Opponent handling checkers on your turn
Posted By: Jason Lee
Date: Tuesday, 10 June 2014, at 8:27 p.m.
Occasionally, when it's your move, an opponent will place a checker on the bar for you that you're about to hit off the bar. This practice is, of course, against the rules, as you are not allowed to touch checkers when it is not your turn. Rule 4.3 of the US Backgammon Tournament Rules and Procedures addresses this:
4.3 ... A player shall not touch any checkers or dice during the opponent's turn.
My usual "requests" of my opponents to not do this typically fall on deaf ears. I think I've stumbled upon the way to get people to stop doing this, and I think it works well. I used this in the Beltway tournament last Sunday against an opponent who kept doing this.
After my opponent picked up the checker that was about to be hit and placed it on the bar, I stopped and put the checker back, and said, "Is this the original position?" My opponent agreed, and then I played, moving the checker myself.
The other thing I might add is: "Your play was illegal." Really, I'm right. Since it's against the rules to handle the checkers when it's not your turn, any time you do so, you're making an illegal play. Well, I play Legal Moves, and part of legal moves is: (1) only the person whose turn it is may handle the dice and (2) we always nullify illegal checker plays.
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