Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Leave us alone!

This message was my contribution to a long thread in regard of Backgammon Giants.

I do not want to repeat the things I share with most of Iancho's post and all the others. Here is my 2 cent.

We humans are the only animal that manipulates his own kind. And this is the raison d'etre for our civilization. That is how we get to know and also how we are lead, and also lead astray... Manipulation is the base of education and ... propaganda.

The contribution to the backgammon of today and tomorrow (I intentionally omit the past) is not only playing; but organizing - Perry Gartner, Chiva, Bill Davis etc. etc.; research - Nack, Paul, Stick, Neil etc. etc. incl all of you here; education - Phil and the gang. What about the other nations' Giants? I would like more financial promoters in the Giant's pub.

There was an interesting post, I can't remember where I got this info (Iancho?): the top backgammon performers won approximately every tenth event. If someone in the last years won prizes more often - then he could be considered a Giant. Robertie did, Sly did, Kit did it last years. I guess when they read Iancho, they think in the good old style: don't scare me by mouth young guy, reach out for your wallet.

There is a good way to measure success - the golden ranking of the WBF - the annual winnings recalculated in gold. Alberto Da Pra also belongs here with his long term contribution.

I have to remind X-22's definition of a top player - the one who consistently manages (using his cashes) to cover his traveling, hotel, entry fees etc. expenses. Travellers are sure tops.

This also reminds me of my long time idea: LEAVE US ALONE!

Suppose I play 10 events a year and eventually win a tournament. There comes Mr. Taxman to collect the income tax. Please, wait Mr. Taxman - all the moneys here were taxed once - every player was fleeced by you when he earned this money - this is double taxation. I am not a law Giant, but I have some other reasoning - Mr. Taxman. If just dealing with my own money is taxable (if this is considered business) then only the NET income should be taxable - whether the organizer or the player is an object of taxation. When the TOP PLAYERS win approximately 1 out of 10 tournaments - what is the proportion of winnings and expenses? What is the situation with other sports - e.g. tennis.

At last, the first thing: BACKGAMMON IS A SPORT. Games may be just games in the kindergarten. They may be competitive games - at home or in the local pub for a box of Turkish delight. Backgammon is played by millions and that is still not enough for it it be a sport. But when such games are studied scientifically, organized and played professionally worldwide... This game is much more a sport than many olympic games and deserves it's place in the family of intellectual sports.

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Rakes surpress level

Technology of the 20th century brought about a leap in quality of backgammon too. Hundreds of players today play stronger than world champions of the 1980s.
Bots and online servers made it possible to record and analyze every move and game. Bots alone brought about changes in opening and middlegame strategies.
Online servers eliminated distances, hotel costs, reduced organizational costs.
Many talanted young players with a thin wallet could play or watch world class players online.

See this and think


Recent rake hikes of Truemoneygames and similar increase of registration fees, table fees, etc. may bring an opposite trend. In order to beat the table fees, players will (as already have on Gamesgrid) try different means to pick a player at least 200 rating points below. Some will "vote with their feet" as Hank Yongerman did.

In a market environment the most efficient way to fight high prices is to sustain a viable competition. What this translates to is that contemporary supply of backgamon action services is insufficient. We need more tournament/cafe organizers in our home town, more online servers.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Backgammon servers and backgammon culture

Replying to my comment on backgammon culture someone in a discontinued thread on rec.games.backgammon asked: what is bg-culture - some kind of martial art?

Backgammon culture consists of art, science and sport. Here I exclude gamblung, on purpose. Gambling is a hereditory feature. Backgammon is a game of bets. While anti-gambling majority would cry aloud all the time against "the gamblers", I would like to ask a simple question: whose assertion do you believe more - the one who says:

- Believe me, bla bla bla

or the one who says:

- I bet 2 to 1, bla bla bla?

Art is skill + applied science.
Science is collection of facts from sport + discovery.

Backgammon servers and casinos would like to have backgammon as mere gambling tool, but the game has grown up from its 3000 year old childhood and has its own requirements. We, who pay substantial amounts in the form of rake, fees, etc., have the moral right to require improving service and reducing rakes. The way to achieve it in a commercial environment is to encourage competition by giving credit to improvements of the service and "voting with our money" for the best service providers.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


A new backgammon server is on line. The GammonEmpire.com is a fresh one month old baby of Israeli creators. You can play money games and matches (both for real money and for fun). The owners have started with the proven appetizers (known from truemoneygames.com) - the free-roll added money tournaments. They have added money to some paid tournaments too, and there you have an added money tourney every hour.
I am sure the owners are doing every bit to improve their machine and make it competitive to the already established GamesGrid and truemoneygames.
One thing the new machine lacks is the save match/session feature. The checker movement is somewhat slow. Some of the automatics need to be reworked - auto-checker-play, auto-bear-off, auto-roll.
Of course, there should be more things to refine and the owners are open minded.
If you like to help improve the machine, bring players and earn money - come here:
and become an affiliate

