Simborg Interviews
Tuvya Felt
New York Metro Backgammon Masters Champion
Interviewed by Phil Simborg, 2015
Tuvya Felt Tuvya Felt popped up on the backgammon scene less than a year ago at the Chicago Open. Since then he has shown some impressive results, tying for second place in the Charlotte Open and winning the Masters in New York this January defeating no less than Victor Ashkenazi in the semis and Matt Cohn-Geier in the finals. His love for backgammon is apparent through his intense playing style and constant craving for action. Look for him any place a chouette can be found.

I first encountered him when he came to me for lessons a little over a year ago. I was immediately impressed by his keen mind and intelligence, but not at all by his backgammon skill, as he was clearly a beginner. I don't know any beginner that has accomplished so much in so little time (except maybe MCG), so I was curious to do an interview with him and find out what makes him tick.


Please give us some background on yourself, both from a backgammon perspective and otherwise.

My first memory of backgammon is my Dad's friend rolling boxes to win the game against my Dad. I always thought my Dad was the best player until I studied the game a bit and realized he is a complete donk.

Both sides of my family are heavy into games. My cousin, Bobby Felt, was a world scrabble champion. Jake Jacobs told me stories of Bobby and Nack Ballard discussing scrabble strategy in Chicago. My other cousin is a serious bridge player, and my uncles on my mother's side are all solid chess players.

I played backgammon my whole life but was mostly shuffling checkers around until about a year ago when I started to take the game more seriously.

Tell us more about you, personally.

I am 28 years old and was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Nothing too exciting, just a typical childhood. I went to college at University of Maryland and majored in criminal justice. It was at about this time that I started trading stocks which is what I do professionally now. I work for myself, set my own hours and vacation time and I make enough to cover my backgammon addiction. I augment my income by teaching backgammon to beginners on the Internet with coaching and help from you and Perry. I received a Master's degree in Social Work in New York, where I lived in Manhattan for two years.

I went through a religious phase in my early 20s. At one point I was studying to become a Rabbi. I taught myself Hebrew and Aramaic in about two years. If only I could have that same dedication towards backgammon! I learned a lot of good morals, but it ultimately wasn't who I really was and I had to be true to myself at the end of the day. I try and take the good parts of religion and incorporate them into my life and backgammon game.

I have spent some time in Israel and South Africa and have traveled the US extensively. My travels have made me appreciate Memphis and the quiet peace that it offers. I don't take the freedoms I have in this country for granted.

You studied to become a Rabbi. Why did you stop?

I just realized it wasn't who I really was. Also, I do not really enjoy dealing with people so much and to be a Rabbi is to be on call 24/7 and do weddings and services etc. It would not have worked out.

[Phil: Funny. I have a brother that became a most notable doctor (Professor at John Hopkins) and he gave up his practice because he just couldn't stand to hear people whine and complain all the time. He became one of the most famous leaders in computerized medicine. ("Computers don't cry.")]

What interests and hobbies do you have outside of backgammon?

I play many board games outside of backgammon. I play a lot of Settlers of Catan and a massive board game called Eclipse. I also enjoy chess a lot, but only play occasionally. I used to study chess and got to the point where I could play blindfolded. However, I am pretty bad at chess now. I also like guitar and video games.

[Phil: I can play just about every major game blindfolded. However, I play very badly and often knock over the boards.]

How did you first get pulled into the world of backgammon?

I was a poker player and frequented the Two Plus Two Forums. I accidentally stumbled upon Robertie's backgammon forum and was surprised that a game I thought was pure luck could have so much depth. At that moment I swore to myself that at some point I would learn this game.

How have you become such a good player so quickly? What do you do on a regular basis to improve your game?

Well this all depends on how you define "good player." I still have many holes in my game and would not consider myself in the top echelon of players. My performance rating (PR) distribution varies greatly and depends on the opponent I'm playing. Against Victor Ashkenazi or Extreme Gammon, I can play anywhere from a 4 PR to a 12. Against weaker players I usually average around a 7. My best performance PR-wise was playing a 4.1 over 17 games against a similar ranked player in a USBGF online match. (I participate in most of the USBGF circuits.) But because the giants are so good at maximizing their beneficial rolls and minimizing mine I naturally find it harder to play against them. I also play much better online than I do live. I am usually so hyped up to play live that I rush and make careless mistakes.

