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Backgammon – Three General Schemes

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In exceptionally general terms, there are three fundamental tactics used. You need to be able to switch techniques quickly as the action of the game unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you can achieve, to lock in your competitor's pieces that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable strategy at the start of the game. You can assemble the wall anyplace between your 11-point and your 2-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is composed of locking your home board as quickly as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opponent tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one six/one eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time trouble taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have two or more pieces in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a point consisting of at least two of your pieces.) It would be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan much improves your circumstances. The better areas for anchor spots are near your opponent's lower points and also on adjoining points or with a single point in between. Timing is essential for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there is no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break up this straight away, while your competitor is moving their pieces home, because you do not have other additional checkers to shift! In this case, it's better to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to maintain your position until your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it will be an excellent idea to try and get your challenger to hit them in this case!

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