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Re: Can you improve your game by playing bots?

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:51 am
by admin
MichaelP7 wrote:Most of my friends who i convince to try FIBS, complain that the human players play too slow. So they play with bots exclussively. In the end they get so much confused that they forget whatever good strategy they had before.

I post this in the common mistakes section because I am convinced that if you are not a very strong player who can understand the 5-6 (!!) strategies that the bot use simultaneously, playing with bots will not improve your game but make it worse.
I think the biggest source of confustion for new backgammon players is that they are trying to llearn the game as they learned chess or checkers. This doesnt work. The only way to learn backgammon is to play many games and start to get a feel for what a good move looks like. What a good position looks like. You will sometimes see players try out a move to see how it feels and looks. You wont be able to explain why it is the right play but with enough experience, you will start to avoid bad plays as they simply feel wrong. Ofcouse there will always be rules of thumb but for the most part, just playing lots of fast games without too much analysis will be the best way to learn. Bots are useful in this regard as they clobber you over and over again, you must surely start to pick up on some of their tricks and use them on your opponents.

Re: Can you improve your game by playing bots?

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:20 pm
by admin
When I started playing backgammon many years ago, I discovered the program "jellyfish" and would play it for hours upon hours. Fascinated by how well it plays. Ofcourse I had my suspicions about the rolls but after reading up on it I accepted that there was no cheating going on and eventually when I did wrote my own program I could be 100% sure of the integrity of the games.

One of the things I noticed after playing the bots for about a year is that I was beating many more players on FIBs. and my rating shot up to 1750+. This did not happen my accident. If I had been playing 1400 rated beginners on FIBs for a year, I would still be rated 1400. Ofcourse I would have won more games against them compared to losing 70/80% against the bots but you dont learn anything playing weak players. YOu learn how to play by getting spanked everytime you make a mistake. Another valuable instinct you will develop with the bots is when to double and when to expect to be doubled. Beginners always double way late. YOu will learn to be aggressive with the cube when behind in the match.

Analyze your games, glance at the "very bad" moves which will be highlighted in red. In a 7 pt match I sometimes have 2-3 or more of them even after playing bg for so many years. BG is not a simple game. You need to study and play carefully not to make mistakes

If you analyze your match and dont understand why a move is tagged as very bad, take a screenshot of the position and post it here. I will be happy to help. Most of the time it will be obvious why a move is wrong. Sometimes the bots themselv es are wrong and you can roll out the position to find the best play.