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Yahoo Games--Ratings

From:   Neil GoBlu
Date:   1 July 2000
Subject:   Newbie questions regarding ratings and where to play...

I've been playing over the net for a few weeks now at Yahoo.  I win about
75% of my games and my rating keeps going up.  What is a good rating?  does
it matter that it is yahoo?  Do  Yahoo ratings compare to FIBS ratings?

Should I be playing through FIBS, or is Yahoo "good enough"...


Douglas Zare  writes:

I also play on FIBS (zare) and on Yahoo (zare_10027). Yahoo can be amusing.
If you know what you are doing, you can win even more than the 75% you cite
against those who are rated about 1600-1800 on yahoo while playing 3-point
matches. There are some decent players, but you have to look for them. Note
that the ladder system rewards those who play a lot much more than it
rewards those who play well, since the penalty for losing is negligible
until one is in the top 20, and the way to get games is to lose a lot.

Unfortunately, Yahoo seems not to use the FIBS ratings formula that they
claim to use. I have been told that the cutoff is 1800, and I treat all
ratings over 1800 as suspect; it seems that one gets too many points for
winning against weak opponents, and not enough for winning longer matches.
However, below 1800 on Yahoo, I think a 400 or 500 point deduction will
convert the rating to a plausible FIBS rating, e.g., 1800 on Yahoo
corresponds to about 1400 on FIBS. Ratings differences between those over
1800 are more a product of playing a lot than skill differences. (On the
other hand, I did have one excellent match against a player rated 900 on
Yahoo, who later explained he was using his wife's account.)

While there are those who have manipulated the ratings system on FIBS, the
FIBS system is more consistent  and it allows one to distinguish between
intermediate, advanced, and expert players rather than just between those
who are novices and those who are not. In both systems, what sets the level
of 1500 is the average quality of newcomers (and their playing patterns),
and the average new players on FIBS are much stronger than those on Yahoo.
It is much easier to find strong opponents on FIBS than on Yahoo, and
easier to watch games between players of high caliber.

I strongly recommend trying FIBS or some of the other more serious servers
if you want to improve your game. I also recommend playing Jellyfish or
Snowie as well as reading at least Magriel's _Backgammon_, which most
players on Yahoo have never encountered.

Buhbuh Ray  writes:

I found that when I started off as a newbie, Yahoo was sufficient for me.
Playing in Cases ladder helped me develop my game when I started playing
against some of the top players there (who as Douglas Zare says, are rather
mediocore in most cases at a fibs or other server).  However there are a
few people that are very good players.

I used it to learn my basics, work on my backgame, and practice against
wacky dice.  I haven't played there myself in a year or two because I
wasn't very happy with the ladder competition.  Yahoo is good for newbies,
but If you want SERIOUS competition, take it to one of the other servers.
Use yahoo as a training ground if you are a newbie, then step up to FIBS or
Gamesgrid or Netgammon or Gamesite2000 when you feel confident.  The top
players on these servers are the masters of the game in real life.  Most
people know what they're doing there, whereas at yahoo you will encounter
people who don't know what the doubling cube is used for.

Hope my ramblings help.

buhbuhray (on Gamesgrid)
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