Joined: 20 Apr 2007
| Post subject: Attitude in matches - Focus in the game
I have been reading the last 2 articles from Phil and I just wanted to add an example of how he is true.
I do not consider myself a good player (maybe intermediate) but at least I have learnt that a game is not over until the last checker is out. The way I put my checkers to be in advance is another subject.
Anyhow, yesterday, in the Paris weekly tournament (beginners leg) I played a guy that forgot that luck is also part of the game and that it can be improved or reduced by the skill.
We was really angry, furious because I got some jokers that made me win a 7pt match by 7-0 He said to me: "I can not play. It is impossible to play. You are too lucky today. I forfeit" Well, maybe if we had shot that checker in the bar point or did not leave me the choice for starting a blitz or block a point at a distance of 6 of my last man or did not leave a slot in his in-board without possibility of covering or... I would not have had those jokers.
I repeat that I am not a good or very good player. I just saw that I had to block some points, I kept myself focused in the game, I sent a cube at a very good moment... and I admit I got a 5-5 that saved me a point. I blocked him in the bar with a slotted 4 point prime for for 5 or 6 times.
I then moved two points (4 to 3 and 2 to 1) to block those he wanted before and he kept dancing for 4 or 5 more times. It is probability: he obtained a lot of 5, 4 and 2, it is normal that he will get 3s and 1s sometime. It was exactly after I moved the points.
That really made him mad. He lose all focus from 4-0 and he played as a drunken monkey since then.
I realized that I just had to play normally, to not take too many risks and the match will be mine. He was out of it. He was more and more angry just because I got 2 or 3 very lucky good dice. Obviously I did not try to calm him down (maybe is not correct or polite but... it is backgammon!!! and I do not like to lose) and he tossed the dice as if they were against him.
He was so furious that he did not want to talk to me after the match.
I asked him to excuse me for being so lucky (he would not have accepted that he made some awful moves) He left the place without saying goodbye
So, two advises: keep focused in the game, do not let your feelings overpass you and play as good as you can with the dice you get.
The game is never over until the last checker is out.
I have seen other players win a 7pt match being trailed 6-0 (I lose one like that) so, keep cool. The dice will come as you want if you do not limit your skill.
If the brain were simple enough to be understood, we would be too stupid to understand it.