I read Magriel's Backgammon which I feel is mandatory reading for all beginners. After I read it I thought I was the best player in the world and was destroying all of my friends and family. Then I found FIBS and realized how bad I was. It was at this point that I started to fall in love with the game when I saw its incredible depth. I also realized that I love gambling and this game would satisfy both my craving for action and my love for intellectually stimulating games.

I started taking lessons with you, Phil, about 18 months ago, and that was the first time that I decided to study backgammon seriously. Your lessons got me caught up to speed on key concepts and approaches that I had no idea about and gave me insights into how to study and what to study to improve. I haven't completely followed your advice, as I mostly study by closely reviewing the games that I play and not moving on until I understand why my move was wrong and more importantly what is the key thing about the position that I did not see. After spending some time around top players I realized that backgammon was more closely related to chess than any other game. When I started to see backgammon like chess, I improved a lot.

How many hours a week do you play or study backgammon?

It varies dramatically from week to week and month to month. I play and study backgammon when I want to. There are no other criteria. Sometimes I go on a rush and play a lot and sometimes I take a week off. Backgammon is one of the few things I have never gotten burned out on and I want to keep it that way. This does not apply to tournaments of course. I will go to every tournament I can, and play all night because it is too much fun.

How often do you play online?

I play on GridGammon and FIBS. FIBS is a great community and I have even met up with a Fibster in Israel and played some live backgammon. We are good friends.

What advice do you have for a relative beginner to learn the game well?

I can answer this one well because I was recently there.

  1. Read Magriel's Backgammon slowly and absorb it.

  2. Read articles on the Internet.

  3. Get Extreme Gammon or GNU Backgammon and analyze your games.

  4. Take Lessons.

  5. Play backgammon, attend tournaments, and have fun.

What does your average day look like?

Wake up when I'm done sleeping. Check the stock market. Check (Stick's blog). Play video games or backgammon.

Every night while I am lying in bed I watch about an hour of backgammon. For some reason I fall asleep fast after I watch some backgammon and it helps me improve my game. I try and pick the best play, then see what the player does and compare them.

Lately I have been spending more time studying lessons plans, watching videos prepared by you, Phil, and giving lessons to beginners. I hope to fill more of my time giving lessons and eventually, as I get better and have more experience, teach higher level players as well as beginners.

Do you get bored teaching beginners? Isn't it a little tedious teaching how to move the checkers and the very basics of the doubling cube?

I enjoy teaching beginners more than anything. The Talmud says, "I have learned much wisdom from my teacher, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students and, just as a small piece of wood ignites a large one, similarly a beginner student sharpens the teacher's mind until he extracts from him, through his questions, wondrous wisdom."

The basics of backgammon are so important that you can never study them enough. You also see the most improvement and personal growth with beginners. I love seeing my students improve and get excited about the game.

Who are your heroes in backgammon, people you really respect for their play or their contributions to the game?

Victor is high on my list: He can explain positions better than anyone I've heard because he knows what is at the core of each position. I hung out with Falafel in Los Angeles, and after seeing him win prop after prop by wide margins against other giants I realized his true genius.

I have been very fortunate to be able to hang out with Falafel for several days in Los Angeles, and with Victor in New York, and with you and Carter and Matt Cohn-Geier and Jake Jacobs and others in Japan and elsewhere. I'm not trying to be a name dropper here, it's just that when you spend a lot of time with great players and teachers just talking about the game, you learn a lot.

Victor has taught me more about the game than anyone and I am so used to his 1-point-something PR's that it doesn't even surprise me anymore.

I respect David Todd for inventing his own style of play. He targets peoples' weaknesses and exploits them. Genius.

Also, all of the players that are around my age and better than me. They inspire me to keep improving.

Tuvya (left) with Victor Ashkenazi and Matt Cohn-Geier
[Photo taken at the New York Metro Open by Phil Simborg]

What is the weakest part of your game and what are you doing about it?

The weakest part of my game, for sure, is taking cubes I know are drops but taking anyway. I will do anything I can to talk myself into taking a cube and sometimes I take crazy gambling cubes. If I drop a cube, that is it, game over. You can't win by dropping. It's hard not to be curious about how a game will play out, and even if it is a small drop I will get good experience in this position. But if I drop a take then I have immediately given my opponent free money. I would rather take a drop than drop a take.

