Backgammon Books

  Boards, Blots and Double Shots

  AUTHOR: Norm Wiggins
  EDITOR: Danny Kleinman
  YEAR: 2001
  PUBLISHER: Norm Wiggins
  BINDING: Softcover, sprial-bound.
  PAGES: 136
  SIZE: 28 cm high, 22 cm wide

     "This book is a collection of 129 problems that the author encountered whilst playing training games against the neural net programs, Snowie and Jellyfish. Each position has been subjected to exhaustive analysis to find the best move and the positions vary from relatively straightforward to highly complex where very few top players get the right answer."—Chris Bray, in What Colour is the Wind?


     This book starts with information on how the author analyzed the positions, goes on to explain the notation and terminology used, and then gives some excellent general strategy advice. In the meat of the book, 129 problems are rolled out by Jellyfish and analyzed. Most of these problems are delightful, demonstrating key points and showing you what you should be thinking about in various situations. This is a collection of checker-play problems only; there are no cube-handling problems. One downfall is that the positions are in no particular order or demonstrate any common ideas or themes."—Martin Short


     "Over the years Norm, like the rest of us, has written down positions of interest to him, and run them through Jellyfish. His book is a compilation of those he found most interesting. He took the positions to California experts Ray Fogerlund and Art Benjamin, who independently reviewed them and offered feedback and suggestions for further exploration.
      I enjoyed wrestling with these problems. Norm tells me that his experts averaged around 60% when they tried them. If the experts missed 40%, I'd expect the intermediates to miss at least 75%. Don't worry, I bet you'll do a lot better the second time around!"—Jake Jacobs, Flint Area BackgammoNews, March/April 2001

To the Reader
Notation and Terminology
Some Pointers
Problems 1-129
  COVER: You are an experienced backgammon player who has already acquired considerable skill. You already hold your own in chouettes among your peers. If you go to a Backgammon Tournament, you play in an intermediate division. You would like to become an expert and be able to compete on equal terms in the top bracket, the one that is generally called the open or championship division. This book is for you. It's also for the open player who would like to add some new weapons to his arsenal.

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