East Kilbride, Scotland.
Humpty Dumpty was pushed!
The following “article” was submitted by me recently for publication in
the Hong Kong Backgammon Club newsletter and I offer it here for the
amusement of all and as a cautionary example to Adrian. (It is an
adaptation of a humorous essay by Woody Allen: The Gossage - Varbedian
Hope you like it,
Thank you for your latest letter received today with your 14th move of
our fifth game. I found it somewhat confusing at first since the move
you make (41 to make your 5 point) is not possible due to the fact that
I have held this point since the third move of the game.
However, by laboriously retracing each move made so far, I believe I can
identify your mistake (I played a 22 on the 3rd move to make your 5 from
my one point, perhaps you failed to record it correctly) and am
supplying below a diagram of the true position. I have assumed that you
will correctly play the 41 to your 3 point, now that you are appraised
of the true state of affairs. For my next play I have thrown 66 and am
leaving this anchor to make my 8 point and take a substantial lead in
Trusting that you will find my solution equitable,
It was with some astonishment that I read your recent confused
communication. What can you be thinking? Has your delicate mental
condition taken a turn for the worse? You include a match score in your
diagram of 5-4 in your favour in our 7 point match. May I remind you
that I gammoned you on a 2 cube in our last game and that I am leading
Crawford-5? The 22 that you mention to make my 5 point was in fact a 11
(I have checked the correspondence carefully).
I have therefore adjusted the position accordingly (as shown here). You
will observe that you are unable to move sixes. Bad luck! 66 was not
your best roll but actually your worst!
I throw a 55 to clear my 9 point (2) and move two (yes, two!) from 13 to
8. The race situation is therefore quite the reverse!
P.S. Sorry about the stain on the page! Bolognaise!
It is with a heavy heart that I conclude you must be completely cuckoo.
I have always enjoyed our matches by mail and valued your friendship.
For these reasons I am striving to take the most charitable view of your
recent extraordinary letter.
As explained in my last letter, the score is Crawford-5 to me. You
therefore cannot cube. Please take your roll. I have triple checked
the position previously supplied to you and it is indubitably correct.
Best wishes as always,
P.S. I trust that the curry remnants have not rendered this illegible!
I confess to some difficulty in coming to terms with your assertion that
you are leading Crawford-5. I suppose however that this is possible (I
am unable to conclusively verify this since I have recently started
recycling your correspondence for use in the bathroom) and for old
times’ sake am prepared to accept this and your diagram which locates my
anchor on your 3 point.
I roll 56 to hit your blot on my eleven point. Since I have a closed
board I continue to roll 43, 32(picking up your other two blots), 65 and
finally 66 to open my six point and take off four men. Your turn to
roll. Looks like I will gammon for the match! Such are the vagaries of
a dice game of course. Sorry about that!
Warmest personal regards,
My dear Don,
I am speechless at your audacity. “…gammon for the match.”! “32 picking
up my other two blots”! WHAT other blots, may I ask. I can only
recommend you waste no further time in seeking out the best professional
help, and I don’t mean with your backgammon (which has always been
Frankly (and it pains me to be so blunt), I doubt that you genuinely
threw a 65 in the first place and have therefore rolled for you in an
effort to conclude this match in as orderly a way as possible. You
throw 21 (bad luck!) and the only sensible option is for you to play 6
to 3, which I have done for you. I throw 44 playing 8 to 4 (2) and 14
(Editor’s note: A sentence is obliterated here by a crusty substance)
I trust that you will have recovered your feeble senses by the time this
I can see no other course of action at this point than to resign a
gammon on your behalf. You lose $1000, neatly clearing our account.
Quits! I suggest that we take a break for the moment from our contests
by mail as I now realise that I will never be able to communicate
effectively to you the importance of fair play and common decency, since
your odious letters have exposed you finally as an unprincipled weasel.
See you at the club on Monday then,
> The following “article” was submitted by me recently....
Thanks Don, I like it!
adrian smyth <adri...@dircon.co.uk> wrote in article
> Have any of you played backgammon by e-mail? Is it possible or just
> too awkward and any ideas how to avoid cheating? I don't know if this
> has been discussed before since I'm new to this group . Thanks.
> East Kilbride, Scotland.
> Humpty Dumpty was pushed!
nice thought, the thing here is how to replace the dice.
My suggetion would be that each player must make one move per day,
and that the headline of a national newspaper determines the throw.
something like the first letter of the first word makes the first die, the
first letter of
the second word makes the second die.
a=1, b=2, e=5,f=6,g=1 etc.
Only problem would be if the players are not in the same country.
>Have any of you played backgammon by e-mail? Is it possible or just
>too awkward and any ideas how to avoid cheating? I don't know if this
>has been discussed before since I'm new to this group . Thanks.
If you can use unix or vms os you can try Long Distance Backgammon via email.
Pekka....@iki.fi Yo-Kyla 1 A 22 Tel: +358 49 494 007
o...@utu.fi FIN-20540 Turku URL: http://iki.fi/oil/
TYY-Pesis: http://org.utu.fi/harrastus/pesis/ LDB: http://iki.fi/oil/ldb/
>> Have any of you played backgammon by e-mail? Is it possible or just
>> too awkward and any ideas how to avoid cheating? (snip)
In article <01bca998$51524300$574b12c3@harm>,
Harm Veenstra <NOSPAMhar...@tip.nl> wrote:
>nice thought, the thing here is how to replace the dice.
>My suggetion would be that each player must make one move per day,
>and that the headline of a national newspaper determines the throw.
>something like the first letter of the first word makes the first die,
>the first letter of the second word makes the second die. a=1, b=2,
>Only problem would be if the players are not in the same country.
Actually, that's not the ONLY problem. Your proposed algorithm
does NOT give uniformly distributed dice (that is, equal probability
of 1/6 for each face). Your idea has been used before (in illegal
numbers lotteries). Here they take some digits off of the financial
page. As far as the problems with international play, though, you
can probably find some number on the Internet which is random. You
surely can find a legal lottery, just make sure your algorithm will
give uniformly distributed dice. And, BTW, make sure you get TWO
dice. And don't forget to require that a play be made BEFORE the next
edition of the paper comes out. And don't play with Gary Hobson...
c_ray on FIBS
Come on! Dice servers exist that will send PGP signed rolls (even dice
for exotic role-playing games) to any number of people. I would find
backgammon by e-mail too slow, but e-mail works fine for other games.
If you want to try it, check out
This server supports about thirty different games.
Can't somebody just roll a pair of dice and post the results on their
web page? Seems like a pretty small chore if only once a day,
especially if the person responsible has no interest in the outcomes.
What's the downside? Does the Mafia try to coerce certain rolls? Does
the lottery fuzz show up on your doorstep?
Couldn't one of the big gaming houses, like Harrad's or Mesquakie Bingo,
perform a similar service? At least in that case, the dice could be
observed by any interested party as they are rolled.
David C. Oshel dco...@pobox.com
Cedar Rapids, IA, USA http://pobox.com/~dcoshel/
azrael on FIBS
"Tension, apprehension and dissension have begun." - Duffy Wyg&, in
Alfred Bester's _The Demolished Man_