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Prime vs Prime



Problem 140 from "Advanced Backgammon Vol 1: Positional Play" by Bill Robertie

XG skin design by Rain


An ancient position from an ancient book. There are two essentially equal solutions, one of which seems obvious once you spot it but is somehow hard to find, while the other is easy to find but perhaps harder to accept as correct.

First - you have to move 23/17 with the 6. You need the timing gained by releasing one of the back checkers. So nil points if you chose 17/11.

With the 1, you get the booby prize if you chose 24/23. Losing your anchor opens up too many blitzing opportunities for White, alongside their existing priming power.

But it turns out 5/4 (easy to find, hard to accept?) and 17/16 (hard to spot? but obvious when you do) are both essentially equal - confirmed by an xG rollout.

So - either 23/16 or 23/17, 5/4 gets you the prize.

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