I’ve been casting about for another weapon to add to my “gain experience and get better, faster” arsenal— I study, read, play in both live and online tournaments, Dallas Backgammon League play, timed and un-timed matches of various lengths, play XG and BGBlitz, analyze my games, etc.— but one piece that’s missing, in large part, is playing myself.
Playing yourself in a mind sport is a great way to learn and improve, particularly if you approach the process in a serious and thoughtful way.
Paul Magriel famously took on the player-moniker “X-22” after playing himself, on each side of the board, in a 26-player tournament, where the players were named “X-1” through “X-26.”
X-22 won, and his sobriquet was born.
I thought I’d up the ante juuuuuust a little bit.
Using the wonderful, web-based, free backgammon tournament software found at DrawBoss (software created, by the way, by two Herning, Denmark backgammon players, René and Lars-Henrik— you can read the history behind its creation, here), I’ve created a 2,600-player “Magriel Mega Match Madness Series Cup Tournament.”
That’s right. 2,600 players, named from “A-00:A-99” through “Z-00:Z-99.”
And, yes, my wife (who I refer to as B. here), and Lars-Henrik both think I’m a little (or a lot) “off in the head.”
The tournament will begin with match rounds of only one game in length (still, that’s a ton of games just to kick the tournament off with), and increase in game-length by odd numbers each round, culminating in a 25-point Tournament Final. Of me. Playing myself.
(May the best man win.)
I’m kicking the tournament off today, January 18, 2020, and I have absolutely no idea when the final will take place. It will be a multi-year bout of insanity, I’m sure.
It very well might be finished in a room with white, padded walls.
I hope they have good drugs.
You can find the live tournament bracket by clicking here.
P.S., F-85 won the opening match. It looked good, early, for W-87, with his white having borne-off five stones before getting trapped behind F-85’s brown 6-point prime. It was pretty much downhill from there, though W-87 made a late breakout and, because of having had to crush his stones on the Ace Point, got within four stones away at the end. I have to say it was a good game, and both players were very evenly-matched.