Bray’s Learning Curve: Always have a game plan

Basic Beginners 21

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 63? XGID=-aa–CD-C-aAcBA–b-eb—A-:0:0:1:63:0:0:3:0:10 Whenever you play a game of backgammon you should always have a game plan. The vagaries of the dice mean that you will constantly have to update that plan but at any given point in time during a game you should always have a clear idea of […]

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2020 Vietor Cup

JoeRussell_thumb

Congratulations to Joe Russell, winner of the 2020 Vietor Cup. Twenty-eight entrants played in the MoreSwiss format directed by Patrick Gibson. Those placing included: 1st–Joe Russell (9-1) 2nd–Doug Amenda (7-3) 2nd– Roberto Litzenberger (7-3) 2nd– Jeremy Bagai (7-3) 2nd– Steve Sax (7-3) The Vietor Cup, established by John Vietor, father of current day player Jon […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXVII

Richard Casten_Int Div 2020_sm

Congratulations to Richard Casten, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXVII. Richard defeated David Gillett in the 13-point final. Gary Nouskajian and Ira Gardner 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXVI

Keith Remels 2019 Int

Congratulations to Keith Remels, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXVI. Keith defeated Ira Gardner in the 13-point final. Max McCauley and Curt Wilhelmsen 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: DMP Quandary

2020 - Experts 30

Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 65? XGID=–BBCBB-A——-bb-cbbdBA-:1:1:1:65:3:3:0:5:10:10 Before neural net computers nobody would get this problem correct and as can be seen from the comments even now, nearly everybody gets this wrong. When given this as a problem none of my students has ever got the right answer. Gammons don’t count […]

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Bray’s Learning curve: Back Game Planning

2020 - Intermediates 30

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 54 XGID=-bBba-DBB—bC-a-b-cAb—A:0:0:1:54:0:0:3:0:10 After Red’s forced five, bar/20, he has a choice of four fours. We can quickly discount 6/2. This puts a checker out of play while creating a dilly builder on the 2-pt. Such a passive play will surely come back to haunt the perpetrator. White has a […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional XCI

Sol Sassoon_Adv

Congratulations to Sol Sassoon, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXII. Sol defeated Ali Shamsian in the 17-point final match. Finishers 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Shahrooz Moreh and David Vakil. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings at […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXV

Art Benjamin 2019_cm

Congratulations to Art Benjamin, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXV. Art defeated Ted Chee in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Ruben Sineriz and Bob Azari. 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 Advanced Divisional XC

Ilia_Guzei_AdvDiv

Congratulations to Ilia Guzei, winner of the Advanced Divisional XC. Ilia defeated Richard Stubbe in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were David Staggs and Lynda Clay. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings at […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Another third move problem

2020 - Beginners 30

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 51? XGID=-aa—E-D–AdCa–c-e—-B-:0:0:1:51:0:0:3:0:10 If you think you know how to play the opening in backgammon then try reading Bill Robertie’s latest book, “How to Play the Opening in Backgammon”. I have just completed it and despite my forty years of experience I picked up some very useful ideas. This position […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional XCII

David Vakil_2020sm

Congratulations to David Vakil, winner of the Advanced Divisional XCII. David defeated David Staggs in the 17-point final match. Finishers 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Kerry Remp and Jorge Cano. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings at […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: A Lesson from the Past

Basic Beginners 20

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 43?   XGID=-aB—ECAa–dB—cBcc—–:0:0:1:43:0:0:0:0:10   This position is taken from the US vs UK match in 1973, the first ever recorded backgammon match. Over the board 13/10, 13/9* was played but that is a triple blunder. It gives up the mid-point and leaves ten return shots while it leaves a […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXIV

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Congratulations to Rich Sweetman, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXIV. Rich defeated Peter Wisniewski in the 21-point final. Finishers 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Eusebio Blascoand Jiri Vala. 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. Registration […]

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Brays Learning Curve: Early Doubling Problem

2020 - Experts 29

Once again, we examine the difference between money and match play. Red has ten checkers in the attack zone and his 5-pt already made. Is that enough to justify a double? White has no real weaknesses and so White has a very easy take. The game could yet evolve in many different ways. My own […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXV

Judith Bouchara-2020

Congratulations to Judith Bouchara, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXV. Judith defeated Jim Young in the 13-point final. Dan Schmelzinger and Harvey Jordan 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXIII

