Forum Archive : Terminology

"Short play"

From:   AJ
Address:   dasupahdude@gmail.com
Date:   1 July 2012
Subject:   Rule check?
Forum:   BGonline.org Forums

.    13  14  15  16  17  18      19  20  21  22  23  24
    |                       |   |  O  O   O       O     |
    |                       |   |  O  O   O       O     |
    |                       |   |     O   O       O     |
    |                       |   |                 O     |
    |                       |   |                       |
    |                       |   |                       |
    |                       |   |                       |
    |                       | O |                       |
    |                       |   |             X         |
    |                       |   |             X         |
    |                       |   |     X       X         |
    |                       |   |     X   X   X   X   O |
    |                       |   | X   X   X   X   X   O |
     12  11  10   9   8   7       6   5   4   3   2   1

     X to play 6-4

I ran into this position on gnubg and it said that 6/2, 5/off was the best
move but i didn't think that was a legal move, so my question is
essentially, is it?  Or am I required to do 6/off, 4/off because it uses
the most possible pips?

Daniel Murphy  writes:

> I ran into this position on gnubg and it said that 6/2, 5/off was the
> best move but i didn't think that was a legal move, so my question is
> essentially, is it?


> Or am I required to do 6/off 4/off because it uses the most possible
> pips?


Prince Barlow  writes:

A common name for it is the "short play."

Tom Keith  writes:

Oswald Jacoby wrote (in a 1981 Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine article, see

    There were no formal laws in those days [circa 1930] and Wheaton
    Vaughan, secretary of the Racquet Club Backgammon and Card Committee,
    decided there should be some. He invited all interested clubs to form a
    committee and the New York Men's Clubs, the Philadelphia Racquet, and
    the Longwood Cricket Club all sent representatives, while many out of
    ten clubs such as the Pacific Union in San Francisco, wrote saying they
    would accept those new laws.

    I got on the committee as representative of the Knickerbocker Whist
    Club, and the committee, largely due to indefatigable work by Wheaton
    Vaughan, did such a good job that current laws show practically no

    The big argument was whether or not in bearing off you could play 6-1
    by moving a man from the six point to the five point and then bearing
    him off, or if you had to bear him from the six point and play the one
    with some other man.

    Due to strong support by Vaughan, Walter Beinecke, Grosvenor Nicholas,
    and Phil Randolph, the right decision was made. I was the youngest man
    on the committee, and while I was in total agreement, I was just one
    minor vote on the right side.
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