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Posted By: Iancho Hristov
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2009, at 2:58 p.m.

In Response To: Giants List - Candidates etc...(long) (Stick)

Giants List

Fisrt i want to note that the giants list with each year become better and better, if u just note what was before 6 years it was ridiculous,now the last list was pretty much showing the reality, i would says 80% accurate.Still there is some small problems as the point system, demographic votes and etc. 1. The point system-it is kind of strange the first player in every ballot get 32 points and the last one only 1 pt, is the first one better 32 times?Also it is funny if i vote for a friend in first place he will get 32 points, and someone who appears in 5 ballots but it is between 25-32 places will be behind this person that i put number 1.(rofl) There is no accurate point system and there is no bonuses to appear in more ballots or to be for let's says 10 times number 1,10 times in top 10 and etc. 2.There is still problem about this.Americans does not know well EU players and the opposite. Only players who travel a lot get good idea who is good or not. Other that are not strong as Stickyfish and can't judge who is good or not just pick names who got good results lately and that is it. Or they just put same and same names over the years....like before 2 years i saw lot of people(EU) voting for Magriel and Robertie-ok don't misunderstand me those 2 are maybe the 2 greatest forever bg players in the world,they've done a lot about bg, but last not 2, but at least 5 years they play one event per year in the best case, and they don't keep the game they had before,cause of poker or so... i think if we want the game to grow we have to live in today's days, not 5-10 years ago even more. Just look at the new names comming, they are all great, but notmany pay attention to them,cause the whole attention is every year on 5 players and they are always the same.SEE new stars comming-Bracconi, MCG, STick already old...

Let's take a look about the giants list 3 votes.How i said in my opinion Giants list shows results before 4-5 years:)When i start playing before 5 years i start building my db with matches of the top players.In that time i was impressed with some players that were not even in top 10,that time Tardieu was only 14, that everybody in Europe was thinking he is the best EU player,cause Shiemann and Levermann already were not very active and Grandell just quit the game. Tardieu won 3 european titles and many more titles. Falafel was 8maybe cause of his popularity in USA. 2 years later-2005 Neil Kaz is crushing Abt, making new record with more than 70 points for the year, and Tardieu considered the best in Europe shown in numberous tournaments his great game,winning some events, so those 2 look very strong for the first place cause Nack was already innactive(pro am & vegas)but they were 2 and 3.-Nack first and Jerry grandell who did not have one official match was number 9!2 years ago Sander won both Cannes and Nations cup,played great every match and was considered best player in Europe and probably the world but he got only 4 place!Stick was already star in his forums,played a lot events,scores well but he did not appears in top 32,lol? This is what i'm trying to tell,giants list is somewhat behind 2-3 years...so maybe this year the ranking will be even more accurate than last years. Let's take a look on some groups that i split people on their chance to appear in top 10,top 20 or so... First i will start for top 5: Falafel Natanzon-I bet that 5 years ago Falafel had the strongest checker play in the world and was the best moneygame player in the world,but he got only 8 th place. Last year falafel finally won the Giants list. In My opinion Falafel has all parts needed to be number 1-participate and cash in lot of events all over the world, play extremly low error rate, he talk bg,he live bg... weaknesses-people said he is not good in matches and he is not into match equity stuff and ect...but just see his results last years-he has more than 60% cashes in tournaments!He is definately in the top!Avg Eror rate out of 50 matches-3.0 in good days to 3.3 in bad days.Chance of appearing in top 5-95% Nack Ballard- i never saw his game , and i'm not the person to judge, the only think that talks about him is that he was 6 years number one!There were rumours his avg .er rate is 2.5 that i don't trust somehow,cause for 5 years the best avg er.rate that i ever saw was 2.8, and only 2 players i saw bellow 3 on avg after 50 matches, but if this is true he is away better than everybody else.He is done a lot about bg,books and etc, but his main problem is-not attending tourneys-in all sports best players attend tourneys. It is look like Nack really have maybe the deepest knowledge about the game, from his comments here u see that even in the small stuff he see somethign and have great explanation, the only similar thing i ever saw are comments of John O'Hagan about cube ats. All others players just says this is right or so,and mostly check first their bots..(lol) Chance to appear in top 5-60%(i'm pretty sure he will be top 10 again, but hard to says about top 5,cause he did not even attend Vegas) Francois Tardieu- i think this is the player that bg community own a lot, i think he should of win at least once last 4 years the giants list but he was 3d. This year i doubt he will be top 3,cause he is playing mostly poker-2 bg events per year.Still on my list him and Sander are the only players bellow 3 on avg.( i guess soon Stick will be,i don't have 50 matches of him, but he look damn strong when he is not drunk). He is Always open for discussion about bg and he really loves the game,and the most important he is not gambler-he is just real sportman, in My opinion he deserves to be on the top, just he need to plays more often. His avg er.rate is 2.8 out of 54 matches. Chnces for top 5-80% Sander Lylloff- number 44 before 4 years, when he should be top 10 and number 4 before 2 years when everybody knew he is the best. This year i don't know.... maybe he will be in top 3-He play extreamly well-2.8-2.9 on avg. He cashes a lot,even he play poker too,he attend some events.He is still very young and very strong. Falafel's and Gus's choices for number 1 in the world.I can't find any weeknesses in his game...Chance for top 5-98% Neil Kazaross-is for sure the most succesfull player in ABT-he won it again last year for 3rd time,all time number 1 there and he owe record for most points in one season.Somehow it is strange americans don't vote for him so much- he was only 5th last year and in his best year he was second!So this year i guess he will be somewhere in top 5.His weaknesses he does not travel to europeans tourneys very often and this way he loose lot of votes.I don't know what his avg er.rate is cause i have matches of him mainly posted online, so i don't want to use them as criteria.If i record 50 matches of him i would says for sure what can be his error rate.;) Chance for top 5-80% Mochy - he is great student of the game, he play very well 3.14 on avg last 50 matches and he won the world championship 2009.So Mochy has great chance to be in top 5 and even win the Giants List, he fulfil every aspect. Chance for top 5-99%

