Backgammon – Three General Schemes

Saturday, 1. December 2018

In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 fundamental techniques used. You need to be agile enough to hop between strategies quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you might manage, to lock in your opponent’s pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most suitable course of action at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your opponent tosses an early two and moves one piece from your one-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time dire straits seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have two or more checkers in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor is a point filled by at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be employed when you are significantly behind as this action greatly improves your chances. The better areas for anchors are close to your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with one point separating them. Timing is essential for an effectual backgame: at the end of the day, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to dismantle this right away, while your opposer is moving their pieces home, owing to the fact that you do not have other extra pieces to shift! In this situation, it is more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you can maintain your position up until your challenger provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a wonderful idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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