My favorite part of backgammon is redoubling to 4 or more in a money game or chouette. However, I need to make sure that this mentality doesn't bleed into tournament play. For me, all of my crazy doubles and takes are reserved for the chouette, but in tournaments I am always trying to play the best I can. The chou is purely for fun and excitement and for gambling. The tournament is all about playing well and doing my best to win.

What is your favorite tournament format?

Swiss or double elimination. That gives you more chance to stay in the hunt even if you lose a match or two. It keeps the tournament more exciting longer. My poker skills have shown me there can be a lot of equity gained from exploiting an opponent's cube weakness. I am currently keeping track of all of the cubes that were "no double" that my opponents dropped. The list grows every day.

Poker skills? Are you any good? Do you still play? And if you were good, why are you playing backgammon when so many fine poker and backgammon players have concentrated on poker primarily for the money?

I was a winning poker player. I wasn't a Giant, but I was certainly better than most players at the table. But once online poker was banned I stopped playing. It is true the money is much better in poker, but I just can't sit at a poker table for six hours. Backgammon is way more fun.

What is something most people don't know about you that would surprise people?

I can play Dance Dance Revolution like a champ.

You often make references to the Talmud (Jewish holy writings) in conversations about backgammon. Are there really correlations or do you just do it for fun.

There are so many correlations between backgammon and the Talmud that I can write a book with them. The Talmud says that students should bathe in the dust of their teacher's feet. I have learned tons of backgammon knowledge just by listening to what the pros talk about between matches. The Talmud deals with taking risks, being honest and fair with your opponents, punishing evil doers, being optimistic — just about everything I need to succeed at backgammon and life.

What are your plans for future tournaments and travel in backgammon?

I am planning on attending most of the ABT (American Backgammon Tour) tournaments and am hopeful for the Monte Carlo World Championships. When I was a poker player my dream was to play in the World Series of Poker, but now I'd be okay with winning Monte Carlo.

If you could change any of the rules of backgammon, what rules would you change?

I think legal moves should be worldwide, and fortunately, it is almost that way now.

I am torn between the baffle box and cups because I love shaking the cups in backgammon. It really adds to the seductiveness and mystique of the game. However, the baffle box is so convenient especially when I can just use my hand. I prefer both equally so either way I'm fine, but if baffle boxes became mandatory, as I understand they are in some tournaments in England when available, that would probably be a good thing.

Phil, your new see-through, quiet baffle box has really added to the game. It's kind of nice not worrying about whether your opponent is shaking his dice or rolling properly.

You often let your clock run down very low in important matches. Do you recommend that strategy?

Yes and no. If you aren't using enough of your clock then you probably aren't playing your best. If you use too much then you get into time pressure and play badly. It takes lots of practice to get a good balance, and one day I will get there.

[Phil: Good advice. In New York you were watching one of my matches and told me to slow down. I didn't even realize I was playing fast, and slowing down certainly improved my game.]

Very shortly after you learned the game you started to go to major tournaments and you insisted in playing in the Open Division even though you were eligible for Intermediate and even though you knew, from your PR, that you had little chance to cash in the Open. Most sane people would get some experience in the Intermediate first. Why not go that route?

The Talmud says, "It is better to be the tail of a lion than the head of a fox." I would rather come in last place in the open than win the Intermediate. That is just me. I am sure I have less money because of it, but I also have a lot more skill and experience. You have no idea how much I enjoy beating a Giant, or beating you!

Well, you did surprise a lot of people (most of all me) by very quickly beating a lot of Giants in major events. We know they outplayed you and you had to have some luck on your side, but your record against great players is truly impressive. Why do you think you've done so well?

I am currently undefeated against Matt Cohn-Geier, Akiko Yazawa, Victor Ashkenazi, Kit Woolsey, Frank Talbot, Bob Koca, and a few others on the top 32 in tournament play. (I would add Mochy to the list but I have never played him.) The vast majority are simply 1–0 records, but if we go by percentages then I am the greatest player of all time.

A lot of it truly is luck, but I make a very conscientious effort to get into volatile cubes and situations against players that are better than me. I know that I will not play as well as them, so I try and minimize the amount their extra skill can turn into equity.

My first match of my first tournament I played against someone named Michihito Kageyama. I beat him and thought I was amazing. My PR was probably 20 and I guess he played around 2. (Michy is currently the No. 2 Giant in the world).

Another great victory was beating you, Phil, in the first round of the Tokyo open. You spent so much time and effort finding a nice comfortable place for me to stay so I could be well rested when I beat you.