If you just like to play for money, you can register here. Do not forget to mention your signup coupon SVILO when asked, to get a USD 5 bonus to your USD 25 deposit.
I am sure both professional and regular backgammon players will like this new server.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Las Vegas Open

LAS VEGAS BACKGAMMON OPENNovember 10-14, 2004; Las Vegas, Nevada
CHAMPIONSHIP (101+27 rebuys): 1-Walter Trice (MA), 2-Greg Kurrell (CO), 3/4-Malcolm Davis (TX) / Jorge Pan (Argentina); 1C-Morten Holm (Denmark), 2C-Dod Davies (England), 3C/4C-Dennis Culpepper (VA) / Matvey "Falafel" Natanzon (Israel); 1LC-Claude Marbleu (France), 2LC-Mark Rozans (LA).
INTERMEDIATE (127+1 rebuy): 1-Wolfram Sauer (TX), 2-Cyrille Fauquet (France), 3/4-Robert Appell (CA) / Yuriko Kondo (Japan); 1C-Jonah Seewald (CO), 2C-Mark Antranikian (CA), 3C/4C-David Hennessy (Australia) / Cy Yehros (NV); 1LC-Tom Duggan (England), 2LC-Sam Orandle (NV).
BEGINNER (51+13 rebuys): 1-Daniel Stroberger (CA), 2-Ernesto Nassau (CA), 3/4-Milton Gonzalez (Costa Rica) / Leonard Michael Lemay (CO); 1C-Mahmoud Jahanbani (England), 2C-Larry Kamin (IL); 1LC-Carl Blumenstein (CA), 2LC-Ruth Longman (MI).
SUPER JACKPOT (bracket of 64 with buy-ups to round of 16): 1-Steve Sax (CA), 2-Joe Sylvester (MO), 3/4-Leo Fernandez (Argentina) / Ray Fogerlund (CA).
LIMITED JACKPOT (bracket of 64 with buy-ups to round of 16): 1-Joaquin Viejobueno (Argentina/CA), 2-Tom Wheeler (TX), 3/4-Hersel Namdar (NY) / David Shadi (NY).
SENIORS (128): 1-Tom Wheeler (TX), 2-Herb Gurland (MA).
BLITZ (320): 1-Dean Adamian (MI), 2-John O'Hagan (IN).
MINI-MATCH #1 (128): 1-Masahiko Nasu (Japan), 2-Osamu Omodera (Japan).MINI-MATCH #2 (64): 1-Perry Gartner (NJ).
DOUBLES (32 teams): 1-Masahiko Nasu (Japan) & Don Thompson (USA/Japan), 2-Nack Ballard (CA) & Hsiao-Yee (CA).
$500 SATURDAY JACKPOT (8): 1-Kit Woolsey (CA), 2-Doug Mayfield (CA).
$100 SATURDAY JACKPOT (48): 1-Frank Bierekoven (NV), 2-Larry Arnold (MN).
$50 AFTER TOURNAMENT TOURNAMENT (28): 1-Nodar Gagua (Russia), 2-Masahiko Nasu (Japan).
$20 AFTER TOURNAMENT TOURNAMENT (22): 1-Jona Alexander (CA), 2-Daniel Stroberger (CA).

Friday, November 12, 2004

BACKGAMMON PRO AMNovember 6-10, 2004; Las Vegas, Nevada
OPEN (14): 1-Nack Ballard (CA) & Wayne McClintock (CA), 2-Lars Bønding (Denmark ) & Katja Spillum (Norway), 3/4-Dod Davies (England) & Wayne Felton (England) / Claude Marbleu (France) & François Tardieu (France).

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Minnesota Backgammon Championships

October 29-31, 2004; Prior Lake. Minnesota

OPEN (27): 1-Yury Millman (MN), 2-Fred Kalantari (MN); 1C-Charlie Cole (VA), 2C-Duane Jensen (MN); 1LC-Ralph Stowell (MN).

INTERMEDIATE (24): 1-Phil Biesanz (MN), 2-Steve Neidecker (IL); 1C-Philip Smith (NC), 2C-Gary Fletcher (MN).

NOVICE (8): 1-Dale Harsh (MN), 2-Phil Little (MN); 1C-Dave Settles (IL).

MYSTIC MASTERS (9): 1-Gregg Cattanach (GA), 2-Mike Sharp (CA).

DOUBLES (14 teams): 1-Jim Pokela & Dave Wetzell (MN).

BLITZ (32): 1-Art Moore (CA), 2-Lee Goldstein (MN).

MINI-MATCHES (48): 1-Mike Sharp (CA).