Hereinafter, Istanbul Backgammon Club will be mentioned as Istavder.

These general rules encompass all Istavder events, including various leagues organized by Istavder and also are applied to every single player without any exceptions.

Istavder's first and foremost rule is "Sportsmanlike Conduct". Not abiding by this rule, or trying to manipulate any of the rules for personal gain is punishable by immediate disqualification and also might result in a ban from all future events by Istavder.

Every player is expected to abide by these rules, to respect the game and the opponent.

Experienced Istavder players are expected to be tolerant with tournament rookies as they are getting accustomed to the rules of tournament play and clock use.

General Rules:

1.1 - Explanation of the Rules:

Please be aware that these rules are general guidelines to ensure the smooth running of the tournament. As such, they might not offer an ironclad solution for any and all disputes.

It is in the power of the "Tournament Referee" to offer a solution whenever such a dispute arises.

1.2 - Scope:

As long as an "event specific" announcement is not made prior to the start of the tournament, these rules apply as is.

1.3 - Staff:

Includes every person assigned by Istavder for the tournament.

1.4 - Entry:

All participants are subject to the approval of the director in order to participate in any and all Istavder events. In case of a denial of entry for a player, the Director has the initiative to withhold explanation.

If there is more than one category in the tournament, admission to a lower category other than the open level is subject to the Director's approval.

All participants are expected to be ready for play before the time of start announced in the schedule of play. It is the responsibility of the participants to check their names either on the main screen or on the FTBG mobile app.

In order to be able to receive notifications on the FTBG system, a participant has to share his/her mobile phone number and has to have downloaded the FTBG app from the playstore (free).

It is the responsibility of the participants to check the registration list and report any mistakes before the draw for the first round of play is made.

Any participant, whose name is not on the draw sheet is dropped out of the tournament as soon as the first round draw is made. Such participants are immediately reimbursed their entry fees.

The Director may allow left out participants to register for consolation or last chance events in such cases.

1.5 - Equipment:

For the whole duration of a match, only the backgammon board and a scoreboard or a score sheet is allowed on the table. Use of paper or any kind of electronic device is strictly forbidden.

Use of headphones is under the consent of the opponent.

Mobile phones or any other electronic devices that support backgammon applications are to be switched off if deemed necessary by the Director.

Any use of mobile phones or any other communication devices are strictly forbidden during recorded matches.

1.6 - Language:

The official language of the tournament is Turkish.

1.7 - Spectators:

Any spectator watching a match should do so in utter silence. They are expected to be as still as humanly possible so as not to distract the players.

Ample distance should be kept from the players at all times. No audible comments or hand gestures should be made which can easily distract players.

Spectators are allowed to point "illegal moves" IF they are certain about it.

If there is an observer assigned by Istavder for that certain match, the spectator who spotted the illegal move is to convey it to the observer.

A spectator should not disturb the flow of play in any shape or form. It is strictly forbidden for spectators to give any sort of hint about any move or point out to the clock to warn a player that the time is running short.

Players have the right to demand a match without any spectators or have a certain spectator removed from the table without giving out a reason.

Any spectator who fails to observe the above rules may be removed from the table by a referee or even disqualified from the tournament immediately which can result in that spectator to be blacklisted for future events.

1.8 - Recording the Match or a Position:

A player who wishes to record the match or a position needs the permission of his/her opponent. The opponent can ask the recording to be stopped at any time.

The tournament director has the right to record any match that he deems necessary, such as scheduled matches or finals of a tournament.

1.9 - Transfer of rights:

A participant registered for the tournament who wishes to transfer his/her right of play to another participant may do so with the permission of the Tournament Director.

2. Match Rules:

2.1 - Tournament Venue and Start Time:

All matches are played in the determined playing area. Any participant who is not present at the designated table at the starting time may be punished by a time handicap.

Exactly 5 minutes after the official start time, the Director makes an announcement stating that all the clocks should be started whether or not the opponent is present. It is upto the participant to make it in time before his clock runs out. In case he does, he has to finish the match with the remaining time on his clock.

