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Cube Action

How well do you know your primes?


Problem 74 from "Classic Backgammon Revisited" by Jeremy Bagai

XG skin design by Rain


a) No Redouble

b) Redouble/Take

c) Redouble/Pass

d) Too Good To Redouble

Another cube decision this week - again in a prime vs prime position. Black is on roll.

Bagai calls this an ‘optical illusion’ position. He works out the correct answer, then looks away, and by the time he looks back he’s persuaded by the wrong answer again.

It looks horrible for White - if Black fans then White’s prime is under pressure. And White can’t clear their back checker until Black enters and then crunches. But Black enters on this roll 30% of the time, and their own prime immediately faces crunching. And because Black will have made the ace point, White’s 6’s are killed (unless they allow White to escape their back checker), which will slow down White’s crunch. All in all, it’s much worse for Black than it looks. They’re winning about two thirds of the time from here, but not more. This isn’t even an initial double, let alone a redouble.

The correct answer is a) No Redouble.

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