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RE: Re: FW: [Bug-gnubg] Interesting backgammon scoring system_OK?

From: David Levy
Subject: RE: Re: FW: [Bug-gnubg] Interesting backgammon scoring system_OK?
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 08:45:32 -0700

Barclay Cooke and Rene Orlean wrote Championship Backgammon in 1980. It
covered a "duplicate" match between the US (Barclay and Walter Cooke) and
England (Philip Martyn and Joe Dwek). Of course the analysis is terrible by
modern standards, but the conclusion of the book is that duplicating dice
across boards does not minimize luck. When early play diverges at the two
tables, good rolls at one table can be terrible at the other. Imagine white
rolls 6-6 when on the bar at one table and racing at the other. 

David Levy

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Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:54 AM
To: bug-gnubg
Subject: Re: Re: FW: [Bug-gnubg] Interesting backgammon scoring system_OK?
Importance: Low

I had a look at the "fair backagmmon rules" and I must admit that my first
reaction has been something close to "no way, that's another game".
Even knowing that the same happened when the cube was first proposed, I
don't think these new roles are interesting (personal opinion, time may
prove me wrong).

The idea of alternating the first roll connected with an old info somebody
gave me about bridge tournaments. I don't know if it's true and how it
exactly works, but the overall concept was something like : each team has to
play at many tables, hence teams takes turns, but each table has always the
same cards. Team1 playing at table 1 has the same cards Team2 will have when
playing at that same table.

Trying to transpose to backgammon, I came up with the following :

Players A and B, boards B1 and B2, only 1 set of dice.

1st roll is 3-1 :
      - player A will start with 3-1 on board B1
      - player B wil lstart with 3-1 on board B2.
2nd roll is 5-2 :
      - player A will start with 5-2 on board B2
      - player B wil lstart with 5-2 on board B1.

And so on. I would call this "playing with dual rolls".

Notice that :

- the two parallel games evolve at the same pace : one roll must be
  played over the two boards before moving to the next roll
- player A shouldn't be allowed to see player B decisions (chequer
  AND cube) until A has made his own decision

That last point makes it very difficult to play this way over real boards :
you would need a "wall" between the two boards and a kind of refree that
verifies if one player doubles and, if none, rolls the dice (or two buttons,
one for each player, that once pressed signal the intention to roll, as soon
as they are both pressed then the dice is rolled).

I don't know how much luck this will factor out.
Also, I don't know if playing 2 parallel games can lead to "strange"
strategies in matchplay (e.g. post-crawford ?). For sure you may have to
adapt your strategy over one board according to how the game is evolving on
the other, but at first glance it doesn't seem to me that the changes are
huge. It's still our old good backgammon.

How interesting would that be in your opinion ?
Has it already been proposed ?


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