Backgammon Books

  Backgammon for Losers

  AUTHOR: Simon Hill
  YEAR: 2015
  PUBLISHER: Couper Street Books
  ISBN: 978-0-99344054-0-2
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: 249
  SIZE: 21.5 cm high, 14 cm wide
"The idea of this book is to enthuse beginners with an account not just about how to get started in this brilliant game, but also containing some of the great characters, stories and photographs from backgammon, something I don't think the current much more technically proficient books out there have included.
      It's become clear to me that I've rushed the book out too quickly and I'm very lucky that in this day and age a book can be quickly amended and uploaded again. Chris Bray and Phil Simborg are now helping me to improve the technical side of the book."—Simon Hill, November 2015

     "Firstly it is clear that the book has not been proof-read by an expert or even a competent player. If so they would have picked up the many very basic errors including: wrong diagrams, wrong solutions, invalid solutions, duplicated diagrams, duplicated sentences and historical errors. I find it hard to believe that the publishers couldn’t have picked up some of these very basic mistakes. As a simple example I am quoted as defining a basic safety rule in bear-offs. I would love to have been the first to document it but that was actually done some 40 years ago.
      The main problem with the book is that it is written by someone with just enough backgammon knowledge to sound credible some of the time but there are conceptual errors that make it incomprehensible in places. The author frequently equates match equity with game equity throughout the book — he never defines the difference between money play and match play — which made it hard for me to understand so it would be even worse for a beginner. He doesn't seem to understand simple probability — fanning three times on a two-point board is quoted as 200,000 to 1 rather the actual 729 to 1 and there are other examples. Terms are used before they are defined and some, for example 'rollout', are never defined. One of the things that I learnt when writing both Dummies and Backgammon to Win is just how precise you need to be in terms of sequencing information. There is one position, used to illustrate a point, that I don't think could occur naturally in a thousand years, if ever, and is utterly confusing.
      Finally you need to read the book in good light because of the font size which is too small and also some of the photos can't actually be seen easily due to low quality.
      The book requires substantial editing to bring it up to an acceptable level. The author and publisher should very quickly engage the help of an expert player to help them in this task as they will not be able to do it alone."—Chris Bray, BGOnline Forum, November 2015


     "I read it and whilst I probably wouldn't judge the writing quite as harshly as Chris has I would certainly say it is quite poor, and certainly of very little value to anyone who isn't a beginner. The issue with this as a beginner's book is that no information is better than wrong information, and there is a fair amount of that present. A few of the stories and anecdotes in the book are entertaining but it isn't to be regarded as a book for any form of serious study."—Alex Schofield, BGOnline Forum, November 2015


     "The book is lovely and fun for beginners and I recommend it highly. I provided a lot of help and material but did not edit the final copy and I completely agree with Chris that there are errors and some poor choices of diagrams and positions."—Phil Simborg, BGOnline Forum, November 2015


     "I'm pleased to say that after a lot of hard work by the author (Simon Hill), the publishers, myself, Phil Simborg, and others there is a new edition of "Backgammon for Losers" available. And the typeface has been increased to a much more sensible size."—Chris Bray, BGOnline Forum, January 2015

About the Author
Part One: Why Backgammon?
      Chaper 1: Chimp, Chump or Champ?
      Chaper 2: Backgammon Backstory
      Chaper 3: The Giants of the Game
Part Two: How to Play
      Chaper 4: Tools and Rules
      Chaper 5: Playing the Game
      Chaper 6: Opening Moves
      Chaper 7: The Early Game
      Chaper 8: The Middle Game
      Chaper 9: The Endgame
Part Three: How to Start Winning
      Chaper 10: Always Have a Game Plan
      Chaper 11: Tactical Play
      Chaper 12: Double the Trouble
      Chaper 13: Bringing Out Your Back Game
      Chaper 14: Number Crunching
      Chaper 15: Top Tips
      Chaper 16: Giant Laws
Part Four: When and Where to Play
      Chaper 17: Playing for Real
      Chaper 18: Rage Against the Machine
      Chaper 19: Next Moves
      Chaper 20: The Life in the Game and the Game in the Life
  COVER: Packed with examples, photos and anecdotes, this book combines professional experience with humour to offer the backgammon 'loser' an accessible guide to winning. The content has been tecchnically edited by Phil Simborg, a world-renowned professional player and teacher.

  QUOTES: "The best book on the market for the novice both in terms of its informative content and its style. There has for a long time been a need for a clear book for basic players to understand better how to become consistently good at backgammon. At last, here is a definitive and entertainiing guide to playing and winning at backgammon."—Michael Crane, British Isles Backgammon Association
"Any novice player setting out to become really strong at backgammon couldn't do better than pick up a copy of Backgammon for Losers."—Eric McAlpine, British Open Champion 2015
"Superb ... very funny but also perfect for basic players who want to go from losing to winning ... thoroughly engaging and clear, with many classic photos from the game's rich history. It takes you through all the major lessons of the game with great examples."—Martin Barkwill, British Open Champion 2014

Simon Hill has done his fair share of losing at backgammon before going on to play at international level, as a member of the UK team at the European Championships in Budapest and in the individual World Championships in Monaco. When not playing backgammon Simon runs a business, London Place, and lives in London with his wife, Trish, and their three children.

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