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Don't Give up Igor--we need you!

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Monday, 18 November 2013, at 11:51 p.m.

In Response To: Why create a system we know is flawed? (Igor)

Igor, I was sick to hear of your decision not to work for the future of the game because of all the negativity and criticisms. I know how you feel about all the negativity of anything you do, but remember, the negativity which is unfair or nasty usually only comes from a few jerks, and unfortunately, some of them are very vocal and active on this forum. Don't be put off track on trying to help or grow the game just because of a few jerk, or even because of some really good people who simply disagree with you.

More than anything I have ever done in backgammon that I am proud of is my work and results in teaching children backgammon and starting clubs at schools all over the country. I think it is wonderful for kids to play backgammon for many reasons, and virtually the entire backgammon community agrees with me. And of course, it will help grow the game in the future. But one or two individuals have as much as called me Satan for doing this and one person also remarked to someone that "Phil should be shot" for teaching kids backgammon.

Am I going to let people like this stop me? No, because I believe in it, and because the rest of the backgammon community applauds and supports this initiative. More than $2000 was donated by backgammon players just to supply me with boards to give out to kids and clubs, and many people donated used boards (Coolrey sent me 10 of them!) to give out to kids.

The real payback is when I see people like Ben Freisen and David Presser who competed in our collegiate program who have gone on to quickly become great and active Open players and a wonderful addition to our community, and there will be many more in future years. (I am giving free lessons right now to several young men and women who I know will be stars in the future, and even if they don't become great players, they will teach their family and friends to play.)

I am not telling you this to toot my own horn (I do that plenty, I know!)...but to show you a first-hand example of how much negativity you can get from doing even something that you would think no one would find offensive.

So try to change the ABT, or the rules, or the rating system, or tournament formats, or the Giant voting, or anything that truly is controversial, and I guarantee you that you will find great resistance no matter how good your idea is!

You should have heard the outcry and personal bashing I took when I first helped Xavier launch XG and started telling people to throw away their Snowie's. I was treated like a criminal. Now, everyone uses XG and thanks Xavier for all he has done for the game with his wonderful tool.

When Paul Weaver and I produced evidence that RedTop was a cheater and called him out on it, I was personally threatened and insulted by several until it became clear to all that we were correct and doing a service to the backgammon community by bringing on-line cheating to the forefront.

So, don't NOT DO something you believe in because you are bothered by negativity...it comes with the territory, and just know that at least some of the jerks who do nothing but complain are just jerks. I cannot tell you to ignore them...I sure can't...but I won't let them stop me from doing what I enjoy and believe in, and I hope you will do the same.

Backgammon has far too many "talkers" and "nay-sayers" and not enough people like you with vision and energy and brains...don't let them derail you.

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