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The Game of Kings?

two backgammon players draw daggers over the board
a detail from 'Livre de Bonnes Moeurs’ (1490). photo credit: Alamy

It was a boisterous club night on Monday, edging sometimes towards the unruly. So - a quick reminder to us all on etiquette and behaviour, to help BGiE keep its enjoyable, fair, and welcoming atmosphere.

Spectators (or 'kibitzers' in backgammon-speak) – please avoid making any comments about the game in progress - ie about moves, rolls, luck, position of the cube etc - or interrupting the flow and concentration of the players in any way.

Cheering players or dice can be fun, but can also be very intimidating. If you see something wrong (an illegal move or similar), you should only mention it if the players specifically ask you. You can always alert the evening's Tournament Director (TD) if you have any concerns.

Players – please focus on the game in hand. Try not to conduct conversations with other people in the margins, or consult your phone unnecessarily. Don't whoop & holler when you get the perfect roll, or bemoan your opponent doing the same. More generally please (please!) don't complain about the dice or luck - we've heard it all before. Phil Simborg says it best. (If there's demand from members, we can organise a future training session on the complicated liturgy of how and when to appropriately pray to the Dice Gods...).

Whether you win (entirely due to skill) or lose (entirely due to luck), please "treat those two imposters just the same" and offer a gracious word to your opponent at the end of the match.

UKBGF has a nice article on etiquette for tournaments here, and Phil Simborg (again) gives his view on sportsmanlike conduct here. Happy rolling!

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