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Most of these arguments have NOTHING to do with Legal Moves

Posted By: Art Grater
Date: Saturday, 15 March 2014, at 7:23 a.m.

In Response To: Most of these arguments have NOTHING to do with Legal Moves (phil simborg)

>The reason it is wrong to allow two players to make an agreement to play any rules that are different from the tournament rules (unless they have permission from the TD) is this:

I'm not actually saying players can change ANY rules. For example, I would not suggest that players substitute Nackgammon or poker for BG. Here, I'm addressing a specific rule, NLM, that has been played in hundreds of thousands if not millions of matches. If the majority of players want to play LM, then that should be the default rule so that either player can force LM. But not force consenting players to play LM.

When NLM was the preferred set of rules, assuming it's not still, were you keep on preventing players from playing LM privately?

>1. It is not a level playing field. With different rules, some players are playing "easier" matches, shorter matches, or matches that do not reflect what the competition is supposed to be;

There are OTHER things that are not perfectly level, too, such as time zone differences. No big deal -- and that's something you can't change!

> 2. If some players make a private agreement to change the rules and there is a problem, the TD can hardly be expected to make a fair ruling, as the tournament director has every expectation that the tournament rules are in force.

OK, one more time. I have never suggested players make private agreements that the TD does not agree to.

> 3. If you allow players to change the NLM rule, where do you draw the line?

OK, two more times. I have not suggested players change the rule. Only that TDs use their discretion to allow it.

> 4. Having players play differently is confusing to spectators and is unsettling.

Unsettling? This is really stretching it. I don't actually fly across the country to entertain spectators. I do that to have a fun week or weekend. If spectators have trouble figuring out the difference between LM and NLM, I'll be happy to explain it to them. If they "unsettled" by watching a NLM match, then they really don't have the stomach to play BG. If it's the difference between LM and NLM that's "unsettling", I know a way to avoid that difference :)

> 5. If you play one set of rules at one table and another at the next table, people get confused. It creates problems.

See #4.

> 6. Agreeing to rules that are not a part of the formal tournament rules, in itself that creates great problems. When you play by the tournament rules, they are written out and the application is clear. If you agree to play LM or NLM and those rules are not specifically written out, it is a real problem. Both players, in their mind, might not even think they are playing the same rules. The terms mean different things to different people.

Then why would it be OK to play NLM in a LM tournament because your opponent doesn't play LM?

>Let me give you a specific example. Let's say people agree to play LM. That means you are supposed to correct any wrong play of either opponent you see it. But can you correct it after the other player rolls, or not? If you do correct it after the other player rolls, does his roll stand or does he roll over? Can you correct it after the other player rolls, moves, and then picks up his dice? If the error is found then, does the roll and the move go over?

> I have my opinion on what the rule should be, but what if my opponent does not agree with me as to how we are playing it. How is a dispute handled then? You can't even call on the TD to make a ruling because he doesn't know what was agreed to, and the players didn't really completely agree. If you stick to the tournament rules, it is clear what the rules are and the intent of the rules are and how the TD should rule. (I overstated this, because in the ABT, for years, we have had many rules that are unclear and even rules that different tournament directors interpret and rule differently, and that's another reason I have been in favor of rule revisions and rewrites and clarifications for the past 20 years.)

Again, I am not advocating players do anything the TD does not agree to, so this is a nonissue. My whole point is to encourage TDs to give players leeway when they AGREE between themselves. If the TD wants to allow players to use a variant of LM, then the TD will do what he or she has always done. Listen to both sides and rule.

> Art, it sounds lovely to say that people should be free to choose and have options. But that is not the way tournaments are supposed to be run because that does not allow for a level playing field.

A level playing field is not some Utopian ideal that we offer to the gods as a sacrifice. The important leveling of the playing field is between the players in a match. If 2 players want to go outside the room, away from everyone else and smoke while they play, then why would I care that the overall playing field is somehow not "level"? If they want to take their board to the bar and drink and watch a game while they play, great. They should not expect the TD to leave the room, so it's up to them to figure it out. And they need to use the clock in the bar if there is any danger of holding up the tournament (in a clocked tournament). I have frequently seen players play outside the room. Obviously TDs don't seem to mind.

> Please show me just ONE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR that agrees that at his tournament the players are free to revise any rule they want to without his permission, and then I will concede that maybe you have a point in some strange cases.

For the fourth or fifth time, I have not made this claim.

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