Bray’s Learning Curve: Escape or Build?

Basic Beginners 28

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 42? XGID=aCDCD—–A———-bbce-:2:-1:1:61:1:2:0:5:10  This a binary choice. Make your 5-pt or step up with 23/21, 7/3? It might seem that Red has plenty of time to escape the rear checker but that is not the case. He has less than ten pips to play with if he doesn’t roll a […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Small Margins

2021 - Experts 37

Match Play. Red trails 2-4 to 7. How should Red play 52? XGID=—bBBBBB–AcAb-Ac-bb-AaA-:1:-1:1:52:2:4:0:5:10 This is a tricky position. I think if you play on automatic you will choose 24/22, 16/11. If you want to keep pressure on White’s blot on her 2-pt then 16/11, 13/11 would be the choice of many and that play is […]

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A New Website is Coming!

kelly-sikkema-mdADGzyXCVE-unsplash

The new USBGF.org website will be easy to use and help you find more opportunities to play, learn, and connect with other backgammon players.    Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash  Connect with Other Backgammon Players   As passionate as we are about the game, we are equally passionate about our community. That’s why the new website will help bring backgammon players together at all times – online!      The USBGF social network will be similar to Facebook but exclusively for backgammon players.   […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Back Game Strategies

2021 - Intermediates 37

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 54? XGID=aacbCBBBB-B—–aa-bbBb—:1:-1:1:54:0:0:3:0:10  White has a reasonably well-timed 2-3 back game and a home board that could collapse with a sequence of high numbers. Red could attempt to give White a super-timed back game by playing 21/17*, 21/16*. However, more important than this idea is to stop White from creating […]

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Women of Backgammon World Champions

The Women of Backgammon group invited the three living female world champions to talk about their experiences at the Monte Carlo World Championship. The three champions are: Lee Genud (1981), Katie Scalamandre (2000) and Akiko Yazawa (2014, 2018). This is the first and only time these women have been together at the same time! Organized […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: An Early Problem

2021 - Beginners 37

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 64? XGID=-a–BaD-B—eE—Bccb—–:0:0:1:64:0:0:3:0:10 We can quickly reject 8/2, 6/2 which creates an ugly structure and one that is difficult to put back together again. Giving up the 8-pt to make the 2-pt is not a great trade. The choice is really between 13/3 and 17/13, 17/11. 13/3 keeps the defensive […]

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Minnesota Open ABT Online! Streaming!

MN Open promo card (4)

The Minnesota Open can be followed live this weekend: Find online brackets on our tournament Challonge page. Commentary of the finals matches of our ABT Open and Masters events will be live on the U.S. Backgammon Federation YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook.

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Combating a Prime

Basic Beginners 27

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 42? XGID=-a—-EBB—fD—abcb—B-:0:0:1:42:0:0:3:0:10 Our opponent has made their 5-point early on in proceedings and is on the way to building a useful prime. In these circumstances it is normally correct for us as Red to split our rear checkers in response to combat that prime. That would imply that Red […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXXXII

Congratulations to Matthew Brown, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXXXII. Matt defeated Richard Griggs, Jr. in the 21-point final. John Manning and Roberto Litzenberger finished 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. […]

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USBGF November Monthly Circuit

Bruce Newberg_2021

Congratulations to Bruce Newberg, winner of the USBGF 2020 November Monthly Online Circuit. Bruce defeated Henry Lebard in the 11-point final match. Dennis Lutz and Eric Stippler finished 3/4 in the semi-final match. Entry into this tournament is free for all USBGF members — including Premium, Youth, and Basic members. For more information about this […]

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USBGF December Online Circuit

Ben-Yam-2021

Congratulations to Ben Yam of Hong Kong, winner of the USBGF 2020 December Monthly Online Circuit. Ben defeated Kevin Jones in the 11-point final match. Karen Davis and Dean Adamian finished 3/4 in the semi-final match. Entry into this tournament is free for all USBGF members — including Premium, Youth, and Basic members. For more […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Pick a game plan

2021 - Experts 36

Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 32? XGID=-a-bBbD-BB–bB–Ac-e-B—-:1:-1:1:32:3:4:0:5:10  Small numbers often cause a problem in backgammon because they give you so much choice. This is compounded when the position is complex, and a back game is certainly that. This is DMP so the cube and gammons are irrelevant. Both players simply want […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXXXIII

Tom-Courts-2021

Congratulations to Tom Courts, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXXXIII. Tom defeated Bob Stringer in the 21-point final. James Schothorst and Irina Litzenberger finished 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. For […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Fundamental Tactics

2021 - Intermediates 36

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 53? XGID=-a–BCC-B—-Cba-d-g—-B-:1:-1:1:35:0:0:3:0:10    One of the fundamental backgammon tactics is this: “attack a lone rear checker, prime an anchor”. That piece of advice has stood me in good stead for a very long time. This position is a classic demonstration of how to apply that maxim. White is poised […]

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USBGF December Womens Monthly