Now group of another 5 that also desrves to be top 5, but i'm not sure how people will vote:

Stick Rice- he is total donkey, even he did not appears in top 32 last voting,i'm pretty sure this one he will be somewhere in top 10- he has the game and he play lot of events in USA and this year in Europe.i bet he has the best error rate from all Americans and he is not working so he has lot of time to practice and study. I'm sure one day he will be number 1 just i don't know when maybe in 2 or 4 years. His main weaknesses is that he is drinking even more than Maya , he stay until late nights so he can't wake up and be fresh for tournaments-:) Chance for top 5-50%, chance for top 10-90% Michy - He is great japanse player and i hope he will finally be in the giants list, his avg er.rate is 3.12 from last 50 matches, he played final in the biggest tourney this year in Enghien, he travel and play a lot in Europe, so for me he is top 5 for sure, but he is not as popular as mochy to other players so i guess he would not be even in top 10.Chance for top 10-15% Bob Wachtel - he has the reputation in Europe to be the best us player. He was 9 before 2 years but i get the impression that he get most of his votes in europe,not in USA. he also own the record for the lowest error rate in final of World BG Championship. His avg is around 3.4-3.5 but this is data from 3 years ago , so not sure if he improved or not now. I guess he will jump 1-3 places in the rankings and for sure he will be top 10.Chance for top 5- 10% Fernando Braconi - He is european champion for 2008, he is something like eu variant of Stick-he play every match around 1-2, from 8 matches i played against him he has fenomenal stats( every time between 1-2.5). I guess he has no more than 5% chance to be top 10, but i hope he will appears in top 32, he really deserves to be top 10. Gus Hansen - I don't agree he is not active,cause the rankings is for the last 2 years, and in 2008 he played all wsob events and got second in Cannes.If he was only into bg no doubt he will be my number 1. Chance for top 10 30%.

