1) I've been playing over the net for a few weeks now at Yahoo. I win about
75% of my games and my rating keeps going up. What is a good rating? does it
matter that it is yahoo? Do Yahoo ratings compare to FIBS ratings?
2) Should I be playing through FIBS, or is Yahoo "good enough"...
I also play on FIBS (zare) and on Yahoo (zare_10027). Yahoo can be amusing. If
you know what you are doing, you can win even more than the 75% you cite against
those who are rated about 1600-1800 on yahoo while playing 3-point matches. There
are some decent players, but you have to look for them. Note that the ladder
system rewards those who play a lot much more than it rewards those who play
well, since the penalty for losing is negligible until one is in the top 20, and
the way to get games is to lose a lot.
Unfortunately, Yahoo seems not to use the FIBS ratings formula that they claim to
use. I have been told that the cutoff is 1800, and I treat all ratings over 1800
as suspect; it seems that one gets too many points for winning against weak
opponents, and not enough for winning longer matches. However, below 1800 on
Yahoo, I think a 400 or 500 point deduction will convert the rating to a
plausible FIBS rating, e.g., 1800 on Yahoo corresponds to about 1400 on FIBS.
Ratings differences between those over 1800 are more a product of playing a lot
than skill differences. (On the other hand, I did have one excellent match
against a player rated 900 on Yahoo, who later explained he was using his wife's
While there are those who have manipulated the ratings system on FIBS, the FIBS
system is more consistent and it allows one to distinguish between intermediate,
advanced, and expert players rather than just between those who are novices and
those who are not. In both systems, what sets the level of 1500 is the average
quality of newcomers (and their playing patterns), and the average new players on
FIBS are much stronger than those on Yahoo. It is much easier to find strong
opponents on FIBS than on Yahoo, and easier to watch games between players of
I strongly recommend trying FIBS or some of the other more serious servers if you
want to improve your game. I also recommend playing Jellyfish or Snowie as well
as reading at least Magriel's _Backgammon_, which most players on Yahoo have
I used it to learn my basics, work on my backgame, and practice against
wacky dice. I haven't played there myself in a year or two because I wasn't
very happy with the ladder competition. Yahoo is good for newbies, but If
you want SERIOUS competition, take it to one of the other servers. Use
yahoo as a training ground if you are a newbie, then step up to FIBS or
Gamesgrid or Netgammon or Gamesite2000 when you feel confident. The top
players on these servers are the masters of the game in real life. Most
people know what they're doing there, whereas at yahoo you will encounter
people who don't know what the doubling cube is used for.
Hope my ramblings help.
buhbuhray (on Gamesgrid)
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