ARTICLE #15 [First published in March 1988 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]


The newest direction towards bigger and better tournaments has been the introduction of the large money events. In order to attract the “big names” of the game, and also to create a sense of status, many tournaments are offering an expensive knockout. Although this type of event is a vehicle for excitement (many like the opportunity of a large return), I am concerned about its impact.

Oftentimes, when entry fees become extremely high, they tend to eliminate the students of the game. High rollers and sponsored players can generate the funds necessary to participate, but many of the enthusiasts would be hard-pressed to come up with the exorbitant fee. Generally, most players realize the unsound nature of investing their money for a prize within a tournament; but they do it for the challenge and the glory, and also for the entertaining value of competition. For the majority of players who support the small number of winners, I hope that the tournament will have consideration of their burden.

Since this activity is participatory rather than a spectator sport, the necessity of access and affordability is in the the interest of growth. A direction towards “eliteness” has often diminished the ranks, just as a closed market place usually stunts the expression of new ideas and talents. My hope is that eventually, we can accommodate high-level competition without the financial factor becoming the barrier.

Fortune Cookie
It is not so much that you lose as when you lose.

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