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Backgammon – 3 Main Schemes

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In extraordinarily simple terms, there are three main plans used. You need to be agile enough to switch game plans quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at a minimum as thick as you are able to achieve, to barricade in the opponent's checkers that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable course of action at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anywhere within your eleven-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This is composed of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your opposer rolls an early 2 and moves one piece from your one-point to your three-point and you then toss a five-five, you will be able to play 6/1 six/one 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time dire straits since they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This tactic is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor's inner board. (An anchor is a point occupied by at least two of your pieces.) It needs to be played when you are significantly behind as this plan greatly improves your circumstances. The best places for anchor spots are near your competitor's smaller points and either on adjoining points or with one point separating them. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: besides, there's no point having 2 nice anchor spots and a solid wall in your own home board if you are then forced to break down this right away, while your opponent is getting their checkers home, because you don't have any other additional checkers to move! In this situation, it's more tolerable to have pieces on the bar so that you can preserve your position up until your opponent provides you a chance to hit, so it may be a good idea to attempt and get your competitor to get them in this case!

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