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Impossible Move in Connecticut

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Wednesday, 6 November 2013, at 5:11 p.m.

In Response To: Impossible Move in Connecticut (greedygammon)

On the chance that English is not your first language, I assure you that in English when someone expresses an opinion, it isn't necessary to preface every statement of opinion with "I think." It's assumed. To spell that out:

I don't think the TD had anything to apologize for, if you left this part out if the rule was good and the ruling was good. I don't think the rule is good. I think it's a crappy rule that leads to crappy situations like this one. I don't think I need to ask the TD why he felt bad because I think I already understand why he felt bad. I think he felt bad because he felt obligated to make the ruling that he made, given the rule that he had chosen to use at his tournament, even though he didn't like the outcome. I think he didn't like the outcome because he understood that most people don't like to lose a game that way.

You write: I cant imagine that anyone would knowingly write a tournament rule that would allow a blot to be placed back on the board after it was hit. Am I wrong with this assumption?

That's not what happened. A checker brought in from the bar should have landed first on a blot, if it had been played legally. But the checker was placed elsewhere on the board, and the blot was not picked up and placed on the bar until after the player's turn was over. The ruling was: too late you can't move checkers when it's not your turn. So the blot was ruled to be on the board, not on the bar.

Now, if you mean: would anyone knowingly write a rule that would allow a blot to remain on the board (but not on the bar) when it should by force have been hit, but wasn't picked up and put on the bar before a turn ended the answer is "yes." Under the ABA rule, if you put yourself on the bar, or bear off your opponent's checkers, or neglect to pick up and put a hit blot on the bar until after your turn is over, tough luck for you. Your opponent can accept your illegal play. At least, that's how some directors would rule, in all those situations.

You write: thanks but i think i will stick to online bg if this is the kind on nonsense that people have to put up with playing live...

As a strictly online player, you have no experience with physically moving checkers on a real board. The computer does everything for you, and prevents you from making illegal moves, and makes sure you do everything in the right order. In live backgammon, we have rules that say how, when and in what order all the physical movements need to be done. These rules are necessary and need to be observed. Disagreement arises not because the rules are "nonsense," but over, basically, I believe, a fundamental disagreement about what the purpose of procedural rules is, and what if any tolerance for deviations from procedural requirements there should be, balancing the desire for sportsmanlike behavior and results with a genuine need for clear rules that all players can expect to be fairly applied.

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