Backgammon – Three General Schemes

Monday, 3. September 2018

In exceptionally general terms, there are three chief plans used. You need to be able to switch techniques instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you might achieve, to block in the competitor’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most adequate strategy at the start of the match. You can build the wall anyplace within your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This involves closing your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early 2 and moves one checker from your one-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 six/one eight/three 8/3. Your opposer is now in big-time difficulty considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or higher anchors in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as it much improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchor spots are near your competitor’s smaller points and also on abutting points or with a single point separating them. Timing is critical for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break up this straight away, while your opposer is moving their checkers home, because you don’t have other spare checkers to shift! In this situation, it’s more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it can be a wonderful idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this situation!