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Chess vs Backgammon

premio53

I read an article a few years ago that suggested some chess masters are turning to backgammon because they are frustrated with memorizing tons of openings among other things.  Does anyone know any strong chess players who have crossed over to Backgammon and if so do they reach high ratings comparable to chess? 

Bill Robertie comes to mind.  He started playing chess as a kid and became a master and then switched to backgammon becoming one of the strongest players in the world.

Jion_Wansu

Oh no! Reminds me of the chess VS poker threads...

kco

Love the game of Backgammon.

premio53
HarioChess wrote:

I spent 800 on a fancy folding backgammon attache type board with precision dice. Works nice, play out on the market with the chinese guys a lot.

I don't consider myself a very good backgammon player but on a couple of different sites I have been rated over 2300.  I'm probably much better at backgammon than chess. 

Colin20G

In backgammon you'll have to memorize tons of equity tables score, and develop some specific position intuition to make proper cube decision. There is a theory too!

Jion_Wansu

At least it is not chess vs poker thread

kco

oh please go back to your cave.

DrSpudnik

Backgammon is a great game, but I'm too cheap to gamble, so the strategy of the doubling cube is pretty much lost on me.

kco

Well look at the bright side, there is not many books on backgammon , so if you get 1 or 2 books on it , it pretty will cover it. 

Colin20G

The cube is the most important skill; for example if you play 1 point games  against gnubg, you can get almost 50% wins against it with reasonable practice. But on longer games (I used to do 7 pointers mostly) you get torn apart the vast majority of the time. This is because of optimal cube usage by the bot (but it adjusts checker's play as well depending on the score).

premio53
Colin20G wrote:

The cube is the most important skill; for example if you play 1 point games  against gnubg, you can get almost 50% wins against it with reasonable practice. But on longer games (I used to do 7 pointers mostly) you get torn apart the vast majority of the time. This is because of optimal cube usage by the bot (but it adjusts checker's play as well depending on the score).

Many people believe GnuBackgammon and other world class programs cheat with the dice but using the manual dice mode proves that they really are as good as they are.  There isn't the degree of skill involved in chess but in a series of matches no amateur stands a chance against them.

I remember several years ago on a television show one of the top female backgammon players in the country was being interviewed and she said her fiance had broken up with her because he couldn't beat her at backgammon. 

MrEdCollins
kco wrote:

Well look at the bright side, there is not many books on backgammon , so if you get 1 or 2 books on it , it pretty will cover it. 

There are many backgammon books available.  (Not nearly as many as chess of course.)  I own 66 different books on backgammon.


final_wars

I worked with a chess grandmaster for 3 months, he assisted me when I was fine tuning the game rules for the game I made, see my profile for the website.

He plays on chess.com and will play you if you ask him, his account is ChessEducation4U, he also does private lessions.

Ok, now you know the background story...

His passion is "BG" as he calls it, he is one of the top players in the world, his rating is 4 or 5, not sure, thats 4 or 5 errors out of every 100 moves.

I used to meet him once a week to play my game OTB and he talked about BG quite a lot

The other thing is he plays BG for money :) 

p.s. he is a real game fan, show him any new game and he will play it :)

premio53
final_wars wrote:

I worked with a chess grandmaster for 3 months, he assisted me when I was fine tuning the game rules for the game I made, see my profile for the website.

He plays on chess.com and will play you if you ask him, his account is ChessEducation4U, he also does private lessions.

Ok, now you know the background story...

His passion is "BG" as he calls it, he is one of the top players in the world, his rating is 4 or 5, not sure, thats 4 or 5 errors out of every 100 moves.

I used to meet him once a week to play my game OTB and he talked about BG quite a lot

The other thing is he plays BG for money :) 

p.s. he is a real game fan, show him any new game and he will play it :)

Error rates for various classes of players on Snowie look approximately like this:

2.5 to 3.5 -- modern world-class, one of top 20 in world.

3.5 to 5.0 -- very good player, most likely has won some tournaments in the open section.

Your friend may not be quite "world class" but he is very good!

While Magnus Carlsen would stand virtually no chance against the top chess programs, the Elo rating difference between Extreme Gammon, (the best bot) and the top humans is more like 75 points, so XG would be something like a 2-1 favorite in a 25-point match against the top human player.

final_wars

means nothing to me, sorry, not interested in BG at all.

The guy that created the post asked if anyone knows chess masters that also play BG, I do, so I posted a comment, thats all.

KholmovDM

My girlfriend adores backgammon.  I've only started to introduce her to chess, but she finds it interesting. We take a set of each one practically wherever we go.  

Backgammon is super old (far older than the oldest known forms of chess) and is actually far more complex than I anticipated it to be (I remember doing research on it a few months back after trying a few games of gammon with my dad).  I remember specifically seeing this one very interesting position (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backgammon#/media/File:Tabula_-_boardgame_-_Zeno_game.svg) from Zeno's game of tabla, played in Constantinopole in 480 CE, in which the Emperor Zeno threw the most unlucky roll on the board and was forced to isolate eight men! 

 

premio53

Chris Bray also comes to mind as one who left chess to become a world class Backgammon player.  His book "Backgammon for Blood" is one of the best introductory books available. 

I'm 63 and realize my limited chess ability. Even though I studied for years and played in numerous tournaments I never got higher than class C USCF.  The fact of the matter is only a small percentage of people have the memory and natural talent along with the drive to study hard to go very high in chess.  And even though I will never be a world class Backgammon player it is much easier to compete against strong players as opposed to chess especially as I get older.

Just about every weekend I have a friend who comes by my house to play a series of 5 point matches in Backgammon (I never play for money) and just as I am clueless when it comes to playing strong chess he for some reason can't understand simple concepts when it comes to blocks, backgames, when to run and when to hold back etc. and I will win 9 out of 10 matches against him. He relies wholly on luck and getting boxcars to get a win.  He is still addicted to it though.

Playing one point matches is nothing but the luck of the dice.  Using the cube is where a strong player dominates.

BlargDragon

For as much as I enjoy backgammon, I still don't own a game set. I need to correct that.

Terminator-T800

backgammon lol. Not for me , I want it all