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Backgammon – 3 General Schemes

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In exceptionally general terms, there are 3 basic plans employed. You need to be able to switch strategies almost instantly as the course of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This is composed of creating a 6-thick wall of checkers, or at least as deep as you are able to achieve, to block in your opponent's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate procedure at the start of the match. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of closing your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a five-five, you can play six/one 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your challenger is now in serious dire straits considering that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or higher pieces in your competitor's home board. (An anchor spot is a point consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be used when you are decidedly behind as this action greatly improves your circumstances. The better places for anchors are near your opponent's smaller points and either on adjacent points or with one point in between. Timing is important for an effective backgame: at the end of the day, there's no reason having two nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then required to break up this right away, while your challenger is moving their pieces home, because you do not have any other extra pieces to shift! In this case, it's better to have pieces on the bar so that you might maintain your position up till your opponent gives you a chance to hit, so it can be a great idea to try and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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