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The answer, Jason, is "no"

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Wednesday, 12 March 2014, at 5:36 p.m.

In Response To: We already know the answer (Jason Lee)

Jason: "Isn't this how you all want to play backgammon?"

No. This is not how everyone wants to play backgammon. And that's the problem we're having. You hit the nail on the head. The people opposed to LM and the entire concept of playing a friendlier game want to play tournament backgammon the same way they see sports and games played on TV. Have you ever seen a professional baseball or football player say, "Sorry, I trapped that ball and didn't really catch it," or, "You stepped out of bounds a little, that's okay?"

Those are games played with referees and since the ref may make a bad call against you, you should not make one on yourself. And since you know your opponent will not call an error on himself and volunteer to be a "good sport" you should not either.

But this is not like those games, and most of us don't want it to be like that. We want it to be more like golf...a gentleman's game where we show each other courtesy and we don't try to take advantage of technical errors.

Again, they are not "wrong" to be that way, but most of us don't want to, so we want the rules and the atmosphere of the game to be nicer. We like playing that way better and we think the game is more pleasurable for all. They disagree, and some of the people who disagree are also the people who make the rules. So, as we have for the past many years since the NLM and other rules we don't like have been in existence, we just have to accept that (I certainly don't agree with and like all the laws of this country).

But finally there are enough people here, and around the world, that are saying that they don't want to play this way, so for most places, it will change for the better.

In the meantime, I am playing this weekend in Bill's tournament and as always, I will have a great time. And I will ask every opponent to play LM with me, and if they say yes, I will show them every courtesy of good sportsmanship and fair play that goes with that kind of playing. And if they say no, you can call me Herb Gurland, because I will live and die by the rules and I do not agree with those who believe it is right to break the rules and give your opponent leniency that the rules do not expect you to give...particularly in the Open Division where my opponents should know better than to move illegally.

(If I happen to be in a side event with a non-open player, I don't care what the rules are, I'm going to be a nice guy and let my conscience by my guide.)

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