• 2019 - Position 13

    XGID=-aB-BBBB-----B--AbAb-ebAc-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red redouble? If redoubled, should White take?

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  • 2019 - Position 12

    XGID=-BBBBAC-A---b--b---bbbbBc-:1:-1:1:64:3:4:0:5:10

    Match Play. Red trails 3-4 to 7. How should Red play 64?

    This is not the time for a weak play. 8/2, 5/1 give White total control of the outer boards.

    Backgammon is a game of risk and reward and here Red must take some risk to reap a potentially high reward. The correct play is 23/13 which wins 4% more games. Given this is effectively Double Match Point that is the only thing that matters.

    It is rarely right to pass up the chance of a perfect home board and here Red should still strive to make his 5-pt as it may well become relevant in an exchange of hits.

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  • 2019 - Position 11

    XGID=bB----D-B---dE---d-e----B-:0:0:1:00:0:5:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red trails 0-5 to 7. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    For money this is a very clear no double but obviously the match score has a huge influence.

    Now not doubling is a double blunder. The take is clear but uncomfortable and if White is the much stronger player letting this one go would probably be the correct decision as Red’s position is easy to play. Just keep blitzing until the blitz either succeeds or stalls.

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  • 2019 - Position 10

    XGID=--ACaDC-a------abbbbbbCA--:1:1:1:11:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 11?

    At Double Match Point Red would try 6/3*, 3/1, trying to get a playable back game.

    In this money game Red must have an attack of common sense and try to limit his loss to a single game. The best move to achieve that is 23/22, 6/5(3). Remarkably he will still win 8% of the time after that play.

    Sometimes you just have to wave a white flag and this is one of them.

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    4 comments

  • 209 - Position 9

    XGID=ab-AB-CaA--Ab---AbbcC-bC--:1:-1:1:61:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 61?

    This is a difficult problem.

    It turns out that making the 5-pt with 11/5, 6/5 is too committal.

    Red does best to adopt a two-way strategy here, looking to win forward but preserving his back game chances if things go well.

    The best way to do this is 16/10, 8/7* with 20/14, 8/7* a relatively close second. White’s next roll will probably then determine Red’s game plan.

    Making the 5-pt leads Red too far forward in the variations where White hits one or more checkers. This is a rare and unusual case where making the 5-pt is a blunder. Needless to say, over the board, I made the 5-pt!

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    4 comments

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