Backgammon Books

  In the Game Until the End
Ace-point endgame analysis, the next generation

  AUTHOR: Robert Wachtel
  YEAR: 2014
  PUBLISHER: United States Backgammon Federation
  ISBN: 0989549607
  ISBN-13: 978-0989549608
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: xiv+112
  SIZE: 28 cm high, 21.1 cm wide
Volume 2 is an update of Volume 1 with some additional new materials, some new positions, and the benefit of XG rollout analyses that were not available in the early 1990's. Most readers, if they were only going to read one book, would opt for Volume 2; however, some might well wish to have both volumes to have a comparative history in the growth and development of the analytical and technical aspects of the game.

     "Obviously I'm not in Wachtel's league as a player (heck, few are), but that doesn't take away one iota from my enjoyment of his clear, lucid, snappy prose. A terrific book for affcionado and take-no-prisoners pro alike. Five stars."—Monte Montgomery, Amazon customer review, September 2015


     "I know from bitter experience how much organization and attention to detail are required to translate one’s gaming expertise into coherent lessons that a reader can easily digest. If I was able to pull off that feat in my Harrington on Holdem series, Bob has done no worse in writing about the game I loved before moving on to poker: backgammon. Though not for beginners, Bob's groundbreaking study of backgammon contact endings, using all the latest and greatest analysis tools, sheds a welcome light on an unexplored dimension of the game."—Dan Harrington, Amazon customer review, September 2015

Index of Diagrams



Chapter 1: In the Game Until the End in Retrospect
  Volume 1 versus Volume 2 stay or run summary table
  Volume 1 versus Volume 2 equity summary table

Chapter 2: The triplets

Chapter 3: Deep stacks

Chapter 4: Post-hit puzzles

Chapter 5: Ring theory

Chapter 6: To play an ace

Chapter 7: Too close to call

  COVER: In 1993 the international backgammon community was presented with a unique research report. Authored by the American expert, Robert Wachtel, In the Game Until the End set out to address the critical "stay or go" problems that arise at the eleventh hour of a well-timed ace-point game.
      This project was an extraordinarily ambitious one, for a proper solution to those questions required the resolution of some very thorning issue of fundamental backgammon theory — and, like all explorers of his era, Wachtel had no analysis programs to rely upon. His methods, instead were part science and part art. He rolled positions out by hand, gathered data from other experts, extrapolated, analogized, and calculated. His results have hardly been challenged in the 20-year interim. But that, of course, does not mean that they are, by today's standards, accurate.
      This second volume of In the Game Until the End is both a revision of and a sequel to that early, landmark work. Employing the contemporary professional's analysis program of choice, eXtreme Gammon 2 (XG2), Wachtel vets his prior investigations with extensive, high-level rollouts. He then employs the same cutting-edge tools to extend his research to ace-point problems of increasing complexity. But this is not another of those "because the bot says so" tracts. Always probing for the principle underlying the results the book's later chapters are studded with puzzles, oddities, and anomalies that demand — and receive — thoughtful interpretation.

  QUOTES: "In January 2012, while giving a lecture at the New Mexico Campionships in Santa Fe, I encouraged Bob Wachtel (who was in the audience) to finish the update/sequel to his classic 1993 book. Bob took my suggestion to heart, so I feel like the godfather of this brilliantly composed study. Backgammon knowledge, like scientific understanding, is built in increments, and Bob's work in this volume has finally provided us with a solid foundation for a much-neglected aspect of the game."—Neil Kazaross, 6-time American Backgammon Tour champion and all-time ABT points leader
      "My buddy Bob Wachtel has done it again. His first book covered positions that nobody understood at the time. I read it, and it helped me win money and tournaments. I have the feeling that this one is going to do the same. The endgame is important. Don't neglect it. Study Bob's book and your endgame will certainly improve."—Mike 'Falafel' Natanzon, perennial "Giant of Backgammon"

A chess master who collected a PhD in philosophy in his late twenties, Robert Wachtel is a rare breed: an accomplished game player with a helping of literary brains to match his mathematical brawn. Currently ranked the #8 backgammon player in the world, Robert is the editor of PrimeTime Backgammon, the United States Backgammon Federation's flagship magazine. Over the last 20 years, Robert has written two advanced treatises on backgammon endgame play: In the Game Until the End (1993) and In the Game Until the End Volume II (2014), and an acclaimed collection of online and journal articles, wittily chronicling the evolution of modern backgammon from the early 1990s to the present day.

   In the Game Until the End
Winning in Ace-Point Endgames
Robert Wachtel
1993: The Gammon Press, Arlington, MA

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