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Turkish, greek, egyptian, and so on backgammon

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Charito

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Aug 17, 2003, 8:05:02 PM8/17/03
to
I read a complete thread that was dealing with "the turkish coffeeshop way
of playing backgammon" and "the middle age of backgammon".

Actually, in those countries, backgammon (also called Tavli in greece and I
think in turkey also, and Shesh-besh in some arabic countries and in
armenia) is a _real_ society thing. Much more than the simple fact of
playing with money, betting, gambling and calculating positions.

Imagine one minute you all are playing without the cube. I perfectly know
some will say "Then it's no more backgammon". Okay, right. It's no more
_your_way_ of playing backgammon.

Actually playing without the cube offers more interest than you may think.
It first develops the attention on the game itself, and not what has been
made _around_ the game (eg. gambling, the cube, etc). Then, it develops
social links. You play with _your friend_ and not your opponent. I will not
develop the hatred I have towards professional players, who have turned a
traditionnal middle-eastern game into a job and a way to earn a living. I
couldn't play with such a player (and I think that everyone which is used
to the _traditionnal_ play will say the same).

But greek backgammon (or turkish, or arabic, or whatever, I don't like
calling this "backgammon" : let's call it "tavli")is not made up only with
the game you all know (which we call "portes"). It's actually made up of
three games, played alternatively, each game won gives one point, gammon
gives two points. No backgammon. The two other games (whose names are
"fevga" and "plakoto") differ from "portes" in term of initial disposition,
and the possibility to "block" a checker with an opponent one, and the fact
that the two player turn in the same way, or in opposite ways (like portes)

This is the way I have ever been used to play, and million peoples have been
used too. You all who play what I will call "gambling backgammon" cannot
understand this.

Imagine one instant that the game you play has thousands years of playing,
and that gambling with a backgammon is a pure american point of view. Try
once to play without cube a portes/fevga/plakoto complete game with a good
coffee and you will see.

By the way, fevga and plakoto (which are simpler than portes to learn) offer
many more possibilities to develop powerful strategies, and very good
plakoto and fevga players are rare, because it is very very hard to
develop. Much more, to my mind, than your american backgammon. And without
the gambling that creates no social link. Remember that tavli is a real
social cohesion game.


--
Alexandre Charitopoulos
Tavli (and definitely not backgammon) player.

Jim Fouch

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Aug 18, 2003, 2:38:28 AM8/18/03
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Why would one form of a game played with checkers and dice be more social
than another? -- Some sound more boring to me -- of course, put some Brandy
in my coffee and they might be okay.


"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message
news:bhp5lu$9rc$1...@news-reader4.wanadoo.fr...

Charito

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Aug 18, 2003, 4:11:09 PM8/18/03
to
Jim Fouch a écrit le Lundi 18 Août 2003 08:38 :

> Why would one form of a game played with checkers and dice be more social
> than another? -- Some sound more boring to me -- of course, put some
> Brandy in my coffee and they might be okay.

What I wanted to say, precisely, is that a game whose social effects have
been experimentally proved (eg. backgammon in mid-eastern countries or
eastern europe) and who has turned into a gambling game with
money/professional leagues and so on is a good example of americanisation
(sorry but i'm half french / half greek ... ) and thus, as the game becomes
really the gambling game, it forgets the original game, which is (to my
mind) funnier than the gambling one.

And I wanted to know if you, backammon players, imagine one minute than you
own backgammon culture is not universal (and far from universal).

--

Charito

Douglas Zare

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Aug 19, 2003, 2:33:06 AM8/19/03
to

Charito wrote:

> I read a complete thread that was dealing with "the turkish coffeeshop way
> of playing backgammon" and "the middle age of backgammon".
>
> Actually, in those countries, backgammon (also called Tavli in greece and I
> think in turkey also, and Shesh-besh in some arabic countries and in
> armenia) is a _real_ society thing. Much more than the simple fact of
> playing with money, betting, gambling and calculating positions.

Backgammon is a social activity almost everywhere it is played.
When it is only social, and not also analyzed carefully, it is also
usually played very badly. That's not good enough for me.

> Imagine one minute you all are playing without the cube. I perfectly know
> some will say "Then it's no more backgammon". Okay, right. It's no more
> _your_way_ of playing backgammon.

Every backgammon player would be able to adapt to play
without the doubling cube. The question is how easy it is for
people used to playing without the cube to learn to use the cube.
In my experience, they are willing to try, but often think they
are big favorites when they are underdogs.

> I will not
> develop the hatred I have towards professional players, who have turned a
> traditionnal middle-eastern game into a job and a way to earn a living. I
> couldn't play with such a player (and I think that everyone which is used
> to the _traditionnal_ play will say the same).

I'm sorry you feel such hatred. (Do you also hate professional
athletes who have turned a game into a job? Never mind.)
Many people find gambling a fun way to socialize, which is
why so many nonprofessionals gamble with each other. If the
professionals only played each other, they would stop quickly.

The doubling cube encourages a more mathematical approach
to backgammon. This has raised the caliber of the game. The
doubling cube also makes the game more exciting to many
people, particularly in chouettes, the most social form of
backgammon.

Plakoto and fevga are great variants. They would be even
better with a doubling cube.

Douglas Zare

Charito

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Aug 19, 2003, 6:24:18 PM8/19/03
to
Douglas Zare a écrit le Mardi 19 Août 2003 08:33 :

>
>
> Charito wrote:
>
>> I read a complete thread that was dealing with "the turkish coffeeshop
>> way
>> of playing backgammon" and "the middle age of backgammon".
>>
>> Actually, in those countries, backgammon (also called Tavli in greece and
>> I think in turkey also, and Shesh-besh in some arabic countries and in
>> armenia) is a _real_ society thing. Much more than the simple fact of
>> playing with money, betting, gambling and calculating positions.
>
> Backgammon is a social activity almost everywhere it is played.
> When it is only social, and not also analyzed carefully, it is also
> usually played very badly. That's not good enough for me.

But what about a grandpa who has been playing for 70 years ? He may have
become quite good. But the real problem is that most people who play may
not have the necessary knowledge (or willing) to analyse mathematically a
game, and may become good only with getting older.

>> Imagine one minute you all are playing without the cube. I perfectly know
>> some will say "Then it's no more backgammon". Okay, right. It's no more
>> _your_way_ of playing backgammon.
>
> Every backgammon player would be able to adapt to play
> without the doubling cube. The question is how easy it is for
> people used to playing without the cube to learn to use the cube.
> In my experience, they are willing to try, but often think they
> are big favorites when they are underdogs.

Ok, you're right. But that was not what I intended to mean. What I wanted to
point out is the fact that introduced the cube : a mere gambling artifact
(which turned out to become popular and led to a totally different way of
_thinking_ backgammon). And it's to my mind linked to the capitalism's
attraction during the 30's (thus typically american), and thus the way to
enhance the game with some money related features.


>> I will not
>> develop the hatred I have towards professional players, who have turned a
>> traditionnal middle-eastern game into a job and a way to earn a living. I
>> couldn't play with such a player (and I think that everyone which is used
>> to the _traditionnal_ play will say the same).
>
> I'm sorry you feel such hatred. (Do you also hate professional
> athletes who have turned a game into a job? Never mind.)
> Many people find gambling a fun way to socialize, which is
> why so many nonprofessionals gamble with each other. If the
> professionals only played each other, they would stop quickly.