If both participants are not present at the start time, the Director starts the clock for both parties. If any of the participants show up before the clock runs out, he/she stops his/her clock and wait for the opponent.

If the opponent shows up before his/her clock runs out, the match is played with the time remaining on the clock for both parties.

Any participant whose time runs out automatically loses the match independent of the score at that point. Participants cannot give their opponents extra time or stop the clock while waiting for their opponent.
Not only it is unsportsmanlike to do so, but also it is strictly forbidden by the rules. This act is punishable by an immediate loss of the match or a disqualification from the tournament.

2.2 - Breaks:

Breaks are not allowed during matches. Only a 5 minute emergency break for restroom visits might be allowed if deemed necessary by the Director.

The clock is started after the 5 minutes is up. A participant may end up losing the match due to a late return from a break. It is both players responsibility to note scores and times remaining.

3. Preliminary Stage:

3.1 - Equipment check and Start of the first round:

It is obligatory to use precision dice, lipped cups, game timers, scoreboards and official tournament boards. For players who do not have precision dice, it is possible to purchase them from the tournament director. The dice are for sale only and cannot be rented for the duration of the tournament.

All matches must be played with a game timer and precision dice.

It is not permitted to stop the timer once a match has started. Any player failing to observe this rule will get one warning by the director. Repeat of this action will result in disqualification from the tournament.

Personal boards may be used in matches, but only after getting the approval of the opponent and the director.

Start of the First Round:
After the draw, players will receive a message indicating their opponent’s name and the number of the table that the match will be played on. Players who have downloaded the FTBG app will get the message through the app. Other players will receive an SMS.

The player whose name is listed first in the draw is responsible for taking the game timer to the table.

When both opponents are at the table, it is their mutual responsibility to check the names to make sure they are facing the correct opponent.

The director announces the start of the round and all matches start simultaneously.

If the opponent does not show up:
The player should wait at the assigned table even if the opponent does not show up. After an elapse of 5 minutes, an announcement to start the game clocks will be made by the director.
If the opponent shows up before his clock runs out, then he/she has to play the match with the remaining time on his/her clock.
If the opponent does not show up until his clock runs out, then the player at the table wins the match. Then it is the winning player’s duty to take the clock to the director and inform him of the situation.

3.2 - Preferences:

If the players do not agree on which side to bear off, the color of the checkers to play with or which side of the table to sit at, a dice roll is used to decide. The player with the higher roll gets to choose.
Also, the player arriving at the designated table first gets to choose which side he/she wishes to sit for the match.

3.3 - Dice change:

Since all matches are played with a game clock, one pair of dice is sufficient. If a match starts without either party designating their spare die, the match has to be completed with the dice used at the start of the match.

If players have designated spare dice before the match, then either player has a one time right to demand a change of dice during the match. Two pairs of dice are put in a single cup and rolled on the board by the player demanding the change. The opponent gets to pick the first die and the player picks the second one.

If the director detects ineligible dice on any table, he can order a change of dice. It is the responsibility of the players to have precision dice at the start of the match.

If one of the players do not have precision dice, it is the right of the opponent to demand official dice before the match starts.

4. Game Play and Illegal Situations:

4.1 - Random Rolls:

In order to ensure a random roll of dice, the pair of dice should be shaken vigorously at least three times and rolled in a fashion to allow both dice to come out of the cup simultaneously.

Every game starts with each player rolling a single die. The player with the lower number should start the game clock.

4.2 - Valid Roll:

Both dice should be on the right side of the board after the roll. In any case where both dice do not end up on the right side of the board is not a valid roll. Also, every time one or both dice end up on the checkers is not considered to be a valid roll and the roll should be repeated in either case.

In any event where the dice end up on the right side of the board after hitting objects outside of the board, the validity depends upon the object that the dice bounced off of.
If the object that the dice hit is an inanimate object, such as the game clock, a water bottle, a camera tripod and etc., the roll is valid. If the object that the dice bounced off of is an animate object, such as the fingers or arms of the opponent or a spectator, then the roll is invalid.

