Position 44, page 78
From Better Backgammon, by Tim Holland

White to play 6-5.

The correct play is to move one man from White’s bar point to White’s 1 point, hitting Black’s blot, and one man from White’s 9 point to White’s 4 point.

It is of the utmost importance that you prevent Black from establishing your 1 point. You moved from the 9 point to the 4 point rather than from Black’s 12 point to your 8 point for two reasons: to increase your chances of covering your 1 point in the event Black does not hit your blot there, or to be able to hit him again if he does hit your blot.

You should have no feat of being hit, for you will have no problems in reentering. However, if Black is able to establish your 1 point, instead of your winning a probable gammon 90 percent of the time (this figure might even be higher), it will become a tossup whether you will win.

Note: A word to the wise. In your backgammon future you will play many games similar to this position where, due to unfortunate rolls, you will be unable to prevent your opponent from establishing a second point on your board. Several moves later you may find yourself in a totally untenable position and when your opponent redoubles, you will hear a strange void (your own) saying, “I accept.” You will be motivated by a feeling of complete frustration at having had a seemingly certain gammon fly out the window. I can assure you that it has happened to me so many times I hate to think about it. By now, I have learned to say “no.” I’m still utterly frustrated, but at least I’m better off than being frustrated — plus having the dent in my wallet.

9/4, 7/1*  *
7/1*, 6/1 x
XG logo
Tom Keith 2013 
Money play
Black owns 2-cube
White rolls 6-5

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

6-5: Game BG   Equity
1 7/1*, 6/1 W
+1.2269 x 
2 9/4, 7/1* W
+1.2168 (0.0101)  *
3 13/8, 7/1* W
+1.1815 (0.0454) 

Previous Position
No. 43, page 77
Next Position
No. 45, page 80

List of Positions from Better Backgammon

Better Backgammon (1974), by Tim Holland

Backgammon Galore : Books