Position 53, page 99
From Better Backgammon, by Tim Holland

White to play 2-1.

The correct play is to move the man from White’s 8 point to White’s 5 point without hitting Black’s blot. If you were to make White’s 6 point, you immediately expose your remaining blot on your bar point to being hit with 5 and 2 or 4 and 3.

Failing this, you give Black the opportunity to enter on your 3 point from where you will find it difficult to get your three men past him without leaving a blot. The same will hold true, only slightly less so, if Black enters on your 4 or 5 points.

If he fails to enter at all, several numbers will cause you to leave a blot on your subsequent roll, and some will leave two blots (assuming you had made your 6 point and Black then failed to enter, see what happens when White rolls 6 and 3 or 5 and 3).

Let’s find out why it was correct not to make White’s 6 point. Although there have been many games like this lost, in a race, you are far less likely to lose the game in this fashion that if you had chosen the other play and then had been forced to leave a blot that was hit. By moving one man to White’s 5 point, on your next roll only 6 and 1 or 5 and 1 would cause you to leave a blot. Even assuming this occurs, you still will be a 25 to 11 favorite not to hit.

XG logo
Tom Keith 2013 
Money play
Black owns 2-cube
White rolls 2-1

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

2-1: Game BG   Equity
1 8/5 W
+0.8501 x  *

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Better Backgammon (1974), by Tim Holland

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