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I love choices

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Tuesday, 4 March 2014, at 12:50 a.m.

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

As long as you are advocating choices, why not give the players a who smorgasbord of choices?

Why not let them decide if it's okay to roll on top of the checkers or not?

Why not let the players decide if it's okay to use a calculator?

Why not let them decide how many points to play to?

Or, whether or not to use the Crawford Rule?

Or, whether or not to use cups?

Or, whether or not to use 15 checkers?

Or whether gammons should count as doubles?

It sounds so nice to let people choose. It's so libertarian. If you are going to advocate choice on one rule, why not on others? I sure it won't be confusing when people move from table to table and have to decide which rules they like, and then if there is a dispute, try to prove to the TD what was agreed to.

As it is now, we sort of have what you suggest. The rules at most ABT events are non-legal moves, but for some reason the TD's and players have decided that it is okay for the players to waive the rule if they want to and play legal moves by agreement. Because I like legal moves and think it is a much better way to play, that's certainly a better alternative to me than having to play NLM. But its still wrong. It's wrong for people at one table to be playing by one set of rules why the people at the other play by another. Why is it wrong? It can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements and makes it more difficult for the TD to handle disagreements. It may be that one set of rules may be more relaxing for the players at one table and worse for the other. Also, because I now have the option of playing LM if my opponent agrees, when he doesn't agree then I go into NLM-Maniac Mode. He better not put his own checker on the bar or I'll be damned if I will let him remove it! The rules say it is my option, and the rules say I should do what I can to win, within the rules. And the NLM are there to give the the right and option to let the opponent screw himself if he makes a silly mistake. Another example...he picks up his dice before he completes his move. Screw him if we're not playing legal moves...why in the world should I let him finish his move if it hurts him not to if they rules are designed to punish him for that mistake?

I don't want to be in that position, and never have wanted to, and that is one reason why I have lobbied for 25 years to change this mean and nasty and overly-punitive rule. But I don't know that he wouldn't show me mercy, and by the way, I wouldn't want it. If we are playing NLM and I screw up, I expect to receive my punishment, just as if I step out of bounds on the basketball court, I expect to give up the ball. I don't plead with my opponent to please be lenient. Anyone who chastised Herb Gurland for following the horrible rules that he was forced to live with, that would have punished him if he had made a stupid error, is not being fair to either Herb or the rules. It is a disgusting rule to have to enforce, so get rid of the frigging rule!

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