Actually this is merely personal. The professionals turned a coffee-shop
game into a catharsized game with precise, exact rules which have nothing
in common with the original game. At least in their mind (because you may
know that your playing without the cube is theoretically the same than the
"portes" game)

But if you ever go to Greece, or Turkey, or such countries, you may notice
that :
- the boards are wood-made, the checkers doing a "clac-clac" noise on the
board which is perfect for initiating a noisy conversation
- They only use _one_ pair of dice (plastic-made, 10 cents the little bag
of 10)
- Checkers are plastic made, and very cheap (thus being able to get
remplaced easily if lost)
- The game is _really_ noisy

Whereas is the US (or any backgammon-playing country) the boards are made to
play a quiet and silent game, with a personnal pair of dice and
beautifully-made boards/checkers/dice. A good board in greece (pretty with
good woods and well made) costs hardly 15 $.

These kinds of characteristics are lost when the backgammon is
"americanized".


> The doubling cube encourages a more mathematical approach
> to backgammon. This has raised the caliber of the game. The
> doubling cube also makes the game more exciting to many
> people, particularly in chouettes, the most social form of
> backgammon.

cf. infra. I doubt that a doubling cube could be introduced in mid-eastern
coutries. But I agree with you that they give more interest to the "poor"
portes game. But portes/fevga/plakoto played alternatively really reveals
good players, and very good players. No need for a cube, then.

> Plakoto and fevga are great variants. They would be even
> better with a doubling cube.

But in greece, they are not variants, they are played alternatively with
portes. But I think that doubling would have no interest in plakoto (as
someone who begins the game badly will have almost no chances to win, and
is likely to be gammoned). Fevga with a cube ? Why not. But fevga is a
really rich game, and good fevga players are very rare (my grandfather is a
great fevga player). I think fevga has a lot more interest than portes.

And gul is a good turkish variant of fevga, perhaps a little more amusing
(but if you stay a purist, you won't play it in Greece)

> Douglas Zare

--
Alexandre Charitopoulos

Douglas Zare

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Aug 19, 2003, 9:50:45 PM8/19/03
to

Charito wrote:

> Douglas Zare a écrit le Mardi 19 Août 2003 08:33 :
>
> > Charito wrote:
> >
> >> I read a complete thread that was dealing with "the turkish coffeeshop
> >> way
> >> of playing backgammon" and "the middle age of backgammon".
> >>
> >> Actually, in those countries, backgammon (also called Tavli in greece and
> >> I think in turkey also, and Shesh-besh in some arabic countries and in
> >> armenia) is a _real_ society thing. Much more than the simple fact of
> >> playing with money, betting, gambling and calculating positions.
> >
> > Backgammon is a social activity almost everywhere it is played.
> > When it is only social, and not also analyzed carefully, it is also
> > usually played very badly. That's not good enough for me.
>
> But what about a grandpa who has been playing for 70 years ? He may have
> become quite good. But the real problem is that most people who play may
> not have the necessary knowledge (or willing) to analyse mathematically a
> game, and may become good only with getting older.

There are a lot of old but terrible players. Experience is no
guarrantee of playing ability. People get entrenched wrong ideas,
and more play will not help. I think it is rare for people to
become good players spontaneously after decades, and more
rare if those around them play badly.

In fact, the general level of the game has improved tremendously
in the past 12 years. There are many good players now who have
been playing for more than 12 years, but they have been studying
the new ideas, directly or indirectly, and usually this means
practice and analysis with a bot. I've done this, and in a few
months I played far better than most with 30 years of experience.

Could a brilliant player emerge from coffeehouse backgammon
in which everyone around them grossly misplays? I'll grant that
it is a theoretical possibility, but I am willing to bet against it.

> >> Imagine one minute you all are playing without the cube. I perfectly know
> >> some will say "Then it's no more backgammon". Okay, right. It's no more
> >> _your_way_ of playing backgammon.
> >
> > Every backgammon player would be able to adapt to play
> > without the doubling cube. The question is how easy it is for
> > people used to playing without the cube to learn to use the cube.
> > In my experience, they are willing to try, but often think they
> > are big favorites when they are underdogs.
>
> Ok, you're right. But that was not what I intended to mean. What I wanted to
> point out is the fact that introduced the cube : a mere gambling artifact
> (which turned out to become popular and led to a totally different way of
> _thinking_ backgammon). And it's to my mind linked to the capitalism's
> attraction during the 30's (thus typically american), and thus the way to
> enhance the game with some money related features.

I don't know what you mean by the attraction of capitalism during
the '30s. In the U.S. we call that the Great Depression, a global
economic downturn, among other things.

Doubling seems to have been invented in New York in the '20s,
but it spread internationally and thrived because it was a good
idea, as are many American inventions we are using to have this
discussion.

Douglas Zare

Strato

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Aug 20, 2003, 1:58:53 AM8/20/03
to
Gia Sou Charito,

Ok, you're right. But that was not what I intended to mean. What I wanted to
point out is the fact that introduced the cube : a mere gambling artifact
(which turned out to become popular and led to a totally different way of
_thinking_ backgammon). And it's to my mind linked to the capitalism's
attraction during the 30's (thus typically american), and thus the way to
enhance the game with some money related features.

Not everyone that plays with the cube plays for money. Actually most people
that play backgammon with the cube don't play for money at all. When you
play games of backgammon by the game, what some would call 1-point matches,
they can be fun and exciting sometimes (perhaps in a tournament) but to me
they get boring after a while because I can easily lose by luck to an
inferior opponent and if my opponent's luck is consistently good in a
session of 1-pointers, I won't get much satisfaction. Satisfaction to me is
winning, and by skill.

Do you play any games for money? Do you gamble at all? For example, would
you play poker for money? How about Bingo? Buy a lottery ticket? Go to a
casino? If your answer to this is no, then I guess you just don't like to
wager, which is perfectly okay in my book, much better things can be done
with money. But if you even gamble in any of the above then how is that
different than playing backgammon for money? Or why, because it is
backgammon, is it "typically American"? In fact, one-on-one in backgammon,
you're more likely to come up a winner than in a casino, playing bingo or
buying a lottery ticket!

Actually this is merely personal. The professionals turned a coffee-shop
game into a catharsized game with precise, exact rules which have nothing
in common with the original game. At least in their mind (because you may
know that your playing without the cube is theoretically the same than the
"portes" game)

I think all games should have precise, exact rules. We cannot make up the
rules as we are playing. The Greek versions of backgammon have specific
rules, don't they? Did you know that there are actually many different
variants of backgammon? It was not always a coffee shop game played in
Greece, Turkey and the Arab nations. The first variant of backganmmon, the
original game, was played more than 5,000 years ago by the people who
invented the wheel and the first written language. The Ancient Egyptians
(Senet) and Romans (Tabula) each had their own version of the game, and
throughout history people of different countries (China, Japan, France,
England, Holland, etc. etc. etc.) had different names for the game and
different ways of playing it. In certain eras and countries, backgammon was
known as a game played only by royalty or nobles and for very high wages. I
think that was before America even existed.

But if you ever go to Greece, or Turkey, or such countries, you may notice
that :
- the boards are wood-made, the checkers doing a "clac-clac" noise on the
board which is perfect for initiating a noisy conversation
- They only use _one_ pair of dice (plastic-made, 10 cents the little bag
of 10)
- Checkers are plastic made, and very cheap (thus being able to get
remplaced easily if lost)
- The game is _really_ noisy

Whereas is the US (or any backgammon-playing country) the boards are made to
play a quiet and silent game, with a personnal pair of dice and
beautifully-made boards/checkers/dice. A good board in greece (pretty with
good woods and well made) costs hardly 15 $.

