Position 87, page 170
From The Backgammon Book, by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford

White to play 5-4.

In Position 87 black doubled you a couple of rolls back and has succeeded in completing a prime against your two back men. You proceed to roll 5-4. You have one, and only one, good play here. This is to move the man on your eleven point to your bar point and a man from the black twelve point to your eight point.

You won’t be happy if black then rolls a 5, and hits your blot on your bar point, but the game won’t be lost. If you fail to enter on his one point for several rolls and he fails to roll another 5 in that same period, you will hold your position while he will have to break first his prime and then his board.

Even if he gets his other man on your two point out and away and hits the blot you have left on his twelve point, you will still be holding the one point in his board and have a chance to win the game if he fails to roll safe numbers.

If he does not roll a 5 on his first roll (and remember that the odds are twenty-five to eleven that he won’t) you will have two men in position to complete your own prime. If you succeed in this, since he will be more advanced in his board than you are, the odds are that he will have to break his prime first, whereupon you should win the game easily.

As a matter of minor interest, if instead of a 5 he rolls double 3 or double 4, he will be forced to break his prime then and there, and you would be able to double him immediately.

11/7, 13/8
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Tom Keith 2013 
Money play
White owns 2-cube
White rolls 5-4

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

5-4: Game BG   Equity
1 13/8, 11/7 W
−0.0502 x  *
2 13/9, 13/8 W
−0.1413 (0.0911) 

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No. 86, page 169
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No. 88, page 172

List of Positions from The Backgammon Book

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

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