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Backgammon – 3 General Techniques

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In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 basic game plans used. You want to be agile enough to hop between tactics quickly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can achieve, to barricade in the opponent's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable procedure at the start of the match. You can build the wall anyplace within your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the game advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. e.g., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your opposer is now in big-time trouble due to the fact that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher checkers in your opponent's inner board. (An anchor spot is a position occupied by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It must be used when you are significantly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The best places for anchor spots are near your opponent's smaller points and either on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is integral for a powerful backgame: after all, there's no point having two nice anchor spots and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opponent is moving their checkers home, owing to the fact that you don't have other extra checkers to move! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up until your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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