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Backgammon: The Beauty of the Game

Posted By: Bill Riles
Date: Thursday, 10 October 2013, at 9:50 p.m.

The beauty of the backgammon is the unique combination of the simplicity and the complexity of the game coupled with the uncertainty afforded by the combination of skill and randomness.

Anyone can learn the basic rules of the game in ten minutes and have fun playing. It is an exciting, social game that can be played on any level.

That is how, in my opinion, we must promote the game. It's simple and easy to play. It's fun, it's social, it's exciting. It can be played on any level.

If some wish to play on a casual, social basis then, obviously, they are free to do so. If someone wants to learn a bit more of the game and to experience more of the challenges of competition, that avenue exists as well. If someone is intrigued and excited by the subtleties, intricacies, and math components of a fun, exciting, and challenging game, it serves them well also.

We can't, and shouldn't, try to force fit the game to certain types of players; we should embrace the widely diverse audience that the game appeals to, on every level. I think that is the mission of the USBGF -- to serve every player, to introduce new players to the game, to bring players together, and to provide services and resources that, as applicable, serve the needs and desires of all.

In every sport and game there is a diversity of interests and skills. I see no lack of interest in recreational golf because of pros like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Millions of people love to play tennis despite the professional dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Those players only increase interest in the game.

Celebrate and enjoy a great, fun game that people have been playing for 5,000 years. The game is for everyone; however, everyone doesn't have to play in the same manner and for the same reasons.

This forum is, essentially, frequented by a very small segment of the backgammon population -- tournament players. However, we must all recognize that the game and the promotion of the game must serve not only tournament players, but also the much wider and diverse audience of all players.

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