Ken Larsen's Backgammon - Match play consideration     

  

How should red play 4-3 in the following match play position:

 

 

Answer:  There is not enough information to answer the question.  The match score needs to be specified.

 

At GS (Gammon Save) the correct play would be to make the anchor (24/20, 23/20).  Any other move would be a blunder.

 

At GG (Gammon Go) the correct play would be to hit both blots.  Anything else would be a blunder.

 

Lesson learned:  Be aware of the match score when deciding how to move your checkers.  If you only need one point to win a match, and your opponent needs two, that's a GS situation.  Favor conservative plays.  Don't allow yourself to be gammoned.  Also, you don't need a gammon to win the match.  On the other hand, your opponent (who is in GG mode) should play more aggressively.  If he wins a gammon, he wins the match.

 

For more information on match play considerations, read this excellent article by Kit Woolsey:  "Five Point Match".

 

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