Solution
To the Ultimate Backgammon Contest
Bill Davis, 1981
Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine, December 1981
In September, Bill Davis presented a puzzle to the readers of Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine. The challenge was to determine, from the opening setup, the fewest number of legal moves necessary for Black to backgammon White in the ultimate fashion (fifteen checkers on the bar).

Backgammon Magazine received the "ultimate" answer from Richard Packard of Gig Harbor, WA. The brilliance of Richard's 22 move (15 doubles) solution can only be appreaciated by playing it through. He will receive a four-in-one leather Game Roll courtesy of Backgammon Magazine.

Honorable mention prizes of a Las Vegas Backgammon T-Shirt go to Jeff Ward of San Diego, CA and Kit Woolsey of Arlington, VA with 23 moves (14 doubles), and to Brian Carlsson of Minneapolis, MN and Jack Kissane of Albany, NY randomly drawn from solutions with 24 moves (13 doubles).

## Solution

Start

 White Black
 1 6-1: 24/18, 6/5 3-3: 13/10(4)
 2 2-2: 13/11(2), 6/4(2) 5-5: 13/3, 10/5(2)
 3 1-1: 13/12, 11/10, 8/7, 4/3
 3 . . . 3-3: 24/21*, 8/5(3)
 4 4-4: bar/21, 13/9, 8/4*, 6/2
 4 . . . 2-2: bar/23*/21*/19*/17*
 5 6-5: — 2-2: 24/22*/20*/18*/16*
 6 6-5: — 2-2: 17/15*/13*, 16/14*/12*
 7 6-5: — 6-6: 13/7*, 12/6, 10/4*(2)
 8 5-4: — 6-6: 7/1*, 6/off(3)
 9 5-4: — 6-6: 6/off(3), 5/off
 10 5-4: — 5-5: 5/off(4)
 11 4-4: — 4-4: 4/off(2), 3/off, 1/off

Ultimate Backgammon puzzle creater Bill Davis is convinced that 22 moves is the ultimate solution. Be the first person to prove him wrong by solving in 21 moves or less and he'll pay you \$500.