Position 50, page 91
From Better Backgammon, by Tim Holland

White to play 2-2.

The correct play is to enter on Black’s 2 point and move one man in from White’s bar to White’s 3 point, and one man from White’s 5 point to White’s 3 point. You must avoid hitting Black’s blot on his 4 point. This additional man can only be detrimental to you, for it will enable Black to make a second point in your board. If you’re worried about not being able to escape from Black’s home board, don’t be! Now that you have made your 3 point, only the rolls of double 1s or 6 and 1 can prevent your opponent from being forced to break up his position.

Even assuming the best possible roll for Black — double 1s — he will still need to roll a 6 on his subsequent roll in order to avoid breaking his prime. With the roll of 6 and 1, which one must assume he would play by moving one man from White’s 1 point to White’s 8 point, you would then still be able to hit Black’s blot on his 4 point, his blot on your 8 point, or make a prime of your own.

Eliminating those possibilities (they will happen only 3 out of 36 times) the most probable sequence would be that Black will break his bar or 8 point, close his 4 point, and perhaps be forced to hit your blot on his 2 point. The more Black is forced to hit you, the less he likes it, for, assuming you neither hit any of his blots nor are able to escape, he will eventually be forced to open the high points in his board — that is, unless he is lucky enough to roll several 1s followed by 6s, which would free the men on your 1 point.

The combination of all of these things, admittedly, is not impossible, but it certainly is very unlikely.

In contrast, if you were to hit Black’s blot on his 4 point, move one man from your bar point to your 5 point and one man from Black’s 12 point to your 11 point, he would then be able to establish a second point in your board with the rolls of 2 and 1, 3 and 2, and double 1s. Aside from these possibilities, he might roll a number that would enable him to enter and hit your blot on his 4 point — 3 and 4 or 2 and 4, for example — thus furthering his chances to make a second point in your board.

bar/23, 7/3, 5/3
XG logo
Tom Keith 2013 
Money play
Black owns 2-cube
White rolls 2-2

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

2-2: Game BG   Equity
1 bar/23, 7/3, 5/3 W
+0.9919 x  *

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List of Positions from Better Backgammon

Better Backgammon (1974), by Tim Holland

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