Match Play

Forum Archive : Match Play

1-away/1-away: advice from Stick

From:   Stick
Date:   9 March 2007
Subject:   My Ideas on DMP play
Forum:   GammOnLine

Before the last ABT tourney in Pittsburgh I decided to start my long,
probably never ending, jump into match play. Up until then I really didn't
pay the least bit of attention to anything other than money play. I'd
picked up this and that here or there of course, but never played any real
matches against either of the bots or in real life. I don't know if it's
the best way to go about it but I'm starting at the ground & moving up.
What I mean is DMP, or -1 -1, -2 -2, -1 -3 to start with (at -1 -3 Crawford
you should both be playing as if it's DMP, winning/losing a gammon is
basically meaningless [free drop] and the only minor consideration is
winning/losing a backgammon). After that I'll ascend in score, -2 -3
(always from both angles), -2 -4, -3 -4, etc ... up til @ least 7 or I
scratch my eyes out, whichever comes first. I've done what I consider
reasonably well playing DMP games v. Snowie. I dropped the thresholds for
errors to .020 and blunders to .060. DMP checker play errors are much more
serious, often costing you many %s of MWC. Below is what I've observed so
far and I'd be happy if anyone could add to it.

*  From the first move on your moves may differ from normal checker play
   because winning & losing gammons does not matter. This may seem obvious
   but it's important to keep it at the forefront of your thinking while
   playing. As early as the first move you can give away serious chunks of
   equity. For example an opening 6-4 for money the 3 plays are
   interchangeable with making the two point winning the rollout wars by
   the slightest margin. This is because of the gammons it wins and since
   gammons don't matter @ DMP making the 2 pt. with an opening 6-4 is a
   .0168 error according to Tom Keith's Opening Move Rollouts ATS

*  Blitzing should usually be put on the back burner if a more structural
   play is available. You don't want to commit to only one game plan at
   DMP. For money the blitz pays off again, because of the gammons won, but
   at DMP a lot of the time another play will win a larger % of the time
   than a pure blitzing play. Of course if the blitz play is strong enough
   it may still be correct, let's not go to extremes, but as an example an
   opening 5-4 followed by a typical blitzing 5-5. For money the automatic
   unquestionable play is 8/3(2) 6/1*(2). At DMP the plays are too close to
   call though. I actually prefer the more structural 13/3(2).

*  When to hit throughtout a DMP game will be one of the harder decisions
   you have to make. Money play if you don't know it's usually correct to
   go ahead and whack away, it is probably a small error at worst. DMP is
   different, you could be chunking away lots of equity by hitting (or not
   hitting) at the correct times. When you've extricated your back men
   there are many times you will pass up a normal looking hitting play if
   your race lead is large enough. Your hope is to bring the game around
   and win, period. Sometimes you won't want to leave the indirect/fly
   shots, other times you simply won't want your opponent entering on one
   of your lower points and hassling you the rest of the game. Remember,
   it's double match point, if he gets a checker back there it's no leaving
   unless he has a real reason to get the hell out of there.

*  Do not fear playing a backgame at DMP. On the same note, don't go
   overboard when there's another solid option to win the game (such as
   going forward).

*  If you do end up in a backgame don't be afraid to go balls to the wall
   to time your backgame. All of this reflects back to playing to win.
   Slots, double slots, crazy hits, all these plays must be considered once
   you fall into a backgame. You have to know what will keep your timing
   and preserve your forward position.

*  When you're lucky enough to have your opponent on the bar and you're
   bearing your checkers in (bearing in, not off), always consider the
   *tricky* plays that clear your highest inner board point before you
   bring them in. This usually happens when you have more than one of your
   opponent checkers on the bar and you will leave no jokers of course. You
   try to push your opponent forward while smoothing your up & coming

*  When bearing in against a checker on the bar play as safe as possible.
   If you have a won race already all you want to do is clear from the rear
   safely and get your opponent off the bar asap. As soon as he comes in
   its typically game (and match) over.

*  Same goes for bearing in against any anchor. Play for safety no matter
   what anchor your opponent holds, play for long term safety, we're just
   trying to win here.

