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My Three Stories

Posted By: Robert Chow
Date: Friday, 14 March 2014, at 11:58 p.m.

In Response To: My Three Stories (Pat MacNeil)

As the tournament director for the Vancouver Backgammon Club, I feel obligated to respond to this post by Pat. This is my first post, having just received a password from Stick earlier this afternoon.

Most of my comments will be about the first "story" which involves Ron Silley. I do not remember being called over to make a ruling in this situation. However, I do remember Pat rambling on throughout that particular Sunday about witnessing a great act of sportsmanship by Ron during one of his matches. Even back then I had learned to be skeptical of just about anything Pat might say. That was the last time I was aware of this story till it came up again in Pat's post but now with several embellishments.

Let's look at the specifics in Pat's own words. According to him, the dice were "sitting perfectly flat." Supposedly, I was called over and "even he felt they were clean." Now comes the sentence that is truly amazing: "He left it up to Ron to decide." I can categorically state that I have never "left it up" to a player to make a ruling. To do so would be a blatant abdication of my responsibility as the tournament director. To even suggest this is beyond absurd. If Pat or anyone else can provide evidence to the contrary, I would gladly accept the "donkey" tag after first stepping down from my position. What possibly be my motivation for coming up with such a bizarre decision in allowing one of the players to make the ruling, especially when the dice are sitting perfectly flat on the playing surface? In his future "stories" Pat should stick with embellishments that are at least semi-believable.

The second story concerning Mario is also curious. I guess the whole point was to show what a honourable and fair-minded person Pat is. However, Pat failed to mention something which he is well aware of. Under the Vancouver Club rule, all premature rolls are void and must be re-rolled after the opponent has completed his move. Pat could have simply completed his move and Mario would then re-roll. Allowing Mario's premature roll to stand was a violation of the rule. So, was this a case of great, admirable sportsmanship or sheer stupidity?

In closing, I like say to the readers of this thread - please do not judge the Vancouver Backgammon Club by Pat MacNeil's posts. We are not a bunch of clueless, self-righteous fools. I like to think of us as a very ordinary club without any pretensions, fully knowing our place in the big backgammon universe. I take no pleasure from engaging in this type of discussion. I much prefer looking at the posts by Paul Weaver and John O'Hagan.

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