Position 67, page 122
From Backgammon for Blood, by Bruce Becker

White to play 2-1.

It is most important to remember that if you have a choice in making your moves in your inner board, it is vastly preferable to have a man alone on a higher point than to have two men split on the lower points, even if the total number of points necessary to bear off is the same.

You can play your 2-1 in three ways and not leave an odd third man:

  1. Bear off the man from the 1 point and move the man on the 5 point to the 3 point, leaving a 2-3 position.
  2. Bear off the man from the 2 point, and move the man on the 5 point to the 4 point, leaving a 1-4 position.
  3. Bear off the men from both the 1 and the 2 points, leaving only the man on the 5 point.

The 2-3 position can be borne off in one throw in only twenty-five ways. The 1-4 position — remember, it’s the man on the 1 point that makes it better — is good in twenty-nine ways. But the man alone on the 5 is a tower of strength: he can get off in thirty-one ways. And this principle of leaving a single man on a higher point in preference to two men on lower points is consistently valid, no matter what the total number of points needed to bear off may be.

Not: 1/off, 5/3
Not: 2/off, 5/4
1/off, 2/off  *
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Tom Keith 2013 
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Centered cube
White rolls 2-1

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2-1: Game BG   Equity
1 2/off, 1/off W
+0.7222 x  *
2 5/4, 2/off W
+0.7222 (0.0000)  Not
3 5/3, 1/off W
+0.5309 (0.1913)  Not

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List of Positions from Backgammon for Blood

Backgammon for Blood (1974), by Bruce Becker

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