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Some things to consider *long*

Posted By: Barry Silliman
Date: Monday, 6 October 2014, at 3:03 a.m.

In Response To: Suggested Idea for Performance Grading (Rick Janowski)

How will the 'candidate' matches be transcribed? By hand? Then either expect to shell out some money to pay a transcriber, or have very generous friends willing to transcribe for cheap or for free, or do it yourself and expect your game to suffer accordingly. (These matches must be under clocked conditions, right? If you can transcribe your matches while playing on ABT timings, you deserve a title for that alone). Oh, and don't forget to make room in the already crowded playing room for the transcribers. Don't worry, the tournament director will be able to take care of that without passing on the cost to you.

By video recording? Okay, that's awesome. What if both players are candidates? Do they both record? Make sure you get twice as many tables as you would otherwise need. Don't worry, the tournament director will be able to take care of that without passing on the cost to you.

Just one of you will record for both? No problem... what happens when Player A records but just doesn't quite get around to transcribing it as fast as Player B needs the results to get his certified I-5 status? What happens when Player A totally butchers his match and then the match recording is "accidentally" lost or corrupted.

So all candidates, please go out and buy your tripods and cameras and all. But while you're at it could you please spend $50 or so for a one-time purchase of a clock?

Backgammon is a social game, right? We want it to be a sporting and gentlemanly game, right? (See Legal Moves). Well, if you allow a 'candidate' player to choose which matches he wants to count, you create the situation where if Player A tells Player B that the A vs. B match will not count for his title quest, he is in essence saying "You suck so I plan on making sub-optimal moves against you". That's great for social camaraderie and making friends and sportsmanship. If you say you will be in 'candidate' status for an event, you should be required to have ALL matches in that event count. But wait, you say, sometimes the winning strategy is the sub-optimal PR strategy! Well, then, maybe Ray's onto something after all and the lowest PR isn't the be-all and end-all.

Here's an idea, save the PR mania for a separate room (don't worry, the tournament director will provide that room for you with no added cost to you) where you can all log into XG in a proctored setting and play your matches against XG, have your results immediately saved in your profile, and you can have your I-5 certificate printed out immediately (the tournament director will provide the printer, paper, ink and frame suitable for hanging, at no extra cost to you) certifying that you play between a 16.0 and 18.0 PR. Granny will be so proud.

Then once the ink drys on your new diploma you can go into the next room where the players like Ray and Iancho and Maya and David who just want to play backgammon against human beings and try to actually win a match will welcome you into their brackets with open arms. Please take your certificates with you. That will certainly intimidate them.

Until the day arrives when all live tournament matches are played on computers - and I know some people would like to see that but I suspect a large majority of players do not want to see that, as there's just something wonderful aesthetically about the sound of real dice in a real cup rolled onto a real board and real checkers slapped on the bar, sounds as pleasing as the crack of a batted ball to a baseball fan- I think that many of you are underestimating the negative impact your system would be imposing on both the players and the tournament staff.

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