Forum Archive : Etiquette

Rude conduct

From:   Igor Schein
Date:   23 March 2003
Subject:   Conduct question


On Sun, while playing a match in a local monthly tournament, I was
accused of cheating by my opponent in a rude and somewhat profane
fashion.  I chose not to respond to him in the same fashion, but
rather silent-treated him for the rest of the match and refused the
after-match handshake because I took it personally.  My question is,
what would most players do in my situation?  Pretend nothing happened?
Treat is as strictly business?  Cut the guy a slack for simply
expressing his frustration with my rolling 3 sets of boxes in 4 shakes
(like that never happened before) and not take him literally?


Christopher Alvino  writes:

From what I've seen at the local chouette, the best players always seem
to take things in stride.  They want future games with people because it
is a source of income for them, so they do what they can to ease
relations.  They especially want future games with people who complain
about rolls because those are usually the people who don't fully
understand the swings or the importance of skill (vs. luck) in long run

Things that I've seen done by expert players are:
1) calmly apologizing about the way they've been rolling
2) acknowledging that "yes, I beat you in that game because I got
   lucky", to make other players try to get even
3) ignoring profanities politely
4) leave if it starts to get physical or out of control
5) actively not take sides
6) not gossip

So yeah, if you understand the swings in the game, you can cut the guy
some slack, and try to ease his pain by admitting that you were lucky.
I've even had an expert player apologize to me about the rolls he'd be
getting in a 5-point match during a tournament.  He wanted to make me
comfortable and to play him more.  I knew that the reason he had beat me
*that night* had to do largely with his luck, but also that he was a
huge favorite over me in the long run, and that given equal luck, he
would have clobbered me.

So you don't have to handle it by getting walked over or by being
belligerent back.  In the long run, you want to keep playing backgammon
in a non-stressful environment, while keeping your self-respect.

As far as declining the after-match handshake, I wouldn't have done
that, only because I'd probably want to play him again.  I don't think
accepting his handshake would have made you a pushover.  However, if
that's the extent of what you did, I think you handled it very well.

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Am I too slow?  (sevenout+, Apr 2004) 
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Dealing with droppers  (Bill Hill, Dec 1998) 
Dealing with droppers  (Patti Beadles, Mar 1996) 
Dice cup  (Walt Swan, June 2000) 
Direction of play  (Ric Gerace+, Aug 2001) 
Doubling opponent out  (bustedchucks+, June 2005) 
Doubling to end a game early  (Douglas Zare, Aug 2001) 
Etiquette for online play  (Dean Ayer+, June 1997) 
Going for backgammon in a one-point match  (Douglas Zare, Nov 2000) 
How long to wait?  (Marsha Wisniski+, Dec 1997) 
Listening to music while playing  (Max Urban+, Oct 2009) 
Moving hit checker first  (Timothy Chow+, Oct 2009) 
Premature shaking  (Paul Epstein+, July 2005) 
Rolling the dice  (Julius Selbach+, July 2005) 
Rude conduct  (Igor Schein+, Mar 2003) 
Under resigning  (Bob Newell+, Aug 2004) 
Under resigning  (Ilya Vinogradsky+, May 1994) 
When to quit  (Albert Steg, Nov 1998) 
Why I never complain about the dice  (Phil Simborg, Mar 2004) 

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