LIVE TOURNAMENT TIPS
By Phil Simborg
If you are new, or relatively new to playing in live
backgammon tournaments, here are a few things that might make it a little
easier for you.
Before the tournament:
to the tournament director ahead of time, and find out exactly what
division and events you should be playing in. Generally, you want to play in the
lowest division for which you are eligible…but if you are a reasonably
good player, do not play in Novice (beginner) as it will not be
challenging for you.
a board. Even if you have to borrow
one. And be sure you have
“precision” dice and cups. (Rounded
playing over a board. Learn how to
play going in BOTH directions.
the rules of play before you start.
That will tell you about legal moves, ending your turn, protocol
for doubling, rules for shaking the dice and rolling, etc. etc.
how to count pips. There are many
on-line guides to help you find the shortcuts. Knowing the pip count over the board is
important to good play.
the basic concepts of match equity and cube strategy. In tournaments, equity is critical.
- Get a
copy of the tournament entry form and information and read it
carefully. Be sure you are on time,
know where to go, and know when the breaks area. If there are lectures and other side
events, be sure to participate…it will make the whole experience more
During the tournament:
the tournament staff is there to help you.
Ask questions any time you have one. Don’t be shy.
- Be sure
you know, off the draw sheet, how many points each match is to be played
to. Many people just assume, and
they assume wrong. Match length can
change every round in some tournaments.
write down the score, and say the score out loud to make sure your
opponent has the same score you do.
- Win or
lose, make sure the result is reported immediately after the match.
have fun, and don’t worry if you make mistakes. Everyone makes some illegal moves, or
forgets to double, or forgets to pick up a checker when they hit it. Don’t beat yourself up if you make some
errors. It’s just a game!
matches, sit down and quietly watch some of the better players—you can
learn much from them.
- Use a
camera or your phone to take pictures of positions that give you
problems. Between matches, find a
more experienced player to go over your questions with you.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN AND MAKE FRIENDS!