Forum Archive : Tournaments

Newbie questions

From:   Donald Kahn
Date:   29 October 1999
Subject:   Re: newbie questions about backgammon tourneys

Edward Collins wrote:
> I've played in dozens and dozens of chess tournaments in the past five
> years, but I have yet to play in a single backgammon tourney.  My
> longtime interest in backgammon has recently been renewed and I'd
> definitely like to play in one some day.  I have a couple of what are
> probably considered "newbie" questions:
> 1) Does everyone record their moves like we do in chess tourneys?  Even
>    when I was a kid I started recording my moves in my chess games, even
>    when I was playing offhand chess games.  Any yet I don't think (heck,
>    I'm SURE of it) that I've EVER recorded one of my backgammon games.
>    It seems as if it would take considerably longer (and more work) to
>    record a backgammon game than to record a chess game.  True?

I don't think it would take very much longer even if the players
recorded, but it is very seldom done, except in the semifinals and
finals of important tournaments, and then it is done by an observer,
so that it does not delay the game at all.

> 2) Does one use a "chess clock" when playing in backgammon tourneys?  In
>    chess tourneys we're given x amount of minutes to make x amount of
>    moves.  I'm curious if there is any kind of a time limit when playing
>    backgammon in local tourneys.

A few important tournaments have adopted the use of the chess clock.
Time is alloted depending on the "target" score to be reached.

> 3) How often do arguments arise when playing?  For example, when playing
>    offhand games, every now and then I misread the dice.  I'll make a
>    move as if the dice were 6-3 when in reality they were 6-4.  If I make
>    my move and then pick up the dice before my opponent can stop me, it's
>    hard to prove, one way or the other, that I did indeed roll a 6-4.
>    I'm curious how often disputes arise in backgammon games.  (Chess
>    disputes are very rare.)

Unless dealing with an out-and-out cheat, which are now rare, one
hardly ever sees a disputed move.

> 4) How many matches does does a typical tournament consist of and how
>    long do they last?  By comparison, a typical weekend chess tourney,
>    held over three days, may consist of just 5 games. (One on Friday
>    night, two games on Saturday and two on Sunday.)  Larger tourneys,
>    held over holiday weekends, usually are a little bit longer.  Each
>    game usually lasts between three and five hours although they can also
>    be shorter or longer, depending upon the game and the players.)

The number of matches to be played depends of course on the number of
entrants.  Very typical in a good tourament is 6 matches in the "main
event", which therefore accommodates up to 64 players.  Those
eliminated play in a consolation event.  The best application of the
latter is the "progressive" consolation, where players are placed in
the consolation draw with a degree of advancement depanding on how
many rounds they won in the main event.

A six round event in a 3-day format will usually have 2 rounds the
first day, usually 15 or 17 points.

On the second day play the 3rd and 4th rounds of the main event, 19
and or 21 points, and start the consolation.  Play should start early
and continue until they are only four players left in both the main
and the conso.

On the third day the semis and finals of these are played, 23 or 25 in
the main event, 15 or 17 in the conso.  Everybody else plays in a 5
point series "last chance."  Money prizes are usually given to four
each from the main and conso, and two in the last chance.

> 5) After playing in tournaments, is one given a rating similar to our
>    chess ratings?  If so, who is the governing body that regulates and
>    oversees these ratings?  (I've never heard of anything called the
>    United States Backgammon Federation but us chess players have the
>    USCF.)

There is no governing body that assigns ratings.  Kent Goulding kept a
ratings book, but sadly his data base was destroyed.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

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



Adjusting to face-to-face play  (Paul Epstein+, Feb 2006) 
Adjusting to face-to-face play  (Daniel Murphy, June 1999) 
Avoiding disputes  (Kit Woolsey+, Oct 2007)  [GammOnLine forum] [Long message] [Recommended reading]
Baffle box to roll dice  (Ken Bame, Mar 2012) 
Calcutta auctions  (David Moeser, Nov 2001) 
Calcutta auctions  (Roland Scheicher+, Dec 1998) 
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Calcutta problems  (Marty Storer, Dec 2002)  [GammOnLine forum]
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Clock rules--Digital clocks  (Chuck Bower+, Oct 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Clock rules--End of turn  (Carlo Melzi+, July 2001) 
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Clock rules--Illegal move  (Brendan Burgess+, Feb 2000) 
Clock rules--Why forfeit instead of penalty points?  (neilkaz, Sept 2010) 
Clocks and older players  (Stick+, July 2010)  [Long message]
Clocks--Arguments against them  (Timothy Chow, Jan 2011) 
Clocks--Common arguments against  (Chuck Bower, Feb 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Clocks--Losing on time  (Jason Lee+, Mar 2004) 
Clocks--Pros and cons  (Michael Strato+, Jan 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Clocks--Should they be part of the game?  (Kit Woolsey, June 1995) 
Clocks--Why use them  (Stick, Jan 2011) 
Compensating for byes  (Hank Youngerman+, Dec 1998) 
Factors that affect attendance  (Stick, Oct 2009) 
"Fighter's bracket"  (Chuck Bower+, Sept 2010) 
First backgammon tournament  (Mislav Radica+, May 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
First backgammon tournament  (Ed Collins+, Dec 2006) 
Hedging  (Jason Lee+, Apr 2009) 
Hedging  (Marv Porten+, Feb 2009)  [Long message]
Hedging  (Tad Bright+, Jan 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Hitting clock instead of rolling  (Bob Glass+, Mar 2010) 
Keeping score during a match  (Gregg Cattanach, June 2007) 
Links to tournament rules  (Daniel Murphy, Oct 2009) 
Major tournament attendance 1998-2008  (Daniel Murphy, July 2008) 
Making notes during play  (Randy Pals+, Aug 2008) 
Manually recording a match  (Kevin P+, Apr 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Manually recording a match  (gammonus+, Feb 2006) 
Manually recording a match  (Daniel Murphy, Aug 1999) 
New U.S. Rules  (Gregg Cattanach+, Dec 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Newbie questions  (Donald Kahn, Oct 1999) 
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Recording matches  (Robert Maier, May 2009) 
Recording matches  (Chuck Bower+, Sept 2003)  [GammOnLine forum] [Long message]
Recording matches  (Sean Dakin+, Aug 1999) 
Round robins  (Hank Youngerman, Nov 2001) 
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Seeding  (Roland Scheicher+, Dec 1998) 
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"Stop pots"  (Chuck Bower+, Sept 2010) 
Swiss format  (Osman Guner+, May 2001) 
Swiss format  (Osman Guner, Oct 1998) 
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Tournament rules  (Daniel Murphy, Apr 2001) 
Tournament rules links  (Daniel Murphy, Oct 2009) 
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Vegas trip report (spring 2005)  (Gregg Cattanach, May 2005)  [Long message]
Videotaping matches  (André Nicoulin+, Nov 2000)  [Long message]
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