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FIBS vs. GamesGrid

From:   Bob Stringer
Date:   12 May 2000
Subject:   Re: Online Backgammon -> FIBS

I play on FIBS and GamesGrid, and my experience is you get what you pay
for [FIBS is free;  GG isn't].  The GG client is far superior, the play
is faster, and, unlike FIBS, it provides much information regarding the
match histories of potential opponents (including their drop rates.   GG
also uses Snowie to resolve matches that remain unfinished for too
long.  You can also list your preferences, and see the preferences of

People are friendly on both servers.  On GG I've had only one dropper
during the year and a half that I've played there.  I've played on FIBS
for about a year, and have had maybe 10 to 15 droppers.

To my mind, the biggest difference between the two servers -- and I've
never seen anyone else comment on this -- is that many people on FIBS
are strangely reluctant to accept matches.  To my knowledge, I am not
known as a difficult, rude or slow player (I use an anonymous nickname
on FIBS but not GG, where I use my real name), yet it's gotten to the
point that when I log onto FIBS I give myself 5 minutes to get a match
with someone of roughly my rating (I like to play within 100 points, up
or down) before I leave and move over to GG;  otherwise I'll find myself
waiting around forever.  My rating on FIBS currently is in the 1730's,
and I'd say that 3 out of 4 people of roughly my rating that I challenge
won't agree to play.   I have no idea why.  Also, unlike GG, where, once
you've challenged someone to a match and they don't want to play, they
let you know by hitting a "decline" button, on FIBS there is no such
button.  Therefore, if the person you've challenged doesn't want to
play, he/she will usually ignore you.  A very few people are polite
enough to go to the trouble of chatting with you, and saying that they
are not going to accept the challenge.

Also, I prefer to play matches of 7 points or more.  I state that as my
preference on GG, and have no trouble getting such matches.  On FIBS
most people seem to want to play 5 points max, and most challenges I get
are for 3 points.  Often times, if I challenge someone to a 7 point
match and they are willing to accept, they nevertheless will reply that
they prefer to play a 3 or 5 pointer.

I also find that on FIBS I'm by far most frequently challenged by
players who are at least a couple hundred rating points below me, and
hardly anyone who's rated higher than me.  I've tried a few times, and
no one 100 points or more above me has ever accepted my challenge.  This
is not the case on GG, where I've had matches with top players, such as
Kit Woolsey, Kent Goulding, and Walter Trice, for example.

By way of comparison.  I've played on GG for about 1 1/2 years, and on
FIBS for 1 year.  During the last year I've logged onto FIBS and GG with
roughly equal frequency, yet I've played less than 1300 games on FIBS,
but over 3500 on GG.  That's the direct result of GG being a faster
server, and the fact that I have relative difficulty getting matches on

I probably have stated matters more negatively than they deserve.  I am
not dissing FIBS.  I *do* consider it a great place to play, and I
continue to log in there looking for matches, and I play there when
someone gets around to accepting a challenge.  But I consider GG an even
better place to play, and well worth the money.  If you want to check it
out, you can play there for free as a guest.  That will give you a feel
for the software, and so on.  Some people, of course, are more reluctant
to play a guest than another rated player, but you should have no
trouble finding matches.  I liked the experience so much that I became a
member after only a few days.

And, just so the point doesn't get lost in my negative comments -- which
I emphasize are only by way of *comparison* to GG -- I do recommend FIBS
as well.

Bob Stringer
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