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.
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.
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This is basically a lesson in cube efficiency in match play.
The position is not that volatile and with White having an anchor on Red’s bar-point the game has some way to go. In unlimited
This position came up in a video that I did with Alex Eshaghian on his YouTube Channel.
Red has three choices: (a) 21/14; (b) 7/5, 7/2 and (c) 6/1, 3/1
In mutual holding games the player
Red owns the rack (the 4-, 5- and 6-pts) and therefore has a strong board. Meanwhile, White has escaped a rear checker, but his forward position is undeveloped.
In such a position Red
The key here is to play positively. Playing 9/8, 9/7 or 8/7, 8/6 gives Red a difficult position to bring home.
Despite the apparent risk Red must hit 14/12*, putting a fourth White checker
In the opening one of the key objectives is to make new points, particularly in the home board. Here Red can make the 9-pt with 13/9, 11/9 or the 4-pt with 8/4, 6/4.
The 4-pt is the better
At first sight this looks to be a crushing double. Red has twenty-eight numbers to hit a White blot. He already leads by twenty-two pips in the race and there is a very real gammon threat.