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Nack Ballard, Larry Leibster, Doug Roberts, Please come to Ohio

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Monday, 9 February 2015, at 10:49 a.m.

Joe Miller and his staff have run a "people-friendly" tournament for many years, and every year I enjoy the laid-back and fun atmosphere of this event. This event is not as highly-charged as a San Antonio or Vegas or Novi event, but is more of a fun weekend where you can still have some great backgammon, but the emphasis is not so much on "hard-core" backgammon where everyone fights to get the lowest PR on their streamed matches.

There are no clocks, unless both players want them, yet the tournament runs pretty much on time because of good scheduling and proper monitoring by the staff. Yes, I know many, including me, prefer clocks, but it's kind of nice to play in a different setting once in a while where I really can stop and take a good, long look at a very complex play and not worry about the clock. And I don't mind my opponent going slower because I know I have plenty of time for my next match, and if he gets ridiculous, the director can still slap a clock on him if he's holding things up.

Video taping of matches is also allowed only with both player's agreement. Again, I know there are players who believe this is wrong. They want to tape all their matches and study every move. But those players have plenty of other tournaments and opportunities to study their games and to work on their games. Joe is trying to make this tournament more about letting people relax and have fun, and you know what, when I am not being recorded maybe I will give a cube a little earlier if I think I can manage that position better than my opponent or get a pass error, and that's something I have problems doing if it affects my PR in a way everyone will know. The game is a little different this way.

Okay, so some people won't play if they can't record their match, and insist on having clocks. They are free to vote with their feet. There are other players that love playing without clocks and without their games being analyzed and recorded. It's kind of nice that someone is offering this option for those players.

Not every tournament has to be the same, and as long as we know the rules going in, it's fair for all who attend.

So I named three people in the title of this post who have expressed problems in the past relative to recordings and clocks--here's your chance to play backgammon the way you like it.

And for those of you, like me, who prefer clocks and also like to see how we played, chill! You can still have a great time with a lot of nice people at a far less expensive tournament in a very nice hotel in a great city and enjoy our favorite game.

By the way, for the record, I was someone who seriously thought about not attending tournaments that didn't make clocks mandatory, but then after going to a couple of tournaments run by Joe, Bill Davis, and others, that managed to keep the game moving without clocks, and seeing that the game can still be a lot of fun that way, I have changed my mind. I hope others will too.

Nack, if you will come to Ohio, not that you need it, I will be so excited to see you play again, I will pay your entry fee.

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