Position 76, page 135
From Backgammon for Blood, by Bruce Becker

White to play 6-2.

Your throw allows you to move a man from either of the two points you are covering. If you do so from the B2 point, leaving a blot there, eight of your opponent’s throws force him to leave two blots, and ten other throws force him to leave one blot. (I’m not concerned that on some of these moves he can hit you: having a man on the bar is really not much worse, in terms of a gammon or backgammon, than a man on the B1 or B2 points. I’m concerned about the best way you can get a shot at him.)

If you move one of your men from the B1 point, leaving a blot there, there are six throws in which he is forced to leave three blots and twelve more ways in which he must leave on blot. If you don’t open up either of these points, but make your move elsewhere on the board, six of his throws will force him to leave two blots, and twelve of them will force him to leave one blot.

Therefore, opening up the B1 point gives you the most shots at your opponent, and so it is the move to make. I find this particularly interesting, because most players I’ve watched in this situation would instinctively break up the B2 point before the B1.

Breaking up the B1 point, as opposed to keeping both points intact, has one additional advantage: there is now one less man in your opponent’s inner board, which considerably helps your chances of avoiding a backgammon.

Finally, there is one small formula you can use when you are down to holding one point in your opponent’s inner board and he has more than one point covered. If his men on these points total an even number, don’t leave a blot. If his men total an odd number, do leave a blot. There are pages of diagrams to illustrate this, but it’s too laborious to go into. Just believe me: keep the total of all men (yours and his) that are in his inner board an even number. It’s your best hope.

24/16  *
16/8 x
XG logo
Tom Keith 2013 
Money play
White owns 2-cube
White rolls 6-2

1296 games with VR
Checker play: 3-ply
Cube play: XG Roller

6-2: Game BG   Equity
1 16/8 W
−1.4396 x 
2 16/10, 8/6 W
−1.4908 (0.0512) 
3 11/5, 8/6 W
−1.4932 (0.0536) 
4 13/7, 8/6 W
−1.4954 (0.0558) 
5 23/17, 8/6 W
−1.5021 (0.0625) 
6 24/18, 8/6 W
−1.6648 (0.2252) 
7 24/16 W
−1.6799 (0.2403)  *

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List of Positions from Backgammon for Blood

Backgammon for Blood (1974), by Bruce Becker

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