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Marty Storer's reading list

From:   Larry Hunter
Date:   21 May 1992
Subject:   Bibliography

One more for the FAQ.  Before Marty Storer left the list, I pestered
him for an annotated bibliography.  He came through in grand style.
Here it is:

Must have:

_Backgammon_, Paul Magriel, NY Times/Quadrangle Press, New York 1976.
  The best introduction to the game.  Covers basic checker play very well.
  If you read and thoroughly understand this book, you'll play a decent
  game. Weaknesses--skimpy treatment of the doubling cube.

_Genud_vs_Dwek:_The_1981_World_Backgammon_Championship_ (or similar title),
Bill Robertie, The Gammon Press, Arlington, Mass. 1982.
  Very thorough coverage of the 25-point finals of the 1981 Monte Carlo
  tournament.  Goes into quite a bit of detail about ins and outs of match
  play. Excellent section on backgames.  I've referred to this as
  Robertie(red) since it has a red cover 8-).

_Backgammon_With_The_Champions_, Kent Goulding, ~1980-82.
  Series of annotated matches between good players.  Forget how many in
  all. Excellent material, giving very good insight into how top players
  think. Commentary by Goulding, often in collaboration with Kit Woolsey;
  both of these guys are very, very strong players.  Let's see, the matches
  are Seidel vs. Hodis; Magriel vs. Sconyers; Genud vs. Posner; Pasko vs.
  Motakhasses; two (?) 5-point matches in one volume:  Lester vs. Horan and
  Woolsey vs. Pasko; Robertie vs. Senkiewicz; Goulding vs. Maxakuli; Dwek
  vs. Chafetz; Ballard vs. Lubetkin; Eisenberg vs. Magriel(?); and more I
  can't remember.  I can't recommend this series too highly (though Genud
  vs. Posner was a lousy match).

_Advanced_Backgammon_ (2nd edition; two volumes), Bill Robertie, Gammon
Press, Arlington, Mass. '91.
  I haven't seen this yet--only the first edition of one volume.  Series of
  problems, giving very good introduction to truly advanced concepts.
  Errors in first edition are supposedly corrected.  The first edition is
  what I call Robertie(blue); the second is Robertie(white).

_Backgammon_Times_, all back editions.
  This was a very good backgammon newspaper that was around in about
  '82-'83. A lot of interesting articles by top players and analysts.
  Probably hard to get these days.

_Reno_1986_, Bill Robertie, The Gammon Press, Arlington, Mass. 1987.
  Two annotated matches from the very strong Reno tournament of '86.
  Semifinal match is between Nack Ballard and Mike Senkiewicz; an excellent
  match, well annotated.  Finals between Ballard and Howard Markowitz.  The
  book is in quiz format, so you can test your skill against Ballard's
  (well, kind of: Ballard had to find his moves over-the-board under great
  pressure--nothing like the finals of a big tournament to get the
  adrenalin flowing!).  I've only found a couple of mistakes in the
  annotations.  This book is referred to as Robertie(yellow).

_World_Class_Backgammon_,_Move_By_Move_, Roy Friedman, 1989 or 90; forget
other publication info.
  Annotated matches between Robertie and "international star" Rick Barabino
  (Barabino is strong, but "international star"--I dunno...).  Three
  9-point matches with some excellent games (check out the second game of
  the first match particularly).  Annotations are very good; Friedman put a
  lot of work into rolling out many of the diagrammed positions.  The
  annotation style is terse; Friedman takes a very scientific approach.

_Vision_Laughs_at_Counting_ (two volumes), Danny Kleinman, ~1978.
-all other material by Kleinman is "must have"--write to him at 5312-1/2
Village Green, Los Angeles, CA 90016 and tell him I sent ya.
  Seminal work on match play, money play, doubling cube, races, and more.
  Kleinman is very prolific.  His analyses are often more mathematical than
  the average reader can handle, but Real Mathematicians [tm] and even the
  layperson with math aptitude shouldn't be fazed.  A Real Mathematician
  wouldn't call Kleinman's math "deep", but it sure is accurate, and you
  won't find anything similar anywhere else.  He does the important work of
  formulating the right problems the right way, where many others couldn't.

  Drawbacks:  his books are self-published with lousy layout and graphics.
  He's supposedly not that great a player (I've never seen him play), so
  his analyses often lack the world-class insight into the thought
  processes of the strong practical player that you could get from a
  Goulding or a Robertie.  In particular, his middle-game intuition seems
  less than world-class. But these drawbacks are more than made up for by
  the wealth of information in his books, which I still haven't completely
  soaked up after many years. Kleinman is a subtle thinker and a meticulous
  analyst of the countable, and he does a lot to develop backgammon
  "vision."  His stuff is often uproariously funny, but sometimes one gets
  impatient trying to filter out what's relevant to the practical player
  from the humor.

  I repeat--all his books are "must have's" for the serious player.
  They're a bit expensive since I think he bears all the production costs
  himself, but for the serious player they're worth every cent.

Pretty Good Books But Not "Must Have's":

  _Backgammon_For_Profit_, Joe Dwek, Stein and Day, New York 1975 (out of
    Problems that would now be considered fairly basic.  Almost all
    solutions are right.  Tables of replies to opening moves show how badly
    people played
    in 1975.

  _Paradoxes_and_Probabilities_, Barclay Cooke, Random House, New York
    This is almost a "must have."  168 problems, most of which are very
    interesting.  Current thinking is that solutions to about a third of
    them are wrong, but the analysis gives very good insight into how
    Cooke, a
    first-generation world class player, thought about backgammon.

  _The_Doubling_Cube_In_Backgammon_, Jeff Ward, Aquarian Enterprises,
  San Diego 1982.
    Goes into basic doubling-cube concepts and gives some benchmark
    positions with equities derived from rollouts.  Gives some bearoff
    tables, etc. Analysis of benchmark positions is pretty good but
    sometimes skimpy; Ward only admits to having done 100-200 rollouts to
    derive his equities.
    Worth having.

  _Backgammon_Master_Games_, Bill Kennedy and Chuck Papazian, 1982 (forget
  other publication info).
    Annotated games and positions from master match play.  Analysis is
    largely based on intuitive concepts, and isn't well grounded in
    match-equity considerations etc.  Not well supported by rollouts; a
    fair amount of
    errors, but the analysis overall is pretty sound.

Other books that I've read aren't worth much, including
_Competitive_Backgammon_ Vol._II_, Mike Labins, Marty Storer, and Bill
Tallmadge, Competitive Backgammon Publications, Syracuse 1981.  (It was
good for the time but would be considered lousy now.)

As I mentioned before, you can reach Gammon Press at (617)641-2091,
fax: (617)648-8041 or PO Box 294 Arlington, MA 02174 USA

Lawrence Hunter, PhD.
National Library of Medicine
Bldg. 38A, MS-54
Bethesda. MD 20894
(301) 496-9300
(301) 496-0673 (fax) (internet)
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Extreme Gammon
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Match Play at 2-away/2-away
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Strategy--Bearing Off
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