Magriel's NYT Columns 
 Black to play 61. 
A more knowledgeable player may first stop to assess his overall chances and realize that he is in dire straits. To see why, evaluate the number of rolls left on each side to complete the bearoff.
After Black completes this play and takes one man off, each side will have exactly eight men left. Thus, if both sides take two men off each roll (neither side rolls a double or misses), both players would complete the bearoff in exactly four rolls. Because it is now White’s turn, White will win the race by one roll. Black’s only hope, then, is to recoup an entire roll by taking off four men in one turn; in other words, Black needs to roll a high double.
As a result of this pessimistic evaluation, an experienced player may attempt a drastic remedy in hopes of improving his chances. Because Black needs to take four men off, he may play 6/off, 5/4, to prepare for 44’s by stacking four men on the 4point. In fact, he may secretly congratulate himself for his clever maneuver. Unfortunately, the logic is faulty and so the remedy actually worsens his already poor condition.
The correct play is still 6/off, 2/1. Even though a roll behind, filling the gap on the 1point has higher priority than preparing for immediate double 4’s. In order to understand why, it is necessary to examine in detail which variations are better for each play.
First, consider what happens if Black next rolls his best, either 66 or 55. In this case Black stands considerably better after playing 2/1. 5/4 leaves Black with a dangerous gap on the 1point, and as a result Black is only a small favorite. By contrast, 2/1 leaves Black with an essentially winning position — White will be hardpressed to accept an immediate redouble.
Next, consider what happens if Black rolls a double immediately. Of course Black gains by playing 5/4 (because he can now take four men off), but even so, Black is still in jeopardy of rolling a 1 and losing.
Finally, consider the critical variations in which Black first rolls a 1. These variations occur much more frequently than starting with a high double, and all favor 2/1. 5/4 leaves a gap on the 1point, so a 1 will cost Black a full roll. Now Black will never be able to catch up, even if he later rolls a big double. By correctly playing 2/1, Black still gives himself winning chances for several rolls. 55’s, 66’s, and later 44’s will be effective even after rolling a 1.
Rollout
Tom Keith 2013 

Money play Black owns 2cube Black rolls 61 1296 games with VR Checker play: 2ply Cube play: 3ply Red 
61:  Game  G  BG  Equity  
1  6/off, 2/1 
W L 
.1184 .8816 
.0000 .0000 
.0000 .0000  −0.7379  (a)  
2  6/off, 5/4 
W L 
.0900 .9100 
.0000 .0000 
.0000 .0000  −0.7931  (0.0552)  (b) 