Not all backgammon boards in North America are as luxurious as you describe
them. A lot of people like wood boards and most people play with plastic
dice, not precision dice.

You can buy a cardboard board, with plastic checkers and plastic dice for $5
or less. (You can see stacks of these in department stores here.) The price
goes up from there, lot of people will not spend more than $9.99 to 19.99
for a board while many more spend between $19.99 and 69.99. Personally, I
think most people would spend between $75 and 150. However, here are the
results of a survey of 308 people who were asked - "How much would you
spend for a nice backgammon board?:

$50 or less 57 people (18%)

$50 - $100 52 people (16%)

$100 - $250 76 people (24%)

$250 - $500 46 people (14%)

$500 - $1,000 49 people (15%)

$1,000 or more 28 people (9%)

However, when asked how much they actually spent - "What's the most you've
ever spent on a backgammon board?" - 324 people said the following:

What's the most you've ever spent on a backgammon board?

$100 or less 168 people (51%)

$100 - $300 73 people (22%)

$300 - $600 35 people (10%)

$600 - $1,000 22 people (6%)

$1,000 - $1,500 14 people (4%)

$1,500 or more 12 people (3%)

These kinds of characteristics are lost when the backgammon is
"americanized".

There you go with "American" again. I have played backgammon on a board I
made myself on a piece of cardboard using bottle caps as checkers, and for
dice, one green die and a white one. Many people play on printed towels, the
rollup ones that cost $10-20. Of the hundreds of thousands of players in
America, unless we are actually in the millions of players, not even 1% play
backgammon professionally, and a large percentage of those do not have very
expensive boards at all. So what do you really have against our game or us?

Strato

Strato

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 2:05:40 AM8/20/03
to
My last post did not automatically separate Charito's and my comments and
reads as one long post by the same person, therefore, posting again with
proper separations of comments (I'll get the hang of this someday!):

--------------------------------------------------------

Gia Sou Charito,

Charito said:

Ok, you're right. But that was not what I intended to mean. What I wanted to
point out is the fact that introduced the cube : a mere gambling artifact
(which turned out to become popular and led to a totally different way of
_thinking_ backgammon). And it's to my mind linked to the capitalism's
attraction during the 30's (thus typically american), and thus the way to
enhance the game with some money related features.

Strato's reply:

Not everyone that plays with the cube plays for money. Actually most people
that play backgammon with the cube don't play for money at all. When you
play games of backgammon by the game, what some would call 1-point matches,
they can be fun and exciting sometimes (perhaps in a tournament) but to me
they get boring after a while because I can easily lose by luck to an
inferior opponent and if my opponent's luck is consistently good in a
session of 1-pointers, I won't get much satisfaction. Satisfaction to me is
winning, and by skill.

Do you play any games for money? Do you gamble at all? For example, would
you play poker for money? How about Bingo? Buy a lottery ticket? Go to a
casino? If your answer to this is no, then I guess you just don't like to
wager, which is perfectly okay in my book, much better things can be done
with money. But if you even gamble in any of the above then how is that
different than playing backgammon for money? Or why, because it is
backgammon, is it "typically American"? In fact, one-on-one in backgammon,
you're more likely to come up a winner than in a casino, playing bingo or
buying a lottery ticket!

Charito said:

Actually this is merely personal. The professionals turned a coffee-shop
game into a catharsized game with precise, exact rules which have nothing
in common with the original game. At least in their mind (because you may
know that your playing without the cube is theoretically the same than the
"portes" game)

Strato's reply:

I think all games should have precise, exact rules. We cannot make up the
rules as we are playing. The Greek versions of backgammon have specific
rules, don't they? Did you know that there are actually many different
variants of backgammon? It was not always a coffee shop game played in
Greece, Turkey and the Arab nations. The first variant of backganmmon, the
original game, was played more than 5,000 years ago by the people who
invented the wheel and the first written language. The Ancient Egyptians
(Senet) and Romans (Tabula) each had their own version of the game, and
throughout history people of different countries (China, Japan, France,
England, Holland, etc. etc. etc.) had different names for the game and
different ways of playing it. In certain eras and countries, backgammon was
known as a game played only by royalty or nobles and for very high wages. I
think that was before America even existed.

Charito said:

But if you ever go to Greece, or Turkey, or such countries, you may notice
that :
- the boards are wood-made, the checkers doing a "clac-clac" noise on the
board which is perfect for initiating a noisy conversation
- They only use _one_ pair of dice (plastic-made, 10 cents the little bag
of 10)
- Checkers are plastic made, and very cheap (thus being able to get
remplaced easily if lost)
- The game is _really_ noisy

Whereas is the US (or any backgammon-playing country) the boards are made to
play a quiet and silent game, with a personnal pair of dice and
beautifully-made boards/checkers/dice. A good board in greece (pretty with
good woods and well made) costs hardly 15 $.

Strato's reply:

Charito said:

These kinds of characteristics are lost when the backgammon is
"americanized".

Strato's reply:

Massimiliano Maini

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 2:27:16 AM8/20/03
to
Douglas Zare <za...@math.columbia.edu> wrote in message news:<3F42D662...@math.columbia.edu>...

> Doubling seems to have been invented in New York in the '20s,
> but it spread internationally and thrived because it was a good
> idea, as are many American inventions we are using to have this
> discussion.
>
> Douglas Zare

Come on Douglas, don't you feel already hated enough ?
On top of being a mathemagician, now you ignite a(nother)
USA Vs Rest of the World war ... :))

MaX.

Sylvain Guehl

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 5:31:18 AM8/20/03
to
In Turkey, the game is called "Tavla", comming from arabic's "taoula", coming itself from latin "tabula" which means "table".

Also, in Turkey, the game is most played like this : two dice, no doubling cube. No rule of "backgammon" (3 points), only gammon (2
points) which is called "mars" here. Most of the time people don't use the rule of having to use the high die when both dice can't
be played together. Also, when starting the game, each player throw a die to know who'll start, but the one who's going to start
then throw both dice again for his first move. He doesn't use the first combined dice result.

"Matches" are like this : First player who reaches 5 points wins.

That's all for turkey, it's been played this way in Istanbul, Bodrum, Marmaris, Izmir, Kas...

Oh, and btw, hi, I'm new to the group. I'm 25 y old and I'm french, I've been playing backgammon for 2 years, I learn it in Turkey
and I'm just learning now the "real" rules of the "backgammon" (not "tavla"). This doubling cube is making me mad ;)

Syl


"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> a écrit dans le message de news: bhp5lu$9rc$1...@news-reader4.wanadoo.fr...

Kees van den Doel

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 12:28:39 PM8/20/03
to
In article <3f433feb$0$27048$626a...@news.free.fr>,
Sylvain Guehl <sylvain.guehl...@laposte.net> wrote:

>In Turkey, the game is called "Tavla", comming from arabic's "taoula",
>coming itself from latin "tabula" which means "table".
>
>Also, in Turkey, the game is most played like this : two dice, no
>doubling cube. No rule of "backgammon" (3 points), only gammon (2
>points) which is called "mars" here. Most of the time people don't use
>the rule of having to use the high die when both dice can't
>be played together. Also, when starting the game, each player throw a
>die to know who'll start, but the one who's going to start
>then throw both dice again for his first move. He doesn't use the first
>combined dice result.
>
>"Matches" are like this : First player who reaches 5 points wins.
>
>That's all for turkey, it's been played this way in Istanbul, Bodrum,
>Marmaris, Izmir, Kas...

