ARTICLE #3 [First published in March 1987 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]
Winning and losing in backgammon is more the consequence of competition rather than just the measurement of a player’s ability. Winning is not an entitlement, but an outcome. Good players are the ones who give themselves a better opportunity to win. They also realize that in backgammon, nothing is guaranteed.
Everyone who competes has the “right” to win as much as you. Never let your competitiveness make you insensitive to your opponent’s victories. Your opponent, being human, is bound to make mistakes as well as inspired plays. He deserves the respect and good sportsmanship that you may want when the shoe is on the other foot.
All backgammon players possess positive and negative personality traits, the degree of which can have a great impact on their playing ability. The following characteristics will prove beneficial when properly practiced:
A. FLEXIBILITY to deal with the constantly changing conditions
B. DETACHMENT to get an accurate positional assessment without emotional attachment
C. CONFIDENCE in the execution of plays without fear or pride; and knowing full well the risks
D. CAUTION to respect your opponent’s capabilities as well as your own fallibilities
E. TENACITY to endure the attacks, both mental and emotional, and strongly fight back when opportunity knocks
F. COMPASSION to keep in perspective that you are not the only one who wants to win. (Generally perceived as a negative trait, compassion helps you deal with your opponent’s success.)
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