Forum Archive : Books

Magriel: Backgammon

From:   David Montgomery
Date:   14 August 1997
Subject:   Players who became good before they read Magriel
Google:   5svrrn$

By far the best introductory backgammon book is Magriel's _Backgammon_.
When I first read Magriel, about 15 years ago, I was very weak, and
it transformed my game.  I always recommend reading Magriel to anyone
trying to improve.  For players who don't understand the fundamentals
of the game, studying this book and trying to apply its concepts over
the board invariably leads to tremendous improvement.

Recently I've been wondering how valuable reading Magriel is to someone
who has become good, or at least competent, *before* they read the book.

I would like to ask players who became good before reading Magriel
to write me to tell me their experiences.  Did you find that you
knew everything in the book?  Did you learn a lot?  Did it change
the way you looked at the game?  Most importantly, did reading it
help you play better?

I will provide a summary to anyone who wants one, or post here if
there seems to be interest.

David Montgomery
monty on FIBS

Morten Daugbjerg  writes:

My rating on FIBS was stabilized at around 1700 b4 i read Magriel.
The only book i read before that was Jeff Ward: Winning is more fun.

I learned a lot from Ward. It gave me insigth to more advanced topics than
I thought existed in BG (yeah, I know. Its pretty non-advanced these

Mostly I learned the play on FIBS, watching , asking, watching, and playing,
and finally asking a bit more.
I was looking very much forward to reading Magriel...
Mostly because i reckoned that I knew a lot of aspects of the game, but i
needed a better 'flow' in my game.

First time i read Magriel, I got the feeling i knew it all. Only a few
moves were new to me, mainly more ways of duplication than I had thought
of. But then i reread it, skipping the first part of the book, the
introduction to the game and tried to understand why expert players thought
highly of the book.

And i began to understand the 'flow' in the game better. The concept of
gameplans, and when to change your plan. I will not say that Magriel
changed my play dramatically, or improved it a lot, but it was definitely
worth reading. Most of the book is very basic, but each and every aspect is
important to understand, and i havent read a book since that pointed out
the basics this clear.

I feel that since then I has got a much better view of the game, a better
feeling with it, but wether its Magriel or simply playing a lot and
asking good players is hard to say. My rating on Fibs varies now between
1750 and 1850.

Bottom of the line : Read it, read it and the reread it.

Best regards,
Morten Daugbjerg  aka  md 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