It's the same in Iran with the additional rule that you can't "hit and
run" in your homeboard, only hit and cover is allowed. I thought that
rule was also used in Turkey, perhaps you forgot to mention it.


Kees (Soc.culture.iranian has acted on and cooler near future.)

s.w.a....@hccnet.nl

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Aug 20, 2003, 12:57:42 PM8/20/03
to
On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 02:05:02 +0200, Charito
<arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote:


>By the way, fevga and plakoto (which are simpler than portes to learn) offer
>many more possibilities to develop powerful strategies, and very good
>plakoto and fevga players are rare, because it is very very hard to
>develop. Much more, to my mind, than your american backgammon. And without
>the gambling that creates no social link. Remember that tavli is a real
>social cohesion game.
>>
>>

I don't think that everybody in the west is as totally unfamiliar with
some of the cultural aspects of the peoples from Mediterranean and
Middle Eastern countries as you seem to think.
What you, and other 'social' players like you, should also try to
comprehend is, that tavli players who try to measure their 'very hard
developed' skill via playing modern 'western' backgammon robots, must
feel extremely humiliated when their skill at playing a variation of
the game they consider as part of 'their' national and cultural
heritage, proves to be of at best 'intermediate' level. I think that
is one of the main reasons behind the literally [quote] "thousands of
articles" of your 'brother in culture' Murat K. over the last years.
Let's agree that these games are different enough to distinguish them,
but why shouldn't they coexist ?, do they bite each other ? Backgammon
'modern style' will not go away because people like you and Murat
disagree with some of the aspects of it- and around it.

But I found your description of tavli interesting, if I ever meet
someone who knows the game, I will certainly have a go at it. And who
knows, maybe in a couple of years we can play tavli with GNU....if
that ever happens I hope you will not be too upset with your ratings.

Take care,
Peter

Back4U2 BBL

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 5:33:45 PM8/20/03
to

"Sylvain Guehl" <sylvain.guehl...@laposte.net> wrote in message
news:3f433feb$0$27048$626a...@news.free.fr...

> In Turkey, the game is called "Tavla", comming from arabic's "taoula",
coming itself from latin "tabula" which means "table".
>
> Also, in Turkey, the game is most played like this : two dice, no doubling
cube. No rule of "backgammon" (3 points), only gammon (2
> points) which is called "mars" here. Most of the time people don't use the
rule of

Correct me if I am wrong:
Backgammon (3 points), but only if the other player has at least one man on
the bar. Thus very exceptional.

Nardy


Charito

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 5:29:20 PM8/20/03
to
Douglas Zare a écrit le Mercredi 20 Août 2003 03:50 :

> I don't know what you mean by the attraction of capitalism during
> the '30s. In the U.S. we call that the Great Depression, a global
> economic downturn, among other things.

oops ... I meant in the 20's.

--
Charito

Enlevez tout ce qui est relatif pour me répondre.

Charito

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 5:29:44 PM8/20/03
to
Massimiliano Maini a écrit le Mercredi 20 Août 2003 08:27 :


> Come on Douglas, don't you feel already hated enough ?
> On top of being a mathemagician, now you ignite a(nother)
> USA Vs Rest of the World war ... :))

You can be mathematician AND coffee-shop player ...

Charito

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 6:05:37 PM8/20/03
to
Ok, let's clean up things. I think my first post was a little aggressive,
and some of you could have misinterpreted what I was in fact willing to
say.

--

America vs. rest of world ?

Of course not. But what I call "american culture of backgammon" denotes the
way you all seem to play backgammon. And as it's not really developped in
the rest of the world, I will keep on saying "american". But don't offend
... The "hatred" I described is somehow going along with a big respect.

--

To double, or not to double ?

The subject has been discussed :

* Doubling is an art and one must learn how to double : true
* Doubling is a gambling artifact that can't be integrated to
middle-eastern culture : don't know
* Doubling makes the game more interesting : definitely false

A more question : do you play matches up to more than one point without the
cube ? (as Strato was explaining that one-point matches without the cube
are well-played)

Here is what I call a "gambling artifact" : it's a rule which introduced a
certain "gambling feeling" and a "bidding feeling" to the game. It's like
the pot with poker. You bid, and you see if you win. With tavli, the only
stakes are not 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 points but "who will pay for the
drinks". The fact to introduce the cube makes not all games equal, and
thus, luck can appear, can't it ?

Actually I don't like the cube, and I'm not even able to give precise and
efficient arguments against it ... it may come from the fact that tavli is
part of my cultural background, and not the cube. And I refuse to accept
that it may have been considered as a quite good idea at first sight
because it would betray the cultural background I have.

That's why I can be a little aggressive and touchy ...

--

Differents kinds of boards :

It seems that we can classify boards into three kinds
(1) Cardboard games with bottle caps (sic) or printed towels
(2) Noisy and loud wood-made boards (either plain or luxurious)
(3) Quiet and felt boards

It seems that people who hardly begin backgammon, or who don't have money
will prefer the (1) category.

But let's deal with the two other ones. It can be an illusion about the
american way of playing, but it seems to me that you play only with "quiet"
boards, or at least, you prefer quiet boards.

I personnaly have at home a beautiful wood-made inlaid board (ie. category
2), and it does a wonderful loud noise when I play. I play however with
plastic checkers (who can be easily lost at the coffee shop ...) and small
plastic dice (ie. 5mm x 5mm x 5mm) who can easily be replaced. And so do we
play in greece.

But you may prefer owning a personnal good pair of dice with a felt board,
the think I will dislike with this is its quietness.

--

Different kinds of rules :

We have to distinguish between :
i) The rules of the game in itself
ii) Tue rules regarding the playing of the game.

In the 2nd category, the rules between "america" and "mid-eastern" differ
greatly : in greece :

- Only one pair of dice is used, the move is done when the second checker
has moved. Everyone avoids, as far as possible, to redo one move.
- For the first game, the who players throw one die each, and the higher
begins.
- For the other games, the winner of the previous game begins.
- Games are played up to 5 points (or 3 or 7, depending on the available
time), alternating the three kinds of games usually played : Portes / Fevga
/ Plakoto.
- No backgammon (ie. only "simple" games, and "double" [diplo] games, ie.
gammon)
- No rule of "no hit and go" : you can hit and then go with the same
checker.
- No rule of the "higher die must be played"
- The loser usually pays for the drinks.

Note : Sylvain Guehl seems to give a similar description of turkish rules.

--

Regarding the level of a grandpa :

Grandpas are respected in Greece (and elsewhere I think) because they teach
tavli to their grandsons.

However, about the "portes" game, you all agree to say that they are not
that good. Indeed, they don't have analysing tools, nor a good theory as
"american" players developped.

But don't forget that fevga and plakoto are not "variants" but equal to
portes. And thus, a good tavli player knows fevga and plakoto.

As for plakoto, no high-level strategy is really needed. Plakoto is often
the first game children learn, because it's easy and its strategy can be
taught without difficulties.

But fevga is really different (same with its cousine "gul"), and requires a
lot of experience, as the strategy can only be acquired with playing (and I
doubt that a good backgammon player could beat a greek grandpa with fevga
... I'd like to see though), and to my mind, fevga is a sort of "forgiven"
game, though more interesting and, I think, whose required strategy skills
are very high.

--

Apologies

I'd like to apologize for those who felt "insulted" when I was speacking
about "americans". I don't have any particular hatred towards anyone
playing backgammon (only individual cases, but it's merely personal), but I
dislike what tavli has become in some coutries and some communities.

