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Backgammon – Three General Schemes

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In astonishingly simple terms, there are 3 general strategies used. You must be agile enough to hop between tactics instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves assembling a 6-deep wall of pieces, or at least as thick as you can manage, to block in your opponent's pieces that are on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable procedure at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anyplace within your eleven-point and your 2-point and then shuffle it into your home board as the match advances.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as possible while keeping your competitor on the bar. i.e., if your competitor rolls an early two and moves one checker from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a five-five, you are able to play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your challenger is then in serious dire straits taking into account that they have two checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This strategy is where you have 2 or higher anchors in your opponent's inner board. (An anchor spot is a position filled by at least two of your checkers.) It should be employed when you are significantly behind as this strategy greatly improves your circumstances. The strongest areas for anchor spots are towards your competitor's lower points and also on abutting points or with a single point in between. Timing is integral for an effective backgame: besides, there's no point having 2 nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this right away, while your challenger is getting their checkers home, considering that you don't have any other extra checkers to shift! In this situation, it is more tolerable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up until your opponent provides you a chance 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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