Bray’s Learning Curve: Stop and think

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 62?

2021 - Beginners 38


 Given that Red has the stronger board he can make a bold play so 13/5 is somewhat too passive.

The choice is between the ‘regulation’ 24/18, 13/11 and the more aggressive 13/11, 13/7.

The first play seeks to provoke action around White’s bar-point with the idea of getting another White checker sent back while the latter play seeks to prime White’s rear checker by bringing two checkers off Red’s mid-point into play. That play will also generate return shots if White hits on Red’s bar.

The fact that Red already has his 5-pt made is in his favour in either case.

When I did an initial evaluation on this position XG had a mild preference for 13/11, 137.

However, as you can see from the rollout, the traditional 24/18, 13/11 narrowly wins the day.

The key here is to see that both plays are viable, and also to reject 13/5 as too passive.


Rollout Data from Extreme Gammon


Beginners 38 Rollout

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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





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