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Where to draw the line?

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Saturday, 8 March 2014, at 4:04 a.m.

In Response To: Make a ruling-- what if there were more checkers / where to draw the line? (Rod)

I completely agree with Rod (and this time I really mean it!). Where to draw the line is a very slippery slope and it will always be a question each person must answer for himself. But that problem will exist no matter what the rules are.

The point here is that, at least for me, it is easier to decide where to draw the line when the rules and the intent of the rules are more in line with good sportsmanship and encourage us all to draw the line in favor of being nice and fair instead of in favor of punishing our opponent because of a technical error or slip. With NLM, in order to be the kind of person and player I would like to be I must choose to go against the intent of the rules or how others might apply the rules toward me.

With legal moves and good sportsmanship taking precedence over winning at all costs I can truly let my personal conscience guide me. And I have a very practical way to decide: the old golden rule. I will apply the rules toward my opponent in the same manner I would expect a nice person to apply them to me. If he makes a stupid move and then realizes his error, tough shit. I expect to pay for my stupid moves and I have no problem holding him to his. In fact, if he asks for mercy I will be less likely to cut him any slack because I don't appreciate being put into that position for his bonehead play.

But if his bonehead play is when he has a gin position, or a slip of the hand or something of that nature, like my heros Neil Kazaross and Mochy and Petko and other great players who care more about the integrity and growth of the game than winning a match on a technicality, my opponent won't have time to ask me for mercy--it will be automatic--IF WE ARE PLAYING LEGAL MOVES. Again, if he rejected playing LM when I offered it--he better be very very careful! And I have no moral or ethical problems sleeping at night after that. But I will continue to be sad that we have rules that force us to be that way.

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