That Never Happens

Technically perfect. That’s a first.

I just played my first-ever technically perfect game using my BGBlitz analytical trainer, an event so out of the scope of the norm for me, it’s rather like planting flowers in my back yard and discovering a T-Rex fossil.

Obviously, I’m using up all of my good, smart, thoughtful play ahead of tonight’s kick-off of the Dallas Backgammon League‘s 2020 tournament season, and will play like utter trash this evening.

In other words, a mean reversion. In multiple senses of the term.

Continue Reading →

This is the End (of 2019)

Champagne and a game, anyone?

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:

231 days of gameplay.

Continue Reading →

Punk Rock Backgammon

Had a pretty good game-week this week, with lots of little things adding up to plenty of fun and adventure (as far as backgammon goes).

On Tuesday, my baffle box arrived in the mail and I immediately unboxed it and gave it a whirl. It’s the box that’s sold by Phil Simborg, but it didn’t fit my board as intended. It has adjustable spacers on the bottom which allow it to expand or contract to the depth of the dice tray it’s sitting atop, but the width of my tray, on my board, didn’t accommodate the notch width of the box.…

Continue Reading →

FIBS Fifteen Hundred

I’ve gone on a nice little tear since I posted my 1,400th game update on the 11th.

The red line indicates where I stood eleven days ago.

Then, eleven days ago, my FIBS rating stood at 1,429.87. Last night, I managed to (re)cross the 1,500 mark, a place I haven’t been since the first day I began playing (and began with an automatic 1,500, a number that climbed slightly— and only very briefly— before crashing to Earth while I learned the game).

Waiting for the FIBS score to roll from this…

…to this…

…was, um, anticipatory. I’d won a match and knew it would put me over the top, but my opponent had stepped away and hadn’t cleared the game, leaving my score in limbo.…

Continue Reading →

Bookgammon, v1.0

After my last blog post, I was asked what books I’d purchased (read or in the queue to read), and I thought… BLOG MATERIAL!

Here’s my current list. I’ll add links wherever I can. Don’t worry— they’re not “affiliate” links, trying to sell you something, and I don’t earn a cut. If I link to a book, the link will deliver you to Goodreads (where I keep a queue of “want to read” books) so you can check the crowd-sourced reviews.

The “books” are mainly of the digital sort. I read a lot, and I keep a very active Kindle, but the digital backgammon books I’ve purchased have all come through Apple’s iBooks.…

Continue Reading →

Sunshine and Tears

I find myself in Pensacola this week, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with my brother.

My brother, who’s over a decade older than I am, spent his formative college years in the 1970s playing the hottest, trendiest game around at the time: backgammon. He was pretty good at it; good enough he would “earn” tuition and beer money playing lesser-skilled fish in the bars of the era.

When both he and I were slightly older, in the 1980s, my parents would pack me off to stay with him for a few weeks during the summer months. He was teaching college courses and had a lighter schedule that would accommodate our having all sorts of adventures, mainly of the sailing sort.…

Continue Reading →

Gammon On The Go

This is what DailyGammon looks like while waiting to pick C up from arts magnet school and tween-taxi her on to arts magnet after-school. And, yes, that’s a lot of art.

Anytime’s a good time for backgammon.

The little dude hanging from the rearview mirror I cleverly call, “Little Dude.” I picked him up last summer from Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo in New Orleans.

New Orleans was on the opening leg of our Epic Nonsense Tour of 2018, a 5,300+ mile / 8,500+ km giant circle of road-tripping. Part of it was my wanting to introduce C to blues roots and jazz culture (stops in New Orleans, Nashville, and Memphis); part of it was B wanting to see some Southern charm (stops in Savanah, and Charleston); part of it was reliving some of my university sailing/drinking days (stops in Thibodaux, and Navarre); part of it was for fun (stops in Orlando, and Virginia Beach); and all of it was for memory-making.…

Continue Reading →

Have Board, Will Travel

I unboxed a new birthday tournament board a couple of days ago, and in writing about it I mentioned I own two other boards: an inexpensive attache board purchased from a friend (and then promptly forgotten in a closet for several years) and a travel board I purchased prior to a trip to Europe this past June.

While the tournament board is impressive, and still has that new board smell, I believe the travel board remains my favorite. I carry it with me in a backpack, along with all of the electronics I need for a mobile office, and it’s available to me for a game no matter where I am.…

Continue Reading →