Forum Archive : Books

Lamford: Improve Your Backgammon

From:   Alef Rosenbaum
Date:   27 May 2003
Subject:   Re: Lamford's new book

> Has anybody read Paul Lamford's new book "Improve Your Backgammon"?

The title is misleading as the book is quite advanced, much more than a
follow up to "Starting Out in Backgammon". I'd think you'd want to be well
over 1700 on FIBS before reading it.

Here's a list of chapters and a few of my comments:

Part One: Money Play

1. The Race - Includes a very accurate equity formula requiring some long

2. Technical Themes - Lots of useful and well analysed rules of thumb.
Definitely the easiest material to put to immediate use: Stay or Go? Hit or
Ignore? Slot or Not? Extra Shot? Clear or Hold? Safe or Bold?

3. Blitzes - Thorough look at how, when, why to fully attack and cube

4. Calculating Equity - Personally I can follow this material and put it to
use in quiz problems with pen and paper, but will need some major
practising before it'll affect my over-the-board decisions

Part Two: Mastering Match Play

5. The Basics - Match Equity Table which assumes slightly more gammons than
the Kit Woolsey table

6. Special Scores - DMP, 2-away 2-away (don't necessarily cube
immediately), Crawford, Post-Crawford (change of opening rolls, trap of
late doubling for the compulsory take)

7. Doubling Windows - Charts, 2-away N-away, Too Good but Not Good Enough,
Doubling When Opponent is 2-away

8. Advanced Cube Handling - Volatility, Efficient Recubes, Recube Windows,
High Cubes and Skewed Scores, Gammon Value Chart, Points to Remember
(Magriel style recap)

Part Three

9. Technology - Various links and info on bots

Exercises - There are about 40 problems across 19 exercises in the book.
The explanations are far more thorough than, say, Robertie's "501 Problems"
but not quite in the league of Woolsey's "New Ideas".


I find the writing style to be clear and concise, it's certainly a very
dense 128 pages. The drawback, like the other works of Paul Lamford's, is
that it's from a highly mathematical mindset and a bit weaker on the
general "vision" side of backgammon mastering. Certainly the race formula
in the opening chapter could frighten some readers away, but there's still
plenty of backgammon wisdom in there for those less numerate.

In terms of actual costs it's fantastic value compared to other advanced bg
books, listed on the back as GBP £12.99 and $14.95. Available from

