Bray’s Learning Curve: Last checker premium

2021 - Experts 44

Match Play. Red trails 0-1 to 11. How should Red play 32? XGID=—-a-D-Cb—C—-AAcCbeb-:1:1:1:32:0:1:0:11:10 It might seem clear here to play 19/16, 18/16 to block White’s sixes from her 16-pt. That is certainly the obvious move, and it is what was played over the board. However, if you have read Bill Robertie’s latest book “Everything Matters” […]

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Prime Time BG Fall 2021

PrimeTime Backgammon magazine Fall 2021 Cover

Grandmaster Dmitriy Obukhov appears on our cover this month. He is the principal author of a detailed piece about the Backgammon Masters Awarding Body (BMAB), the well-known organization that assesses skill and awards titles. He has been deeply involved in BMAB since its beginning, and Bob Stoller interviews him in depth as part of the […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Short-term Risk

2021 - Intermediates 44

Match play. Red leads 2-1 to 5. How should Red play 52? XGID=a–aaBCAC—AC-A—bccAbb-:1:1:1:52:2:1:0:5:10 This is a question of taking a short-term risk to establish a long-term again. Red could play 22/17, 7/5 with apparent safety but how will he bring all those outfield checkers home? The answer to that question is – with extreme difficulty […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: The Guff

2021 - Beginners 44

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 55? XGID=—b-BC-C-AAdCa–c-e—-B-:0:0:1:55:0:0:3:0:10 Back in the 1970s nobody made their ace-point, known as ‘the guff’, and if you did you were laughed at. Such a play was regarded as impure. Nowadays we know better. The ace-point can be a useful asset. In this position Red will shortly have to get […]

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Texas Backgammon Championships Reinstated as ABT Tournament

Texas Backgammon Championships Logo

We are pleased to announce that the Texas Backgammon Championships and the U.S. Backgammon Federation have reached an agreement to reinstate the event on the American Backgammon Tour! Here is our joint statement: The USBGF has agreed to reinstate the Texas Backgammon Championships as a tournament on the American Backgammon Tour, effective in 2022.  The USBGF […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Follow the Basics

Basic Beginners 34

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 21? 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 […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Triple Whopper

2021 - Experts 43

Match Play. 6-6 to 9. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take? XGID=–bBB-C-C—cB—bceB—A-:0:0:1:00:6:6:0:9:10 I posted this position to demonstrate what pressure can do to even good players. This is from the World Team Championships in Trier a couple of weeks ago. Red had recovered from 0-6 down and now at 3-away vs. 3-away he […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Which Point?

2021 - Intermediates 43

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 31? XGID=–B-a-C-B—eCa–c-e-AAAB-:0:0:1:31:0:0:3:0:10 This is a very common type of problem. Which point or points should Red make in White’s home board? Red’s own home board is very weak, and he needs time to construct something more useful. This game has a long way to go. Red can make the […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Safety First

2021 - Beginners 43

  Unlimited Games. How should Red play 52? XGID=-b—-E-D–AdCa—-dbb-AA-:1:1:1:52:0:0:3:0:10 Safety First Red has been doubled and is in trouble. White owns ‘the rack’ (her 4-pt, 5-pt and 6-pt) which is very powerful. Red cannot afford to play loosely and leave blots lying around. He would like to make a decent anchor and the only one […]

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2021 USBGF Lifetime Achievement Awards

Candace Mayeron and Bob Stoller in 2019

The U.S. Backgammon Federation is delighted to announce that Candace Mayeron and Robert Stoller are recipients of our 2021 USBGF Lifetime Achievement Awards. They will be officially honored at the USBGF Awards Dinner on October 9th, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Florida, during the Sunny Florida Backgammon Championship.  Register to attend This prestigious […]

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Karen Davis – 2021 Hall of Fame Inductee

Karen Davis Seated at Board

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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Change to the ABT Status of Some Tournaments

EDIT 9/21/2020:  The Texas Backgammon Championships and the U.S. Backgammon Federation have reached an agreement to reinstate the tournament on the American Backgammon Tour.  Read our joint statement. We want to make our members aware that the U.S. Backgammon Federation made the difficult decision to withdraw American Backgammon Tour (ABT) status from several tournaments. This […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Asset vs Race

Basic Beginners 33

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 32? XGID=-a—AD-C-a-dE-a-c-eA—A-:0:0:1:32:0:0:2:0:10 This is a common opening problem. Should Red hit, if so where, or should he take the asset of the 5-pt? Let’s deal with the hit question first as that is quite clear. If hitting he should play 20/15*. This gains the most ground in the race […]

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Bray’s learning Curve: Complex Back Game

2021 - Experts 42

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 43?   XGID=-a-aBBC-CBA-b–a–bbbbb-B-:0:0:1:41:0:2:0:5:10   Back games can be horrendously difficult and this one certainly isn’t easy. White has more than enough timing and he will hoping to release his checkers on Red’s 5-pt and then play a well-timed 1-3 or 2-3 back (the latter is better). With so many […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: The case of the missing 6-pt

2021 - Intermediates 42

Unlimited Games. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take? XGID=–BCBB-a—B-AA—-abBcdd-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10 This is a very deceptive position and many a player of the White checkers would drop this double, seeing no hope of getting her checkers home and fearing a gammon. After all, Red only misses with 55 and 53. However, If Red hits the […]

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USBGF Women’s Monthly – March

