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Backgammon – Three General Schemes

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In extraordinarily general terms, there are 3 basic strategies employed. You need to be agile enough to hop between strategies instantly 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 might manage, to block in your competitor's checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is considered to be the most adequate course of action at the start of the game. You can create the wall anywhere between your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a 5-5, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 eight/three 8/3. Your competitor is now in serious trouble seeing that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent's home board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least two of your checkers.) It must be played when you are significantly behind as it much improves your opportunities. The best places for anchor spots are close to your opponent's smaller points and either on adjoining points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for an effective backgame: after all, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to break down this straight away, while your opponent is shifting their pieces home, owing to the fact that you don't have any other additional pieces to shift! In this situation, it is better to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your opposer gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be an excellent idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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