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Playing on a Table or Computer in a Tournament

Posted By: Keene
Date: Friday, 3 January 2014, at 3:52 p.m.

In Response To: Playing on a Table or Computer in a Tournament (phil simborg)


Speaking as a player, I use NJ Backgammon, and transcribe as I play directly into it, then email myself and opponent the match file. However the play is done on a real board, and each move is entered as it happens. I have found this to be not so bad, although transcribing during bearoff tends to be quite tricky for me. I daresay with practice I could do it on the clock too.

One of the cool things about this is that quite often friends who are in between matches will come and watch, and sometimes offer to transcribe for me while they are available.

I would recommend that you give it a try - with some practice it isnt overly difficult. My primary complaint is that with the continuous tapping on the screen of the tablet, my fingers get a little sore! That and bearoffs are so fast, its hard to stay on top of them, and I quite often have to slow down during my own bearoff to stay abreast of play.

So far, I have had no complaints from any of my opponents about recording, it doesnt seem to add any abnormal amount of duress or time to a match, and I think that my opponents appreciate being sent the match afterwards. I did have to abandon one match as I wasnt able to quickly revert a game that required several plays to be rolled back (cube drop / take decision). Only one though - and about 20 matches successfully recorded.

As a player and director, I find that playing directly on a computer is somewhat off putting, and many players may silently object to it. I understand the arguments, however, there are some mechanical aspects to playing live that just cannot be translated. People may scoff at that, however, its true. Things like visualization changes - yes the technical state may be the same, but the ways our brain processes things are different. The dice are another aspect. Information that may be public etc - ie pip counts. You can see them on the computer, however, not live. Yes you can count them live, but many are too lazy to recount every roll. All those reference positions we study are derived from a computer, and we may more quickly recognize similarities - just because of the format the position is being delivered in. There are so many pieces of this. One day I may change my stance on allowing computer only matches, however that day is not today.


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