Backgammon in the Wind Published August 2016

Paperback: £25

'Backgammon in the Wind’ is the fifth anthology in the Wind Series and covers Chris’s articles from The Independent newspaper for the years from 2013-2016.

The game of backgammon continues to evolve and the last twenty years have seen a period of rapid development in the game. This is largely because of the advent of backgammon computer programs JellyFish, Snowie and, most recently, eXtreme Gammon. Consequently the modern expert player is light years ahead of his 1990s counterpart.

The material in this book covers not only the development of backgammon theory but also looks at the history of the game including some of its more famous and colourful players. Backgammon has never been short of interesting characters ranging from Emperor Nero to Lord Lucan.

The timeless characters that make up Chris’s menagerie continue to paint a vibrant picture of life in the high stakes chouette. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are on hand to lend instruction and Jeeves and Wooster provide some light-hearted moments.

Wind of Change Published August 2013

Paperback: £20

‘Wind of Change’ is the fourth anthology in the Wind Series and covers Chris’s articles from The Independent for the years from 2010-2012.

The format is the same as ‘Wind Assisted’. The only change is that Extreme Gammon (XG) is now the de facto computer program of choice for all serious players and it is XG that provides Chris with assistance throughout the book.

Since the last Wind book was published we have seen the arrival of tablet computers, smartphones and apps and some of the articles look at how these have impacted backgammon. One thing is certain: XG Mobile dominates the app market as far as backgammon is concerned.

Backgammon to Win (Revised edition) Published September 2012

Paperback: £12.50

Backgammon is the ultimate head-to-head board game – an action-packed race to the finish with an addictive mix of luck and skill. It’s easy to pick up the basics, but this is a game that continually surprises – there’s always something new to learn, and the Internet has opened up a whole new world of gaming opportunities.

In 'Backgammon to Win' Chris Bray reveals tips and tricks needed to help you play the game like a pro, whether you want to make serious money in online tournaments or just play for fun at a board with friends.

While backgammon can be lost or won on the throw of the dice, tactical moves and game plans can help you adapt your play to deal with whatever comes your way. With chapters on opening rolls, mid-game strategies and races and endings, his step-by-step suggestions, sample game illustrations and easy-to-follow text have everything you need to get to grips with tournaments and chouettes to computer and online play – all are covered, as are the secrets of making the doubling cube work in your favour.

Insightful and informative, Backgammon to Win is the ideal introduction to this dynamic and challenging game.

Note that the material in this book is very similar to that in “Backgammon for Dummies” but Chris prefers this book because it is written in his own style rather than the rather prescriptive Dummies Style.

Wind Assisted Published May 2010

Paperback: £22.50
eBook (ePub for Adobe Digital Editions) and iTunes: £8.99

This is the third and, at least for the moment, the most recent of Chris’s anthologies of articles from The Independent newspaper and covers the years from 2007 to 2009.

Over the last few years the game has changed rapidly and much of it is now played on-line which requires some different skills. In tournament backgammon clocks are becoming the norm which means that a premium is now placed on the ability to analyse accurately at speed.

Computers continue to get faster and backgammon–playing programs continue to improve which can only help the average player to improve his game as well. These three years have seen the demise of Snowie™ (RIP) and the advent of Extreme Gammon (XG) as the strongest playing computer program in the world. The very reasonable price of XG has meant that thousands more players are now getting the benefit of computer tutelage and analysis. Chris makes extensive use of both Snowie™ and XG in his books.

The timeless characters who make up Chris’s menagerie continue to paint a vibrant picture of life in the high stakes chouette – the most exciting form of backgammon. Jeeves and Wooster have been added to the list of fictional characters that help to provide instruction.

For the first time full rollout details are provided for all the positions to assist the more serious players who want to study the positions in great depth.

Second Wind Published May 2009

Paperback: £20
eBook (ePub for Adobe Digital Editions) and iTunes: £8.99

‘Second Wind’ is the second anthology in the ‘Wind’ series and covers the articles for The Independent newspaper for the five years from 2002 to 2006.

During those five years the spread of broadband connectivity drove unprecedented growth in backgammon on the Internet. Backgammon playing computer programs, such as Snowie and gnubg, helped players of all strengths to develop their game as well as changing some of the basic theory of the game.

The material in this book covers not only the development of backgammon theory aided by these neural-net based computer programs but also takes time to look at the history of the game including some of its more famous and colourful players. Whatever did happen to Lord Lucan?

Several new players, including the Dowager Duchess, have joined his menagerie to help to paint a graphic picture of life in the high stakes chouette – the very lifeblood of backgammon.

As with all the ‘Wind’ books, they are targeted at a broad range of players and everyone from the casual player to the expert will improve their game by studying the diverse positions in this book.

What Colour is the Wind? (Revised edition) Published May 2008

Paperback: £20
eBook (ePub for Adobe Digital Editions) and iTunes: £8.99

After the release of his first book Chris decided to publish an anthology of his articles for The Independent every few years. This is the first of those anthologies and it covers the years 1998-2001 with some additional material from Chris’s writings for Netgammon. This was a period in backgammon when there were huge steps forward in the theory because of the arrival of neural net computers such as Jellyfish and Snowie.

The somewhat enigmatic title is explained in the introduction to the book. In fact the title was so successful that Chris decided to keep the ‘Wind’ theme running throughput subsequent anthologies.

The material covers not only the development of backgammon theory but also looks at the history of the game such as the advent of the doubling cube and some of the more colourful players who have played the game.

Chris has always been an ardent admirer of the bridge author, Victor Mollo, and borrowing Victor’s concept he has created a menagerie of players such as Barry Bigplay, Nigel Natural and Quentin Quickcube to help to paint a graphic picture of life in the high stakes chouette – the very lifeblood of backgammon.

Backgammon - An Independent View (Revised edition)

Published November 2008
Paperback: £15
eBook (ePub for Adobe Digital Editions) and iTunes: £5.99

This is the first of Chris’s books, originally published in 1998, four years after he started writing his newspaper column, but it was substantially updated and republished using Lulu in 2008.

‘Backgammon – An Independent View’ takes the best of Chris’s early articles for ‘The Independent’ newspaper and mixes them with his other more technical articles to produce a book which will appeal to all players. Everyone, no matter what their skill, will find something in these pages to raise the level of their game and show them new aspects of backgammon. It also has its more whimsical moments as none other than Sherlock Holmes provides some of the instruction!

Backgammon theory has evolved considerably since the original publication of the book in 1998 and the use of neural net computer programs has taken the game to new levels. This newly revised version reflects those changes in theory and the solutions to several of the original problems have been updated.

Backgammon for Dummies Published 2009 by Wiley

Paperback: £9.99
Kindle edition: £4.28

In 2009 Chris was invited to write 'Backgammon for Dummies' on behalf of the backgammon community and it was the first book to be published in the revised yellow and black livery which is famous the world over. It is reckoned in the games playing world that your game is not mainstream until there is a Dummies book on it. Backgammon thus entered a new world with the publication of this book.

The material covered is very similar to 'Backgammon to Win' but it is written in the Dummies house style which you either like or not. Chris enjoyed writing it but not surprisingly prefers his own style and therefore recommends 'Backgammon to Win' over 'Backgammon for Dummies'.

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