• 2019 - Position 181

    XGID=---A-AA-------------b-a---:1:1:1:00:0:0:1:0:10

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

    This one is nice and easy!

    This could be a one, two or three roll (or even more!) position.

    Positions like this where there are no guarantees about the number of rolls and with virtually even pip counts are normally doubles and takes and this position is no exception. Not redoubling here is worse than a double blunder and dropping is a triple blunder.

    Axel Reichert’s formula gets this position right. See my paper on Backgammon Races in the ‘Downloads’ section of this website for more details.

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  • 2019 - Position 180

    XGID=--BABcCBCB-----------abbg-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

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

    White has a lot of wastage but despite that he is still in the game and one big double at the right time could change thing significantly. In addition, Red may end up with a bare 5-pt in the bear-off which will not be good for him in terms of efficiency.

    Not doubling is an error (the position is reasonably volatile) but passing is a blunder.

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  • 2019 - Position 179

    XGID=a-AABCCbB---a---Aacbcb--B-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Match Play. Red trails 2-6 to 13. Should Red redouble to 8? If redoubled, should White take?

    For money it would be nearly a double blunder to redouble this position but beware of high cubes in matches!

    Also beware overage - eight points give White one more than he needs. Red only wins this position two-thirds of the time but if you plug that figure into the match equity calculation you will find that White has to pass this redouble and it is a blunder to take. The position is highly volatile - Red cannot afford to wait.

    Not redoubling as Red is worse than a double blunder. This is a classic demonstration of the power of the cube in a match play situation. As Red don’t worry that you might lose the match. From 2-10 down you are probably going to lose anyway. Instead, think of being 10-6 ahead. Even better, Red wins a gammon 1.5% from here!

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  • 2019 - Position 178

    XGID=a-AABCCbB---a---Aacbcb--B-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

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

    Apologies - this should have said Money Play not Match Play.

    White’s four-point prime is too strong for Red to be able to redouble here. He should hold the cube and hope to be able to use it later to give White a difficult decision. At the moment the take is trivial and redoubling is a blunder.

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  • 2019 - Position 177

    XGID=----AbDBB---cC---bBcba-bA-:0:0:1:44:0:0:3:0:10

    Money game. How should Red play 44?

    The one move to avoid is that played over the board, 8/4(2), 6/2(2). That leaves an ugly inflexible structure which will be difficult to develop.

    It is really a question of creating a four-point prime with 13/9(3), 6/2, or strengthening the home board with 8/4(2), 7/3(2).

    The latter wins the rollout by a very small margin showing that both game plans are viable. I prefer it because it keeps the communication channel of the mid-point and strengthens the home board at the same time.

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