If I were playing with a professional player (not by internet, he has to be
in front of me), I think I would shout and speak loud, and I would swear
against the game not going fast enough. It would be a cultural shock (and I
am sure I would be defeated)

--

Charito

Charito

unread,
Aug 20, 2003, 6:08:52 PM8/20/03
to
Sylvain Guehl a écrit le Mercredi 20 Août 2003 11:31 :

> In Turkey, the game is called "Tavla", comming from arabic's "taoula",
> coming itself from latin "tabula" which means "table".
>
> Also, in Turkey, the game is most played like this : two dice, no doubling
> cube. No rule of "backgammon" (3 points), only gammon (2 points) which is
> called "mars" here. Most of the time people don't use the rule of having
> to use the high die when both dice can't be played together. Also, when
> starting the game, each player throw a die to know who'll start, but the
> one who's going to start then throw both dice again for his first move. He
> doesn't use the first combined dice result.
>
> "Matches" are like this : First player who reaches 5 points wins.
>
> That's all for turkey, it's been played this way in Istanbul, Bodrum,
> Marmaris, Izmir, Kas...

Okay, so you understand what I say

> Oh, and btw, hi, I'm new to the group. I'm 25 y old and I'm french, I've
> been playing backgammon for 2 years, I learn it in Turkey and I'm just
> learning now the "real" rules of the "backgammon" (not "tavla"). This
> doubling cube is making me mad ;)

It demends on what game you learned. If you learned gül, you may have
difficulties (although gül is to my mind the most interesting game, along
with its greek cousine fevga)

But if you learned "backgammon" (ie. the "portes" game in greek), you only
have to learn how to double (i could never get used personnaly) and the
special rules (eg. no "hit-and-go", "higher dice first", etc)

Bonne chance donc.

Au fait, d'où viens tu en France ?

--
Alexandre Charitopoulos

Message has been deleted

Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 11:19:45 AM8/21/03
to
Murat Kalinyaprak a écrit le Jeudi 21 Août 2003 10:47 :

> I just would like to add that bacgammon brings
> people closer not just within those societies
> but it brings those societies closer also...
>
> Personally, it helped me establish and improve
> my frienships with many Greeks, Iranians, etc.
>
> Send a Turk and a Greek on a scientific expedition
> to the South Pole with a case of Ouzo/Raki and a
> backgammon board... And they will we just fine for
> quite a while... :))
>
> MK

I do agree (especially about the ouzo/raki case). I'm not sure that it would
be the same if they played with a cube player and a silent felt board.

--
Charito

s.w.a....@hccnet.nl

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 12:29:04 PM8/21/03
to
Charito wrote:
> * Doubling makes the game more interesting : definitely false
>>
>>
??...a matter of personal taste imo.
**


Charito wrote:
>Here is what I call a "gambling artifact" : it's a rule which introduced a
>certain "gambling feeling" and a "bidding feeling" to the game. It's like
>the pot with poker. You bid, and you see if you win.
>>
>>

Bad comparison imo....in poker the bidding practically *is* the
game....bidding is done with only a partial view on the total position
(you can only see a small selection of the cards) and therefore the
gambling/guessing aspect is larger.....there is no playing out of
cards in poker after bidding thus no equivalent of chequer play, a
poker game ends when the bidding ends, thus not only when the opponent
passes iow 'drops'.
The cube also has an integral aspect that to some extent reduces the
effect of "gambling"...when you drop at the right moments, you will
lose less than when you play out games that have turned sour because
you neutralize the negative effect of losing gammons (2x) and
backgammons (3x).
I wrote this before here, Charito...a serious 'gambling artifact' in
backgammon/tavli is the losing of 2 points for a gammon....because
there is really no strategy that from the start leads to a bigger
chance on winning a gammon -unless- you are willing to take much
greater risks than when you aim at winning a single point
only....taking risk = gambling....
**

Charito wrote:
>With tavli, the only
>stakes are not 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 points but "who will pay for the
>drinks".
>>
>>

If you add the cube to any imaginable basic or rudimentary form of
backgammon (or any other contest for that matter....you could for
example take a cube down with you when you bet with a friend on how
long you can stay under water) you get the same situation as in
matchplay backgammon:
"The loser of a match or series of games to a certain set number of
points has to pay for the drinks".
I don't see the big difference.
I am however fairly sure that most backgammon players will find
cubeless games rather boring...although I can only speak for myself, I
think that the cube adds a dimension to the game instead of turning it
into an empoverished version of the real thing. Maybe a matter of
(acquired) taste too ?

Bye,
Peter

Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 2:54:50 PM8/21/03
to
The debate would have no interest if anyone stays on his position. I (and
Murat K. too) think that the cube is a mere bullshit, and you all think
it's part of the game.

The answer is :

You represent only at most 5% of the world players.

We represent at least 95%

The tradition should thus be kept.

Albert Silver

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:03:07 PM8/21/03
to
Charito <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message news:<bi3509$ui0$1...@news-reader3.wanadoo.fr>...

> The debate would have no interest if anyone stays on his position. I (and
> Murat K. too) think that the cube is a mere bullshit, and you all think
> it's part of the game.
>
> The answer is :
>
> You represent only at most 5% of the world players.
>
> We represent at least 95%
>
> The tradition should thus be kept.

I'm afraid I haven't quite grasped the purpose of your posts. Your
exposure of variants of backgammon is quite fascinating, and there is
absolutely nothing wrong with them, but your last phrase suggests that
the players who play competitive backgammon should not be allowed to.
This for me, if true, is a mystery. If you wish to merely spread the
word on these variations, great, but if you wish to forbid players
from enjoying competitive backgammon as it exists today, then that is
fascism.

Personally, I find that matches using the cube are the ultimate
challenge. If backgammon only existed with no cube and as a series of
1-pointers, I know for a certainty my interest for the game would have
died some time ago. In match play with the cube, *everything* changes
according to the score. A double at 0 to 0 in a 5-point match, may
easily be a huge blunder at a different score, and a checker-play that
leads to a huge increase in gammons if the score were 1 to 3 could
easily be a colossal blunder at a different score where gammons are
relatively unimportant.

Mind you, I am absolutely not characterizing the variaitions you
described as worse, boring, or whatever, I'm just saying that while
the cube may indeed have some gambling aspects involved, I think the
strategic challenges it brings are far greater.

No matter what your perspective, I see no reason for you to attack it.
If 95% of the players wish to play a different way, let them, and if
the other 5% prefer this way, so what?

Albert Silver

s.w.a....@hccnet.nl

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 4:16:07 PM8/21/03
to
On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 20:54:50 +0200, Charito
<arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote:

>The debate would have no interest if anyone stays on his position. I (and
>Murat K. too) think that the cube is a mere bullshit, and you all think
>it's part of the game.
>
>The answer is :
>You represent only at most 5% of the world players.
>We represent at least 95%
>The tradition should thus be kept.
>>
>>

Fair enough. I do hope that you, plus the other 95% of the
traditionallly oriented people you think you represent, will leave us,
the 5% "dissidents", in peace so that we can enjoy our "utterly wrong"
interpretation of -your- game on our own terms.

If people like you and your friend Murat are going to run this email
list, there is nothing that keeps me here. You better rename this
group to :
rec.games.tavli95%

Have fun & take care, Charito.....
Bye,
Peter

MeMyself

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:10:21 PM8/21/03
to
Certainly you will continue to enjoy the game without use of the doubling
cube. Enjoy yourself.

Equally certainly a large number of players will enjoy the game with the
doubling cube in play. They, too, will enjoy themselves.

