Backgammon tournaments are multiplayer matches, in which the winners get prizes, trophies and sometimes honorary degrees. There are a few types of backgammon tournaments, each one with its own version of rules, but in all of them there are predetermined series for two players. The players are divided into couples, whether randomly or according to previous data, which keep changing during the tournament, as it develops. The series length usually changes, as well, along with the progress of the competition; shorter in early rounds and longer in advanced stages.
Some of the important and well established online backgammon websites offer their clients backgammon tournaments. The internet backgammon tournaments, just as live matches, may be spontaneous or prearranged backgammon matches, organized by a backgammon website, in varying frequency. There are daily backgammon tournaments, weekly tournaments, monthly and annual backgammon tournaments; tournaments that reward the winner with prizes and titles and backgammon matches, in which the reward is a free entrance or financing of bigger and more desirable backgammon tournaments online or off-line, around the world. For those who wish to participate in competitions and must register on time, it is advisable to follow the appointed date and hour of tournaments. Some of the matches cost nothing, but usually the prize is determined by the number of registrants. The prize increases respectively to the sum collected from entrance fee.
Live vs. Online Backgammon Tournaments
Offline tournaments offer social interaction, which does not exist in the same manner among the participants of internet backgammon tournaments;however, online tournaments have many other advantages. First of all, online tournaments are highly accessible and available with no dependence on geographical location or schedule, the possible human errors in pip or step counting is eliminated, as a computer conducts the matches. In online backgammon tournaments there are no additional expenses beyond the participation fee, which in offline tournaments might include buying a backgammon set, traveling costs, meals and sometimes accommodations expenses.
It should be noted that the biggest advantage of offline tournaments could easily become disadvantage for some people, as a large audience of spectators might create pressure and tension, feelings that do not improve the players' game; and after all, many of the internet backgammon players do not seek human interaction in the first place, but are interested in the game itself with no social pretension.
Types of Online Backgammon Tournaments
Internet backgammon tournaments are usually divided into six different basic types:
sit & go tournaments - backgammon matches with fixed number of participants, but with no specific time schedule. The competition begins after the last player registers. The number of players ranges from 4-64; the more players register, the larger the prize is.
Satellite backgammon tournaments - winning credits the winner with a free entry to an event tournament.
Event tournaments - backgammon matches with fixed date and hour, but with no limitation of participants' number. Theseonline tournaments are usually multiplayer matches with relatively high participant fee and generous prizes.
Elimination tournaments - are also known as 'knockout' tournaments. The number of participants is preset and the end of each round indicates the end of a stage; the winner moves on to the next round and the loser is eliminated from the competition immediately. Only two players, the ones who won all previous games, reach the final stage.
Swing tournaments - a type of elimination match, in which the participants play for chips. The tournament ends when one player gains all the other players' chips. At the beginning of these tournaments all players have an equal number of chips and the scores are calculated in respect of the chips. Each player's rate is evaluated at the end of every round, in order to help the players estimate their chances of winning the match. As long as a player has chips, he stays in the tournament.
Rating limited tournaments - online backgammon tournaments which are open only for players within certain range of rating points. The range is published as part of the backgammon tournament terms. The purpose of those matches is to allow players to compete against rivals with a similar skill level, so the game is fair and much more challenging.
Backgammon websites publish backgammon tournaments schedules, with separate tables for each tournament style. The table shows the date and hour of the match, the participation fee, fixed number of players and other details according to the competition type. The online backgammon tournaments are played in special rooms, just like backgammon matches, which take place in backgammon clubs and casinos.
These explanations may prepare players to the technical part of a tourney, but there is no way to describe or recreate the actual feeling; there is really no other way, but experiencing a tournament and become hooked…