"4 Exercises in Getting Off the Gammon"
"Dr. J," Jeff Ward, 1980
Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine, December 1980
These are the answers to the problems in Jeff Ward's article,
"The Last Act of a Desperate Man: 4 Exercises in Getting Off the Gammon."

Problem 1

 1 3-3: 15/6, 15/12 2 6-5: 12/6, 11/6 3 4-2: 14/10, 3/1

Black now has 28 saving rolls and 8 nonsaving rolls. The move 3. 14/8 gives only 26 saving rolls.

Problem 2
 1 5-5: 21/6, 11/6 2 5-4: 24/15 3 6-3: 15/9, 6/3

Black now has only 3 bad rolls (2-1 and 4-4). This is better than 3. 15/6 which gives 4 bad rolls (5-4, 5-5, and 4-4).

Problem 3
 1 4-3: 13/6 2 5-2: 11/6, 8/6 3 2-2: 8/6(3), 12/10 4 2-1: 10/8, 2/1

Black now only has 5 bad rolls. All other possibilities produced more bad rolls. For example, moving the outside man all the way (10/7) gives 7 bad rolls. Also, moving 10/8 and then slotting the 5 point gives 10 bad rolls (slotting the 3 point is even worse, producing 11 bad rolls).

Problem 4
 1 6-3: 15/6 2 4-3: 13/6 3 5-1: 15/10, 3/2

This is the only way to give Black 5 saving rolls (double 2's, 3's, 4's, and 6's). Some possibilities, such as 15/9 or 15/10, 8/7, give only 3 saving rolls.