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Backgammon – 3 General Plans

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In astonishingly general terms, there are 3 main strategies employed. You want to be able to switch strategies quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This comprises of assembling a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as thick 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 acceptable tactic at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace inbetween your 11-point and your two-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This consists of locking your home board as fast as as you can while keeping your opposer on the bar. i.e., if your competitor tosses an early two and moves one piece from your 1-point to your 3-point and you then toss a five-five, you are able to play six/one six/one 8/3 8/3. Your opposer is then in big-time calamity considering that they have 2 pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have two or higher pieces in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a position filled by at least 2 of your checkers.) It should be employed when you are extremely behind as this plan greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest locations for anchors are close to your opponent's lower points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is crucial for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there's no reason having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break apart this straight away, while your opposer is getting their checkers home, taking into account that you do not have any other additional checkers to move! In this case, it's more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position until your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it may be a good idea to try and get your opponent to hit them in this case!

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