• 2017 - Position 152


    Money Play. How should Red play 31?



  • 2017 - Position 151


    Money Play. How should Red play 66?

    The slow approach here is best. Bar/19, 24/18, 24/12 positions Red’s checkers very well to catch White’s checkers as they flee for home.

    Bar/7*, 12/6 is reasonable but leaves three checkers exposed at a time when White has the stronger board. Ideally Red wants his 3-pt before he hits a blot.

    Despite that the hit is only just an error but for once ‘when in doubt, hit” is incorrect – too much doubt!



  • XG Mobile

    A brief note to say that the crashing problems in XG Mobile have now been fixed and if you have done an App update since the weekend it should now be working perfectly.



  • Forward Planning

    London basked in the heat of a summer’s day. Even the dogs didn’t have the energy to run around and bark. All the criminals seemed to be on holiday so Holmes and I had very little to occupy ourselves.

    After a stroll around nearby Regent’s Park we had settled back into our rooms at 221B where Mrs. Hudson furnished us with some excellent refreshment. Holmes then decried the lack of cases and was very critical of the criminal classes in general.

    “Most criminals, Watson, have no idea of how to plan a decent robbery and look no further than the execution of the crime itself. The reason so many of them are caught so quickly is that they do not plan for what happens after the event.”

    “That is synonymous with our backgammon discussion the other evening,’ I remarked.

    “Indeed, it is, my dear doctor,’ replied Holmes. “As I recall we were discussing this position”, he said and swiftly created the position on the board.

    “Precisely so. This is from one of my games with Mycroft. I played this double fours by moving 13/9(2), 10/6(2) without too much thought. In fact, I don’t think I considered any other play. Of course, your brother immediately said, in that somewhat patronising style of his, that I must learn to think before I move. Even now I do not see what I should have done differently.”

    “You should join the criminal classes, Watson!,” said Holmes. !3/9(2), 10/6(2) demonstrates a complete lack of forward planning. The move is safe for now but what are you going to do next turn? Your two outside points are both stripped and you may well be forced to break one of them just when you don’t want to.”

    “So what is the correct move, Holmes?”

    You must both think ahead and look at the whole board. When you do that you will find the move that plays to the demands of the position and that is 13/9(2), 10/2.

    “But that play leaves a voluntary double shot,” I cried.

    “That is true but how often will White actually hit the blot? He has a one-point home board with a blot in it. In addition, if he hits from your bar-point he will have to give up that valuable point. Meanwhile your move will have created a five-point home board that will be a threat to White for the rest of the game.”

    “Good heavens, Holmes. Now that you explain everything so clearly 13/9(2), 10/2 is crystal clear. I wonder I didn’t see it at the time.”

    “You didn’t see it, Watson, because you failed to look ahead. Hopefully in future you will balance risk and reward that much better.”

    “Thank you, Holmes. A most instructive discussion.”



  • 2017 - Position 150


    Money Play. How should Red play 52?

    6/4, 6/1 is postponing the inevitable and is a 2.5 blunder.

    Ahead in the race Red should just play 15/13, 15/10. White misses 21 times out of 36 and then Red will have some playability for the next roll. Surprisingly after any play White is still favourite!



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