By Jason Lee
The USBGF Online Match Series (OLM) is back, and we’d like to extend a warm invitation for you to get involved!
I am pleased to introduce talented backgammon educator Roberto Litzenberger as our new Opponent and welcome Alex Eshaghian as our new Guest Expert. As for me, Jason Lee, I’m back as the OLM Editor.
The OLM has a rich history, stretching back to its inception in 2012, with the highly skilled Neil Kazaross dedicating his time for a remarkable decade as the Opponent. We thank Neil for his invaluable service and the wealth of backgammon insights he’s generously shared.
What is the OLM?
The Online Match Series, OLM for short, offers a unique backgammon experience. USBGF members collectively participate — through voting — in matches against a formidable opponent. It progresses at a relaxed pace with one move made each day or so.
Our OLM posts provide valuable insights into the game, supported by XG rollout data. Alex Eshagian offers commentary on USBGF member positions and choices, while Roberto provides an analysis of his own gameplay. This combination offers a great opportunity to understand the thought processes of experienced players and gain insights into backgammon strategies.
Here’s How it Works
USBGF members receive a game position and have 24 hours to anonymously cast their vote to decide the next move. The move that receives the most votes is the one that is played on behalf of USBGF members. Roberto, our opponent, responds with his move, and the process continues with a fresh vote the following day. Some moves, like straightforward opening rolls (e.g., 31), are executed automatically without a vote. On average, it takes about six months to complete an eleven-point match.
We’ve introduced a private voting system to encourage candid participation and minimize concerns about making ‘wrong’ choices. Your selections remain confidential, fostering a supportive environment where you can vote freely without fear of judgment. Voting totals are visible to all, but individual votes are kept confidential unless you choose to disclose them.
Who Can Participate?
The OLM is a benefit of USBGF membership. It attracts participants with diverse backgrounds and skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts. Through the collective wisdom of the crowd, USBGF members consistently achieve an impressive Performance Rating (PR) of around 3, equivalent to grandmaster-level play. While most members may not individually play at such a remarkable level, together, they create an exceptional game of backgammon.
How Can You Get Involved?
- Become a USBGF member. If you are already a member, login.
- Join the Online Match Series Group – This will allow you to get alerts and follow the action.
- Vote on your play and read the ongoing expert match commentary.
If you have any questions, please read our step by step instructions on how to join the OLM and participate. Download instructions (PDF)
We invite you to participate in the USBGF OLM and get your regular dose of backgammon wisdom. Whether you’re a newcomer to the game or a seasoned player, there’s a place for you in this exciting match.
The USBGF OLM is just one of the many valuable benefits of USBGF Membership for those seeking to improve their backgammon skills. It complements other resources like Bray’s Learning Curve, Robertie’s Challenge, Simborg’s Lessons, and the extensive collection of articles exclusively available to Members on the USBGF site.