[Phil: Yes, I seem to remember traveling half way around the world to lose to one of my students in the first round. Actually, we have Mochy to thank for finding us a great Airbnb where you and I shared digs and had great fun with Eric Peterson and his partner, Kelly, Carter, Mick Dyett, and my son, Dan. Obviously you were not the only one who slept well, as Mick (another one of my students!) took second in the tournament.]

What players will you be putting near the top of the Giants list this year?

If there is one thing the backgammon community has taught me it's that my opinion isn't worth anything. But seriously, I am not good enough to be able to judge all the players playing on such a high level. To me when I watch any of the good players make some of the moves they make I am just awed at how they know which is right. If I had to pick I would choose in no particular order: Victor, Falafel, Mochy, Matt Cohn-Geier, and Matt Reklaitis.

I know you play Victor Ashkenazi often online, and for money. Do you really think you have a reasonable chance to beat him or are you just a masochist?

I have done some simulations on my computer and it is very possible for an inferior player to remain ahead in a money game for a very long time before the luck equalizes. I am known for my rolling abilities and they usually stop me from losing a lot of money. I am often quadruple his PR, but I get priceless experience from him.

Playing Vic is the single greatest thing that has helped me improve my game. Anyone who doesn't think Victor is one of the top players in the world doesn't know the game. He's also a great guy and has become a good friend. I stayed with him and Alia when I went to New York this year. Alia's amazing breakfasts were probably the reason why I won the Master's tournament.

In addition to making many tournaments in the U.S., you have been to Japan and you plan to go to Monte Carlo and Cyprus and other major events around the world. You know your odds of getting a reasonable financial return are poor. Doesn't it bother you to spend all that money on just a game?

I am not a materialistic person. I spend almost no money on anything else outside of the essentials. The rest I save for backgammon tournaments. They are literally the highlight of my month, so anything that fun certainly can't be a waste of money. The only waste of money is when I lose to these pure luck boxes in crazy chouettes.

Why do you like chouettes so much?

In five minutes Jack wins $3,000 while me and Vadim just look at each other thinking thank God we sold our cubes to the captain. What's not to love? And where else can I scream out, "Who's in the box?" and it be considered normal behavior?

What do you think needs to be done to help grow the game and make it more popular around the world?

I played poker both before and after the poker boom. What did it for poker was television. I doubt backgammon will work the same way, but I am starting to hear about more and more poker players taking up backgammon because they see what an amazing game it is for both gambling and for fun.

[Phil: I am teaching a few notable poker players and some celebrities, and I'm sure eventually some of them will surface at tournaments as well as the "underground" money scene. That scene is growing too, and that will also attract more to the game.]

If you were given a lot of money to run a backgammon tournament, what would you do to make it fun and interesting and attract a lot of players?

I would have a high stakes part, maybe a $5,000 buy-in with zero rake and $5,000 side pool. I like watching things that have large amounts of money on the line so it would probably be very entertaining. I am sorry I missed that Million Dollar tournament in the Bahamas a few years ago. I would have been there regardless of my chances.

When you get to a complicated cube decision in a complicated position at a complex score, do you do all the math to figure out exactly what your gammon-adjusted take point is and your recube vig, or do you rely more on your instincts, experience, and references to decide?

I try to figure out what makes sense. I think about it logically and go through every scenario. I have memorized a lot of the take points, but they usually fail me in the middle of a match. Most of the time, my logic gets me to the right conclusion and if it's wrong I know I had a fundamental misunderstanding of the position.

I know a lot of experts compute exact take points and estimate wins and gammons over the board, but I'm not there yet, and I have learned from Victor and Falafel that if you have a strong positional understanding and a good feel for how the score affects recube vig and take points, you can come pretty close to the right decisions most of the time. For me, and for most, "close is close enough."

New York, January 2015 was an amazing showing for you, particularly beating Victor in the semis and Matt Cohn-Geier in the finals of the Masters. What was going through your mind as you were getting close to victory in both matches?

I got to a quick 8–0 lead against Victor so I was pretty calm for that match and knew I had it in the bag. But midway through my match with MCG the pressure and excitement were getting to me. I could see the finish line and I became very distracted and it was hard to think properly.

