Position 64, page 120
From Better Backgammon, by Tim Holland

White to play 6-5.

The correct play is to move one man from Black’s 12 point to White’s bar point, and one man from Black’s 12 point to White’s 8 point. If your blot on White’s 8 point is not hit (11 chances out of 36), you would have to be very unfortunate to leave any more blots in your attempt to enter your men into your home board.

If you were to play safe by moving both men from your bar to your 2 and 1 points, you two men on Black’s 12 point would find it exceedingly difficult to get to safety. Only the rolls of double 5s or 6s would clear these men without leaving a blot. Double 3s and 1 can’t be played; double 4s would leave a blot on your 6 point; and even with double 2s — assuming you moved to your 9 point — you would still need a marvellous roll to get these men past Black’s block on your 5 point.

Simply stated, by avoiding a blot on this roll, your position will most likely be a lot worse 1 or 2 rolls later.

If, for example, you had moved both men from your bar point, and your next roll was 6 and anything except another 6, see how you would have increased the probabilities of your being hit. Add to that the fact that Black surely would have made his board a lot more dangerous with his previous roll. Even if you were able to delay this horrible situation by rolling some numbers which would allow you to play in your inner board, eventually (unless you rolled double 5s or 6s) you would be forced into it.

The added benefits of leaving the blot on your 8 point if Black does hit are (1) he may not cover his blot on his 5 point, and (2) he may be forced to leave a blot on your 5 point, which you could hit.

13/7, 13/8
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 13/8, 13/7 W
+0.9313 x  *

Previous Position
No. 63, page 119
Next Position
No. 64a, page 122

List of Positions from Better Backgammon

Better Backgammon (1974), by Tim Holland

Backgammon Galore : Books