Backgammon Books

  Conquering Backgammon
The path to advanced play

  AUTHOR: Ed Rosenblum
  YEAR: 2015
  PUBLISHER: Essential Backgammon
  CITY: Santa Fe, New Mexico
  ISBN: 1936672944
  ISBN-13: 978-1936672943
  BINDING: Hardcover
  PAGES: viii+256
  SIZE: 26 cm high, 18 cm wide
This full-color hardcover book contains two volumes. Volume 1 (the first 100 pages) is a refresher if you haven't played in a while or if you are a complete novice. Once you've mastered the skills in Volume 1, you will move on to Volume 2. There you will hone your play to become an advanced player.

     "I liked this book and I learned from it. There were several positions that I had to set up and do some variants to understand but I learn best that way. Worth reading."—Ken Bame, BGOnline forum, January 2016


     "I regard 'Conquering BG' and 'From beginner to badass' as the best current books for people that want to learn more than the basics."—Frank Berger, BGOnline forum, January 2016

Volume 1: Refining the Basics

1. Introduction
  Why backgammon
  About this book

2. Basic Rules
  Setting up the board
  Beginning your turn
  Checker movement
  Making a point
  Blots, hits, and the bar
  Bearing off
  Ending your turn
  Gammons and backgammons

3. Probability
  Computing probabilities
  Probability table
  Direct versus combination shots
  Blocked combination shorts
  Multiple checker shots
  Shot counting exercises
  Entering from the bar

4. Basic Strategy
  Criitical Points
    Creating builders
    Point making
    Eligible and ineligible builders
    Creating anchors
      Anchor or cover
      Anchor or hit
      Barpoint anchor
    Anchors as a defense
    Multiple anchors
    Abondoning anchors
    Building primes
    Escaping primes

5. Opening Moves

6. Doubling basics
  When to double
  When to take/drop
  Doubling in a race

7. Counting
  Basic counting
  Crossover counting
  Cluster counting
    Cluster counting problems
    Cluster counting answers
  Mental shifting
    Mental shifting problems
    Mental shifting answers

8. First Game
  Opening roll
  Reply to the opening move
  Make a decision
  Establish an anchor
  Build a four point prime
  Take half a roll away
  Create and eligible builder
  Run to the midpoint
  Build a board
  Clear a stack
  Make a run for it
  Commit to the race
  Race to the finish

9. End Game
  Trice triangle
  Bearing in
    Unimpeded bear in
    Impeded bear in
  The last desperate roll
  Avoiding gammons

Volume 2: The Path to Advanced Play

10. Equity

11. Game Plans
    Basic priming
    Prime vs. prime
    Basic ambush
    Backgames (evolved ambush)
  Exercise — choosing the right game plan
    Game plan exercise
    Game plan answers

12. Strategic Concepts
  Board strength

13. Playing Tactics
  Play now or pay later
  Double hit
  Close out
  Switching points
  Saving numbers

14. Doubling tactics
  Woolsey's law
  Simborg's law
  Market losers
  Racing doubles — Keith count
  Racing doubles — Reichert count
    Reichert quick computational formula
  Priming doubles (prime vs. prime)
  Early doubles
  Too good to double
  Reference positions — doubling

15. Match play
  Automatic doubles (post crawford strategy)
  Free drops
  Gammon go, gammon save, and DMP
  Introduction to match equities
    Rockwell-Kazaross match equity table
    Neil's numbers
    Turner match equity formula
    Match equity problems
  Introduction to take points
    Take point formula
    Take point computational formula
    Take point table: 2 away to 7 away

16. Challenging Positions
  Second man up
  A choice of three sixes
  Pressure from a four cube chouette double
  Is it a take with 13 men off
  Blot inside or blot outside
  Tough choice for a four
  Can red escape in time
  Goldilocks and the three moves
  An abundance of fives

17. Appendix
  Replies to opponent's opening moves

18. Bibliography

  QUOTES: "Conquering Backgammon is impressive in its content and masterful in its presentation. With the included bot support, I can imagine the volume supplanting a book such as Magriel's 'Backgammon' as the standard introductory backgammon primer. In addition, the second part of the book will elevate intermediate players to an advanced level and beyond."—Bill Riles, President, USBGF
      "I recommend Conquering Backgammon to all of my students and to anyone interested in improving their game. The book is extremely well-organized, beautifully illustrated, and the information is current and spot on. It is presented in two volumes. The first volume is designed for beginners or as a refresher for people getting back into the game. The second volume contains all the ingredients to move the beginner or intermediate player to an advanced level. It would be impossible to read this book and not see major improvements in one’s game. Highly recommended."—Phil Simborg, Official Teaching Professional, USBGF
      "Wow, Wow, Wow, Ed really has a gift for explanations. I learned a lot, especially how to use strategies and formulas for positional doubling and racing doubles. Best explanation I have ever read regarding the doubling cube. Love the reference positions, especially with blitz. The Appendix that includes plays at Gammon Go, Gammon Save, and Double Match Point is invaluable. I am confident that Conquering Backgammon will take my game to the next level."—Julius High, First place winner of 2014 Atlanta, Madison, & Kansas City Championships

I was addicted to it in the seventies and continued to play often in the ensuing years. I joined clubs, started clubs, played in chouettes, read whatever I could find. After moving to Santa Fe, I joined the Backgammon club of Santa Fe. I headed up to my first ABT (American Backgammon Tour) tournament in the Fall of 2009. I decided to play in the Open and thanks to some backgammon street smarts and very kind dice gods, I went on to finish second against an outstanding field of backgammon giants. More than that, I was re-hooked into this exciting game but realized how much it had changed in the past twenty years. Players could now analyze games and positions with powerful computerized backgammon programs that didn't exist in the seventies. "Correct plays" from the seventies had to be re-examined. Thus began my journey. Much of this book is an outgrowth of that discovery process.
      Teaching backgammon for many years has helped me understand what students can learn easily and what is more difficult. Using eXtreme Gammon, I analyzed thousands of positions and categorized them into critical playing concepts. These concepts were continuously refined based on student feedback and then factored into underlying principles.

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