With Backgammon Players-Eva ZizkovaMammad Rodriguez
Winner of the 2013 USBGF Circuit Monthly for June
When and why did you start playing backgammon?
I was told about backgammon in 2003 by my husband. Up to that moment, it was a totally unknown game to me. In fact, I didn’t like it much in the beginning. Some time a!er that, I discovered the GNUBG program; and once I managed to move the checkers, I thought I had learned the game.
We played backgammon with our son, who was then 5 years old, only at home. My son always loved numbers and calculating, so this was exactly the game for him. By accident I found out there was a small tournament in Prague which my son could attend. “There I met Iwo Kovář, the doyen of Czech backgammon, who had lived in the States for many years. He told me about a group of enthusiasts who regularly played in a chouette. I started playing with them (without my son, of course :-)) and then I started to understand how wonderful, exciting and complex game backgammon is.
Do you play in live tournaments as well as online?
Backgammon is almost unknown in the Czech Republic. “at’s why I play more o!en online. Sometimes I play chouette with friends, but I prefer tournaments. In the Czech Republic, we have a few local tournaments and also the Czechoslovak backgammon league. Its %rst year just %n- finished this June. I %nished in second place, right a!er the best Czech player Honza Cerny. For the last 4 years, I have gone to one international tournament per year. “is the year I took part in the Nordic Open tournament. I was excited by the number of players and by its perfect organization.
What have been your most memorable experiences playing live, online?
An unforgettable experience which in&uenced my future orientation in backgammon was the WSOB in 2009 at the Corinthia Hotel in Prague. “is was the %rst time I could see the world’s top players in action. I took part in the tournament, though only in the Intermediate division and without any theoretical study. Since I can’t attend international tournaments very o!en, every tournament I take part in is an experience for me.
Which do you prefer and why?
I prefer matches, or tournaments rather than money games. I like both live and online playing. Online games can be played whenever I have time and I can stay with my family. “e advantage is also the postgame analysis in ExtremeGammon and the chance to see my errors. Nevertheless, I prefer live games because they are more exciting. I can’t really say why 🙂
How did you !nd your experience participating in the USBGF Online Circuit?
I like participating in the USBGF Circuit. On the one hand, it presents an opportunity to play with excellent players; and because it is not a money game, I do believe there are not the same attempts to cheat as on other servers. I think of my participation in the USBGF tournaments as good preparation for live tournaments and I try to play as responsibly as possible.
What suggestions would you have for USBGF to enhance playing opportunities for members?
I am not sure if it’s possible for online tournaments, but I like the format of the dual- duel, of which I heard for the %rst time this year. On one side of the tournament, the bracket is the classical system of wins and losses; the other side of the bracket measures the quality of the player’s performance. Each game is analyzed in ExtremeGammon, and the better performer moves ahead without having to win.
Thank you and all your USBGF team for your great work for backgammon!
Interview by KAREN DAVIS