ARTICLE #11 [First published in November 1987 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]
The motivation for becoming a good backgammon player can be seen as the honor we achieve and the glory we feel, as well as the monetary reward we earn. A sense of satisfaction is derived by developing within this highly competitive game, knowing full well that being the best may only be a temporary status.
We admire players who partake in the journey to attain excellence. In order for these players to reach their goal, can they compromise the accepted principles of integrity? I doubt that it is possible. Some players with good intentions have conveniently used questionable methods to accomplish their goals without weighing the corroding effects of that process.
In a success-oriented activity, an individual may adopt short-term solutions and disposable values in an attempt to deal with a difficult problem. Eventually, he can get lost in the maze of activity where the fundamental goal of seeking knowledge may be suborn by the necessity to perform. We’ve seen it often in high-pressure environments where the ends justify the means and the course that is set is through the path of least resistance.
Attaining knowledge is a worthwhile endeavor, but it is the usage of that knowledge that tests the limits of a player’s character and comprehension. Learning how to play is a rewarding experience; learning why you play may be more of the education.