Jul 14, 2011

Magriel's Safe vs Bold criteria

As far as I know, Magriel's Safe vs Bold criteria is probably most cited part of all backgammon literature.

In all the books I've read it is at least mentioned, and in many it is explained in the detail.

Magriel wrote this rule 35 years ago, much before the backgammon bots era, but it has passed the test of time and it is still very valuable rule when deciding about candidate moves in the middle game.

Jun 23, 2011

How to get better at backgammon

Today we'll have a break from the usual posts with discussed positions to talk about improving our game.

The beauty of backgammon is that you can play it without knowing much about strategies, game plans, reasons behind moves, etc. Many players all around the world play the game that way, and that's perfectly alright.
But if you're reading this blog, I assume you want to improve your game.

From my experience, I can guarantee you: more you know about backgammon, more you will love it.

I will divide improvement tools into two groups: free resources and books.

Jun 5, 2011

Last roll cubes

This week I played a lot of matches versus lower-rated players to see if I can spot some recurring errors. I found a couple of areas where those players usually had problems finding the best move.

In the next few posts I will try to explain what went wrong and how to choose the best play, and I hope it will be useful to you.

But, first things first - let's see the answers for the positions from the last post.

May 29, 2011

Bear-off cubes

Backginners has been up for a month!

In the first month there were seven posts, almost 2.000 pageviews and 65 comments. Knowing that there are people out there who read this is really encouraging!

Backinners has also been mentioned on some very popular backgammon websites and discussion boards, so I would like to thank everyone who helped in a way to spread the word about it.

I hope you'll continue to visit this blog and you'll find posts instructive and helpful – I'll do my best.

Last time we talked about some backgammon probabilities and today we'll see how those shortcuts can help us calculate correct cube decisions in bear-off positions.

May 23, 2011

Calculating probabilities

I'm glad to see there were no problems with the positions from the last time.
The only "trick" was to notice the cube has been turned in 1st and 3rd example, so those positions are no redoubles (but they would be initial doubles).
Second example was double/pass.

Before we continue to our next problems, couple of words about backgammon probabilities.

May 17, 2011

Doubling in races

Last week there were some technical problems with Blogger service, but now it seems everything is OK. I've manually returned the missing comments.

There were some very good comments by ah-clem and pthalo about two methods for converting pip count to doubling action - Trice count and Keith count.

If you didn't read them yet, I recommend you to read the comments from the last time.

Today we'll discuss cubes in races without the contact, in positions where both players have started to bear-in without opposition.

May 11, 2011

Playing 54, to split or not?

Last time I promised a shorter analysis, so here it is.
Today we'll discuss only one problem, also from the opening phase of the game, but it is regularly misplayed.

I encourage you to write your opinions about positions, questions about my analysis, etc.
By writing your opinion before seeing analysis you will sharpen your game; posting questions about analysis will help me to know on what should I concentrate while writing, where to put more or less effort in explanation, etc.

So here we go: