Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

Sunday, 26. February 2017

In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 fundamental strategies used. You need to be able to switch tactics quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to block in the competitor’s checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most suitable strategy at the start of the match. You can create the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. For example, if your challenger tosses an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your competitor is now in serious dire straits since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or more pieces in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at a minimum 2 of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The best places for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on adjacent points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for an effective backgame: besides, there’s no point having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your opponent is getting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you don’t have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up till your opponent provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to get them in this situation!

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