SPECIAL YEAR END EVENT WINNERS
Winner Points Showdown
barrigana (1) CearlJ (2)
Medal of Valor
TIMFISCH (1) sanarine34fr (2)
MagicHand (1) BBird (2)
Leader of the Pack
MagicHand (1) BBird (2)
Medal of Honor
yop (1) MagicHand (2)
HOLIDAY EVENT WINNERS
12/24 Mini Marathon: Kodake_Fahim
12/25 JJ Memorial: Santer
12/26 11 Point Special: Doskey
12/31 Mini Marathon: Devir
1/1 JJ Memorial: Domaaan
1/2 11 Point Special: Capricornio
Free: IBA icon allowing entry into daily IBA Tournaments.
Paid: $20 Also, participate in the monthly IBA League, League Playoffs
(LP), Extreme Tournament, Top Dog Tournament (TD), Tournament of Champions (TOC) and Year End Events.
Premium: $60 Also, have a private area on the forum to meet with each other, special events and competitions.
Advisory Council: $100+ Also, top priority support plus direct feedback line to the IBA Director/owner.
Benefactor: $101+ Also, special recognition on the website unless you request otherwise.
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The first stage of the statistics upgrade is complete and we now have a massive amount of matches for ELO purposes. When did YOU play your first match? Win your first tournament? It's all there.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY IBA!
December 4th, 2012, marked IBA's 13th anniversary!! It's hard to believe IBA has been rocking the halls of the backgammon world for so long!
Let's take a look at the past year's statistics ...
1334 Tournaments held.
215 were full houses.
IBA Hosts spent 3671 hours hosting.
On the top, left side of this page is a new link called Event Schedule. It will take you to IBA's Event Calendar. We are posting this calendar for your convenience. Please note that unforeseen circumstances beyond IBA's control can affect the scheduling.
We are still working on the new website. We really miss the old website!! Our priorities are to make the navigation easier to use and to salvage 13 years of our records. Thank you so much for your patience!
The International Backgammon Alliance (IBA) and the North Cyprus Backgammon League are teaming up for the First Cyprus International Tournament! Join us for fun in the sun!
For details, click here.
***IBA 2012 Player of the Year Invitational!***
February 2, 2013, was a very exciting day for IBA. At 18:00 CET the halls of NetGammon were rocking as the final qualifiers competed for the grand title of IBA's Player of the Year!
and the winner is ...
The IBA Team congratulations you all!
The "New" ELO System
by Eskimo, IBA's Member Database Programmer
Back in 2007 the IBA League players received an added rating called ELO (named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor). It is a rating system for any two player game. Prior to that we only had an IBA rating which gave some indication of player strength and some other goodies BUT unfortunately it started to give more and more inaccurate results as it was primarily designed for the league divisions and thus didn’t handle players playing a variety of different match lengths very well. We kept some of the goodies like the “opponent away” rating which will be further explained, possibly in a statistics column by me once we have the website/forum reopened.
In November 2012 we did a change that started to incorporate all tournament matches into the ELO system as well. So these days it doesn’t matter if you play in the league, in tournaments or even both. You can compare you ELO to other players. Are you in the TOP 10? TOP 100? TOP 1000?
There was quite a lot of work going into this as we decided to take ALL matches recorded since the MRC (Member Records Center) started and shoot them into the ELO calculations. That was a massive 1.1 million matches. Matches were played at both Playmaker and NetGammon.
Without going into details on how the ELO is calculated, it should be comparable to any of the major sites with ELOs. In short, a player’s ELO is compared to his opponents ELO and, together with the match length, a new ELO for both players is calculated. A lower ranked ELO player gains more ELO against a stronger opponent and similarly a stronger one gains less when winning over a lower ranked one. In addition, when a player does not have many matches under his/her belt the ELO is calculated more rapidly to make it settle into it’s true value faster. This happens while a player’s experience (number of match points played in total) is less than 400. In general, you might well see your ELO settling (means it’s not just going up – or down – but instead hovers around a certain point) after just 100 experience points and for almost all players 1000 experience points should be well enough. For instance, my ELO pretty much stays between 1750 and 1850 all the time on any site. On IBA it’s currently 1756. I guess I’ll have to play a bit more as so many of my matches were played in the golden 2003 when I wasn’t as good yet.
One final comment. Unfortunately the tournaments during the past 10 years have been recorded without opponents. Obviously that makes it hard to calculate ELO’s when they are supposed to take your opponent into account. So we had to make a minor adjustment here. If your opponent was unknown (shows as “Mr Average” in the database) we simply assume he or she was of the same ELO strength as you currently had at the time. For a statistical wizard this might seem like sacrilege, but in reality it has very little effect. Tests show that the ELO of a player in most cases was within 20 ELO points of what it would have been with better data and that’s statistically insignificant anyway. Some of this is due to your opponents usually being both stronger and weaker than you so it averages out, some is because the ELO system gives you less points when playing weaker opponents which in most cases translates into a stronger player gaining more than you would have on your wins but also losing less when the dice turned evil.
