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David Rockwell--Chicago,IL

Pictured below is my good friend, David Rockwell.  David has been a major inspiration to me, but not simply because he has become a world class player, but more because he has been a true inspiration. 

David was just a "pretty good" player a few years ago, then he decided to "attack" the game with logic.  He studied each element of the game and carefully studied his own game to determine where he had flaws.  Then he attacked those areas, one by one, with careful study, using the bots to make sure of his reasoning.  When you ask David about a play today, he will not focus on what is right, but "why" it is right.  David understood early that the most important thing in backgammon is to understand the logic, not just memorize plays.  Most of us know the right opening moves in most situations, but David can tell you why one is better than another, and he is therefore more likely to make the right move on the second, third, forth, and the rest of the moves as well. 

Another reason I admire David is that he didn't just stop by teaching himself...he unselfishly shares his knowledge with the rest of the backgammon community and with anyone who asks.  He doesn't do it to show off...but in a sincere effort to help anyone who demonstrates that they are ready to learn and listen.

He has taught me much about backgammon, but even more about attitude.  Over the board, you won't find a more focused, fierce competitor--no matter how tough the roll or how low the odds of winning, David is searching for the right play and cube decision.  I used to joke around a lot while I was playing, but I have learned from David that if I focus on the game I will play better, and that means I will win more.  Both of those bring me a lot more satisfaction and pleasure than a good joke.

I congratulate David on his success in taking his game to the highest levels of backgammon, and I offer him my gratitude for his contribution to my own game and to the game in general.