Posted By: Ray Kershaw
Date: Tuesday, 11 November 2014, at 2:53 p.m.
I found this an interesting comment by Raymond Keene, a UK chess expert and journalist. Any chance that backgammon could join up with poker to get some sponsorship?
"Tension has always existed between games of skill, such as chess or draughts, and games seemingly based on chance, like backgammon and poker. The Russian grandmaster and chess historian Yuri Averbakh has suggested that different kinds of games mirror changing human attitudes towards life, the universe and everything. So games of chance indicate the idea of the gods being in control, whereas games of pure skill suggest the start of the human assumption of responsibility.
"Of course, devotees of ‘chance’ games like backgammon would say skill is involved, in spite of the random element of the dice throw.
"An interesting new development is that poker and chess have started to ally themselves. A recent tournament in the Isle of Man, won convincingly by Nigel Short, was sponsored by the online gaming site PokerStars, while the so-called Millionaire Chess Tournament in Las Vegas (won by Wesley So) was modelled on a structure associated with poker events. Notable, above all, was the prize fund of $1 million, with a first prize of $100,000. This represents the largest single prize fund ever offered for a chess tournament. The shape of things to come?"
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