Forum Archive : Tournaments

Manually recording a match

From:   Kevin P
Date:   24 April 2007
Subject:   Recording BG Matches
Forum:   GammOnLine

I thought this method was quite good.

Does anyone have a better method?


Chuck Bower  writes:

Leaving off the "begin" point is common among manual recorders.
A further shortcut (which helps for eliminating the "scarce" ambiguities)
is to put the final point in the same order as the dice. For example, with
an opening 4-3 you could write:

"43 20 10" which is equivalent to "34 10 20".

His other suggestions (e.g. X'ing out no plays) are also equivalent to
common shortcuts. That doesn't eliminate the value of his article since
I've never seen a tutorial on how to record matches. I just learned by
experience and discussions with other recorders.

There is some issue as to whether or not recording one's own match is an
external aid (and currently against US Rules)

One final point: Recording one's own match should (IMO) only be done when
playing with a clock. It's not fair to waste the opponent's time by
recording (unless you somehow strike a deal beforehand, such as -- he gets
a copy of the transcribed match for his time wastage).

Raccoon  writes:

Having recorded lots of live matches I'm quite used to numbering the board
from 25 (the bar) to 0 (off the board) for the player on roll. Jay Bidal's
numbering system -- labeling the board sides "red" and "white" with the
numbers 1-12 going the same way on both sides of the board -- is a method
you see in some 70's books and in some website analysis.

I think the system I use is simpler and less confusing, but whatever works
for you. For instance if "Red" opens with 3-1 and makes the 5 point, full
notation is 3-1: 8/5 6/5, Jay would write 31 r5+ and I'd write 31 5. What
information does the "r" add? Also, if your system requires "r"'s and "w"s
that's one more thing to remember to write down correctly in the heat of
the action. Your record may get confused if you forget to write the letter
or write the wrong one down. I agree with Jay that the key numbers to
record are the dice and the destination points, it's rarely necessary to
record the departure points or hits, and the dice roll and checkmarks are
usually for forced moves like coming in from the bar or bearing off.

Sometimes recording the departure point will be clearer. For instance, "43
10/6 8/5" (if 9/6 9/5 was possible) or "43 13/10* 7/3*" (if 14/10* 6/3* was
reasonable). Such positions come up, for instance, when one player is doing
some bear-in checker shuffling. For a second-roll, 1-1 played 8/7(2) 6/5(2)
I write simply "11 7_ 5_". For 1-1 played 8/5 7/5 I'd usually just write
"11 5_" since it would probably be clear that after playing 6/5 6/5 the
player must have played 8/7/6. For 1-1 played 6/5*(2) 24/22 I'd write "11
5_ 22". But in midgame positions it can be helpful to write out interim
moves with small doublet plays more precisely. For instance, I might write
"33 10 7 4 3".

If the play chosen is nothing like what seemed clearly best to you, you
might want to record the move more precisely. But you usually won't have
time to do much "analyzing" while you are concentrating on getting the
record straight. Jay's sample game has a couple of mega-whoppers that I
didn't notice until later.

I would record Jay's sample positions this way:

White rolls 6-3 and plays 24/18 13/10. I write "63 18 10".
White rolls 6-3 and plays 24/15. I write "63 15".
White rolls 3-1 and plays 8/6 6/5. I write "31 5_".
In a bearoff White rolls 6-5 and takes two checkers of. I write "65 vv".
In a bearoff White rolls 6-5 and plays 6/1 and takes a checker off some
point with the 6. I write "65 1 v".
Red rolls 5-5 and plays 13/3*(2). I write "55 3_".
Red rolls 5-5 and plays 13/3(2) having already made the 3 point. I write
the same "55 3_".
In a different position both 13/3(2) and 18/3 8/3 might have possible, even
reasonable. So I might write 13/3(2) as "55 3_ 8_" and 18/3 8/3 as "55 3_
13 8".

I would record Jay's sample game this way:

Match to [score]

White      Red
[score]     [score]
63 18 10    21 22 7
65 20 18    53 22 8
43 14 10    23 11 5
32 vv       52 3_
42 21_      61 7_
53 5_       65 13
11 4_       52 11 1
43 10 2     61 5_
52 14       31 24 4
52 18       55 --
32 13       54 --
51 2        51 24 1, or v 1
43 10 5     53 10 8
41 9_       44 18_ 4 6
62 3_       22 14
41 --       52 9 4
63 --       64 14
52 23 5     43 2
42 23 1     32 --
22 6 1_     41 --
41 8        65 --
42 7        62 --
33 2 1      61 --
65 12       53 v
32 6/3*/1   43 v
54 3        64 --
44 vv 2_    22 --
41 1 2      44 vv 10_
52 vv       53 16 7
[new score] [new score]

If your recording sheet has a preprinted column for the move number that is
a convenience, otherwise I wouldn't bother writing the move numbers. If Red
had won the opening roll, I'd have put a dash in the first line in the
White column.

Stein Kulseth  writes:

I too find just using 24-0 easy enough, also:

* I prefer putting dashes after the destination rather than under, as the
  under line sometimes end up on the divider lines.
* Using x for hit helps understanding, often then you don't need to write
  the point at all.
* Forced moves need not be written at all.
* Bearoffs seldom need to be written, and often happens too fast anyway.
  Just write the roll, and it can be reconstructed.
* Take care to write two digit numbers close, so you don't interpret 15 as
  1 5 later on.
* If there is an interesting situation where a player is thinking hard, and
  you are unsure whether you have got anything right, you might take time
  to note down the full position. Just be ready to abort, and continue
  recording if he plays before your done.

roll  play               notation
63      24/15              15
64      24/20 13/7*        20 x
65      b/20 24/18*        x
11      b/24 8/7* 6/5(2)   x 5-
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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



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