Position 13, page 72
From The Backgammon Book, by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford

White to play 5-4.

Move two men from black twelve point to your eight and nine point. Your opponent will hit that blot with one of his back men if he rolls 6-2, 5-3, or double 4. This will put three of your men back in black’s home board instead of two, but that is nothing to worry about so early in the game; you would be at only a slight disadvantage. (He could also hit your blot with one of his back men if he rolls double 2, but his gain from such a move is so inconsequential that he would be foolish not to make his normal play with that fine roll.)

If he rolls any of the other thirty possible rolls, he won’t be able to touch your blot and that blot will become a source of strength. It gives you an extra man bearing on your bar point and on the good points in your inner board, greatly increasing your chances of making one of those points; and if you roll a 4 next, you can cover that man with one of your men on black twelve, thereby securing your nine point. Furthermore that extra man on your eight point will often prove useful later in the game.

There are two inferior plays. The first is to move one man from black twelve point to your eight point, and one back man to black five point. This is superficially attractive, but experience has shown that it is generally inadvisable to move one man to your opponent’s five point on your first turn. If he rolls some number that enables him to make the five point, he will do so at great profit. If one of the numbers he rolls is 3 or 1, he is likely to hit you even if he exposes a blot. You will of course have plenty of chances to hit him back, but will gain little. If you don’t hit him back, he will be ready to make that point.

The other play is to bring a back man all the way to the black ten point. That man will then be exposed to a direct 3 or 2-1. You won’t lose much if he is hit, but you won’t gain much if he is missed either.

13/8, 13/9  Alternate: 13/8, 24/20 Alternate: 24/15
Rollout

Tom Keith 2013
Money play
Centered cube
White rolls 5-4

1296 games with VR
Checker play: 3-ply
Cube play: XG Roller
XGID=-b----E-C---eE---c-e----B-:0:0:1:54:0:0:0:0

 5-4: Game G BG Equity 1 13/9, 13/8 W L .4994 .5006 .1531 .1386 .0082 .0074 +0.0210 2 24/20, 13/8 W L .5042 .4958 .1398 .1358 .0075 .0057 +0.0187 (0.0023) Alternate 3 24/15 W L .5016 .4984 .1213 .1358 .0056 .0052 −0.0124 (0.0334) Alternate 4 13/4 W L .4840 .5160 .1424 .1464 .0067 .0077 −0.0533 (0.0743)

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List of Positions from The Backgammon Book

The Backgammon Book (1970), by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford