Checker Quiz Answers
Bill Robertie, 1981
Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine, June 1981
light bulb These are the answers to the Checker Quiz presented here.


Problem 1
Black to play 6-3.
12/9, 10/4. Black can escape the gammon with 4-4.

Problem 2
Black to play 5-1.
5/4/off. The alternate play 5/off, 3/2 leaves Black vulnerable to a double shot after 6-3, 5-3, or 4-3.

Problem 3
Black to play 4-2.
18/14, 3/1. Keeps pressure on the thirteen point and maintains the inner board.

Problem 4
Black to play 6-1.
13/7, 8/7. Black tries to complete a prime while White's inner board is weak.

Problem 5
Black to play 6-3.
24/15. 21/12* leaves Black much more likely to be gammoned while not yielding much in the way of winning chances.

Problem 6
Black to play 6-4.
20/16, 20/14. Black keeps communication while escorting his checkers home.

Problem 7
Black to play 6-1.
4/off, 4/3. Just as many shots next turn as with 4/off, 1/off; however, much safer on the second turn.

Problem 8
Black to play 5-1.
11/5*. The race is only even; the hit makes Black a 2-to-1 favorite.

Problem 9
Black to play 6-1.
7/1*, 6/5. The hit is mandatory. Playing 6/5 diversifies Black's numbers next turn. If White manages to hit on the one point, Black will have 1's, 2's, and 5's to enter, 3's and 4's to hit.

Problem 10
Black to play 6-1.
20/19*, 20/14. In case White throws his miracle number from the bar, Black will have more return hits with this play.

Problem 11
Black to play 6-1.
13/7, 24/23. 24/23 freezes the checkers on the seventeen point.

Problem 12
Black to play 6-1.
15/9, 6/5. If Black plays 15/14, White will be able to hit with 2's and move safely by with larger numbers. Only 1's will be bad. By remaining on the fifteen point, all 1's and 2's are awkward for White, forcing him to either leave a shot or lose ground in the race.

Problem 13
Black to play 1-1.
5/4(2), 7/6(2). Black reaches a safe position with this play. The gap on the five point is not serious; only six numbers leave a shot.

Problem 14
Black to play 4-4.
13/9(2), 6/2*(2). This play forces White forward and minimizes the overall danger.

Problem 15
Black to play 6-2.
4/off, 3/1. Equivalent to 4/off, 4/2 unless Black's next roll is 1-1, in which case this play is superior.

Problem 16
Black to play 3-1.
6/5, 6/3. The more flexible position gives long-term safety.

Problem 17
Black to play 3-2.
3/off, 2/off. Small risk for extra gammon chances.

Problem 18
Black to play 4-1.
8/4, 18/17. Black's shots next turn are maximized if he isn't on the bar.

Problem 19
Black to play 6-5.
18/7. The wrong time to take chances with any of the more aggressive plays. Black owns the cube and should bide his time and see what happens later.

Problem 20
Black to play 2-1.
13/10. The twenty-two point is meaningless here. Black is ahead in the race and should keep his back men poised to escape. An anchor on the twenty-two point could prove to be a trap.

More articles by Bill Robertie

More quizzes

Backgammon Galore