god-given right to give lessons to others after they lose completely uninvited.

Are there any tips on how best to handle the situation when someone starts providing you with all of these comments are you really don’t want hear them - clearly you can just get up and walk away but is there any effective reply that can defuse the situation and not appear just as rude as what is being offered?

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