AntoinetteMarieWilliams

Congratulations to Antionette Williams, winner of the March USBGF Women’s Monthly! The March Women’s Monthly was held on the USBGF Online Tournament Series.  Antionette beat Wendy Kaplan in the 17-point final match. For more information about this tourney and other online events go to http://usbgf.org/usbgf-online-tournament-series/

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Checker Development

2021 - Beginners 42

  Unlimited Games. How should Red play 21?   XGID=–a—EaB–AdD-a-c-e—-BA:0:0:1:21:0:0:3:0:10 When in doubt, hit is a well-known backgammon maxim. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one of them. Bar/23, 8/7* achieves very little while at the same time substantially weakening Red’s position. Red is behind in the race and this […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Counter-prime

Basic Beginners 32

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 62? XGID=—bBBD-C—-B-aacbd-b-B–:0:0:1:62:0:0:3:0:10 This is all about understanding Red’s game plan. White’s plan is simple, she will attempt to make her 5-pt next time and she is nearly a favourite to do that. Red must assume that White will make her 5-pt and plan accordingly. That means he should set […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Deep Thought

2021 - Experts 41

Match Play. Red trails 2-4 to 5. How should Red play 44? XGID=-aAABBBB-A——-bbcBcbbB-:1:-1:1:44:2:4:0:5:10 This is a complex problem. The key is to determine the correct game plan and then find moves that support that plan. Trailing by 36 pips after the roll means that Red cannot give up his ace-point anchor as that surrenders a […]

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Backgammon 101

Are you interested in learning backgammon, but do not know where to begin? Then our Backgammon 101 series is for you!     We provide relaxed, easy-to-understand, and interactive sessions.  You will learn how to set up the board, how to count shots, basic probability, basic strategy, how to use the doubling cube, and more!  > Register to Attend Backgammon 101 When:  Monthly on 2nd Sunday […]

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Prime Time BG Summer 2021

Summer2021PTCoverSized

On our cover: Karen Davis! She is our newest inductee to the American Backgammon Hall of Fame. Her impressive achievements, as a tournament organizer and competitor as well as on behalf of the Federation, are reprised. Marty Storer analyzes 21 positions from her winning match against Ray Fogerlund from this year’s U.S. Open, in which […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Outer Board Control

2021 - Beginners 41

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 64? XGID=—–bE-B–B-C—ddeB-A—:0:0:1:64:0:0:3:0:10   Red trails by twenty-nine pips after the roll but has superb control of the outer boards. Meanwhile thirteen of White’s checkers are in stacks on only three points. The key to this position is for Red to keep that outer board control. For that reason a […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Simple Connectivity

Basic Beginners 31

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 52? XGID=-a—-E-C–AfD—c-e-A–A-:0:0:1:52:0:0:3:0:10 A classic second move problem. How should Red play this 52? The two is very clear 13/11, making an important outer board point. The question is how to play the five. There are three choices: 6/1*, 21/16 and 13/8. 6/1* usefully takes a tempo from White but […]

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2021 Local Club Tournament of Champions

SteveSax

Congratulations to Steve Sax, winner of the 2021 Local Club Tournament of Champions! The 2021 Local Club Tournament of Champions was held on the new USBGF Online Tournament Series.  26 USBGF Prime Club champions were selected to represent their club in this event. Steve Sax beat Frank Raposa in the 17-point final match. For more information […]

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Brays’ Learning Curve: Security and Asset

2021 - Experts 40

Match Play. Red trails 4-6 to 11. How should Red play 22?   XGID=–ABaBCACa—-A-ac-c-ac-bB:0:0:1:22:4:6:0:11:10  Over the board Red chose the very safe bar/21(2)*. Given the score and the number of White blots this was much too passive. Red has the opportunity to secure an anchor with Bar/22(2) and then think about the other two twos.There […]

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USBGF Divisional – February 2021 Masters

SolSassoon

Congratulations to Sol Sassoon, winner of the February 2021 USBGF Masters Divisional! Sol defeated Arvel Toten in the 21-point final. Erwin Hom and Jerry Ungar finished 3/4 in the 19-point semi-final round. The OTS Monthly tournaments are open to all USBGF members. For more information about this tourney and other online events go to http://usbgf.org/usbgf-online-tournament-series/

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Bray’s Learning Curve: Patience is a virtue

2021 - Intermediates 40

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 61? XGID=—–ACABA—B-AcabebbBB–:0:0:1:61:0:0:0:7:10 Red is playing a perfectly timed 2-3 back game. Unexpectedly White has left him an early shot. Should Red hit that shot or should he bide his time? It is tempting to hit with 23/17*, 6/5. The problem with that move is that Red only has eight […]

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USBGF OTS MONTHLY – FEBRUARY 2021

ArtBenjamin

Congratulations to Art Benjamin, winner of the February 2021 OTS Monthly! Art defeated Peter Wisniewski in the 11-point final. Kevin Jones and PJ Macali finished 3/4 in the semi-final round. The OTS Monthly tournaments are open to all USBGF members. For more information about this tourney and other online events go to http://usbgf.org/usbgf-online-tournament-series/

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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 PayPal to payments@usbgf.org (friends and family) – in the note field, 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 […]

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Bray’s Learning Curve: When in doubt

2021 - Beginners 40

Unlimited Games. How should Red play 65? XGID=–AABbD-C-C-aa—b-cbbb-A-:1:1:1:65:0:0:3:0:10 This is a type of position that I frequently see misplayed by beginners. Seeing the two blots in his home board Red decides that hitting with 24/13* is far too risky and chooses the waiting play 8/2, 6/1 or (better) 10/4, 8/3. This is muddy thinking. White […]

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