Backgammon Books

  Barr On Backgammon
A Collection of The Seattle Times Backgammon Columns

  AUTHOR: Ted Barr
  YEAR: 1981
  PUBLISHER: The Writing Works, Division of Morse Press, Inc.
  CITY: Seattle, WA
  ISBN: 0-916076-52-0
  BINDING: Hardcover
  PAGES: 202
  SIZE: 15 cm high, 22 cm wide

     "This well organized primer discusses the checker play of 120 positions. The positions are each chosen to discuss a prevailing theme such as when to run, the importance of an advanced anchor, or preventing a double. The book's audience is not for the beginner, as only 10 pages are devoted to rules, and no pages are devoted to the overly written about "how to play an opening roll of 3-1." For the intermediate to advanced player the 1-2 page discussions of each position are insightful. The analysis emphasizes fundamentals and the relative importance of the multiple objectives of each position. Some topics show two or more subtlety different positions to highlight the covered topic. Although some of the suggested plays can be shown inferior through rollouts, the logical analytic approach taken can benefit one's study of the game." —Walter Swan, February 1996


     "Tedd Barr tries to teach the readers of his newspaper columns (of which his book is a compilation) the principles of good backgammon. His columns are clear and conscientious discussions of particular concepts, usually illustrated by pairs of diagrams. He shows a position where the concept applies side-by-side with a second position where the concept does nto apply.
      Barr tries to give specific, simple princples to help the student. It is humbling, in a way, to see the many ways in which his noble effort fails. Most of the time, Barr's principles are sound. It is his applications of them which very often miss the mark."—Danny Kleinman, in Double Sixes from the Bar

Chapter I—Introduction to the Game
The Basics
Frequently Asked Questions
The Basic Strategies

Chapter II—The Positional Game
Leaving a Man Exposed
Bar Point vs. Five Point Part 1
Bar Point vs. Five Point Part 2
The Floating Bar Point Part 1
The Floating Bar Point Part 2
The Golden Point
When to Secure The Golden Point
When to Leave The Golden Point Part 1
When to Leave the Golden Point Part 2
Keeping Your Opponent Off His Golden Point
Slotting—What Is It and Why Do It?
Additional Reasons to Slot
When Not to Slot Part 1
When Not to Slot Part 2
Slotting Against the Bar
Slotting Without Opposition
Splitting Your Back Men
The Theory of Duplication

Chapter III—The Running Game
Run or Wait?
Bearing In with Possible Contact
Bearing In with No Possible Contact

Chapter IV—The Backgame
The Backgame Part 1
The Backgame Part 2
The Backgame Part 3
Defense Against the Backgame
Doubling in a Backgame Part 1
Doubling in a Backgame Part 2
The Holding Game

Chapter V—Evaluating Your Position
Evaluating Your Position at an Early to Middle Stage
Evaluating Your Position at a Late Stage
Which Strategy to Use and When
Why a Three Roll Lead is Necessary to Double

Chapter VI—Bearing Off
Bearing Off without Possible Contact
Bearing Off with Possible Contact
Avoiding Games
The Odd Even Rule
When You Must be Exposed
How Not to Limit Your Exposure
Maximizing Your Chances of Bearing Off in One Roll
Getting the Most Out of Each Roll
Desperation Doubles

Chapter VII—The Middle Game
Preventing Escape of Opponent's Last Runner Part 1
Preventing Escape of Opponent's Last Runner Part 2
Preventing Escape of Opponent's Last Runner Part 3
When to Let Your Opponent Out
Using Doubles Effectively
Using Doubles to Get Back in the Game
Using Double Offensively and Defensively
The Trap Play
How to Build a Prime
Where to Build a Prime
Subtle Aspects of Priming
Breaking Your Opponent's Prime Part 1
Breaking Your Opponent's Prime Part 2

