I am Rick Janowski, acting as the IIBGF Tournament Director for the recent tournaments started on FIBS. I play on FIBS under the normal username Zagloba (and occasionally as Zbyszko where I play in the FIBS League). Some may recognize my name from my analytical work on match equities and doubling cube theory. I was also a very active live tournament player throughout the 90s, but stopped playing for nearly ten years ago before the bg bug got through my immune system again about two years ago. I have also become active in promoting an international approach to online backgammon through the IIBGF.
Firstly, on behalf of IIBGF, I would like to say how encouraged we are at the great success the first two tournaments are proving, which makes us very optimistic for the success of future IIBGF events on FIBS. Also we are very grateful for the very useful and helpful support and feedback received from fibsters through online messages, emails, and especially through this fibsboard discussion group. We are looking to redesign the IIBGF website over the next few months and the lessons learnt should be invaluable in improving efficiency and user friendliness. I would particularly like to express my gratitude to Moonshadow for providing excellent background and explanation of the IIBGF goals and processes, and for dealing with specific teething problems. Thank you Moonshadow!
With regard to some of the specific questions raised I would like to make the following commentary on specific points.
• Registration difficulties – some of the early registrations did not include details of the players username or preferred backgammon server. This has been addressed by modifying the questionnaire form. However, where registered members are unsure as to whether these details were originally stipulated it would be prudent to email the relevant details through to us.
• Tournament sign-up issues – where players play on more than one server it is essential that the FIBS nickname is provided and that “FIBS” is included in the Server details.
• IIBGF Server – whilst the IIBGF is a voluntary free-of-charge organisation, where monies are not generated from membership fees or sponsorships, a dedicated server and database cannot be financed.
• Format of Tournaments – the format and length of round robin tournaments, which roughly corresponds to one13-point match per week, has been chosen specifically to be practically suitable for the greatest number of players. Specifying a shorter period would close the door to too many players. Players who want more action can enter more than one tournament at a time if their preference is for more action. Promotions to higher division are possible after one tournament and, for the best performers to obtain masterships after two or three tournaments. Experience has shown that the supervision of IIBGF tournaments is not considered to be problematic.
• Nationality drop down menus – the database used covers all countries including Iran, but some of the countries are not in alphabetical order, eg, Iran is near the end of the list. This should be resolved in the future redesign of the site. However, fortunately this has not proven problematic in practice, eg, Iran has the second highest number of registered members after USA.
Once again, thank you all for your great help and positive encouragement/support.
Rick Janowski, IIBGF Tournament Director