Next players are players with low error rates that i guess will be somewhere between top 10-20:

Steen Gronbech - He is really good, he play lot of tourneys, he outplay some of the biggest names lately but he never appeared in top 32 so i think it will be hard for him to be top 10,so i guess he will be in the group of 10-20 . In my vote he will be top 10 for sure and i hope he will be, it is example of great new name for top 10. Jon Royset- He is ex world Champion and he play extreamly well. I guess he has no more than 10% chance for top 20, even i think he strongly deserves it. Lars Trabolt- He won WC in 2008 and play final in 2009. He is best online player in all the sites-play65, GA and etc. he play and beat the highest stakes.I guess he will be somewhere between 5th place and top 15. John O'Hagan- i guess he has great game and he explain very well backgammon positions and etc, he has some good results and i think he is top american player, better than lot that are before him in the rankings.i Guess he will be somewhere between top 10 and top 20. Morten Holm- Maybe this is not the right place for him,just i forget to put him in the group bellow. He definately has strong game and good results,from years he is one of the top danish players.I guess he can be everywhere from 5 to 15 place. Petko Kostadinov and Dana Nazarian are both very strong-3.51 and 3.54 on avg, with this scores they can be in top 10-15 for sure, just the problem is that Dana and Petko never shows up in Europe.Still i put both of them in top 15. Chances for top 20 50%. MCG- This is the new Stick, he has great game,very law error rate,but he will need more experience and to attend some popularity until he got famous and get more voters. Even Falafel said that MCG is future number 1. I guess he has 20% chance to appears in top 32 as i said Giants list hardly accept new players;)But i think he should take the place of teh old guns and be in top 20.

Old Guns:

Steve Sax , Kit Woolsey- i think Steve will deserve for sure his place in top 15,he is having strong game and attend lot of tourneys.I think Kit will drop few places to some new names. Steve is having error arte of around 3.78 that will place him in top 15 of the best error rates. Kit is little bit higher but maybe he does not pay attention playing online.

Bill robertie and Magriel- all the respect to them but i doubt they deserves and they should be in Giants 2009, let's make the ranking real and up to date.

Malcolm Davis and Mike Corbett-they both have great game and results, they play often and i think they can be everywhere from 10 to 30 places.

top 20-30 and some players with good results and not impressive error rates:

Ray Fogerlund - no need to talk here,everybody now that he is not that great in tehnical stuff but he has the best results last 2 years. Evrybody have the chocie how to place people-er.rate,results or something else. Definately i think Ray deserves place in top 32.

some others: Richard Munitz-He is not bad player in any case but he is not same level as the one in top 10 mentioned before. he has avg around 4, he has great results last few years and i think he improve really fast. I would says he will be somewhere between 20-30.


I don't think there will b new danes in the rankings, instead of the one we already have,even i think some may deserves to be in Like Mikael larssen ,Andreas Olsen and etc. I'm not sure if PJT will keep also his place cause of inactivity. i would guess that Sander, Morten, Steen, Trabolt will make top 32. Bonding will be out. Chances for top 32 also have Karsten Bredhal.


evrybody remmeber the time when Germany was power in backgammon-Levermann, Shiemann, Kuhl, Jonas, Heitmueller and etc... now they are innactive and i don't see anybody who can be top 10 from them , even top 20. Germans that can appears in top 32 are Humke, Hildsberg, Orlowski and Najib i doubt others are strong enough or popular enough to be top 32.


The only Brit that i admit has the game and chance to be top 32 is Raj Jansari. With good popularity are John Clarck and J. Fatterlein but i doubt they will make top 32.


There few females that we can talk about...

Certenly i would says that the only one i can see in top 32 is Katja Spillium. She has sharp game-around 4 on avg, she cashed in London and she play some events regulary. Before there were debate if she or maria is better,now Katja is cleary the strongest female in the world and she prove it with her game. Pia and Maya are second to consider after Katja,they had some results and pretty strong games. Simonetta H. had some good results too but i doubt she can be in top 32. Jinelle G. and Maria K. were an option before 2 years, but now they are hardly seen in tournaments. Marry Hickey remain best choice in USA, but now very close after her is CJC winning first ever US Open.

From all the female i would consider chance of 30% to see Katja in top 32 and she to become the first ever female in top 32.I doubt there will be any others.

Some remarks:

* if i don't give er.rate for somebody is to reason he is more than 4 on avg or i don't have enough matches of him. * everybody has the choice to pick criteria how to vote,and error rates are may not be the most importants as the results and etc and i don't want to force anybody to vote for players i suggest, i just hope with those reviews i will help some players that does not know well some of the players and how to vote. * Maybe i miss some players but i just did not put some i think are not for the list.

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