Position 310

 How should White play 51 here?

You are really glad that you rolled on entering number, now all you have to do is play it correctly.

Normally it is good to play aggressive backgammon, so you consider bar/20 3/2*:

Breaking an inner board point to hit loose leaving 2 inner board blots is called the banana split play.

I selected this position because years ago in the chouette, I talked my team into making the banana split play and it works spectacularly well. Our opponent redoubled us before rolling, stayed on the bar and then accepted our recube to 8. We then all won a gammon.

There is a place for banana split plays, but this is not one of them. We will be hit with any 3, any 2 and 11 – that’s 21 rolls or 58% of the time. And even if our opponent misses, we are not guaranteed to cover both inner board blots.

Here the Banana Split play is too dangerous.

If you decide to keep your board, you could prepare to attack next time by playing bar/24 8/3:

The problem with this move is that your opponent could hit with the checker on the 23 point. This will allow them to both hit and escape, achieving their two main goals.

In a lot of situations where you have your 18 point, it is right to give up your 13 point, so you consider playing bar/24 13/8:

When this is right, it is usually when all of your opponent’s checkers are on their 13 point, so your 13 point has lost a lot of its restraining value as they do not have to escape checkers from your inner board. Here Black still has a checker back on the 23 point and a checker on their 16 point. Because of this, your 13 point still retains a lot of value.

What about giving up your 18 point with bar/24 18/13:

If your opponent hits you loose on their 7 point, you will return hit with 65, 63, 61, 43 and 52 – which is 10 shots or 28% of the time.

If your opponent does not hit you on their 7 point, you will have a chance to anchor there next roll.

You will still have lots of outfield control as you still have your 13 point. You will also have a spare on your 13 point so you do not have to give up your 13 point to hit. That new spare will give you some much needed flexibility. If you look at the position before the roll, you will see that you have TMP (Too Many Points). Whenever I have TMP, I always want to get to a more flexible position.

The above reasons make this the correct move.



Popular posts from this blog

Position 316

Position 315