26 January 2010
This month I'm taking a break from my match play series to take a look at different ways of improving your game. There's no one yellow brick road route to achieving backgammon excellence but there are some methods that are more tried and true than others.
When I started backgammon roughly 2005 as far as learning goes I had an enormous advantage over players who had been playing for decades and were trying to (re)learn. I was a clean slate. I wasn't infected with crazy concepts and wild ideas that had been pushed forth because there was nothing to disprove them.
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Article text Copyright © 1999-2013 Stick and GammonVillage Inc.
good article, Stick! I always need more variations on how to improve my "needy" game. I didn't know about Dueller. Does one have to know GNU settings in order to play GNU against Snowie?
I have both but really no experience with GNU. I did just get XG and will be learning it soon.
___________patrick (the MFIC)
You mentioned an ER of 5. Is there a way to show this metric in XG? If not, what would be an analogous measure to go by?
I know extremegammon doesnt use the snowie metric but the confusing thing is that every error ratio on XG varies from how you set it up at first. Im using FIBS equivelent ratings... Is there a standard we should all use to talk about the program coherently between all of us out there?
@MFIC - You don't need any real experience with the bots as Dueller will set them to play at their highest standard accepted settings. (for GNU that's 2 ply/2 ply which is equivalent to SW 3 ply/3 ply)
@David - In XG there is what is called a 'Performance Rating' which is close enough to an error rating to be used for this. You do have to enable the performance rating as by default it's toggled off. To enable it go to Options >> Settings and in the Main Settings tab on the right hand side you should see where you can check "Use Performance Rating"
To learn more about Performance Rating go to Help >> Content >> Search and type in 'performance rating'.
@cafecafe - I like options being able to go by this rating system or that one. Use whichever you understand the best. Everyone still quotes their 'error rating' referring to Snowie's scale still and I think it will be a while before we can bury this.
Stick - great article
When you say that in XG the "Performance Rating" is close enough to the Snowie Error Rating does that mean that for your advice about sticking with money play you would recommend a player keeps with money play until their XG Performance Rating was on average under 5 as well? i.e. the numbers are broadly the same?
Yes NPW, that's what I meant.
Thanks Stick - one related question. If a match player is practicising with money games first should the Jacoby rule be switched off for those money games so as not to distort some of the decisions?
If you don't want to mess with Dueller, you can simply set gnubg to play itself. You'll probably want to go to Settings/Optiosn/Display and set the move selay to 3 seconds or so (3000 ms) so that you can see what's happening.
Great article and thoughts. Relative to the PR rating on XG, be sure to uncheck compare rating to XG. That will eliminate "outplays" (which causes other kinds of confusion when comparing plays) but will also give you a lower PR that is closer to the ER of Snowie.
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