• 2019 - Position 64

    XGID=aBBB--CaB---c-----bc-BAbcA:1:1:1:55:6:5:0:7:10

    Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 55?

    If a gammon were a priority then bar/10, 22/17 would edge out the other plays.

    However, all Red needs to do is win the game and to that end he needs to get those rear checkers moving and preferably connected to each other. That means that bar/20, 21/16(2) for thee of the fives is clear.

    The difference between 20/15 and 22/17 is tiny with the former just getting the nod for the final five.

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  • 2019 - Position 63

    XGID=aB-CB-B-B---bB---cBcbbaa--:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    Those two loose checkers in White’s home board give Red just enough of an edge to double although it is close. Red is sufficiently ahead in Race, Threat and Position to double.

    If he held the cube already then he would wait before redoubling and if the blot on White’s 2-pt was on his 3-pt, giving him a four-point board, then it would be a triple blunder to redouble.

    Clearly, White has an easy take of Red’s redouble as Red has a lot of work to do yet. It is only the fact that Red wins a gammon 18% of the time that allows him to double now (activating the cube).

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  • 2019 - Position 62

    XGID=aBAB-aB-D---dB---c-d--b-B-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    A classic early game doubling question.

    With eleven checkers in the attack zone and the better home board Red should certainly consider doubling, despite his slightly odd structure. He is also ahead in the race.

    In fact, this is a clear double because Red wins a gammon nearly one third of the time from this position. Not doubling would be a big error.

    Equally well it is a trivial take for White who has no weaknesses other than his rear checkers.

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  • 2019 - Position 61

    XGID=aBDB-A------------------d-:1:1:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

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

    If you evaluate this position using Trice’s Rules for Effective Pip Counts as outlined in my Backgammon Races paper in the downloads section of this website, then you will find it is double/drop. However, that formula does not take account of White’s hitting chances.

    White will hit in approximately 5 games out of 36 which gives him added winning chances. Do the hits plus his racing chance add up to 25%? Not quite but the fact that he will own the cube gives him just enough to take, but only by a mere 0.015 equity points so don’t be ashamed of yourself if you chose to drop. If you chose not to double as Red now that is an entirely different matter!

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  • 2019 - Position 60

    XGID=-a--BBBBA--AbB-A-b-ccBaba-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    For once the pip count is irrelevant. White is in a lot of trouble. He has a checker trapped behind a growing prime. He also has two stripped outer board points. Those spell danger as a bad entry from the bar at the wrong time could expose another blot.

    White does win nearly 25% of the games but he loses nearly 15% gammons which means that this is a huge pass and taking is a blunder. On its initial evaluation XG has this as a borderline take but the rollout soon unearths the truth. White must let this one go. I hope everybody doubled as Red!

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