(1800-1900 on FIBS)
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited  (Gregg Cattanach, Feb 2002) 
Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited #100  (Raccoon, Nov 2004) 
Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited--Errata  (Jeremy Bagai+, Apr 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ball: Alpha Backgammon  (James Takahashi+, May 1994) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Marty Storer, Jan 2008)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Mislav Radica, Nov 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Rob Adams+, Oct 2007) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Gregg Cattanach, Oct 2007) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Neil Kazaross+, Jan 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings--Volunteers needed  (Nack Ballard, June 2007) 
Barr: Barr on Backgammon  (Walter Swan+, Feb 1996) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Gus, Mar 2003) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (PTaber+, June 1999) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Michael Fuhrmann, Aug 1997) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Daniel Murphy, July 1997) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Durf Freund+, May 1994) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (&Atilda;˜ystein Johansen+, Apr 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (André Nicoulin, Oct 2000) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (David Montgomery, May 1999) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Peter Bell, Aug 1998) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Jacques Torrione, Feb 1998) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Robert Scibelli, Dec 1997) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Kevin Bastian, Nov 1997) 
Bray: Backgammon for Blood  (Chris Bray, Sept 2007) 
Bray: Backgammon to Win  (Chris Bray, June 2007) 
Bray: Backgammon to Win, second edition  (Chris Bray, Aug 2012) 
Bray: Backgammon--An Independent View  (Chris Bray, May 1998) 
Bray: Backgammon--An Independent View Revisited  (Chris Bray+, Jan 2005) 
Bray: Second Wind  (Chris Bray, May 2007) 
Bray: What Colour is the Wind?  (Chris Bray+, June 2002) 
Bray: What Colour is the Wind?--Rerelease  (Chris Bray, Sept 2006) 
Brooks: Backgammon's Best Openings and Replies  (Chuck Bower+, Dec 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Clay: Backgammon Winning Strategies  (Michael Strato, Nov 1999) 
Clay: Backgammon Winning Strategies  (Gary Wong, Jan 1998) 
Cooke & Bradshaw: Backgammon--The Cruelest Game  (Chuck Bower+, Aug 1998) 
Cooke & Orléan: Championship Backgammon  (Timothy Chow+, Apr 2011) 
Cooke & Orléan: Championship Backgammon  (Marty Storer, Sept 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Neil Kazaross+, Sept 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Peter van Arkel+, Sept 2002) 
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Donald Kahn, Dec 1998) 
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Stephen Turner, Apr 1996) 
Corbett: Backgammon Problems  (Stick+, Jan 2008) 
Deyong: The Playboy Book of Backgammon  (Shuman Lloyd Lee, Aug 1991) 
Dwek: Backgammon for Profit  (Bob Stringer, Sept 2002) 
Euler: Everyday Errors in Checker Play  (BaronGossettEulerPhD+, June 2012) 
Garal: Fair Backgammon Tournament Rules  (Jakob Garal, June 2007) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (Douglas Zare, Mar 2003) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (Craig E. Groeschel+, Sept 1998) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (David Montgomery, May 1997) 
Heyken & Fischer: The Backgammon Handbook  (Martin Fischer, Sept 1998) 
Heyken & Fischer: The Backgammon Handbook  (Marina Smith, Feb 1998) 
Hickey & Storer: What's Your Game Plan?  (Timothy Chow, May 2011) 
Jacoby & Crawford: The Backgammon Book  (Patrick Wilken, Aug 1991) 
Kansil: The Backgammon Quiz Book  (Daniel Murphy, July 1997) 
Kansil: The Backgammon Quiz Book--Five problems  (Chuck Bower, Oct 1997)  [Long message]
Kennedy & Papazian: Backgammon Master Games  (Ben Fairbank+, Apr 1999) 
Kershaw: Backgammon Funfair  (Tom Keith+, July 2012) 
Kershaw: Backgammon Funfair  (Peter Bennet, May 2012) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles  (Harold Simon+, Oct 2001) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles  (Mark Driver, July 2001) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles--Snowie analysis  (Michael Schell, Oct 2001) 
Lamford: Improve Your Backgammon  (Alef Rosenbaum, May 2003) 
Leet: Winning Backgammon  (Ryan Long, Apr 2002) 
Leet: Winning Backgammon  (MW Book Review, July 1999) 
Lortz: Double ... now: An Authentic Cube Remedy  (Chuck Bower+, Jan 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Mabardi & Luce: Vanity Fair's Backgammon to Win  (Paul Tanenbaum, Feb 1998) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (Baldo+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon  (Neil Kazaross, July 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1999) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (Dean Gay, Sept 1999) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (David Montgomery+, Aug 1997) 
Magriel: Backgammon--2004 Edition  (Tom Keith+, Dec 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon--GnuBG evaluations  (Randy, July 2008) 
Martyn: Phillip Martyn on Backgammon  (Steve Brorens+, Nov 1996) 
Munchkin: Gambling Wizards  (Chuck Bower, Aug 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Obolensky & James: Backgammon the Action Game  (Edward D. Collins+, Oct 1999) 
Reese & Brinig: Backgammon: The Modern Game  (Al Mirpuri+, Sept 2011) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Paul Epstein, July 2005) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Albert Silver, Nov 2002) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Tore Fredriksen, July 2002) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Erik M Sørensen, May 2000) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Daniel Hollis, May 2000) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems #75  (Hardy Hübener+, Nov 2005) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Doni+, Jan 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Scott Steiner+, Sept 2002) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (James Eibisch, Jan 1998) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Allen R. Adams, Nov 1995) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon #165  (Peter Grotrian+, Mar 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--Errata  (Matt Senecal+, Nov 2004) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Øystein Johansen, June 2001) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Alexander Nitschke, Feb 1997) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Peter Fankhauser, Jan 1996) 
Robertie: Backgammon for Winners  (Carl Tait, Aug 1998) 
Robertie: Backgammon for Winners  (Gerry Tesauro, Oct 1993) 
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Mattias+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Gregg Cattanach, Oct 2002) 
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Frank Mazza+, May 2002) 
Robertie: Reno 1986  (AH+, Aug 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Shiina: Cube Action 1000  (Mochy, Feb 2013) 
Steed: Backgammon: The Meanest Game  (Albert Steg, Aug 1998) 
Stern: Backgammon: The Quick Course to Winning Play  (Mark Driver, May 2001) 
Storer: Backgammon Praxis  (Chase+, Apr 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Storer: Backgammon Praxis  (Marty Storer+, May 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Thorne's Backgammon Tactics (Reprint)  (Sam Sloan, July 2012) 
Tremaine: Amazing Book of Backgammon  (Jim Wallace, Feb 1998) 
Trice: Backgammon Boot Camp--2nd edition  (Jeremy Bagai+, June 2007) 
Tzannes brothers: Backgammon Games and Strategies  (Mark Driver, Apr 2001) 
Tzannes brothers: Backgammon Games and Strategies  (Albert Steg, May 1994) 
Tzannes brothers: How Good Are You at Backgammon?  (Mark Driver, July 2001) 
Wiggins: Boards, Blots, and Double Shots  (Ned Cross+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Williams: Backgammon Live in London  (Sean Williams+, June 2008) 
Woolsey & Beadles: 52 Great Backgammon Tips  (Paul Epstein+, Dec 2007) 
Woolsey & Beadles: 52 Great Backgammon Tips  (Mislav Radica+, Oct 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Woolsey & Jones: Understanding Backgammon  (Jon Nall+, Feb 2004) 
Woolsey: How to Play Tournament Backgammon  (John Bazigos, Oct 1994) 
Woolsey: The Backgammon Encyclopedia Vol 1  (Dean Gay+, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page