Backgammon Books

  100 Backgammon Puzzles
A Champion's Guide to Testing Your Skills
and Improving Your Game

  AUTHOR: Paul Lamford
  YEAR: 1999
  PUBLISHER: The Lyons Press
  CITY: New York
  ISBN: 1-58574-209-0
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: 128
  SIZE: 21 cm high, 14 cm wide
  NOTE: Originally published in 1999 by Chameleon Books, an imprint of André Deutsch, Ltd., UK.

     "This book is a great little package. It consists of 50 checker play and 50 cube problems, with some brief introductory material on objectives, rules, etc. The positions range from obviously easy to deep thought provoking. After working through the problems you can estimate your Elo rating based on the author's observed experience of other players answers.
      This book has a number of things going for it. Firstly its cheap so good value for money. Secondly its small and easily portable — just the ticket to leave in your jacket pocket and thumb through while on the train/bus etc. Paul's concise 'Tips' and 'Hints' for each problem are a great feature which sum up the important issues in handy memorable 'sound bites'.
      My subjective criticism of the book: The board images are a bit large, smaller boards could have enabled the inclusion of more problems. The format of the answers (beneath the board positions of the following pages) can take a little getting used to."—Mark Driver, July 2001


     "This book is fun. There are 100 positions, each followed by a short answer and a quick tip. The puzzles are challenging, sometimes too challenging. That's because some of them are slightly wrong, despite being checked by Snowie 2 and Jellyfish. I think the book is worthwhile for a strong player who will not be misled by the overly simplistic tips, some of which are quite wrong."—Douglas Zare, October 2001


     "Paul Lamford, a fine British player, starts off with basic strategy and moves into the bulk of the book which includes 50 checker play problems and 50 cube decisions. The problems demonstrate decisions from basic strategy to some of the more complex intricacies of the game. Answers are backed up with analysis by Jellyfish and Snowie. An interesting feature of the book is a rating system where you can look up an estimate of your rating based on the number of questions you answered correctly. I really like Lamford's problems including the hints, tips, and lucid explanations."—Martin Short, October 2001


     "I have about a dozen backgammon books and this is one of the better ones. The positions included cover a huge range of situations and teach a lot of useful key positions. I find his tips and various rules of thumb highly educational.
      Personally, I much prefer Lamford's writing style to Robertie's. It's clear, helpful and straightforward (not sensationalist). His PRAT (position, race and threats) advice on doubling is something I've seen nowhere else, and it's a very useful tool indeed.
      It's good for beginners keen to get into the more complex aspects of the game and intermediates working to improve, but experts may find the limited amount of deep analysis disappointing (I'm rated about 1800 on FIBS)."—Alef Rosenbaum, Customer Review at, March 2002

Basic Strategy
Part One: Checker Plays
Part Two: Cube Decisions

Computer Programs
The Internet
Chart for converting score to International Rating
  COVER: 100 Backgammon Puzzles contains fascinating and challenging backgammon puzzles that can be enjoyed without ever setting up a board. The first half of the book presents decisions on checker plays, while the second half deals with decisions on whether ot double and whether to accept an offered cube.
      The book begins with a brief, yet thorough, introduction to the basic strategy of the game, and below each illustrated puzzle are some valuable hints and tips to help guide both the experienced and casual player. Also included is a handy glossary of backgammon terms and a chart for converting score to international rating.

Paul Lamford was 1993 British Backgammon Champion and is currently the highest-ranked British player. He is the author of The Amazing Book of Casion Games.

   Starting Out In Backgammon
Paul Lamford
2001: Everyman Publishers plc, London
   Improve Your Backgammon
Paul Lamford, Simon Gasquoine
2002: Everyman Publishers plc, London

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