Chill out! Cool down! Relax and enjoy the game. If someone proposes use
of the cube in a game you are about to play, feel free to say "No, Thank
You." and move on.

The use of the cube in backgammon was a variant on the then existing
backgammon rules. There have always been variants of backgammon.
http://www.gammoned.com/variants.html One variant, still popular in the
Navy, is called Acey Deucy. You may be interested in reading about it.
http://www.back-gammon.com/acey-deucy.html (but, of course, that is only
one of a number of _different_ versions of Acey Deucy rules.)

Backgammon and its variants are an evolving species. Watch for more
interesting changes coming soon.

Even within Acey Deucy, there are variations in the rules from ship to
ship!


"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message
news:bi3509$ui0$1...@news-reader3.wanadoo.fr...

Patti Beadles

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:18:24 PM8/21/03
to
In article <f9846eb9.0308...@posting.google.com>,
Albert Silver <silver...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>I'm afraid I haven't quite grasped the purpose of your posts.

Oh, c'mon, that's easy. He posts to stir up trouble.

I'm thinking it might be time for us to agree on a PISS[1] for
Murat-- if we all agree not to respond to anything he says, then
he can no longer cause problems.

-Patti

[1] Passive Ignorance Silence Strike -- basically, nobody ever
responds to anything he says.
--
Patti Beadles |
pat...@gammon.com | Never ever argue with a clown.
http://www.gammon.com/ |
or just yell, "Hey, Patti!" | The clown ALWAYS wins.

Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:40:25 PM8/21/03
to
s.w.a....@hccnet.nl a dit :

> If people like you and your friend Murat are going to run this email
> list, there is nothing that keeps me here. You better rename this
> group to :
> rec.games.tavli95%

Why not. I would create a rec.games.tavli (or tavla, or whatever which
is not backgammon but who looks like) if 99% of backgammon players who
have an internet access were not cube players. Look at this :

95% of backgammon players play with no cube
99% of usenet users and backgammon players play with a cube (the 1% are
Murat and I)

That's the purpose of my posts.

> Have fun & take care, Charito.....
> Bye,
> Peter

--
Alexandre Charitopoulos
mailto:a.ch...@wanadoo.fr

Em6 / Eb7(5b) / Dm7 / Db7(5b, 9b) / Cmaj7

Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:49:18 PM8/21/03
to
Albert Silver a dit :

> I'm afraid I haven't quite grasped the purpose of your posts. Your
> exposure of variants of backgammon is quite fascinating, and there is
> absolutely nothing wrong with them, but your last phrase suggests that
> the players who play competitive backgammon should not be allowed to.
> This for me, if true, is a mystery. If you wish to merely spread the
> word on these variations, great, but if you wish to forbid players
> from enjoying competitive backgammon as it exists today, then that is
> fascism.

The purposes of my posts are quite simple to grasp. I wanted to show you
(as Murat tried to do it, but I think, with too much anger) that the
oriental playing is not a mere variant but a complete game that has to
be taken into account. Definitely, I now strongly distinguish
backgammon from tavli with your answers, as I thought first that it was
almost the same. Those are two different games, and I think I will not
post here anymore as this forum only plays backgammon (and there are no
tavli players).

I do not want to prevent them from playing backgammon. I simply want
them to know that their play is not the only backgammon game, and that
they represent only a few percentage of all the players. They enjoy
whatever they want, that's their own problem. That will not prevent me
anyway from playing tavli.

But don't forget that backgammon comes from tavli (which exists since
the early middle-age)



> Personally, I find that matches using the cube are the ultimate
> challenge. If backgammon only existed with no cube and as a series of
> 1-pointers, I know for a certainty my interest for the game would have
> died some time ago. In match play with the cube, *everything* changes
> according to the score. A double at 0 to 0 in a 5-point match, may
> easily be a huge blunder at a different score, and a checker-play that
> leads to a huge increase in gammons if the score were 1 to 3 could
> easily be a colossal blunder at a different score where gammons are
> relatively unimportant.

Gammons are important in tavli. Someone which is gammoned (we say "won
double") has to shame.

> Mind you, I am absolutely not characterizing the variaitions you
> described as worse, boring, or whatever, I'm just saying that while
> the cube may indeed have some gambling aspects involved, I think the
> strategic challenges it brings are far greater.

Perhaps. But the gambling aspects it involves are enough to discourage
me from using it. Even if the strategy required may be great. It's
another game.



> No matter what your perspective, I see no reason for you to attack it.
> If 95% of the players wish to play a different way, let them, and if
> the other 5% prefer this way, so what?
>
> Albert Silver

--

Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 5:50:35 PM8/21/03
to
Patti Beadles a dit :

> In article <f9846eb9.0308...@posting.google.com>,
> Albert Silver <silver...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>I'm afraid I haven't quite grasped the purpose of your posts.
>
> Oh, c'mon, that's easy. He posts to stir up trouble.

You may think whatever you want.



> I'm thinking it might be time for us to agree on a PISS[1] for
> Murat-- if we all agree not to respond to anything he says, then
> he can no longer cause problems.

I assume the piss will work for me too.

Strato

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 6:00:32 PM8/21/03
to

"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> said:

> Alexandre Charitopoulos
> Tavli (and definitely not backgammon) player.

...then you are in the wrong newsgroup, this one is called
rec.games.backgammon, please go to rec.games.tavli or create it.

and Charito also said:

>You represent only at most 5% of the world players.

>We represent at least 95%

>The tradition should thus be kept.


Tavli is a version of a game played on a board with checkers and dice and it
is the national pastime of Greece, a tradition of Greece. When I go to
Greece I will play tavli. It is a good game. I tried it once with a Greek
neighbour.

However, tavli is definitely not the original game that was invented 5,000
years ago and I don't believe that tavli is the version of the game played
by 95% of players. Or do you care to differ?

But Charito, it's okay, we will allow you to play it any way you want to,
wherever you want to. See how nice we are? Now, is it okay if we play our
version the way we want to? (Answer required.)

I am also curious about something. I challenge you to post a real tough
position here taken from a game of backgammon with no cube (portes?). You
can post it in text form, show us the position, where the checkers are and a
dice roll. Then tell us why you think the position is a tough decision, and
what is your best move for the position and why?

Or, if you want, I can post a position here and you tell me what's the best
move?

Strato


Charito

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 6:24:28 PM8/21/03
to
Strato a dit :

>
> "Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> said:
>
>> Alexandre Charitopoulos
>> Tavli (and definitely not backgammon) player.
>
> ...then you are in the wrong newsgroup, this one is called
> rec.games.backgammon, please go to rec.games.tavli or create it.

see somewhere else in this thread.


> Tavli is a version of a game played on a board with checkers and dice
> and it is the national pastime of Greece, a tradition of Greece. When
> I go to Greece I will play tavli. It is a good game. I tried it once
> with a Greek neighbour.

Sure it is. I do not say that backgammon isn't nice, it's only a game I
thought it could be closely linked to tavli. Actually, I realized that
it isn't.



> However, tavli is definitely not the original game that was invented
> 5,000 years ago and I don't believe that tavli is the version of the
> game played by 95% of players. Or do you care to differ?

Of course it isn't. But it seems that it was played this way since about
500 years. And backgammon as played today (ie. with the cube) is played
only since the 20's.



> But Charito, it's okay, we will allow you to play it any way you want
> to, wherever you want to. See how nice we are? Now, is it okay if we
> play our version the way we want to? (Answer required.)

