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Kill Em All

Posted By: Stick
Date: Wednesday, 13 November 2013, at 9:23 a.m.

In Response To: Axe the ABT? Axe the Giants list? Axe the *World Championships*? (Stick)

Kill Em All


My feeling is a master points system would be best overall for the growth of backgammon. Something that did encourage flat out attendance, reward you for that in some way, and also reward you for doing well. We could still have a yearly tally for who did the best in any given year. We could also still award prizes based on that. I'd like to see a federation (USBGF?) oversea this and collect a very small monetary from every tournament run that receives master points. I am not the person to implement this so don't ask me too many questions but if every player was charged an extra $5 on their entry fee to the main event of every event throughout the year it feels like that would be enough to maintain the system and award prizes. A quick estimate is that is easily over 1,000 entries a year or over $5k to use towards master points expenses without any real hassle.

Another thing that gets under my skin about any organization really is when they aren't transparent and won't explain things. In his latest post on legal moves Bill shares with us his thoughts on legal moves. Great right? Not really. It has been 10 days and he has failed to answer anyone in the thread. There were plenty of valid questions raised and points made and nada.

A couple people pointed out that the rules shouldn't be called the "United States Tournament Backgammon Rules" and I agree. Daniel and David both asked valid questions I feel like should be answered by Bill and/or the ABT and bupkis. I had my own question in there which isn't so important to me but it's still nice to think if there is some sort of body running or overseeing in any way my backgammon tournaments they'd give me some sort of answer on why they would rule this way or that way. He also fails to engage anyone in the points they made which makes me think his views on backgammon are like a person's views on politics, immovable. I applaud Mary for having her beliefs on legal moves in the past and being able to see what has changed over the years and coming to the conclusion that now would be a much better time for legal moves than 20 years ago.

The ABT wouldn't have to be killed but a major overhaul or working with another enterprise (USBGF) takes compromise and I don't see a lot of that available in this situation. The rules are inadequate and the points system could be much better.

The Giants List

It is frustrating to me that the Giants list doesn't have some bottom line of saying "this is an active player, this is not". Something as simple as one must play in X amount of major tournaments over the span of the past two years would suffice. I also wish they would make a flat out stand on what we're voting for. It seems to me, and obviously Jake and Carol know more about it than I do, that people would like the list to reflect who the best players in the world are. If that's the overall sentiment, why not change "based on their active involvement with backgammon and their performance over the past two years." to something more reflective of that?

I know it would be a lot of work and for no bread but I would also like if as many of the players as possible had a short bio beside their name. Not even on the actual ballot, but online so that if one was so inclined they could sift through the player's attendance, accomplishments, etc... We could have whoever do these bios and double check them for accuracy and if anyone else wanted to add to it, ideally the player himself, he could. There could be a restraint on only listing the past two year's accomplishments so it doesn't become so much of a burden. For example, if I knew that Francois Tardieu was playing at least 1 tournament a month in Paris even though he's not going to any big events I would be more likely to still vote for him considering him active. Ideally I wouldn't be able to do this though because there would be strict rules in effect that wouldn't even list his name as possible because he hasn't been to X big events in the last 2 years. That would also force people like Francois or like Nack or like my lazy ass self to go to X events in that time frame if we wanted to be on the list.

The tournament in Monte Carlo

Calling this the 'World Championships' is such a joke to me. I went one year to see what it was all about and one year was enough. My complaints have been lodged before along with many other players on this site. It seems it comes up every year and every year people end up putting "World Championship" in quotes. Again, it's not that it isn't a solid tournament but the winner of it shouldn't be considered the World Champion. Without the title attached though I'm sure the attendance would plummet even further than it already has. I don't want to expend the energy to recap everything that needs to change in my opinion.

It is impossible for me to try to explain two things to my friends or people I meet when backgammon comes up and they start google searching.

  1. Why me being #6 in the world (Giants list) is virtually meaningless
  2. Why the yearly 'world champion' flat out isn't


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