• 2019 - Position 145

    XGID=-BB-B-BbC---bB-b--Bccb-a--:1:1:1:42:4:4:0:11:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 42?

    I admit to playing 8/2 over the board, having considered and rejected 8/6, 8/4.

    I didn’t even consider the correct play of 13/11, 13/9!

    8/2 is just too wooden and inflexible. What will Red do next turn?

    This has become a ‘pay me now, pay me later’ problem. It turns out that paying now is very clear. While White has only a three-point home board and there is some duplication of fours breaking the mid-point is correct.

    If you move a checker from White’s 6-pt to his 2-pt, giving him a four-point home board, then the dull 8/2 is correct.

    8/6, 8/4 is not quite an error and is the second-best play.

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  • 2019 - Position 144

    XGID=--AbB-CBBC--d----a-bbBbb--:0:0:1:54:6:4:1:7:10

    Match Play. Red leads 6-4 to 7 (Crawford). How should Red play 54?

    The key point about this position is not to give up the broken prime so 21/17*, 7/2 is virtually a blunder.

    Between the other moves 21/17*, 21/16 edges out 21/17*, 9/4 by a whisker but either move is perfectly acceptable.

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  • 2019 - Position 143

    XGID=-BBBBbB-C---bB---a-c-cbb--:1:-1:1:63:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 63?

    A ‘Pay Me Now, Pay Me Later Problem’

    The key question here is White improving or not? The answer is that his board may now be at maximum potency. Next turn something may well have to give, and it will be easier/safer for Red to clear his mid-point.

    For this reason 8/2, 4/1 is the correct play. 13/4 is an error (just).

    Remember to analyse your opponent’s position before you make your decision.

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  • 2019 - Position 142

    XGID=a-BBBBB-----dB---b-bbbBbA-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

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

    This one is close but Red should redouble. White has a trivial take.

    The reason for the redouble is that 50% of Red’s wins will be gammons and he increases his equity by redoubling now. The position is also highly volatile. One good roll by red freeing a back checker followed by a fan from White will give White a huge pass.

    Red must redouble now.

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  • 2019 - Position 141

    XGID=-AABBCB--A-------aBb-cedA-:1:-1:1:11:2:3:0:5:10

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

    Red should redouble now because he risks losing his market if he hits.

    The key point is that White cannot redouble if Red misses as he is likely to leave multiple shots. Red also wins a gammon about 18% of the time.

    However, White has a comfortable take as he wins about a third of the time and he will win a gammon around 8% of the time.

    The key here is White’s inability to redouble if Red misses.

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Welcome to my blog of interesting backgammon positions.

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