I never said the opposite ! You are of course free to play whatever you
want, as long as you realize that your game is unique, with its own
uniqueness, and it cannot be the same as tavli. And remember that
backgammon players are really fewer than tavli (and oriental-play)
players.

> Or, if you want, I can post a position here and you tell me what's the
> best move?

Why not. I would enjoy.

> Strato

Strato

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 6:49:26 PM8/21/03
to
Hi Charito,


Here's an interesting position, you are player O (your home board is top
left):

O to play a dice roll of 1-1

+-1--2--3--4--5--6--------7--8--9-10-11-12-+
| X X O | | O O O X |
| O | | O O O X |
| O | | |
| | | |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| X | | |
| X | | |
| X | | |
| O O X | | X X X |
| O O O X | | X X X O |
+24-23-22-21-20-19-------18-17-16-15-14-13-+


Strato


"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message

news:bi3h9b$4gh$1...@news-reader5.wanadoo.fr...

Derek Ray

unread,
Aug 21, 2003, 7:39:34 PM8/21/03
to
In message <bi3f7d$af8$1...@news-reader3.wanadoo.fr>,
Charito <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> mumbled something
about:

>The purposes of my posts are quite simple to grasp. I wanted to show you
>(as Murat tried to do it, but I think, with too much anger) that the
>oriental playing is not a mere variant but a complete game that has to
>be taken into account. Definitely, I now strongly distinguish

And a different game entirely, so the two really have no comparison.

>backgammon from tavli with your answers, as I thought first that it was
>almost the same. Those are two different games, and I think I will not
>post here anymore as this forum only plays backgammon (and there are no
>tavli players).

That is correct.

>I do not want to prevent them from playing backgammon. I simply want
>them to know that their play is not the only backgammon game, and that
>they represent only a few percentage of all the players. They enjoy

And you wish to imply that somehow this makes yours the "right" version.

You are wrong, of course. There is no "right" version. There is the
version which some people play, and the version others play.

>> leads to a huge increase in gammons if the score were 1 to 3 could
>> easily be a colossal blunder at a different score where gammons are
>> relatively unimportant.
>
>Gammons are important in tavli. Someone which is gammoned (we say "won
>double") has to shame.

Shame, for something which may well have been entirely luck? It seems
that tavli, from your descriptions, is the game which loudmouths play
when they wish to argue about nothing at all and start a bar fight.

>Perhaps. But the gambling aspects it involves are enough to discourage
>me from using it. Even if the strategy required may be great. It's
>another game.

Correct. It is another game entirely.

-- Derek

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
- C. Darwin, 1871

Warwick

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Aug 22, 2003, 3:08:03 PM8/22/03
to

charito
- My two cents..
I was taught the game by a friend and his father. They were both expat Greek
Cypriots.
They both used the cube.
The board was wooden but they preferred my felt one because the dice don't
bounce so hard and they become cocked less often.
At the Abu Dhabi Tourney (and last time I looked that country was in the
middle east) they use the cube. In 1999 it was one by a local "grandpa". He
used the cube. (Plodd also told me he had never seen anyone move the
checkers so fast before).
I have never been to America, but I play with the cube.
A lot of my opponents have never been to America, but they use the cube.

I'd say the estimate of 95% - 5% is a complete shot in the dark. It could
easily be the other way around.

If you ask me your antiAmerican sentiments are an extension of a basic
misunderstanding endemic throughout the middle east.

cheers
Warwick


MuffinHead

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Aug 21, 2003, 8:14:50 PM8/21/03
to
In article <bi3cv0$8qo$1...@blue.rahul.net>,
pat...@mauve.rahul.net (Patti Beadles) wrote:

> Oh, c'mon, that's easy. He posts to stir up trouble.
>
> I'm thinking it might be time for us to agree on a PISS[1] for
> Murat-- if we all agree not to respond to anything he says, then
> he can no longer cause problems.
>

> [1] Passive Ignorance Silence Strike -- basically, nobody ever
> responds to anything he says.

I wish people wouldn't feed the troll (Muckrat) either, but I think a
point has been made that he's mentally unstable, so I'm not sure if it
would totally help. Anyway, I like to read the replies to his posts (not
his posts per se) just to see what people think.

Anyway I didn't see the footnote before I went off to look up the
acronym... may I suggest you offer a new submission to this Web site 8)

http://www.acronymfinder.com/af-query.asp?p=dict&String=exact&Acronym=PIS
S

MuffinHead

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Aug 21, 2003, 8:18:59 PM8/21/03
to
Re:

> You represent only at most 5% of the world players.
>
> We represent at least 95%

and

> 95% of backgammon players play with no cube
> 99% of usenet users and backgammon players play with a cube (the 1% are
> Murat and I)

There's nothing worse than pulling statistics out of your [insert
orifice of choice here]. If you're going to quote numbers, then quote
references.

It's irrelevant either way, because your diatribes are just mindless
trolling. You seem to have a persecution complex; no one's out to change
the way you play backgammon (or whatever), so why do you care how the
rest of the world plays backgammon (or whatever)? Yeesh.

I find the link between the doubling cube and American capitalism
particularly interesting. Also the links between the cube and gambling.
As someone mentioned before, the cube is there to make a good game even
more interesting. It's not about changing the geo-political landscape of
world of gaming. I prefer games with the cube, and I've never bet a cent
on a backgammon game in my life. Nor am I American. Are you still sure
about your assumptions?

Charito

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Aug 22, 2003, 10:19:24 AM8/22/03
to
Warwick a dit :

>
> charito
> - My two cents..

That's more than that, I think it's at least one or two dollars, indeed.
Your reply is interesting.

> I was taught the game by a friend and his father. They were both expat
> Greek Cypriots.

Ok. There exists a lot of such people. I am myself an expat from greece
and I live in France.

> They both used the cube.
> The board was wooden but they preferred my felt one because the dice
> don't bounce so hard and they become cocked less often.
> At the Abu Dhabi Tourney (and last time I looked that country was in
> the middle east) they use the cube. In 1999 it was one by a local
> "grandpa". He used the cube.

Why not ? If they prefer what I called "american" playing of backgammon,
why not.

> (Plodd also told me he had never seen
> anyone move the checkers so fast before).

And so we play in greece.

> I have never been to America, but I play with the cube.
> A lot of my opponents have never been to America, but they use the
> cube.

> I'd say the estimate of 95% - 5% is a complete shot in the dark. It
> could easily be the other way around.

I don't think so, actually. There are a lot of people who play with no
cube, and who have actually never heard of the cube.


> If you ask me your antiAmerican sentiments are an extension of a
> basic misunderstanding endemic throughout the middle east.

That's not really "antiamerican" butactually what I call "american" is
by extension whatever which is influenced by the american culture.
There are a lot of "american backgammon" players in France, in Germany,
in the UK, in Australia, in New Zeland, and there may be some in
greece.

>
> cheers
> Warwick

Charito

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Aug 22, 2003, 10:21:24 AM8/22/03
to
Derek Ray a dit :

>>Gammons are important in tavli. Someone which is gammoned (we say "won
>>double") has to shame.
>
> Shame, for something which may well have been entirely luck? It seems
> that tavli, from your descriptions, is the game which loudmouths play
> when they wish to argue about nothing at all and start a bar fight.

I think you understood perfectly what I wanted to say. That makes tavli
more than a mere game. And remember that the loser only loses a few
drinks...



>>Perhaps. But the gambling aspects it involves are enough to discourage
>>me from using it. Even if the strategy required may be great. It's
>>another game.
>
> Correct. It is another game entirely.



--

Charito

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Aug 22, 2003, 10:25:46 AM8/22/03
to
MuffinHead a dit :

> Are you still sure about your assumptions?

Have a look at the recent replies and you will understand that the
statistics I got out of my [put any orifice here] may be precise or
not, i don't give a [put a 4 letter word here]. It's only to explain
that we are not playing the same game. There may have tavli players in
the US as there may have backgammon players in greece. What I
understood with this thread is that those game are as different as are
for instance a dog and an armchair.

Charito

unread,
Aug 22, 2003, 10:29:08 AM8/22/03
to
Strato a dit :

> Hi Charito,
>
>
> Here's an interesting position, you are player O (your home board is
> top left):
>
> O to play a dice roll of 1-1
>
> +-1--2--3--4--5--6--------7--8--9-10-11-12-+
> | X X O | | O O O X |
> | O | | O O O X |
> | O | | |
> | | | |
> | | | |
> | |BAR| |
> | X | | |
> | X | | |
> | X | | |
> | O O X | | X X X |
> | O O O X | | X X X O |
> +24-23-22-21-20-19-------18-17-16-15-14-13-+
>
>

22 -> 21
6 -> 5 -> 4 -> 3 (if we play tavli and the "no hit and go" rule doesn't
exists)

MuffinHead

unread,
Aug 22, 2003, 12:39:38 PM8/22/03
to
In article <bi59jk$1o6$1...@news-reader1.wanadoo.fr>,
Charito <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote:

> Have a look at the recent replies and you will understand that the
> statistics I got out of my [put any orifice here] may be precise or
> not, i don't give a [put a 4 letter word here]. It's only to explain
> that we are not playing the same game.

Was anyone making a claim to the contrary?

I think your intent was to claim that the cube is rarely used. I think
that claim is bunk, and I challenged your assertion, to back it up with
facts. You can't do that. Now you're changing your story...

What's with all the animosity? Did you get bullied at school by a
cube-using Big Kid who made fun of you because you played tavli? Or
something?

Albert Silver

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Aug 22, 2003, 1:56:08 PM8/22/03
to
Charito <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message news:<bi3f7d$af8$1...@news-reader3.wanadoo.fr>...

> Albert Silver a dit :
>
> > I'm afraid I haven't quite grasped the purpose of your posts. Your
> > exposure of variants of backgammon is quite fascinating, and there is
> > absolutely nothing wrong with them, but your last phrase suggests that
> > the players who play competitive backgammon should not be allowed to.
> > This for me, if true, is a mystery. If you wish to merely spread the
> > word on these variations, great, but if you wish to forbid players
> > from enjoying competitive backgammon as it exists today, then that is
> > fascism.
>
> The purposes of my posts are quite simple to grasp. I wanted to show you
> (as Murat tried to do it, but I think, with too much anger) that the
> oriental playing is not a mere variant but a complete game that has to
> be taken into account.

Yes, the problem is that you have not only shared a few games with the
readers of this newsgroup, you have attacked backgammon consistently
and tried very hard to belittle those who play it.

A few examples are:

> But if you ever go to Greece, or Turkey, or such countries, you may notice
> that :
> - the boards are wood-made, the checkers doing a "clac-clac" noise on the
> board which is perfect for initiating a noisy conversation
> - They only use one pair of dice (plastic-made, 10 cents the little
> bag of 10)
> - Checkers are plastic made, and very cheap (thus being able to get replaced
> easily if lost)
> - The game is really noisy

> Whereas is the US (or any backgammon-playing country) the boards are made to
> play a quiet and silent game, with a personnal pair of dice and beautifully-
> made boards/checkers/dice. A good board in greece (pretty with good woods
> and well made) costs hardly 15 $.

> These kinds of characteristics are lost when the backgammon is "americanized".

This comment is very strange. It implies that you think backgammon is
bad because it isn't noisy enough, can come with well-balanced dice
for maximum fairness, and has beautifully-made boards/checkers/dice.
Why these could possibly be considered negative aspects is not clear.
What this has to with the US is even less clear. The most luxurious
boards I've seen aren't even american.

But you also add that your purpose here is:

> I do not want to prevent them from playing backgammon. I simply want
> them to know that their play is not the only backgammon game, and that
> they represent only a few percentage of all the players.

First, I'd ask whether you have any figures to support this claim.
Then I'd point out that your purpose of declaring backgammon players
are a minority is a strange one. To put it clearly: whether your
statistics are right or wrong, why should anyone care? I don't play
backgammon because everyone or the majority do, I play it because *I*
think it's cool.

Somehow this is a problem to you, since you suggest that since a
minority play it, it should be completely eradicated:

> You represent only at most 5% of the world players.
> We represent at least 95%
> The tradition should thus be kept.

So clearly it is *not* ok in your eyes for others to play it according
to the current rules and with a cube. The last phrase makes this
crystal clear.

Then there is your opening comment that professionals are bad and so
are clear rules. The last comment is probably poorly thought out, so
I'll ignore it, but the first is no stranger. Obviously the idea of a
backgammon professional is offensive to you.

> I will not develop the hatred I have towards professional players

This is interesting since you have such a low regard for the game, and
believe backgammon players to only represent 5% of the ... I don't
know: they represent 5% of the backgammon players??

Why on earth should it bother you that there are professional players
who dedicate their time improving their ability, competing, and
resaerching and publishing analyses. I take it that no one studies or
researches strategic sutleties in your games? And because they don't
'the tradition should thus be kept' forbidding professionals from
existing in other games. What is your opinion of professionals in
other games such as chess, bridge, checkers, go, and many many more?

> Perhaps. But the gambling aspects it involves are enough to discourage
> me from using it. Even if the strategy required may be great. It's
> another game.

You are not being consistent. You already stated that players wager
the drinks, and in my book, that's called gambling. In fact anytime
the loser loses more than the game, whether it is money, drinks, or
having to do something silly for the benefit of his friends, it's
gambling.

Albert Silver

Back4U2 BBL

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Aug 22, 2003, 3:27:41 PM8/22/03
to

"Charito" <arelatif.ch...@wanadoorelatif.fr> wrote in message
news:bi59pv$2kn$1...@news-reader1.wanadoo.fr...

> Strato a dit :
>
> > Hi Charito,
> >
> >
> > Here's an interesting position, you are player O (your home board is
> > top left):
> >
> > O to play a dice roll of 1-1
> >
> > +-1--2--3--4--5--6--------7--8--9-10-11-12-+
> > | X X O | | O O O X |
> > | O | | O O O X |
> > | O | | |
> > | | | |
> > | | | |
> > | |BAR| |
> > | X | | |
> > | X | | |
> > | X | | |
> > | O O X | | X X X |
> > | O O O X | | X X X O |
> > +24-23-22-21-20-19-------18-17-16-15-14-13-+
> >
> >
>
> 22 -> 21
> 6 -> 5 -> 4 -> 3 (if we play tavli and the "no hit and go" rule doesn't
> exists)
>
> --
> Alexandre Charitopoulos

I like:
22/20 13/12 6/5.
I want that last man ready to go, with an extra choice to play a 6 or 5.
Thus 22/20, all the way.
I don't want a double hit, giving the opponent time to take a break instead
of a roll he/she has to think about. If hit, I want flexibility. And I think
giving the opponent the whole roll is my advantage, thus not 6/4*. And I
want my prime to become the stronger one. 6/4* will make that hard for me.
Thus 6/5, 5 the next point to make.

Nardy

Derek Ray

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Aug 22, 2003, 4:27:43 PM8/22/03