Position 69, page 119
From Backgammon, the Cruelest Game, by Barclay Cooke and Jon Bradshaw

Should Black
double to 4?

[The problem in the book had the cube at 1, the score 13–13, and was played without the Crawford rule. It has been recast here to a score of 11–11 with the cube at 2.]

Black is vulnerable to losing a gammon and the match if he does not hit one of white’s two blots. He has been in danger of losing a double game throughout, but now he unexpectedly finds himself a 5 to 4 favorite to win the match if he doubles. Since black will in all probability lose a gammon if he misses, he has nothing to lose here by doubling. He might just as well lose 8 as 4, since either loss will cost him the match.

This is the kind of situation in which the thoughtless player will not consider a double, since he is so relieved at the possibility of saving a double game, but this is specious reasoning. Failing to double at this critical juncture is a deplorable blunder; it is tantamount to losing by default. This is his opportunity to win at no extra risk to himself; therefore black must double.

XG logo
Tom Keith 2013 
Match to 15
Black 11, White 11
Black owns 2-cube
Black on roll

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

Cube Action Game BG   Equity
No double W
−0.1194 (0.5754) 
Double Take W
+0.4560 +0.4560 x  *
Drop +1.0000

  Black should redouble and White should take  

Previous Position
No. 68, page 115
Next Position
No. 70a, page 122

List of Positions from Backgammon, the Cruelest Game

Backgammon, the Cruelest Game (1974), by Barclay Cooke and Jon Bradshaw

Backgammon Galore : Books