It was my first finals and I had set a goal for myself to win a tournament within one year of my first tournament, and here I was — so close to the finish line. I really wanted to achieve that goal so my nerves caused me to make some bad plays. Fortunately, my rolling skills came to my aid. MCG was a great opponent and a great sport. I wish all of my opponents were as graceful as he is.

[Phil: Trust me, it doesn't matter how long you've played or how many finals you play in, everyone feels that pressure and excitement when they get to the finals of a big event.]

What were your greatest successes before the Masters win in New York?

Tying for second in Charlotte was quite an accomplishment. It's a modified Swiss format so you can't just luck out winning a couple of matches. Every time you win you get matched up with other winners. I believe you were one of the players I tied with, so you should remember it well. If it wasn't for that luck box, Carter (Mattig), I would have won the whole thing.

Will you share with us a huge blunder you have made in a tournament recently, and talk about why you think you made that error and what you have done to prevent making similar mistakes in the future?

I made a huge blunder cubing Matt Cohn-Geier on my last game of the Masters. You took a picture of it at the time to make sure I wouldn't forget it, and you instantly knew it was wrong. The worst part was, I knew 100 percent it was wrong, but I just impulsively doubled because I saw the finish line and I couldn't help myself.

I was up in the match and giving him the cube in a highly volatile position is just plain wrong. His recube vig is monstrous. I think I saw him smile involuntarily when I reached for the cube!

I love to gamble and raise the stakes, but the finals of a Masters tournament is not the time to do it. I am hoping that more experience and practice will help me get over this. Fortunately the dice were kind to me and I won.

I think it was about a 0.200 blunder. It's not the size of the blunder that bothers me; it's that I knew it was technically wrong and did it anyway. I'll write that off to inexperience and I think the odds of my making that same error again are much smaller. The Talmud says, "If you grab a little bit, then you've got something. If you grab too much, you will end up with nothing."

Do you read the latest articles online and in backgammon publications?

I read the USBGF Prime Time Magazine every month and I keep a copy of Robertie's 501 problems in my bathroom.

So you are a member and supporter of the U.S. Backgammon Federation?

Yes. Without the USBGF I probably would never have played in a tournament.

When you are at a backgammon tournament, what do you do between matches? Do you study? Do you relax? Do you have any problems going to sleep at night when you are at a tournament?

Between matches, I play chouette. I don't get to play live backgammon where I live so I try to get as much as I can in. At night time it can take me over an hour to fall asleep because I am so wired. After about a half dozen tournaments I realized that playing tired can hurt you big time in a match. Sometimes it can be hard to leave the chouette, but I've started to force myself to get to sleep at a reasonable time if I am still alive in the tournament.

I have one tip to everyone out there: If you play backgammon hungry you will be much more prone to tilt and you will steam easier and make careless mistakes. Make sure you eat something throughout the tournament so you can play at your best.

When you have a particularly unlucky streak and the dice seem to clearly be going bad for you, what are your thoughts? How do you handle it?

When I started playing backgammon my goal was to be the best sport I can be. At live tournaments I try very hard to enjoy the game regardless of the outcome and I do that pretty well. I always try to be a good sport towards my opponents.

I remember you telling me that over 20 years ago you made a pledge to never complain about luck, and that it will actually help your game and help you enjoy more. I have never seen you complain about the dice and I know you enjoy the game as much as anyone I know, so I will give you some credit here for being a good example for everyone.

Online is a different matter. A bad streak of games can get me raging, but I've learned that backgammon really is a game of streaks and I've started to get better and better at not getting frustrated at backgammon.

You have now become affiliated with the Backgammon Learning Center and give lessons regularly to beginners. You are the first teacher we have added to our group (Perry, Phil, Stick, O'Hagan, and Rockwell) in five years because we believe you are an exceptional teacher. What is your approach/philosophy to teaching beginners?

My philosophy is that all teaching must be fun or your students will not absorb anything. Backgammon is first and foremost a game, thus everything associated with it should be fun. It is also extremely important for teachers to motivate students and let them know they are improving. If I can't get my students to fall in love with backgammon at the end of our lessons then I have failed as a teacher.

Most top backgammon players are very strong at math. Are you? Have you studied math. Are you able to easily divide by 1296 over the board and do you do that kind of math over the board?

I am good at math but I am no John O'Hagan. I truly believe that math is one of the least important aspects of backgammon. It just takes basic statistics and math skills to know most of the important math for backgammon. One of the things I do with beginners is avoid getting into complicated math. First they need to learn the basics and learn just how cool this game is, and then we can talk numbers. And even then, I stress shortcuts and simple calculations. I don't think that's such a bad approach for stronger players as well.

