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Answers to questions about *New tournament format*

Posted By: Mika Laukkanen
Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2013, at 1:44 a.m.

Answers to questions about *New tournament format* - posted by Mochy -- Friday, 7 June 2013


Mochy on June 7th 2013:

A friend of mine, Mika Laukkanen, came up with the new format of tournament and run it in his tournament in Oulu, Finland.

It seems very interesting format with lot of matches. What I liked the most is I can play as many opponents as I can. If it really decrese the work of TD, it is also fantastic.

http://bit.ly/1baHszI (PDF file)


1) Losing on purpose to a friend

MIKAL answers: "Losing on purpose" is naturally possible. BUT it can also happen in any backgammon tournament format. It has also happened in single cup system because of side bets & winner betting. "Losing on purpose" is actually better covered in my system than in single/double elimination system. In my system one match lost on purpose does not mean much but in traditional systems it means a lot.

BUT some further questions regarding this issue:

a) How does one know there is a friend in your division? (I mean a friend that you would want to help)

b) How does one know you have earned enough points? (player cards are returned in last minute and there is no public information who has been winning or losing)

c) Most people are honest like Japanese and Finns. Cheaters can go and shoot themselves. (Those who get caught by cheating will be banned from next tournament(s)).

d) When technology comes cheaper the whole tournament room can be covered by few ceiling cameras and everything is recorded (like in real casinos) to hard disk(s). If there is suspicion that somebody is cheating it can be checked later or during the tournament. The punishment is banning from the tournament without returning entrance fees. Plus those cheating people would never ever enter my tournaments anymore.

2) Provocative questions in the first page of my document

We can easily omit the provocative questions in the first page of my document. Just think like that page does not exist. It is not important regarding the tournament format. The answers to those questions are not relevant, they were there to make people THINK !

3) Point system

MIKAL: "E. Points from each played backgammon match 1) Clear win (5-0, 5-1, 5-2, 5-3) = 3 points 2) DMP win (5-4) = 2 points 3) DMP loss (4-5) = 1 point 4) Clear loss (0-5, 1-5, 2-5, 3-5) = 0 points"

Bob Kock -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "This is very antithetical to match play backgammon. There can be 0-5 matches that are in fact extremely close. Is a 2a 2a match that gets an autocube and results in a 5-3 win a more impressive win than a 5 - 4 win?"

Phil Simborg -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "I particularly agree that I would be much more comfortable with a scoring system that does not take into account the points scored in a match. Match play just doesn't lend itself to this kind of strategy."

Jason Lee -- Saturday, 8 June 2013 "Using the final score of the match to decide ANYTHING. I don't care if this is beginners or world champions playing, this is a terrible idea."

Mochy -- Sunday, 9 June 2013 "Using final score for receiving a point isn't a bad idea, it is just a new game with a new strategy."

Jason Lee -- Sunday, 9 June 2013 "The people who want to use scores of matches in a scoring system tend to see it as a "tie break" quantity, and don't realize that using scores of matches alters the strategy of the game."

MIKAL answers:

Can tournament Backgammon be more challenging as in current state?

Can Backgammon as a game be improved from current state?

5-point match is shown as an example. It can be 11-points or 69-points if there is time.

Would it be an autocube in 2-away 2-away in my tournament format?

Are Bob, Phil & Jason afraid of new ideas in tournament backgammon?

Would my system stop those stupid dmp win/loss whining stories?

Maybe my intention was to change the strategy of the game?

"Is a 2a 2a match that gets an autocube and results in a 5-3 win a more impressive win than a 5 - 4 win?"

Of course not in old traditional single/double/xxxuble system when we are dealing ON/OFF result (win/lose). But in my system 5-3 win is 3-points and 3-5 loss is 0-points. 5-4 win is 2 points and 4-5 loss is 1-point. I am adding an interesting element to tournament play. This will naturally mean that we have to start studying this system. I wish You Bob nice time with pencil and paper. Bob Kock must be a bit antithetical or even conservative?

4) Using clocks & slow play & choosing opponents

MIKAL: "All the matches in preliminary round robin are played at own pace in own division without clocks. Minimum of seven (7) matches shall be played by Saturday 20:00 clock. Maximum amount of matches is eleven (11). Every player will be given one extra point/match after seven played matches (i.e. from 8 íV 11 matches). This means maximum of four (4) extra points as a reward for working hard and playing so many matches."

Bob Kock -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "So not only could one get annoyed by an excessively slow player but it could prevent one from getting the bonus points. Also how is it decided who plays whom?"

Phil Simborg -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "I am also a major proponent of clocks and in this format, if I wanted to be sure to get in a lot of matches, I would be very irritated if I met a slow player, and I do believe that one or two slow players in a bracket could hurt the format. There might also be some kind of advantage in purposely playing very, very slow if you are getting toward the later rounds and you have a good record, just to keep others from getting in enough matches to catch up."

