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Archive for June, 2007

Backgammon Seduction?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

We came across a little story today showing how our favourite game can be used as part of a different game entirely!

Here’s a taster;

 We used to have lunch together and play backgammon in the nearby park. No really! It was fun – and we had a blast together….

Read more here

 

Backgammon Gambling

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Backgammon clubs,social play of Backgammon, Backgammon gambling, what do you know about it?

BackgammonClub and tournament play

Enthusiasts have formed clubs for social play of backgammon. Local clubs may hold informal gatherings, with members meeting at caf?and bars in the evening to play and converse.”Tribes of Sydney — Sydney Backgammon Club”, The Daily Telegraph (Australia). June 24, 2006. p. 95Bray, Chris. “Backgammon”, The Independent (London). June 29, 2002. p. 50 A few clubs offer additional services, maintaining their own facilities or offering computer analysis of troublesome plays.Bray, Chris. “Backgammon”, The Independent (London). November 25, 2000. p. 19 Some club leaders have noticed a recent growth of interest in backgammon, and attribute it to the game’s popularity on the internet.Laverty, Roy. “Backgammon warriors — columnist, club member square off as board game’s popularity grows”, The Alameda Times-Star. May 16, 2003. Section: Bay Area Living.

A backgammon chouette”Chouette” is a French term, referring to owls. As slang, it can also mean “cool”, “nifty”, “neat”. Chouette, French Wikipedia. permits three or more players to participate in a single game, often for money. One player competes against a team of all the other participants, and positions rotate after each game. Chouette play often permits the use of multiple doubling cubes.

Backgammon clubs may also organize tournaments. Large club tournaments sometimes draw competitors from other regions, with final matches viewed by hundreds of spectators.Magriel, Paul. “Backgammon: Before Planning Big Attack, Be Sure to Cover Your Rear”, The New York Times. June 1, 1980, Late City Final Edition. Section 1, part 2, p. 50. The top players at regional tournaments often compete in major national and international championships. Winners at top tournaments may receive prizes of tens of thousands of dollars.Maxa, Rudy. “Where the Rich And the Royal Play Their Games — Monte Carlo’s Seven-Day Backgammon Soiree With Countesses, Princes and Other Sharpies”, The Washington Post. September 6, 1981. p. H1 One sponsor announced a purse of US$1,000,000 for a tournament held in the Bahamas in 2006.”PartyGammon.com to Stage First Ever US$1 Million Backgammon Tournament”, PR Newswire. July 10, 2006. Retrieved via Lexis-Nexis on August 12, 2006.

World Backgammon Championship

Prior to 1979, there was no single world championship competition in backgammon. A number of tournaments were held in Las Vegas and the Bahamas. Since 1979, the World Backgammon Championship in Monte Carlo has been widely acknowledged as the top international tournament. The tournament in Monte Carlo draws thousands of players and spectators, and is played over the course of a week.

Backgammon Gambling

When backgammon is played for money, the most common arrangement is to assign a monetary value to each game, and to play to a certain score, or until either player chooses to stop. The stakes are raised by gammons, backgammons, and use of the doubling cube. Backgammon is sometimes available in casinos. As with most gambling games, successful play requires a combination of both luck and skill, as a single dice roll can, in some circumstances, significantly change the outcome of the game.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material adapted from the Wikipedia article “Backgammon.
[tags] backgammon, backgammon gambling, backgammon rules, backgammon game, play backgammon, backgammon tournaments, backgammon competition, backgammon club[/tags]

Backgammon Software

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Backgammon Software Play and analysis

Backgammon has been studied considerably by computer scientists. Neural networks and other approaches have offered significant advances to software both for gameplay and analysis.The first strong computer opponent was BKG 9.8. It was written by Hans Berliner in the late 1970s on a DEC PDP-10 as an experiment in evaluating board positions. Early versions of BKG played badly even against poor players, but Berliner noticed that its critical mistakes were always at phase changes. He applied principles of fuzzy logic to smooth out the transition between phases, and by July 1979, BKG 9.8 was strong enough to play against the ruling world champion Luigi Villa. It won the match, 7-1, becoming the first computer program to defeat a world champion in any game. Berliner states that the victory was largely a matter of luck, as the computer received more favorable dice rolls.Berliner, Hans, et. al. "Backgammon program beats world champ", ACM SIGART Bulletin, Issue 69. January 1980. pp 6-9.

In the late 1980s, creators of backgammon software began to have more success with an approach based on neural networks. TD-Gammon, developed by Gerald Tesauro of IBM, was the first of these programs to play near the expert level. Its neural network was trained using temporal difference learning applied to data generated from self-play.Tesauro, Gerald. "Temporal difference learning and TD-Gammon", Communications of the ACM, 38:3. March 1995. pp 58-68. According to assessments by Bill Robertie and Kit Woolsey, TD-Gammon plays at or above the level of the top human players in the world.