Leyla Zaloutskaya

Congratulations to Leyla Zaloutskaya, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXIII. Leyla defeated Kevin Jones in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Narvey Goldman and Jerry Gette. 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 July Womens Monthly

Mary Morse 2020 sm

Congratulations to Mary Morse, winner of the USBGF July Womens Monthly. Mary defeated Antoinette-Marie Williams in the 17-point final. Leyla Zaloutskaya and Vera Holley finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final round. The Womens Monthly tournament is open to all USBGF ladies. Entrants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about this tourney […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Match Score Influence

2020 - Intermediates 29

Match Play. Red trails 0-3 to 5. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take? XGID=-bB-a-D-C-a-dC—-bcBAb—:0:0:1:00:0:3:0:5:10  In a money game a double here would be premature and XG rates it as a blunder (just). However, I must stress once gain just how much influence the match score has in short matches. If Red loses a […]

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USBGF Masters Divisional CXI

Jiri Vala_sm

Congratulations to Jiri Vala, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXI. Jeri defeated Steve Hills in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Roberto Litzenberger and Ray Bills. 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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Bray’s Learning Curve: Early Thinking

2020 - Beginners 29

Money Play. How should Red play 42?   XGID=-b–B-D-B—cE—c-e-b–B-:0:0:1:42:0:0:3:0:10  At a quick glance it looks as if both players have started with a 42 and Red now has another 42 to play. However, a closer look establishes that is not quite the case and in fact Red trails in the race by 16 pips. That […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXII

Jorge Cano 2020

Congratulations to Jorge Cano, winner of the USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXII. Jorge defeated Gary Knox in the 13-point final. David Gillett and Max McCauley 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 […]

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USBGF Masters Divixional CXII

Congratulations to John Graas, winner of the USBGF Masters Divisional CXII. John defeated Michael Klein in the 21-point final. Finishing 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final were Eva Zizkova and Giancarlo Ratto. 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 Intermediate Divisional LXXXIV

Ed Corey 2020

Congratulations to Ed Corey, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXIV. Ed defeated Charles Denison in the 13-point final. Chris Coppa and Judith Bouchard 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXIII

Sebastian Adams 2020

Congratulations to Sebastian Adams, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXIII. Sebastian defeated Bonnie Rogoff in the 13-point final. Vera Holley and Curt Wilhelmsen 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXIX

Michele Barone 2020

Congratulations to Michele Barone, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXIX. Michele defeated David Staggs in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Andrew Huter and Manny Olszynko. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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USBGF Intermediate Divisional LXXXI

Igor Moraes 2020_sm

Congratulations to Igor Moraes, winner of the Intermediate Divisional LXXXI. Igor defeated Max McCauley in the 13-point final. Michael Farrugia and Judith Bouchara 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. See the current online tournament ratings […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: A Tricky Double Threes

2020 - Experts 28

Money Play. How should Red play 33? XGID=-A—bDAD—bC-aabbe—AA-:0:0:1:33:0:0:3:0:10 Game Plan: White has an advanced anchor and so Red wants one as well. If Red just plays safely on his own side of the board, he gives White free reign to make home board points on her side of the board.  White is a big favourite […]

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USBGF June Womens Tournament

Wendy Kaplan_rev

Congratulations to Wendy Kaplan, winner of the USBGF June Womens Monthly. Wendy defeated Leyla Zaloutskaya in the 17-point final. Kat Denison and Lynda Clay finished 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final round. The Womens Monthly tournament is open to all USBGF ladies. Entrants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about this tourney […]

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Bray’s Learning curve: DMP Problem

2020 - Intermediates 28

Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 21? XGID=-b–BBB-C-A-cC—bbd–aAaA:0:0:1:21:4:4:0:5:10 At Double Match Point the cube is out of play and gammons are irrelevant. All you are concerned with is winning the game and therein lies the clue to this problem. For money, and with White owing the cube, the correct play here would […]

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USBGF Advanced Divisional LXXXVIII

Richard Griggs Jr 2020

Congratulations to Richard Griggs, winner of the Advanced Divisional LXXXVIII. Richard defeated Brion Brooks in the 17-point final match. Finishing 3/4 in the 15-point semi-final were Vinson Blanton and Ali Shamsian. The Advanced Divisional requires players have a Circuit Elo rating between 1500.01 and 1649.99 at the time of registration. See current online standings: Leader […]

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