[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums

Should pip counting be made harder?

Posted By: Taper_Mike
Date: Thursday, 12 June 2014, at 4:27 a.m.

In Response To: Remembering 1 Number while calc the 2th (Marv Porten)

Some players who are particularly adept at counting pips and memorizing the result take a special pleasure in the task. They enjoy it, and the advantage it brings them when they face an opponent who is not so good at it.

For the overwhelming majority of players, however, pip counting is a chore. It is a necessary evil that does not add to their enjoyment of backgammon. Strategy, tactics and perhaps the thrill of a lucky roll are what interest them, not racing to see who can add and multiply the quickest. Adopting interpretations of the rules that make pip counting harder is bound to be turn-off for this group.

People have been placing their fingers beside points on the board as an aid to pip counting for decades. I do not know the genesis of Bill’s ABT rules, but my guess is that the practice of putting one’s fingers near the board was well accepted when he wrote them. If it was his intention to outlaw the practice, a practice I am suggesting was common at the time he wrote, it would have been easy for him to spell that out. But he did not do that. Instead, he wrote about “mechanical aids.” In this context, my interpretation is the one I gave in my earlier post. Bill was not referring to the placement of one’s fingers. He was writing about non-electronice devices, such as the slider built into vintage Aries boards (see below), that can be used as mechanical aids to pip counting.

I find little or no distinction between resting one’s hands at predefined positions on one’s leg (as in Nack’s “phone count”) and resting one’s fingers on predefined locations in front of the board. Why we would want to install a punctilious interpretation of rules that makes one legal and the other illegal is beyond me. If it is our desire to appeal to the vast majority of players, we should favor an interpretation that sanctions what players have been doing for decades. If we want to create yet another barrier to the growth of the game, we should make it illegal to do what has been acceptable for decades.

Are you a player who would like to see pip counting made harder? This is your chance to say so. If you agree with me, however, this is also your chance to speak out. I trust I am not standing alone on this.

Click the photo below to see more images of this vintage Aries board. (Be forewarned: The link is to etsy.com, an auction site where the board was for sale, so the link may eventually go stale.)


Aries Board3

Messages In This Thread


Post Response

Your Name:
Your E-Mail Address:

If necessary, enter your password below:




[ View Thread ] [ Post Response ] [ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

BGonline.org Forums is maintained by Stick with WebBBS 5.12.