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Giants--Don't forget Malcolm!

Posted By: Barry Silliman
Date: Monday, 18 November 2013, at 12:25 a.m.

In Response To: Giants--Don't forget Malcolm! (Phil Simborg)

I am late to this party, and I don't vote for the Giants list. (I just don't care).

But tell me how to join the Malcolm Davis fan club and I will sign up.

He is one class act. From my perspective both as a player and as a tournament director, there is no classier guy in backgammon.

As a player

In 2010 in Pittsburgh, I played Malcolm. He didn't know me from Adam. I was in the middle of a 28-consecutive point hot streak and I smoked Malcolm 9-0. Of course he recorded the match as usual, and sent it to me within a few days aftwerward. Of course I luckboxed him and he outplayed me in PR by a significant margin (probably 3 something to 6 something, I don't remember). He did not complain once during the match, didn't make a single comment or sigh or any indication of disgust as I jokered him throughout. When he sent me the match he transcribed from his video he didn't comment on the fact that he outplayed me. Just a class act. I had previously played other Giants and beaten them who were dropping F-bombs and exhibiting disgust throughout with sighs and body language. (And I'm talking about Giants not named Fogerlund. As an aside- as an encouragement for bubble Advanced/Open players to move up to Open, beating Ray Fogerlund is worth a lifetime a pain. Ray, take this in stride- I'm a fan, and the ABT needs more players like you).

As a director

If I could impose a $5 fine everytime a player whined at 10:00 pm about having to play another match when the brochure clearly states that you must be prepared to start a match up to and until 11:45 pm, I could pay out 100% return and still make a profit.

Last weekend in Herndon I had to call Malcolm at 10:55 pm in his room to tell him he had a match against Frank Raposa, who is probably about a third his age. I felt bad about it but we were one round less than where I wanted to be at the end of day. I called Malcolm, he said "Hello", and I said "Hi Malcolm, this is Barry. You have a match". He said "Okay, thanks, I'll be right down". He came right down, proceeded to play Frank in what I gather was a grueling match as it didn't end until after 12:30 am and Malcolm lost to Frank. Not one word of complaint. I told Malcolm how much respect I had for him and the fact that while people decades younger than him were kvetching long before his match started, he didn't say a word. He just said "thanks, and I think you're a pretty good tournament director" and then he talked backgammon for another half hour or so.

What a class guy and a tournament director's dream. Running a big tourney is a grueling and an exhaustive job and there are times when I wonder why on earth anybody would do it. But when you get to know people like Malcolm and realize that you are helping to facilitate them playing their passionate hobby at the highest level, it makes it all worth it.

Thank you, Malcolm. I salute you!

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