Do you know the take points for all scores from 7-away 7-away and down? Do you know the match equities or can you quickly calculate them for all scores?

I know all of the match equities from 5-away 5-away and down. I use those to figure out the take points, and I have pretty much memorized the initial and recube take points for shorter matches. At other scores I just use the best logic I can muster.

If you had to pick out one trait of your personality or mind that has helped make you a great player, what would it be? (Matt Cohn-Geier said it was his ability to hone in on the most important factor very quickly and accurately and ignore the noise, for example.)

It would have to be a combination of Victor's chess-like approach to backgammon and MCG's hone-in quote. Backgammon is a game of positions and if you don't understand the position you will not be an expert at backgammon.

What are your all-time favorite movies and books?

I like depressing movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Full Metal Jacket.

I have read most of Shakespeare's plays and believe his insight into human nature is unparalleled. I spent about two years reading nothing but Shakespeare and now everything I read compared to it is like garbage.

What are your plans for the future relative to backgammon? What do you hope to be doing five years from now?

My future plans in backgammon are to keep going to tournaments and having a blast. I hope that within five years from now I can be playing around a 4 PR and have won at least three of the five World championships in Monte Carlo.

What kind of people or traits or rules or things in a backgammon tournament really bother you?

Anyone who is a bad sport. I am a gracious opponent whether I win or lose, and I hope that my opponents can show me the same courtesy. At one of my early tournaments I beat someone, stuck out my hand and said, "Good game." He says, "You call that a good game?" and got up and left.

What is your favorite backgammon book and what book or books do you recommend for beginners?

Magriel's Backgammon is mandatory reading. All beginners must read it. Serious beginners should then read Backgammon Boot Camp by Walter Trice.

What do you charge for lessons and how do you give them?

I charge $30 for a lesson and I give them over the Internet. I send the recordings to the students so they can review the lesson at their leisure. I also give students articles and reference positions and PowerPoints to keep and study, and I help them learn how to use Extreme Gammmon and how to study to improve.

I hope they will all turn up at tournaments someday, but I don't push. Once I give them the fundamentals, I pass them on to you, Stick, Perry, or John. This is an exciting venture for me because I can combine my love of the game with my love of teaching and helping others. But I'm preaching to the choir telling you this.

Tell us a funny story that happened to you at a backgammon tournament or chouette.

The first tournament I went to, before I even played my first match, I lost a 17 to 1 dice bet to Falafel. I realized then that I was not dealing with a man, but a legend.

Tell us about your trip to Japan. What do you think of the Japan Open compared to tournaments in the U.S.

My entire trip to Japan was amazing. It is a beautiful country with the nicest people. The tournament was excellent and I saw some really sharp young Japanese players who are very good. I also really liked the Japan time controls, as it gives me more time to play slower. However, part of the glamor of backgammon is the speed aspect and I admire players who can make their moves quickly and accurately.

What do your parents think about your addiction and dedication to backgammon? Wouldn't they have preferred you to become a Rabbi?

They like it better. They don't have to hear me preach to them all day. Now I am just constantly bugging them to play backgammon.

What trait or traits do you believe most top backgammon players have? Do you have those traits? Do you think you could become a Giant some day?

I have spent some time with really good players and they all have several things in common. They are all very smart, very dedicated, very disciplined, and have put in a lot of time towards playing and studying backgammon.

I am not as smart as they are and my discipline is weak. If I put in the time I could be a Giant, as could most other people. What separates Giants the most from a non-Giants is that they have put in the time. But I am not going to put any pressure on myself PR-wise. My number one goal is just to enjoy backgammon and win big dollars.

Do you have a favorite quote or joke?

Have you ever eaten a clock? It's very time consuming.

Do you have a particular philosophy of life?

My philosophy of life is that you can spend your whole life searching for something to give it meaning, but the only true meaning in this world is what you give it yourself.

Anything else you care to add?

Aside from being a game, backgammon is also a tool I use to work on myself. I was prone to frustration and anger, but I have really become more patient by applying myself to being calm and collected over the backgammon board. To me, being a good sport is just as important as winning.

Everyone gets bad dice in life. It's what we do with those dice that matters most.

Thank you to Phil Simborg for sharing this article.
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