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Marginal Gains

Consistently getting a bit better


Position 1 from "New Ideas in Backgammon" by Kit Woolsey

XG skin design by Rain


Two candidate plays here (hopefully you’ve reduced your options to these two?). The wrong one isn’t a blunder, but still clearly wrong. If you can get these kinds of positions consistently right you’ll improve a whole aspect of your play.

This problem comes from a 1996 book ‘New Ideas in Backgammon’ by Kit Woolsey, but the themes are straight from the much-mentioned-by-me ‘Back Checker Strategy’ by Michy. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that when your opponent threatens to prime you, you’re more motivated to split (especially when they only have 8 checkers in the zone). That takes priority over starting to build your own prime.

24/22 10/9 is the right move. 9/7 8/7 is a mistake. Anything else is a blunder.

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