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Here's a reason why BG should be touch move

Posted By: Henrik Bukkjaer
Date: Tuesday, 3 December 2013, at 9:59 p.m.

In Response To: Here's a reason why BG should be touch move (Stick)


:> but I want to set up a play, count the race, count shots, see how my numbers play, mentally internalize that for a minute, then set up a play B or C and do the same thing.

I guess you arrive at approximately the same count for each play? :-D

No, but more seriously, I feel the exact same way as you do about this whole touch move thing... I don't think it's necessary. I understand that we should be able to make our moves without shuffling the checkers all over the place, and that we are expected to move in a way so our opponent has a chance to see whats going on, etc. And I understand how easy this is in chess (I've played a lot of chess myself, mainly speed).

But backgammon is not chess. Backgammon is much more about patterns, about looking right, about comparing different images. That's one thing (which is often mentioned in the touch move debate).

Another thing though, is the pace and flow of the game. I really fear that a touch-move rule would ruin the flow and feel of the game. I'm afraid that many players will either slow down, or they will play with the very lax enforcement of the rule, as hinted by others here in this thread.

And that brings me to my final concern about touch-move: I imagine that it will spin off more twists about whether a checker has been touched or not, than it will solve problems that occur today with checker shuffling. No matter how you word it, no matter where the border is drawn, there will always be borderline scenarios - and such grey zone area would be easily exploitable by angleshooters. Also you would end up with ruling like the Herb Gurland one, where a player simply follow the rules and ask for a ruling, then gets an advantage that is seen by most peers as very unsportsmanlike and unfair.

Are the current rules not OK, in terms of requiring players to move using just one hand, and in a clear way as to not confuse the opponent?

Maybe it should be complemented by a "how to" or "preferred way of moving", or like I prefer: have some decisions posted that clearly points out examples of what is not accepted.

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