*  Did I mention winning & losing gammons does not matter. I only reiterate
   this point because all the other points are basically an extension of

Are you ready for the DMP quiz?


rew  writes:

Splitting and running plays are generally more correct at dmp than money.
For instance you should often split off your anchor in situations where
in money play opp has too much wood for it to be correct, or you have a
good timing alternative of building. This theme comes up a lot in the
opening phase.

Casper van der Tak  writes:

Robertie on Gammonvillage had some good articles about DMP play. If I
recall correctly:

- Race more important than usual.
- When behind in the race, stay pure.
- Full primes, and what may soon become a full prime, gain in value.
- Blitzes go down in value.

And probably some more that I forgot. Good illustrative positions too!
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     


Match Play

1-away/1-away: advice from Bernhard Kaiser  (Darse Billings, July 1995)  [Long message] [Recommended reading]
1-away/1-away: advice from Stick  (Stick+, Mar 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
1-away/1-away: and similar scores  (Lou Poppler, Aug 1995) 
2-away/3-away: playing for gammon  (Tom Keith, Feb 1996) 
2-away/4-away: Neil's rule of 80  (Neil Kazaross, June 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
2-away/4-away: cube strategy  (Tom Keith, Dec 1996) 
2-away/4-away: practical issues  (Mark Damish, Jan 1996) 
2-away/4-away: trailer's initial double  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1996) 
3-away/4-away: opponent's recube  (William C. Bitting+, Feb 1997)  [Long message]
3-away/4-away: racing cube  (Bill Calton+, Nov 2012) 
3-away/4-away: tricky cube decision  (Kit Woolsey+, July 1994) 
3-away/4-away: what's the correct equity?  (Tom Keith, Sept 1997) 
4-away/4-away: take/drop point  (Gary Wong, Oct 1997) 
5-away/11-away: redouble to 8  (Gavin Anderson, Oct 1998) 
7-away/11-away: volatile recube decision  (Kit Woolsey, May 1997) 
Both too good and not good enough to double  (Paul Epstein+, Sept 2007) 
Comparing 2-away/3-away and 2-away/4-away  (Douglas Zare, Mar 2002) 
Crawford rule  (Chuck Bower, May 1998) 
Crawford rule  (Kit Woolsey, Mar 1997) 
Crawford rule--Why just one game?  (Walter Trice, Jan 2000) 
Crawford rule--history  (Michael Strato, Jan 2001) 
Delayed mandatory double  (tem_sat+, Oct 2010) 
Delayed mandatory double  (Donald Kahn+, Dec 1997)  [Recommended reading]
Doubling when facing a gammon loss  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1999) 
Doubling when opponent is 2-away  (David Montgomery, Dec 1997) 
Doubling when you're an underdog  (Stein Kulseth, Dec 1997) 
Doubling window with gammons  (Jason Lee+, Jan 2009) 
Free drop  (Ian Shaw, May 1999) 
Free drop  (Willis Elias+, Oct 1994) 
Gammonless takepoint formula  (Adam Stocks, June 2002) 
Going for gammon when opp has free drop  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1998) 
Going for gammon when opp has free drop  (Kit Woolsey, Apr 1995) 
Holland rule  (Neil Kazaross, Apr 2010) 
Holland rule  (Kit Woolsey, Dec 1994) 
Leading 2-away with good gammon chances  (Douglas Zare, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Match play 101  (Max Urban+, Oct 2009) 
Matches to a set number of games  (Tom Keith+, Oct 1998) 
Playing when opponent has free drop  (Gilles Baudrillard+, Dec 1996) 
Post-crawford doubling  (Scott Steiner+, Feb 2004) 
Post-crawford doubling  (Maik Stiebler+, Dec 2002) 
Post-crawford doubling  (Gus+, Sept 2002) 
Post-crawford mistakes  (Rob Adams, Sept 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Post-crawford/2-away: too good to double  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen, July 2004) 
Slotting when opponent has free drop  (onur alan+, Apr 2013) 
Take points  (fiore+, Feb 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Tips to improve cube handling  (Lucky Jim+, Jan 2010) 
When to free drop  (Dan Pelton+, Oct 2006) 
When to free drop  (Tom Keith+, July 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
When to free drop  (Gregg Cattanach, Dec 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
When to free drop  (Kit Woolsey, Feb 1998) 
When to free drop  (Chuck Bower, Jan 1998) 
Which format most favors the favorite?  (Daniel Murphy+, Jan 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]

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