The Ultimate Backgammon Contest
Bill Davis, 1981
Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine, September 1981
ultimate backgammon
Black wins the "ultimate backgammon"
— bearing off his last checker while
White has 15 checkers on the bar.
The gentleman playing the black pieces is in the process of backgammoning his opponent with fifteen men on the bar. When Black removes his final checker, he will have achieved The Ultimate Backgammon. A fantasy, to say the least, but not an impossibility.

The Challenge

Determine, from the opening set-up, the fewest number of legal moves necessary for Black to backgammon White in the Ultimate fashion (fifteen checkers on the bar). You must count all of your selected throws and moves for both players. The opening throw may not be doubles.


The entry with the fewest legal throws and plays that is acceptably recorded wins. Ties will be resolved in favor of the entry utilizing the fewest throws of doubles. Further ties will be broken by random drawing.


Acceptable Methods of Game Recording

Backgammon Magazine recommends the following method of game recording:

For example, assume that you choose Black to win the opening roll with 3-1 and make his five point. For White's first move, you select 6-5, running a back man to the midpoint. The first two moves should be recorded as follows:

  1. B (3-1) 8/5, 6/5
  2. W (6-5) 1/12
Any other method of game recording is acceptable so long as it is complete and presented in an understandable manner.

All entries must be received by October 12, 1981 and become the sole property of the Backgammon Magazine.

What's the answer? Who won?
Solution to the Ultimate Backgammon Contest

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