Ken Larsen's web site
Elo as a Proposed Backgammon
I think Elo would be great so long as only live tournament play is
considered and players had no choice over whether matches are rated or
Example: On January 5,
2014 I had an online USBGF tournament match where my opponent's Elo was
300 points higher than mine.
In his Gridgammon invite to me he unchecked rating - which meant that
the match would not count in the Elo ratings.
That shouldn't be allowed, because that skews the Elo ratings.
Personally, I am very cynical about Elo, because I have three Elo's
and they're widely different:
1450 - from live play on the American Backgammon Tour
1714 - from online tournament play in a league that plays on Safe
Harbor. There are no Giants who play there. From matches that I've
recorded, the average PR of my opponents is 16.
6008 - from a web site called Pogo where I could pick and choose who
I played. Some of my opponents created artificially high Elo's by
creating multiple id's and "playing" them against each other. I no
longer play on that site.
I also believe that records for online play and live play should be
kept separately for the following reasons:
There are a lot of distractions in live play (spectators, ambient
In live play there's real money on the line. That adds to
You have to be more alert in live play to ensure that your opponent
doesn't make any illegal moves. This contributes to fatigue.
Live play takes longer (dice falling on the floor, board has to be
reset after each game) and therefore is more tiring.
Pip counting is difficult in a live environment. Online I could use
paper and pencil if not have the software do it for me.
Online I could have a MET table posted beside my computer ... along
with other tips like how to play various opening or second rolls at
Online I could have a friend or family member help with decisions.
I could have a second computer with XG on it.