Forum Archive : Books

Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube

From:   Kevin Bastian
Date:   10 November 97
Subject:   Re: New backgammon book
Google:   01bcee1f$8360fe60$

> The new BG book advertised on the back of the latest issue of Inside
> Backgammon sounds interesting: "Winning with the Doubling Cube". But does
> anyone know anything about the author, Peter Bell? Can we trust his
> opinions etc? I ask simply because most of the books published are by the
> likes of Woolsey, Robertie, all renowned experts.
> Also, if anyone's actually seen, or even read the book, I'd be interested
> to read their comments.

I'm excited to hear that Peter Bell's book has been published.  Peter is,
or at least was, USRobots on FIBS.  He's a strong intermediate player,
though certainly not open level or world class.  BUT...

He has a great analytical mind and is an EXCELLENT writer.  He had several
articles (the makings of some chapters) that were posted awhile back, I
presume here on r.g.b.  At the time I didn't have newsgroup access and I
believe they were e-mailed to me by a friend.  They were EXCELLENT!

I spoke with Peter about this book nearly two years ago, so it's been in
the making a long time.  At THAT time, he was in contact with Robertie who
had agreed (as I understood it then) to review and publish it.  Kit Woolsey
was at the same party as Peter and I and there was some discussion about
Kit reviewing it as well.  (I mean reviewing BEFORE going to press, not

This is all hearsay!  I am posting it simply to:

A. To endorse Peter as an excellent analyst and writer, based on the
doubling cube articles he "published" in 1995.

B. To whine about the fact that in the spring of 1996 Peter beat me in a
FIBS game when I had 14 men off and, with NO men off, he hit my last man
and went on to win the game.  While that isn't unheard of, THE VERY NEXT
GAME he ALMOST succeeded in repeating the same miracle, hitting my last man
when he had no checkers off the board yet, and getting NEARLY all his men
off before I was able to barely win it!  Talk about a deja vu nightmare!!!
But I still like Peter anyway...

C. To suggest that the book in all likelihood has been reviewed for content
by one or more top players/authors, who may have even been contributors.
Again I stress "may."  The point being, don't dismiss the book out of hand
just because you've never heard of Peter Bell.  I'm hoping someone who
knows first hand about the book will answer this post authoritatively.

D. To openly question whether it's necessary that a backgammon book need be
written by one of the world's best players in order for it to be excellent
-- even excellent enough to be USED by the world's best (or almost best)
players.  Although many (most?) backgammon books have been written by the
world's top players, I can't help but draw analogies to two other areas of
human endeavor, business and sports.

In my experience, the best technicians seldom make the best managers.
Conversely, the best managers often weren't the best technicians, but they
know how to lead, plan, manage, motivate, hire, etc.  The best technical
writers are usually not the best technicians, but they know how to pick the
brains of the experts (whose writing skills may not match their technical
expertise) and organize the information into an intelligible document.
Finally, in sports, the best managers usually weren't the star players, but
rather they excel at management skills, similar to the business world.


Let's hope to hear soon from Peter Bell himself or his publisher or someone
who has their hot little hands on the book and can tell us who published
it, who contributed to it, etc.

As for me, I'm going to go to FIBS right now and see if USRobots still has
an account, and if he does, leave a message for Peter asking about his
book.  I want it!
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



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