Eventually we might have a “perfect” system where every opponent and score will be known. This would be nice from a historical viewpoint, but for ELO calculations it does not matter a lot. However, we do have some other interesting statistics for you that give you additional information and those require accurate data. But for now, this is only available to paid league members as we simply do not have the resources to give it to tournament members at the moment. Stay tuned.
To reaffirm, all records from the Member Records Center (MRC) and the IBA website remain the property of IBA and are not for public use without permission.
Q: How can players who don't play league, are not very active in tournament or who never take part in special events, be on top in the ELO ratings?
A: Because the ELO rating is (very simply speaking) based on your wins vs losses. If you have only played 20 matches but won 19 of them, you will have a very high rating. Over time that rating will even out a bit because even the most lucky players cannot win all the time.
Q: I think, that information about players who do not play for one year, is not interesting. You can save this information and show it when they will play again. Old system ( 6 months) was better. Because actual information is much more interesting for IBA.
A: While this is a very new change, we are showing 24 months of played statistics on top simply because we want players to get used to and be interested in the statistics. We also want to encourage those players that have stopped playing with IBA to return. Later on we will probably revert back to 6 months again.
Q: How can player who played only 101 games (mostly 3 points) suddenly be rated higher than a player who has been on the top of the ratings during the past 2 years?
A: When the old IBA rating was used higher ranked League players had a better match length average and thus showed higher up in the IBA statistics. Thus the old IBA rating was not fair to all members which is one reason we switched to ELO for everyone. In all fairness, if you advance to IBA's League Division 1 you have to be a strong player so it was not totally off. However, winning tournaments is also a challenge, requires above average skill and is now shown in the ratings as well. Once the expanded ELOs settle in, we should see a more accurate picture of member ratings.
Q: Why does the statistics show me having hundreds of matches but the player info box only shows a few matches?
A: The player info box only shows matches where we know the full score (also the score of the losing player). This is true for league matches, but only tournament finales have the loser's score recorded. League players have their statistics (namely the #-away statistics) calculated more accurately because we store more information on league matches. Unfortunately we cannot currently provide the same information from IBA tournaments.
Q: What is the number in parenthesis after your Wins and Losses in the player info box?
A: Some players play a lot of tournaments and while we said in a previous answer that we cannot provide full statistics unless you play in the league, we can at least show the total number of matches you have won or lost. Yes, we do listen to our dear members.
Letter from the Director
Hello IBA Members,
This is a cry for help. Our paid membership is down while our player demands increase. Problems continue to multiply. As of this past week and following a continued series of cyber attacks, we now have no website nor online database. I cannot imagine a more serious situation.
If ever there was a time for you to step up financially in support of IBA, it is now. The future of our community rests on us all.
Can we count on you? Please feel free to respond to me with any questions you may have.
Yours in backgammon,
Joy, IBA Director
HOW WE GOT HERE ...
Many of our longtime members have come to me asking "How in the world did all of these problems happen to IBA??" They have come to know and trust my dedication to our members and the mission of IBA. They also know that I rarely ask for help.
This is not an easy question for me to answer. Yet maybe it is time for me to share our story. It all began about seven years ago when I received a phone call from our webmaster announcing he would no longer be able to support IBA's website.
Probably the best way to convey what happened to the website over time is to say we were suffering ongoing injuries and we were putting Band-Aids on them to keep the website alive. That enabled us to communicate with the membership through the Forum, to keep the Host Schedule and Event Calendar timely, to keep the ability to receive applications, complaints and to have the arcade available for paid members, etc.
It was inevitable that, with the lack of in-house technical support, there would finally be a wound that was too big to heal. The IBA website suffered a sustained, prolonged cyber attack that made it literally impossible to navigate the site. It had been rendered so slow that our Internet Service Provider had no choice but to take us offline as it was affecting them as well.
During the past two years Tapper has personally processed well over 62,500 bogus member applications submitted by hacker bots resulting in the ban of each and every one of them ... one at a time. To be totally honest I have no idea why she gave up her own life for us while expecting nothing in return, but that is exactly what she did. When asked, she explained to me that she “did it for our members.” I wanted several times to give up and walk away, but she refused to let me. She is my hero in more ways than I can express. We are all blessed to have her on the IBA Team.
But she's not alone in this effort. Besides providing us reports and statistics of our progress as a community, Harmony processes all of the tournament results into the Member Record Center (MRC). Winner Points for every match played in every IBA event are entered into the MRC one by one.
The MRC database is kept separate from the IBA website and is managed by GV_Eskimo who developed and programmed that online database. He, too, has been under attack and has been doing a superior job protecting it. Yet, when he is taking necessary steps to protect that site, Harmony can't do her job which results in frustrating backlogs which make her job even harder.
And our Hosts who rely on the website to do their job have had their own share of frustrations. Yet their patience and dedication to our members has shined like a star! I can't express how blessed we are as a community to have these very special people who keep us moving forward.
I hope this explains what has been going on. I would like to ask one more favor from you. When you see these amazing folks in NetGammon, please let them know just how much they are appreciated.
Working together, and with the membership’s financial support, we will have a new and more reliable website and I can’t wait to see it!