Lynda-Clay_sm

Congratulations to Lynda Clay, winner of the USBGF December Womens Monthly. Lynda defeated Marcy Kossar in the 17-point final. Canan Actas and Marcela Pelagatti finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final round. The Womens Monthly tournament is open to all USBGF women. Entrants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about this tourney […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional CIX

kara_schultz_AdvDiv

Congratulations to Kara Schultz, winner of the Advanced Divisional CIX. Kara defeated Illia Guzei in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Bob Larsen and Ramin Shahabi. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. For more information about this […]

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Introducing the USBGF Online Tournament Series (OTS)

Figure1

By Richard Munitz The USBGF Online Circuit (OC), along with the website software that manages it and gives players access to their ratings, statistics, and master points, has been a top-tier benefit of USBGF membership since September 2012. During the system’s 8+ years of operation, 663 tournament events have been created, comprised of 879 brackets. […]

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Pick-A-Pro Jackpots

Pick-A-Pro Jakpots

Players can register for the next tournament by sending their $20 entry fee by Venmo to venmo@usbgf.org (in the note, include Pick-A-Pro Jackpot, email address, and GridGammon username) Each event will consist of an eight player bracket, 9 point matches, with the winner receiving a free one hour lesson from the backgammon pro of their choice (subject […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Make the Checkers Work

2021 - Beginners 36

Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 21? XGID=–b—EBB-A-cB-a-cae—-BA:0:0:1:21:4:4:0:5:10 This is very similar to a previous beginner’s problem, but only by repeating ideas do we learn. At double match point, you cannot win with the doubling cube and gammons are irrelevant. That means you have to make the checkers work for you. You […]

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Karen Davis – 2021 Inductee into American Backgammon Hall of Fame

Preferred KD headshot 2006 300dpi (3)

The U.S. Backgammon Federation is pleased to announce the selection of Karen Davis into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame. John Pirner, President/Executive Director of the USBGF, noted, “Karen’s leadership and passion for organized backgammon is an inspiration for everyone who serves with her.  Her greatest legacy to the game is as an organization builder, […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional CVIII

Kristian-Mills-2021

Congratulations to Kristian Mills, winner of the Advanced Divisional CVIII. Kristian defeated William Dugan in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Marcela Pelagatti and Nigel Belton. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. For more information about this […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional C

Ted Cetola 2021 IntDiv

Congratulations to Ted Cetola, winner of the Intermediate Divisional C. Ted defeated Martin Thurmann in the 13-point final. Nigel Benton and David Seiler finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration. For more information about this tourney […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional CVII

Michele Barone 2020

Congratulations to Michele Barone, winner of the Advanced Divisional CVII. Michele defeated Steven Waller in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Konstantin Keresteliev and Brian Cohen. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. For more information about this […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional XCIX

Richard Casten_Int Div 2020_sm

Congratulations to Richard Casten, winner of the Intermediate Divisional XCIX. Richard defeated Nicholaos Toukas in the 13-point final. David Bowen and Attila Felsen finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration. For more information about this tourney […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Third Roll Poser

Basic Beginners 26

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 51? XGID=—-b-E-C–AcD-b-c-e-A–A-:0:0:1:51:0:0:3:0:10  For the first and second rolls there are just under 600 possible sequences. Once you get to the third roll, you are into the thousands. Obviously, you cannot learn thousands of possible positions, so you have to learn principles to find solutions to particular problems. This position […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional CVI

Jeff Spencer

Congratulations to Jeff Spencer, winner of the Advanced Divisional CVI. Jeff defeated Kara Schultz in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Shahrooz Moreh and Richard Stubbe. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. For more information about this […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional XCVIII

David Gillett 2021-IntDiv

Congratulations to David Gillett, winner of the Intermediate Divisional XCVIII. David defeated Vera Holley in the 13-point final. Nigel Belton and Martin Thurmann finished 3/4 in the 11-point semi-final. The Intermediate Divisional requires players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1500.00 and lower at the time of registration. For more information about this tourney […]

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USBGF Master Divisional CXXXI

John Gamalielson

Congratulations to John Gamalielson, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXXXI. John defeated Peter Wisniewski in the 21-point final. Erwin Hom and Eusebio Blasco finished 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final. The Masters Divisional is a single-elimination tournament, requiring players to have a Circuit Elo rating of 1650.00 or above at the time of registration. For […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Complex DMP

2021 - Experts 35

Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 55? XGID=-BBaBBA-B–Ab–A——A-A-:0:0:1:55:4:4:0:5:10 This is not an easy problem. Red can obviously close out White’s checker with 11/6, 8/3(2)*, and then move the other 5 somewhere else on the board. Red would then be a favorite to win the game but by how much? Red’s pip count […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Back Game Planning

2021 - Intermediates 35

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 33? XGID=–B–BC-c—-B-cAb-c-bBBbA:0:0:1:33:0:0:3:0:10 It is easy to get confused by the array of choices that we have as Red with double 3s. However, never make a move unless you have a plan. After the roll we will trail in the race by 52 pips, which is not enough to play […]

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