Chapter VIII—The End Game
Preventing Opponent from Getting Back in the Game
Limiting Your Exposure and Maximizing Your Coverage
How to Avoid a Loss and Maximize a Gammon Chance
Setting Up for a Miracle Roll
When to Play Conservatively
Bearing in to Save a Gammon
Avoiding a Gammon—Run or Wait?
Blocking Your Opponent's Doubles
Playing Catch Up Backgammon
When You Must Have a Gammon
The Best Defense Can Be a Strong Offense
Switching Points to Maximize Your Coverage

Chapter IX—The Doubling Cube
Doubling Cube Basics
Position on the Board
Position of the Cube
Doubling and Redoubling
Doubling from the Bar
Frequent Questions About the Cube
End Game Doubling Tactics
Double Shot Doubling
Match Score and the Cube
How to Deter a Double

Chapter X—Tournament Play
Tournament Strategy and the Crawford Rule
The Jacoby Rule
Doubles Tournaments
Another Kind of Doubles Tournament
The I.T.T. Tournament—Paul Magriel
The I.T.T. Tournament—Lee Genud
The I.T.T. Tournament—Oswald Jacoby
The I.T.T. Tournament—Barclay Cooke
Side-by-Side Backgammon

  COVER: Barr On Backgammon is a collection of ninety of The Seattle Times best backgammon columns.
      The book features an introductory section which covers the fundamentals of the game for the non-player or novice. It also includes problems and answers challenging to the intermediate and advanced player on virtually every aspect of the game.
      The unique problem and answer format enables the reader to examine a particular situation and test himself before reading the author's in depth analysis of the play.
      The book includes problems and answers in areeas including the positional game, running game, backgame, middle game, bearing off, evaluating your position and the doubling cube.
      The author also recreates and discusses a number of situations which have appeared in northwest and major international tournaments. These situations include moves made by some of backgammon's greatest players including Paul Magriel, Lee Genud, Barclay Cooke and Oswald Jacoby.
      Whether your goal is to simply learn to play this fascinating game or become an accomplished money and tournament player, Barr On Backgammon has something for you.

  QUOTES: "A unique and interesting collection of backgammon columns. Good reading for anyone wishing to improve his game"—Paul Magriel, 1978 World Champion, Author of Backgammon.

"A wonderful compilation of backgammon problems to challenge and interest the beginner to the most ardent player."—Lee Genud, 1981 World Champion, Author of Lee Genud's Backgammon Book.

"How can anyone pass up a book by one of the most well read backgammon columnists? From the novice to the long time player who must have every book written on the subject this book has something for everyone."—Michael Maxakuli, Publisher, Las Vegas Backgammon Magazine

"This book is a collection of some of the best problems written by one of backgammon's foremost columnists. If you missed reading Ted's column in the Seattle Times you won't want to miss Barr On Backgammon. If you have read his column surely you will want a collection for your own. The books starts with the fundamentals, presents problems and answers on almost every area of the game and includes some very interesting situations involving the doubling cube and tournament situations. I recommend it to both the causal and serious player alike."—Sid Jackson, Executive Director, American Backgammon Players Association

Ted Barr is the northwest's leading backgammon professional.
      After graduating from law school Ted served as Assistant to the President of a major northwest bank. In 1976 he left he corporate field and soon becamse recognized as a leading writer and player of the game of backgammon.
      His backgammon column appears weekly in The Seattle Times. He also writes a monthly column for Gambling Times Magazine. Ted's firm, Ted Barr and Associates, conducts tournaments and clinics at many of the northwest's finest restaurants and private clubs. Mr. Barr also teaches at La Costa and on the Princess Cruise Ship Love Boat.
      Ted owns and operates The Game Gallery, one of the largest sophisticated games stores in the country, with locations in Seattle and Bellevue. He also owns Zemby's, a private backgammon club, in Bellevue, Washington.
      Ted lives in Bellevue with his wife Sharalyn, an officer at Washington Mutual Savings Bank, and their three your old daughter Brittany.

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Copyright © 1996-2016 by Tom Keith

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