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Old 12-26-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
pilliapina
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New here, posting my first "problem"

Hey everyone. I'm a long time 2+2 member and poker player, small stakes live poker mostly. I recently got into Backgammon with my girlfriend and we are playing together and studying XG together.

Recently this board state came up



I was wondering why the play is bar/22 3/2* to hit rather than bar/21 to make the anchor. I would guess it's because we are so far ahead in the race and our home board is stronger than on opponents and we have a decent 4 point prime (5 point broken?) prime. Is this the when on the offence stay on the offence principle?

Mostly at this stage I'm just trying to learn basic concepts and avoid huge blunders. I'm still not very good at identifying what type of game I'm playing and how to adjust. I'm reading the problems of the week and am very grateful for these forums.

Thank you for everyone who participates and posts!
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Old 12-27-2018, 04:14 AM   #2
Aaron W.
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Re: New here, posting my first "problem"

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Originally Posted by pilliapina View Post
I was wondering why the play is bar/22 3/2* to hit rather than bar/21 to make the anchor. I would guess it's because we are so far ahead in the race and our home board is stronger than on opponents and we have a decent 4 point prime (5 point broken?) prime.
Reasons to play 3/2*:

1) Your spare on the 3 isn't doing you much good sitting there.
2) You would prefer that your opponent not to advance the back anchor.
3) You have a strong board, so putting your opponent on the bar is good.
4) Your opponent has a weak board, so you should be playing more boldly.

Reasons not to play B/21:

1) You don't need an anchor back there. You're trying to race around.
2) Leaving blots isn't actually that much of a liability. Your opponent doesn't want to leave blots by attacking loose and doesn't even want to roll that prime forward right now.
3) Having your checkers on the same point means that you are less flexible. Look at how combinations of 1, 2, and 4 play if you make the anchor. But if you don't make the anchor, you have fewer unproductive numbers.

Quote:
Is this the when on the offence stay on the offence principle?
Meh... I'm not sure this is a good principle. There are definitely times to switch gears. I think it's better to assess the situation for what it is, and not based on what you did on the previous roll.

Quote:
I'm a long time 2+2 member and poker player, small stakes live poker mostly. I recently got into Backgammon with my girlfriend and we are playing together and studying XG together.
Good luck. I picked up BG a while ago and have kind of drifted away over the last few years. But I've enjoyed learning it and it's a fun game to play.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:45 AM   #3
Robertie
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Re: New here, posting my first "problem"

A couple of quick comments.

Your opponent is playing a back game and it will be either a 4-1 or a 4-2 game, depending on whether he can switch from your 1-point to your 2-point. A 4-2 game is much stronger than a 4-1 game, so he wants to make your 2-point and you want to prevent him from doing that. In addition, the spare checker on the 3-point isn't doing anything constructive right now, so 3/2* is a great use of a one. If your opponent hits, his timing gets spoiled. If he doesn't hit, you'll make the 2-point.

In your opponent's home board, you don't need an anchor since six of your opponent's checkers are over in your home board. Bar/22 ensures that a later 4-4 won't cause you to bust, and lets you play all your numbers more easily.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:46 PM   #4
pilliapina
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Re: New here, posting my first "problem"

Quote:
Your opponent is playing a back game and it will be either a 4-1 or a 4-2 game, depending on whether he can switch from your 1-point to your 2-point. A 4-2 game is much stronger than a 4-1 game, so he wants to make your 2-point and you want to prevent him from doing that.
This makes sense, yeah!

Thank you so much for the thoughtful commentary and I'm especially psyched that Bill Robertie himself posted in my thread! That's like Michael Jordan coming down to your local high school basketball game to give strategy advice.

A question regarding the posting of future problems as I have plenty more positions that come up both in live games and games vs XG; should I post in my own thread or make a thread for each problem? I don't want to spam the forums and it would be cool to have my own place to post my problems and (developing) thoughts and theories.

Editing this thread title would be good I guess if I'm to post my stuff here.

Oh and I bought 501 essential backgammon problems, good book to start out with?

Last edited by pilliapina; 12-28-2018 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:12 PM   #5
Robertie
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Re: New here, posting my first "problem"

Thanks for the kind comments, and feel free to post here. You'll get plenty of comments, hopefully helpful ones. I would create a new thread for each problem, so readers can see clearly where all the comments are located.

I spent a lot of time on '501' and I think it's a good book to learn from. In fairness, I should point out that not everyone shares this view. It just got a pretty savage review in Primetime magazine, so caveat emptor.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:03 AM   #6
RolldUpTrips
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Re: New here, posting my first "problem"

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilliapina View Post
This makes sense, yeah!

Thank you so much for the thoughtful commentary and I'm especially psyched that Bill Robertie himself posted in my thread! That's like Michael Jordan coming down to your local high school basketball game to give strategy advice.

A question regarding the posting of future problems as I have plenty more positions that come up both in live games and games vs XG; should I post in my own thread or make a thread for each problem? I don't want to spam the forums and it would be cool to have my own place to post my problems and (developing) thoughts and theories.

Editing this thread title would be good I guess if I'm to post my stuff here.

Oh and I bought 501 essential backgammon problems, good book to start out with?
Just want to say that while I like 501, I think the best starting out book is Backgammon Boot Camp. It does a fantastic job of covering a lot of breadth at just enough depth to give a person a solid starting foundation.
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