It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted my last backgammon update (“bupdate”?), and seeing-off 2019 is the perfect excuse to crank one out. I’ve been busy, just as I’m sure most of you have, with the Holidays and the usual closing-out-the-year madness, but haven’t neglected the game. Because, priorities.
I think I’ll lead by stealing a super-lazy idea from the press: the end-of-the-year recap:
On January 1, I will have been:
- Playing backgammon for eight months
- Playing Daily Gammon for seven-and-a-half months
- Been serious about learning for five months
- Been playing with a doubling cube for four months
- Been playing live tournaments with a League for two months
Today, as of this writing, I have a synchronistic 2002 games under my belt on Daily Gammon and my stats look like this:
Or, if you’re like me since my University days— which is to say, very appreciative of a good visualization— you might like this view better:
The lowest dip on the chart roughly corresponds to when I decided to get serious about learning, and the long, moderately shallow trough corresponds to my beginning play with the doubling cube. The flat plateaus are caused by my forgetting to play using the mobile app (most of my Daily Gammon play happens on my laptop, and the mobile app only logs a measurement when you use it to play, daily).
I mentioned League play. I began playing with the Dallas Backgammon League in November. I’ve played four tournaments with them, and somehow managed to land “in the money” (in the smallest way possible) in two of them, finishing 21st with only three points-tallied League Nights.
We played our final tournament of the year, a money-added “Monte Carlo Night,” on December the 18th. The League’s been without a useable website for a few years and I foolishly spoke up and said that maybe I could use my mad admonkey skillz to help with that. I got started on the project the next day, the 19th, by registering the domain dallasbackgammonleague.org and began work.
I finished the project in seven days. That’s with Christmas Eve, Christmas, playing Santa, and wonderfully-happy family-time causing “delays” during that time. It was a full-court press, and even included a simple, new League logo.
I’ve also discovered BGBlitz, and couldn’t be happier with it. It seems everyone in the backgammoning world uses XG as their analytics package of choice. I use it, too, but because I live completely in the world of Apple (it’s an admonkey thing), I’m limited to XG’s mobile devices only and, unlike XG’s Windows-only desktop version, the mobile versions do not come with the ability to analyze games.
Enter BGBlitz, which plays like XG (which is to say, super-smart and way over my head), with a tutorial mode and analytics package (I can now load in my Daily Gammon-played games just to see how amazingly awful I am), and it’s Mac native! (One software license also works across Linux and Windows operating systems, though, so it’s also a bargain.) So I’m really excited about that; the ability to begin analyzing my games should help in my continued development as a player. And if it doesn’t, I’m well and truly screwed.
That’s all the news from the home-front, if you can consider something both backgammon-related and amateurishly-awful to be “news.”
I hope everyone reading, which is to say all two of you (including myself and my other personality) have a happy and safe New Year, and may your 2020 bring you double the joy (ISWYDT) of 2019!
Rating: 1541.33 – Experience 2,002