Apr 28, 2011

Second roll, 44 to play

Hello to all readers.

As this is first post here, I'll try to explain what will this blog be about.
Blog is called "backginners" and it's aimed at backgammon beginners who want to improve their game by reducing blunders (big errors) they make.

I will try to post regularly some interesting positions for which I think will be helpful to beginners and I will try to explain reasons behind best moves. I hope blog will be interesting even to intermediate players - I'll try to vary complexity of problems.

Feedback, in form of comments, is much appreciated, as the concept of this blog will be: backgammon problem with candidate moves, responses from readers via comments, and finally - the correct solution in the following post with explanations, general principles and variations.

Let's start with second roll problem. Your opponent rolled 32 and played 24/21 13/11 (looking from his perspective).
Now it's your turn and you have 44 to play:

is Player 2

score: 0
pip: 162
Unlimited Game
                          pip: 167
score: 0

is Player 1
to play 44

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.00.161.beta

Candidate moves:
a) 24/16(2)
b) 24/20(2) 13/9(2)
c) 24/20(2) 8/4*(2)
d) 13/9(2) 8/4*(2)
e) 13/5(2)
f) 8/4*(2) 6/2(2)

What would you choose? And if you can, give some reasons behind your play.

(Answer to this post in next couple of days)


  1. I would play c, making my opponent's five point in case things go sour for me later on and attacking my opponent while making my important four point. It leaves a blot on the 8 point, but that's not too big of a problem. My opponent only has 4 rolls that can hit next turn: 53, 35, 26, 62, and there's also 4 rolls where he can't get in (46, 64, 44, and 66)

  2. I think f) 8/4*(2) 6/2(2) is the right answer. Actually I didn't do ANY thinking about other moves because this is the first one I saw while looking at the position. I know that one should always wait and consider other moves, but I really like this one.

    I think it is the correct answer because hitting your opponent in the beginning of the game while making two extra points in your homeboard is very good for blitzing. And blitzing is good because.. Oh well because it is good :)

  3. I would do f) 8/4*(2) 6/2(2) because it really puts the opponent on the defensive. Having said that, I bet the correct answer is b) 24/20(2) 13/9(2) -- probably because it's too early to blitz since you don't have any checkers left to blitz with after making move f) -- plus, making your opponent's 5-pt allow you to completely focus on offense with your next turns -- with plenty of builders this time.

  4. i choose C, attack checker, make strong point, make strong anchor, stave off cube for long time, threaten loose blot on 11pt and prepare to leave 5pt hitting with a gusto. bet its wrong lol. Institute

  5. what a great idea this site is.....bob

  6. 24/20 (2) 13/9 (2), i think is the best, as i now own his 20 and a begin of prime on the 9 .

  7. My preference is B. I think it is too early to blitz with F since there is no remaining support, and it is too easy for my opponent to escape. Making the 9 gets me halfway to forming a prime.

  8. c). The 5 point either side is most important point then hit and make point in home board. Keep opponent off balance , take half his roll away Great 1st problem. God bless Miran

  9. I like f. It's fairly unbalanced a lot of the time, but a quarter of the time he bounces and I can happily turn the cube. c is probably right, because a flexible game is highly valued in modern backgammon.

  10. I'm going with (B)

    I like the advanced anchor and tha beginning of a prime.

  11. not f. Because although the hit and making two points initially looks good, with only three points closed he still has a 75% chance of coming in. If he comes in and makes a high anchor those checkers closing the two point are going to be pretty useless for a lot of the game and he will always have a point to come in on so can play more attackingly and there is no realistic threat of me priming him. If he comes in and can't cover I don't have enough spare men to threaten a blitz and in fact am under threat on the 8 point. So not f.

  12. not a. Because running the back checkers doesn't do anything constructive It doesn't make any new points and It doesn't stop my opponent doing anything. In fact it lets my opponent build his home board unhindered.so not a

  13. not e. Making my 5 point is always a good thing but the roll is so good I am sure I can do two good things with it and not just one. So not e

  14. not b. b looks good because I take his 'Golden point' and bring men down to attack his split back checkers BUT it allows him to make a high anchor or run one of his back men out. Its not aggresive enough for my liking. so not b.

  15. not.c. Hitting and making the golden point. The golden point is good for an attacking play but I dont have enough men around my home board to undertake a good attack and the blot out on the 14 point can only be hit from the golden point which kind of defeats the object of making the point in the first place. so not c. Which leaves d.

  16. d. Hitting on the next best point in my home board and bringing men down for an attack. I will have 6 spare men to hit with which is almost enough to close out my board. If my opponent comes in and makes his high anchor I will try and make a small four point prime in front of his men which may slow down his game, if he comes in and hops out to hit me my men on the 9 point and 13 point are bearing bown on that point for a return hit and I will try and make a high anchor in his home board. if he comes in but cant make an anchor I have just enough firepower to try a blitz. I go with d.

  17. There is another play that I saw which was the double hit from the 13 point to the one point and from the 8 point to the 4. I would do this if I needed to catch up loads of points in a long match, or if I was slightly drunk, or had had an argument with my wife.

  18. I take it all back. Its not the hit and bring down from the mid point.

    Weirdly I have just played this exact same game. I couldn't believe it when I got the double fours second roll, in answer to 3:2 split and slot. I played my prefered choice and clicked submit move. As soon as I did I realised it was wrong The six point is over stacked and the eight point vunerable and I've just stripped my mid point. No, No, No. The best move I am sure is the hit and make another inner board point on the two point. If my opp. dances its a certain cube turn.

  19. I don't think so. Opp is likely to reenter, possibly hit you or make a point in your home board, or at least bring some checkers off the mid point for some constructive work next roll.

  20. test google chrome

  21. for 22 it would be:
    6/4*(2) and 13/11(2)

    so i choose d) 8/4*(2) and 13/9(2)

  22. testing FF 3.6.17 from another computer

  23. I would choose F.

    1) It eats one of the opponents figures, which is an EPIC WIN
    2) It blocks three fields out of six for his comeback which is almost an EPIC WIN
    3) My lonely figure on 8 gives him psihological strength which is why he'll agree when I say DOUBLE with GNUish pronunciation.

    F = 2 epic wins + gratis doubling. Couldn't be better than that.