Magriel Mega Match Madness Series

This might seem crazy at first. And also, later.

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.

Seriously.

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.”…

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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.

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1,400 Games

Yes. Yes it did.

After taking nearly four months to play 400 games on Daily Gammon, here I am, just over two months later, with 1,400 games under my belt.

That’s a pretty serious escalation, and I blame it on the doubling cube. The games really start adding up when your matches go to multiple points.

For those who don’t know my “backgammon timeline,” prepare for the boring:

  • Began playing the game in May of this year (2019)
  • Discovered Daily Gammon on May 14
  • While traveling, played one-point matches to learn the game
  • Decided in August I would get serious, bought many books
  • Began playing with the doubling cube for the first time in September
  • Had a Birthday, showered with gammon gear, continued reading
  • Located a local League in October, kept getting crushed using the cube
  • Began clawing back in November, and attended my first League meeting
The ups and downs (and downs, and downs) of learning

So I’ve been playing for six months, three of those with serious intent, and only two of those in multi-point matches using the cube, with one week in a League setting.…

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