Ken Larsen's web site - How to install and use GNU Backgammon

 

GNU backgammon is a free downloadable tool that can be used to improve your backgammon skill.  You can play games or matches against it, run analysis mode, and then see what your mistakes were.  Repeated use will dramatically improve your game.

 

A. How to download/install GNU

 

Note:  This section assumes your operating system is Microsoft Windows.

 

1

Go to the GNU web site, http://www.gnubg.org/

2

Under Main menu on the left side, click on Download.

3

Click on Microsoft Windows.

4

Click on install archive.

5

(File download - Security Warning) Click Run.

6

(Security Warning popup) Click Run.

7

(Setup - GNU Backgammon - Welcome to the GNU Backgammon Setup Wizard)  Click on Next>

8

Check I accept the agreement and click on Next>.

9

C:\Program\gnubg  Click Next>.

10

GNU Backgammon  Click Next>.

11

Select Additional Tasks and click Next>.

12

(Ready to Install) Click Install.

13

(Completing the GNU Backgammon Setup Wizard) Click Finish.

14

Two icons of GNU have been placed on your desktop. 

 

B. How to initialize/set up GNU

 

1

Double click on the red/green GNU icon on your desktop.

2

Click on Settings.

3

Click on Board Appearance...

4

Click on Designs.

5

Click on various color schemes until you find one you like.  I chose Oak and Maple.

6

Click on the General folder.  Choose a display type.  I chose 2D.

7

Click OK.  This will save your board appearances.

8

Click on Settings.

9
Click on Analysis...
10
Set Analysis Level to grandmaster.
11

Click OK.  This will save your Analysis setting.

12 Click on Settings.
13

Click on Players...

14

Set GNU backgammon to grandmaster.

15

Click OK.  This will save your Players setting.

16 Click on Settings.

17

Click on Options...

18

Set the various folder options to the way you prefer. 

  • If you set match length to 0.  This equates to a money game.

  • In the Cube folder I prefer not to use the Jacoby rule.

19

Click OK.  This will save your Options setting.

20 Click on Settings.
21

Click on Save settings.

 

C. How to play and analyze a game against GNU

 

1

Double click on the red and green GNU icon on your desktop.

2

Click on the center of the right side of the board.  This will start a game or match (depending on what you configured in section B).

3 A popup will appear telling you who won the opening dice toss.  Click on OK.
4 If GNU won the dice toss, it will automatically move its pieces.  You must then click on the center of the right side of the board to initiate a dice roll for your turn.
5 When GNU has finished its turn, you may click on the doubling cube if you want to double.
6 To roll the dice, click on the center of the right side of the board.

7

Move your pieces by dragging them with your mouse.  Point to a piece that you wish to move the larger number with, and press your left mouse button.  Repeat with the other dice number(s).

8

Click on the dice to complete your turn.

9

Repeat steps 5-8 over and over again until the game has been completed.  This may end with a doubling cube decision.

10

To analyze your game, click on Analyze and then Analyze Match or session

11

A small hourglass will appear, and after a few minutes, the analysis will have completed, and a horn will sound.  Click on Analyze and then Match or session statistics to see the results.

The key statistic is the Overall rating.  It can be Supernatural, World Class, Expert, Advanced, Intermediate, Casual Player, Beginner, or Awful!  You can click on the Checker Play and Cube Decisions folders to see what GNU thinks of your checker play and cube decisions.

12

To see what GNU thinks of your individual moves, click on the drop down arrow below the large arrows in the upper right corner of your screen and select Game 1.  Then, click on individual moves to see GNU's choices for the moves you made.  The move you made will appear in red.

13 Tip:  To expedite the learning process, instead of playing a full game or match against GNU, just play five moves and then invoke Analyze.  Do this over and over again until you become proficient at the first few rolls.  Then, play ten moves and invoke analyze.  Gradually work your way up to full games and later full matches.

 

Ken Larsen's home page

Ken Larsen's Backgammon page