Today, Crockford's actively supports backgammon at all levels. In addition to a major international tournament once a year, the club also holds local tournaments three times a week for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. The diagrammed position occurred at one of the tournaments.
||Black to play 4-1.|
Black's reasoning was seriously in error. The correct play is 10/5*, hitting loose (unprotected) on the five point. Black failed to appreciate that by attacking he could also win the game on a single roll. If he fails to come back in immediately, White will have virtually no chance. Black also fails to properly assess the danger of not hitting and allowing White to race. In fact, neither play is truly safe. To determine which one is best, the chances of winning in each case must be compared.
- By hitting, the game is basically reduced to a one-roll proposition. Numerically, White's chance of rolling a 5 to hit Black is 11/36. Thus White will win approximately one third of the time.
- By not hitting, Black allows White to race. Before Black plays his 4-1, the pip count (the total number of units left) is identical. Therefore Black's lead in the race is very small indeed. In fact White's possession of the doubling cube effectively nullifies Black's lead altogether.