Backgammon Books

  Backgammon Praxis
The Matches of Malcolm Davis

  AUTHOR: Marty Storer
  YEAR: 2005
  PUBLISHER: Fortuitous Press
  CITY: San Francisco
  ISBN: 0-943292-36-0
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: 243
  SIZE: 28 cm high, 21.5 cm wide
Volume 1

Backgammon Praxis is a two-volume set containing detailed analyses of three matches played by Malcolm Davis, one of the most successful tournament players of all time. Each interesting position in the matches is illustrated and discussed. A unique feature of the book is that many alternate plays are also illustrated and discussed in considerable detail. Snowie 3.2 was used to provide evaluations and/or rollouts of the positions. See Storer's preannouncement of the book here. The website has PDF samples of the introduction and first game.

     "These books describe three matches played by backgammon expert Malcolm Davis between 1997 and 2001. However they are more than simple annotations. Storer spends a great deal of time exploring alternatives and considering possibilities. The games are like chapters, each ending with a summary of the lessons learned. The presentation is wonderful; the writing engaging. With the addition of Backgammon Praxis, Fortuitious Press has put together a very fine offering of backgammon material. Any intermediate or advanced player will enjoy this book."—Tom Keith, May 2005


     "I just don't have enough time and space to say more good things about Backgammon Praxis. It is the best match analysis book I've ever seen. ... The quality of play by the four world-class players is quite good, and the games are very instructive. Much of the book may be over the heads of beginners. However, it is a superb book for those intermediates looking to become strong advanced players, and a great tool for experts looking to further improve."—Neil Kazaross, Flint Area BackgammoNews, May 2005


     "Backgammon Praxis is Marty Storer's first foray into serious writing. The book analyses three matches played by the very strong U.S. player Malcolm Davis, against Ed O'Laughlin, Frank Talbot, and Storer himself. It is extremely well written and include copious diagrams, many for potential variations to the actual plays made. The players have also added their comments on some of the moves."—Chris Bray, in Second Wind


     "These books are a must have for any student of the game. They use diagrams very liberally, not only showing the continuation of the game, but illustrating the alternatives he discusses.
      Marty does a great job of including bot evaluations and rollouts in his analysis. And he conveniently presents these tables right along side his analysis, so you're not constantly fumbling through the appendix to get at them.
      Including comments and analysis from the actual players is a nice feature. It's always great to get inside the mind of a world class player and understand his over-the-board thought process. However a good number of them don't contribute much. Comments like 'I should have made the 2 point.'
      Backgammon Praxis is of such consistently high quality that it's easy to get spoiled and want more, more, more. Hey, Marty, when can we expect volumes 3 and 4?"—Dean Gay, April 2007

Match 2:  Malcolm Davis vs. Marty Storer
Game 1:  (Needs 7; Needs 7)
Game 2:  (Needs 7; Needs 6)
Game 3:  (Needs 5; Needs 6)
Game 4:  (Needs 4; Needs 6)
Game 5:  (Needs 4; Needs 2)
Game 6:  (Needs 2; Needs 2)
Match 2:  Conclusion

Match 3:  Malcolm Davis vs. Frank Talbot
Game 1:  (Needs 17; Needs 17)
Game 2:  (Needs 17; Needs 15)
Game 3:  (Needs 17; Needs 11)
Game 4:  (Needs 16; Needs 11)
Game 5:  (Needs 16; Needs 10)
Game 6:  (Needs 14; Needs 10)
Game 7:  (Needs 14; Needs 6)
Game 8:  (Needs 14; Needs 2)
Match 3:  Conclusion

  COVER: With move-by-move commentary from all four world-class players:
Ed O'Laughlin, Frank Talbot, Marty Storer, and Malcolm Davis.

Marty Storer is an avid analyst and was once an avid player. He's been playing since 1975 and is fond of nostalgic reminiscence about the quaint style of the Good Old Days. He won the first American Backgammon Tour in 1993, and by 1995 he was ranked 13th on Kent Goulding's International Rating List. He's now in semi-retirement from tournament play: "One big tournament a year if I'm lucky," he says wistfully. He compensates by analyzing matches, far past midnight in his cluttered study. Where is he at this moment? Above in the digs, chattering at his pet bots, JellyFish, GNUBG, and Snowie.
      His other passion is anagramming. There are anagram-bots, but Marty would die before calling on them for help. "They're better at calculating, but I'm more of an artist. I know the language better than any bot," he observes. His magnum opus anagrammicus is Lo, Martin's Pen Mashes O.J.: A Murder Mystery in Sequenced Anagrams. He hopes someday to arrange a challenge match against the anagrammist, backgammon superstar, and Scrabble guru Nack Ballard.
      Marty's day job involves leading a team of fine software engineers, a task that has been likened to hearding cats. When he's not engaged in his shepherding duties, Marty can occasionally be glimpsed in online backgammon forums, or as mws on FIBS. He lives in the New Hampshire flatlands, new England, USA, with his wife, three children, dog, and two cats.

   Competitive Backgammon, Volume 2
A Collection of World Class Games
Featuring Paul Magriel

Mike Labins, Marty Storer, Bill Tallmadge
1980: Competitive Backgammon Publications, Syracuse, New York
   What's Your Game Plan?
Backgammon Strategy in the Middle Game
Mary Hickey, Marty Storer
2011: GammonGo Publishing, Columbus, Ohio

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