This line of research has resulted in two modern commercial programs, Jellyfish and Snowie, as well as the shareware BGBlitz implemented in Java, and the free software GNU Backgammon. They also offer tools for analyzing games and offering detailed comparisons of individual moves. It is worth noting that without their associated "weights" tables, which represent hours or even months of tedious neural net training, these programs play no better than a human novice.

Internet play

Backgammon software has been developed not only to play and analyze games, but also to facilitate play between humans from different parts of the world over the internet. Dice rolls are provided by random or pseudorandom number generators. Real-time on-line play began with the First Internet Backgammon Server on July 19, 1992.Schneider, Andreas, et. al. "Brief history of FIBS", FIBS, the First Internet Backgammon Server. Retrieved on August 5, 2006. The server is the longest running non-commercial backgammon server and enjoys a strong international community of backgammon players. Several commercial websites also offer on-line real-time backgammon play. Yahoo! Games has offered a Java-based online backgammon game since 1997. MSN Games currently offers a backgammon game based on ActiveX. The online gambling industry began to expand its offerings to include backgammon in 2006.Lemke, Tim. "Odds favor Internet gambling — Lawmakers aim to rein in industry", The Washington Times. March 19, 2006. p. A1.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Backgammon".
[tags] backgammon, backgammon software, backgammon rules, backgammon game, play backgammon, internet backgammon[/tags]
 

Backgammon Variants

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Backgammon Variants

There are many variants to standard backgammon rules. Some are played primarily throughout one geographic region, and others add new tactical elements to the game, such as by altering the starting position, restricting certain moves, or assigning special value to certain dice rolls.

Acey-deucey

Acey-deucey is a variant of backgammon in which players start with no checkers on the board, and must bear them on at the beginning of the game. The roll of 1-2 is given special consideration, allowing the player to select doubles of her choice. A player also receives an extra turn after the roll of 1-2 or of doubles.

Nackgammon

Nackgammon is a variant devised by Nack Ballard. It differs only in its initial setup: each player starts with two checkers on the 24-point, two checkers on the 23-point, three checkers on the 8-point, and four checkers each on the 13-point and 6-point. Each side still has fifteen checkers total, but with two checkers on each side starting further back, there is more initial contact between the two sides, and less chance the game will quickly develop into a race.

Old English rule

The Old English rule restricts the number of checkers to a maximum of five on each point, thus forbidding some moves that might otherwise be made. This variation is popular in England as well as other regions, and is sometimes called the Egyptian rule.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material adapted from the Wikipedia article “Backgammon.
[tags] backgammon, backgammon rules, backgammon game, play backgammon, backgammon players[/tags]

Backgammon Champions (Tournaments)

Friday, June 15th, 2007

List of World Backgammon Champions

The following is a List of World Backgammon Champions from 1967 to present:

1967 Tim Holland, United States

1968 Tim Holland, United States

1969 no championships held

1970 no championships held

1971 Tim Holland, United States

1972 Oswald Jacoby, United States

1973 Carol Crawford, United States (first female champion)

1974 Claude Beer, United States

1975 Billy Eisenberg, United States

1976 Baron Vernon Ball, United States

1977 Ken Goodman, United States

1978 Paul "X-22" Magriel, United States

1979 Luigi Villa, Italy

1980 Walter Coratella, Mexico

1981 Lee Genud, United States

1982 Jacques Michel,Switzerland

1983 Bill Robertie, United States

1984 Mike Svobodny, United States

1985 Charles-Henri Sabet, Italy

1986 Clement Palacci, Italy

1987 Bill Robertie, United States

1988 Phillip Marmorstein, Germany

1989 Joe Russell, United States

1990 Hal Heinrich, Canada

1991 Michael Meyburg, Germany

1992 Ion Ressu, Romania

1993 Peter Jes Thomsen, Denmar

1994 Frank Frigo, United States

1995 David Ben-Zion, Israel

1996 David Nahmad, Monaco

1997 Jerry Grandell, Sweden

1998 Michael Meyburg, Germany

1999 J n Granstedt, Sweden

2000 Katie Scalamandre, United States

2001 J n Granstedt, Sweden

2002 Mads Andersen, Denmark

2003 Jon Kristian R t, Norway

2004 Peter Hallberg, Denmark

2005 Dennis Carlsten, United States

2006 Philip Vischjager, Netherlands

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Backgammon".
[tags] Backgammon, Backgammon tournaments, Backgammon Champions[/tags]
 

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