Bray’s Learning Curve: Follow the Basics

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 21?


Basic Beginners 34

XGID=—-a-EbC—dE–Ac-e—-A-:0:0:1:21:2:3:0:9:10

You cannot play successful backgammon without continually taking balanced risks. This week’s position is a classic example. Over the board Red made the ‘safe’ play of 16/13. True it is safe for one roll but the key question to ask yourself is ‘what next?’

Red’s game plan will now have to be to continue to play safe while trying to escape the back checker. It is too early in the game for that to work. He needs to follow the basic rules of the opening, develop checkers and take tempi from your opponent when possible.

The 2 must be played 6/4* which follows both of those principles. The best ace is then 24/23 which neatly triplicates White’s fours, thus cutting down on her return shots from the bar. The second best play is 16/15, 6/4* but that is very nearly a technical error, such is the power of duplication.

As you can see from the rollouts, 16/13 is a bad error.

The key here is to concentrate on getting the checkers working. Safety is normally a secondary consideration in the opening.

Rollout Information from Extreme Gammon

Basic Beginners Rollout 34

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Bray’s Learning Curve is a USBGF online series by author Chris Bray. Each week Chris lends his sharp insight and easy to understand analysis to help you improve your game. Visit the USBGF Facebook page every Monday to view an interesting backgammon position and join in the lively discussion, return on Tuesday to view the answer. In addition, as a USBGF member, you get access to this companion blog article that includes an expanded explanation.  More about Chris Bray

 

Comments

  1. Nicholas Briglia says:

    .035 is a bad error? Don’t think I’d lose sleep over it.

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