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Backgammon – Three Basic Schemes

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In astonishingly general terms, there are three main plans used. You want to be able to switch strategies instantly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This is comprised of building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you might achieve, to barricade in your opponent's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most adequate strategy at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your opponent on the bar. i.e., if your opponent rolls an early 2 and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 eight/three. Your opponent is then in big-time dire straits considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at a minimum two of your checkers.) It needs to be played when you are decidedly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The strongest areas for anchor spots are towards your competitor's smaller points and either on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for a powerful backgame: besides, there's no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this right away, while your opponent is getting their checkers home, owing to the fact that you don't have other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position up till your competitor provides you an opportunity to hit, so it will be a wonderful idea to try and get your opponent to get them in this case!

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