Position 24, page 63
From Backgammon for Blood, by Bruce Becker

White to play 6-2.

The 6-2 throw can be played exactly the same as the 5-3.

I’ve already pointed out the values and consequences to consider if you make the move this way. Later, I’ll discuss and compare the alternatives to this throw.

(Page 79.) You may ask why I don’t play the 6-2 throw the same way I do the other “six plus” moves. It’s because I would rather make the W5 point than the W7, and when you compare the two moves and see how close they are in their probabilities, you can understand my choice. Here is the comparison:

The move from B12 to W5 leaves the blot vulnerable in fifteen ways, of which six are disadvantageous to my opponent, and it can be covered in twenty-four ways. If I subtract the effective probabilities of being hit (nine) from the ways it can be covered (twenty-four), I have a net value of fifteen.

The move of one man from B12 to W7 and one man from B12 to W11 leaves the W7 blot vulnerable in seventeen ways, of which six are debatable for your opponent; two of the eleven remaining also hit the blot on W11 as well. There are twenty-nine ways to cover the W7 blot, plus two ways (3-2, 2-3) to make the W5 point using this blot. Here, the effective hitting probabilities (thirteen) subtracted from the ways it can be used (thirty-one) leave me a net value of eighteen; there is not that much difference between this move and the one I prefer.

In addition, there is one other small value in the move I recommend, and for me this clinches it. My move still leaves four men on B12, as opposed to three if I bring two men down from it, and I like the flexibility of that fourth man still on B12 this early on.

Therefore, I play the 6-2 move by bringing one man from B12 to W5. But if you want to play it the alternative way I’ve discussed, that too is a very strong move.

13/5  *
Alt: 13/7, 13/11
24/18, 13/11 x
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Tom Keith 2013 
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Centered cube
White rolls 6-2

1296 games with VR
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6-2: Game BG   Equity
1 24/18, 13/11 W
+0.0050 x 
2 24/16 W
−0.0114 (0.0164) 
3 13/5 W
−0.0139 (0.0189)  *
4 13/11, 13/7 W
−0.0691 (0.0741)  Alt

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No. 25, page 64

List of Positions from Backgammon for Blood

Backgammon for Blood (1974), by Bruce Becker

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