Personal dice cups can be used with the consent of the opponent. If a player can provide a baffle-box preference is given to the useage of the baffle-box.

4.3 - Checker play:

Checkers should be moved with one hand only at all times and in a fashion to allow the opponent to follow the moves easily. A checker on the bar should be moved before any other checkers. If the dice are situated next to a checker to be moved, the dice might be moved to a free space on the board so as to avoid dice change by mistake.

A player should wait quietly to allow his/her opponent to make his/her move and should not touch the board or any checkers meanwhile.

The dice should not be picked up until the opponent hits the clock. If an illegal move is detected after the clock is hit, a warning to remedy that should be made before rolling the dice. After the dice are rolled, it is upto the opponent to allow the correction and the director cannot be involved in these situations.

Any hit checker should be put on the bar. During bear off, checkers should be placed outside of the board.

If the director observes a player detecting an illegal move and not offering to correct it on purpose, especially against players who are not versed in tournament play rules, can black list that player on the premise of ungentlemanly behavior.

4.4 - Picking the dice up:

After a valid roll, player can change his/her moves until he/she pushes the game clock. The opponent cannot touch the dice or checkers before the move is completed. The player picking up the dice before the game clock is hit will be in the wrong.

Illegal moves should be corrected even after the game clock is hit. When an illegal move is detected, the clock should be stopped to allow the opponent to correct his/her illegal move.

4.5 - Untimely moves:

If a player picks up and rolls the dice before the opponent hits the clock, it is upto the opponent to deem that roll valid or not.

If a player offers the cube before the clock is hit, it is still valid and cannot be taken back.

The Director may warn a player for untimely moves. If warned player persists in untimely moves, it may cause him/her to be disqualified.

4.6 - Starting the game with the wrong order of checkers:

Any misplaced checker will be corrected before the 5th roll of the game.

If the game starts with a missing checker, the player with the missing checker can still be gammoned or backgammoned.

4.7 - Illegal moves:

Illegal moves must be corrected as soon as they are detected and cannot count as valid moves. The referee or any spectator may warn players about illegal moves. If an illegal move is detected after the opponent has rolled the dice, it is upto the opponent to decide if the correction should be made or illegal move should uphold.

Offering the cube is considered to be a move.

4.8 - Referee’s authority on illegal moves:

Referee may warn players about illegal moves. Even after the dice are rolled, the referee can demand the correction of an illegal move.

In the event that the referee detects a player making illegal moves on purpose, he/she has the authority to disqualify that player on the premise that he/she is being deliberately dishonest.

Also, such players may end up being blacklisted.

4.9 - Conduct during opponent’s turn:

The player should wait quietly without touching the board or any checkers while the opponent is making his play.

Any kind of distraction is forbidden and when a player is distracted by his opponent’s conduct, he/she may call the director for supervision.

4.10 - Game conclusion:

A game is concluded whenever an offered cube is passed or one of the parties bears off all his/her checkers. As long as there is a mathematical chance for the trailing player to win that game, play should continue.

4.11 – Dice bouncing off of the playing field

When the dice rolled by one of the players bounces off of the board, whether staying on the table or falling on the floor, the opponent should immediately put the game clock on STAND BY and wait until the player picks up the dice and gets ready to roll again. In these instances, the player should be granted the full elapse time of 12 seconds.

In the instances where the dice roll is invalid, granting your opponent the full 12 seconds of elapsed time is considered gentlemanly behavior.

5. Cube Handling and Holding Score:

5.1 - Holding score:

Player who has won the last game should immediately turn the scoreboard as soon as the game has ended. The referee or a spectator may warn players who have failed to mark the score.

If a dispute arises between players about the score, it is upto the referee to give the final verdict about the score dispute.

5.2 - Placement and value of the cube:

At the beginning of every game, the doubling cube should be put at the middle with the 64 side facing up in order to prevent any confusion about the value of the game before the cube is turned.

