Adam Stocks writes:
You are not alone Alef. During my early experience of matchplay bg, (as an
Intermediate strength player), I stumbled across match equity tables on
some bg website of other, and thought, "I must learn this stuff parrot
fashion, otherwise I will lose most of my matches". I hurredly scribbled
down Woolsey's MET for all lengths up to 9-away,9-away, and took it with me
to my first live tournament. By the time I arrived at my bed & breakfast,
I was too tired to memorise it, and went to sleep. The next day, without
the 'required knowledge', I won the Consolation. I quickly came to the
conclusion that in fact, it was better to concentrate my efforts on
improving my positional judgement and other aspects of my game, since, as
you say, the reality didn't often bear close relation to the theory, and if
it did, it was, at the time, too difficult to be of much practical
over-the-board use. Coincidentally, the previous day before this thread's
original question was asked, a player on GamesGrid asked exactly the same
question (about the DP at 2-away,4-away). After the figures were quoted, I
said that it was all very well knowing the doubling window percentages, but
backgammon is more of an art than a science, and you need artistry/skill to
know when you hit the windows.
Of course, later, it is much easier to cope with the extra information load
caused by METs and the like , because you get to a stage where the
fundamental stuff is second nature anyway (the concepts behind the MET
figures ARE fundamental to matchplay, but the exact percentages are NOT).
It is perfectly possible to become a good bg player with minimal studying
of MET entries, simply by experience, and players can study the detail in
METs as and when they feel ready for it.
That's one of the beauties of the game - it has many levels on which it can
be played/studied, according to the individual player.