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Re: [Bug-gnubg] miscellaneous bugs and suggestions

From: Jim Segrave
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] miscellaneous bugs and suggestions
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 11:14:28 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Tue 10 Sep 2002 (02:26 -0400), Douglas Zare wrote:
> Quoting David Montgomery <address@hidden>:
> > > So the ordering is
> > > 
> > > (0) - (1) - (2) - intermediate - advanced - export - world class - ET
> > > 
> > > where
> > > 
> > > (0) "pseudo-random play", "awful!", "interesting"
> While random play may produce an error rating of 60 millipoints per move, 
> according to Walter Trice, I don't think this describes what is likely to 
> have 
> happened to garner such an error rate.  Indeed, random play makes huge 
> errors, 
> and then has no more equity to give up for a while, and then might or might 
> not 
> grant the opponent a backgammon. What happens to people is that they might 
> blunder in a short game, e.g., by passing a 0.7 take after a few moves (IIRC, 
> Svobo passed a 0.3 take in a tournament match against Denis Jersov). Another 
> possibility is to overlook a play. I watched one of the strongest players in 
> the world pass up escaping a prime and completing a closeout, instead 
> crunching 
> his board. This astounding play cost 1.500 times the 2-cube, and his error 
> rate 
> according to Snowie was 60 for the game. Most of his moves that game were 
> fine.
> I'd be inclined to call this, "Overlooked a play?" if it came from a checker 
> play error.

Maybe 'Careless'? This is a good point though - someone who loses .040
points of equity on almost every unforced move is probably much, much
weaker than someone who makes one very bad choice which costs .160 and
plays the other moves reasonably.
> > > (1) "beginner", "novice" (outsider: "rookie", "amateur")
> > > (2) "basic", "student"
> > 
> > I don't care for "student" for a level below intermediate.
> > It's common to hear someone described as a "student of the game",
> > and such players are usually at least strong intermediates.
> Indeed, I would call myself a student of the game, because I study it, rather 
> than just play it. 

But this is in the context of the rating system. One reason why novice
and beginner was, in my opinion, not a particular problem is that
while you might not be able to make the distinction between:

  Fred is a novice at backgammon
  Fred is a beginner at backgammon

Given just one of the two above, I think most English speakers would
see the implicit ranking in:

Fred is a novice at backgammon, Zoe is a beginner.

In the same way, if you see various rankings, then the term student is
unlikely to be taken in the context 'She is a student of backgammon'
meaning that she is studying it and might well be, as it were, a Phd
candidate in the field. When 'student' occurs in the same context as
intermediate, advanced, expert then I think most people will see it as
being a significantly lower ranking. In the UK, people preparing for
their driving license exam are called learners, but I don't think this
is a widely used term in the US. I know when I moved to the UK, I
found it jarring, but things may have changed, since that was a *long*
time ago. It does have the possible advantage that it can't be taken
with the alternative usage of 'student'.

Jim Segrave           address@hidden

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