During the crawford game, the cube is put outside of the board for the duration of that game and reintroduced to its original place for post-crawford game should the trailing player wins the crawford game.

5.3 - Doubling cube action:

The player can turn the cube after the opponent hits the game clock AND before rolling the dice. Even if the dice roll is not valid, the player has lost his/her chance to turn the cube for that move.

The turned cube should be placed on the right side of the board with the correct value being offered.

After the cube is offered, the player offering the cube should hit the game clock while his/her opponent takes to time to decide. The opponent does not have to make a decision about the offered the cube until the game clock is hit.

Also, the opponent should only make a decision about the cube after the game clock is hit.

The opponent can either take the cube and put it on the corner on his/her side of the board and then hit the game clock for the player to roll the dice, OR he/she can pass by putting the cube with 64 facing up in the middle of the board and stop the game clock.

Unless one of the players notifies his/her opponent about his/her intentions for modifying the original position of the Doubling Cube, any form of touching the Doubling Cube is considered “Doubling”...

5.4 - Value and positioning of the doubling cube:

Both players have responsibility about the value and positioning of the doubling cube. If any mistakes are detected about the value or the positioning of the doubling cube, it has to be corrected.

5.5 - Crawford rule:

Crawford rule is applied in all matches. When either of the players reaches match point, the cube is out for one game - the crawford game - and it is not permissible to use the cube for the duration of that game.

During the crawford game, the cube is put outside of the board for the duration of that game and reintroduced to its original place for post-crawford game, should the trailing player wins the crawford game.

If the doubling cube is used during the Crawford game AND if this mistake is realized UNTIL the Crawford game is over, the cube is deemed invalid.

On the rare occasions where the use of cube during the Crawford game is realized after the score is reflected on the scoreboard OR the whole match is finished, upon getting the consent of both players, the match can be replayed starting from the Crawford game with the correct score reflected on the scoreboard.
In these cases the responsibility lies with the player that is leading the match.

5.6 - End of the match and reporting the score:

The winning player takes the game clock to the director and reports the score at the desk as soon as the match is finalized.

It is the responsibility of the winning player to report the match score correctly. He/she should check if the score is displayed correctly afterwards on the FTBG system or on any of the screens displaying the match scores. Any mistakes about match scores can be corrected before the draw of the next round.

6. Disputes:

6.1 - Disagreements:

When there is any sort of disagreement, the players should keep the board position intact and call the Director or a referee immediately. If any of the players touches the checkers, the dice or the cube before the arrival of the officials, he/she will be considered to be in a disadvantage in the verdict to be given about the disagreement.

6.2 - Objection:

A Ruling Committee will be anounced at the beginning of the Tournament. Players have the right to object to a decision given by the Director or a referee. Objections must be done right after the decision is given. After the objection is stated, the referee committee - consisting of at least three referees - reconsiders and reevaluates the disagreement and arrive at a verdict. If one of the Players involved in the dispute is part of the Ruling Committee, his vote for the decision is not counted.

This verdict is final and no objections can be made about it.

7. Tournament End Playoff:

7.1 - Prizes:

If the last three remaining players all have the same wins and byes, the total prize will distributed evenly among these three players.

7.2 - Declaring the champion:

The last player to stand who has not lost the number of matches defined by the Swiss formula declared at the beginning of the tournament becomes the champion.

8. Gentlemanly Behavior:

In accordance with the Gentlemanly Behavior rule, it is in the power of the Istavder Tournament Director to disqualify any player from the current tournament, AND ban that player from future tournaments, if that player acts in a way to take advantage of players who are new to tournament play and recently getting accustomed to the rules of tournament play and clock use.

Also, in accordance with the above mentioned rule, any player who is thinking about doubling, should touch the Cube only after being absolutely sure that he/she is sure about that decision. Not doubling AFTER touching the cube is considered to be ungentlemanly behavior. If the opponent objects to this action, touching the cube is considered a valid cube action and the opponent takes possession of the cube…