"I also believe there should be some restrictions on how many times you can play a single opponent...probably 2 max, otherwise you can find a weak opponent and really beat up on him, and also, there is a potential for collusion if one player has a really poor record and decided to lose a few matches to his buddy."

Jason Lee -- Saturday, 8 June 2013, at 7:24 p.m. "Asking if we really need clocks is not a deal breaker to me. I play side events at tournaments without the use of a clock, it's not horrible to me. But when I see this: "... at each players own pace," I cringe. No thanks."

MIKAL answers:

The key word here is FREEDOM. It is a bit difficult to understand but it seems that many of us backgammon players are still living in 'monkey house' (= jail). I am pretty sure that most of the matches are played even faster without clocks. Can you think or feel the pressure of one or two players who play extremely slow? Please start thinking positively !

There is a fixed amount of time to play the Qualifying Round Robin (QRR) matches. In the weekend tournament case the total time is about 14 hours (Friday 4 hours and Saturday 10 hours). In this time the players in each division need to play their matches at their own pace. If there is an excessively slow player would that player destroy his/her own tournament record? Meaning he/she could never finish minimum of seven 5-pointers. What would be the motivation for such a player attend the tournament?

How is it decided who plays who? In QRR phase the initial pairs are decided by TD if the players can nor decide it by themselves. Once the wheel starts rolling (= 1st matches played) players have their FREEDOM to choose opponents (= free players will play each other). But one opponent can be played only ONCE (I forgot to write this to my initial draft). Usually if there is 12 player divisions, there is enough time for everybody to play against everybody. But the rule is minimum seven matches, maximum 11.

5) Rank order

MIKAL: "1. Match points average 2. Match win - % 3. Pure match win -% 4. DMP win - % 5. A decisive DMP match is played (if enough time exists) 6. Players will decide their rank by rolling dice."

Bob Kock -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "What is the difference between match win% and Pure match win %?"

MIKAL answers:

Two players played only the minimum of seven (7) matches. Rest of the time they enjoyed together in hotel room bed because there were too many americans nagging and asking too many stupid questions.

Match win% = e.g. A player won 4 pure wins + 2 dmp wins + 1 pure loss = 6 wins total = 16 points

Pure match win% = e.g. B player won 5 pure wins + 1 dmp loss + 1 pure loss = 5 wins total = 16 points

A player is ranked higher than B player because the total amount of wins is bigger. Wakarimashita?

6) Announcing results during QRR playing phase

Phil Simborg -- Friday, 7 June 2013 "I also think the idea could be improved if there is a large results sheet posted to record wins and losses, so that everyone can see how things are progressing and who is leading, and it might be a requirement that instead of a full round robin, at some point all the leaders will be required to play each other."

MIKAL answers:

The information about current state of wins/losses of each player is NOT announced by TD. It is the players private 'secret'. If some player wants to help other players by telling his/her match record during QRR phase it is his/her decision. But maybe when somebody is telling their win/loss record they might be lying (compare to poker)?

IF the results are announced it might create the possibility to all kind cheating by losing on purpose etc. This would also require tremendous amount of work from TD's. One major goal in this game system is to reduce the work of TD's. This will mean more tournaments are organized because of the easiness. Eventually that will mean more players are coming to tournaments because there are more tournaments available. This will lead to an increase of the amount of backgammon players. Which will lead to 2nd rise/boom (1st was somewhere 1970-1985) of a game known as BACKGAMMON.

7) Reducing luck factor

Frank Berger -- Sunday, 9 June 2013

"I think that has some nice advantages, especially if you played well in the RR-phase you have a benefit in the 2nd phase. My impression is that it will reduce the luck factor compared to traditional formats."


shhh .... silence ...


8) Meaningless matches?

Jason Lee -- Saturday, 8 June 2013 "If you use round robin play, you will have matches that are meaningless, or worse, matches that are meaningful for one party and not the other. Round robin is a great format for a novice/beginner division, never for an open."

mochy -- Sunday, 9 June 2013 "However I'm also anxious about having a meaningless match in the Round Robin. I really want to give a try."

MIKAL answers:

How does Jason know a match is meaningless? How does NHL players in a team play when they are 100% sure they are out of the playoffs? They give up? In my tournament format the player will reach consolation as minimum and maybe get a bye there due to good enough QRR record (match points average).

The information about current state of wins/losses of each player is NOT announced by TD. It is the players private matter; a secret. If some player wants to help other players by telling his/her match record during QRR phase it is his/her decision. But maybe when somebody is telling their win/loss record they might be lying (compare to poker)?

If shit happens, jokers are rolled and one loses many matches in early QRR phase. Would you give up or fight? Would you try to find best players in your division and play them? Would you use your remaining time whining or trying to learn the weak points of the best players (lucky you if you got Falafel in your division) in your division?

The minimum one reaches in my tournament format is the single elimination consolation with a fixed place in the sheet. This single elimination can naturally be changed to double elimination or anything more time consuming if time allows.

Mochy is still world #1


Please test this idea if you have guts and please send me further comments & ideas & questions to Stick's forum or mika_laukkanen@yahoo.com

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