Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

Friday, 12. May 2023

In very simple terms, there are three fundamental game plans employed. You must be able to hop between techniques quickly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of creating a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as deep as you can manage, to block in the competitor’s pieces that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate strategy at the start of the game. You can build the wall anywhere between your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is then in serious trouble seeing that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have closed half your home board!

The Backgame

This course of action is where you have 2 or more anchors in your opponent’s home board. (An anchor spot is a point occupied by at least two of your pieces.) It should be used when you are significantly behind as it greatly improves your circumstances. The better places for anchor spots are close to your competitor’s smaller points and either on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is integral for a competent backgame: after all, there is no reason having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, taking into account that you do not have other spare pieces to shift! In this case, it’s better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your opposer provides you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to attempt and get your opponent to get them in this situation!

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