Bray's Learning Curve

Each week, author Chris Bray lends his sharp insight and easy-to-understand analysis to help you improve your game. 

Chris is the author of multiple backgammon books, including Backgammon for Dummies, and is the backgammon columnist for The Times of London. 

Expert Backgammon Player and TeacherChris Bray Photo

A New Puzzle Every Week

Every Monday Chris posts an interesting backgammon position on our Facebook page.  We encourage you to join in the lively discussion and return here to our website on Tuesdays to read his extended analysis. 

Bray’s Learning Curve in-depth analysis is one of the great benefits of a USBGF membership.
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White has a high anchor and so Red needs to try to establish a high anchor as well. Another part of the game plan should be to try to make the bar-point.

This roll of 21 is very poor but it must

The key here is to select the right game plan.

Red can race, blitz or possibly prime. Given Red’s structure priming looks problematical so we can ignore 14/8, 13/9.

8/2*, 6/2 is a possibility

Red owns the rack, the 4-, 5- and 6-pts while White has an undeveloped position. Red needs to make use of the asset.

Running with 24/14 is the wrong game plan. It gives White too much freedom

Once again, we are faced with the question of whether to run off an anchor.

Red will be twenty-seven pips after the roll so 20/13 is certainly a candidate play. However, modern players

I spent three minutes getting this wrong at the recent Union Club tournament. It is difficult because the all the candidate plays support different game plans.

It turns out that the

We have seen this type of problem before, and the technique required is interesting.

Red leads in the race so should be running for home. Red should also take note of the blots in White

This turned out be closer than I thought. Red must split the back checkers while White only has nine checkers in the zone. The only two sensible contenders are 24/16 and 24/22, 13/7.