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Why does every tournament have to be the same?

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Monday, 3 March 2014, at 2:36 a.m.

In Response To: Non-biased Legal vs. non-legal moves poll (Art Grater)

Not every tournament has to be the same, but don't you think it could be a little confusing is you go from one game to another and the rules are different? Is that good for the game? What if you had different rules for chess everywhere you went? And how confusing would that be for beginners?

And while we're on the subject of beginners, ask Jeb Horton about that. He has experienced beginners that were angered and upset because of being penalized for accidental mistakes. They were used to playing in "friendly games" and on line and suddenly forced to play in "unfriendly" games. Jeb is not the only one who has gotten this feedback.

But it's not just about having a single, internationally-accepted set of rules...its about having the best rules..the rules that lead to the kind of game that the majority of people and most of the top experts believe is a better game, a fairer game, a game that lends itself to better sportsmanship and fewer conflicts. If one rule wins in those categories, why shouldn't it be adopted by all?

Sure, if one tournament director decides he wants to have a rule or two that is different and makes sure everyone knows about it, it's not the end of the world...but why shouldn't backgammon be like every other legitimate game and competition: with an accepted, clear, and standard set of rules?

As for your argument about using one set of dice, I completely agree that one set and a clock would solve one of the problems with non-legal moves. But then when you don't have one set and a clock, which happens a lot in the same room and at the same tournament, and the next day at the coffee house or bar, you have to get everyone used to playing by another set of rules. No reason to have two sets of rules for two different situations.

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