Position 77, page 158
From The Backgammon Book, by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford

White to play 5-3.

In Position 77 black is playing a back game. You roll 5-3 and are going to break either from your nine point (arriving at Position 78) or from your bar point (Position 79).

Which play should you make? Position 78 looks mighty pretty. You still hold five points in a row. But then the only really bad rolls for black would be those with a 6, which would force him to run from your three point, in which case you might hurt him badly (double 6 would not, of course, hurt him as much). If he doesn’t roll a 6, he will be forced to move in his inner board, but if he rolls double 5, 5-4, 5-3, 5-2, or 5-1, he won’t be able to play the five at all and will maintain his board. Then if you roll 6-5, you’ll have to move one man each from your eight and bar points and thus be exposed to any 4, 5, or 6, a total of twenty-seven rolls.

Position 79 doesn’t look as pretty, but it is a trifle more sound. To begin with, black will have to break one of the points in your board if he rolls double 4, 5-4, or any 6, a total of fourteen rolls. In Position 78 he has only eleven rolls that would force him to give up a point in your board. In addition, if black does maintain the status quo and you roll 6-5, you will still have to leave two blots, but you will be exposed to only twenty-four rolls instead of twenty-seven.

Thus we have a slight preference for getting to Position 79.

Pos 78: 9/4, 9/6 x
Pos 79: 7/2, 7/4
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Money play
Black owns 2-cube
White rolls 5-3

1296 games with VR
Checker play: 3-ply
Cube play: XG Roller

5-3: Game BG   Equity
1 9/6, 9/4 W
+0.9079 x  Pos 78
2 7/4, 7/2 W
+0.7701 (0.1378)  Pos 79

Previous Position
No. 76, page 157
Next Position
No. 80, page 160

List of Positions from The Backgammon Book

The Backgammon Book (1970), by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford

Backgammon Galore : Books