Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games
Fathers Day 2015

20 pt. Anchor Holding Game Part 1

by Stick
26 March 2013


Before you sigh and give this article the quick skim through you should know that I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to write about holding games too. People think they're pretty basic, esp. the high anchor games, and they are overly comfortable with them. I decided to break them down an anchor at a time because time and time again I see errors happening in what should be relatively easy positions. Holding games occur often so we should take the time to have a firm grip on them. I like to think that one of the reasons that I'm a strong player isn't because I have a great grasp on weird positions but it's because I've taken the time to master the types of positions that I know I will see time and time and time again like the early game, holding games, and races.

So this month I present you with part 1 of the 20 point anchor holding game and all its flavor. Anyone who has read Kit's excellent book The Backgammon Encyclopedia- Volume 1 Cube Reference Positions will have picked up that the taker's equity in most high anchor holding games comes from a combination of hitting and racing potential. I wanted to get a better grip on how much of that came from contact after the midpoint was cleared when your racing chances were virtually nil. This information has also come in handy in way lopsided score situations when considering cubes with crazy low take points.

In the following 3 examples what do you think White's winning chances are after playing 12/9 in each example?

is Player 1

score: 0
pip: 75
Unlimited Game
Jacoby Beaver
pip: 138
score: 0

is Player 2
to play 21

is Player 1

score: 0
pip: 73
Unlimited Game
Jacoby Beaver
pip: 138
score: 0

is Player 2
to play 21

is Player 1

score: 0
pip: 77
Unlimited Game
Jacoby Beaver
pip: 138
score: 0

is Player 2
to play 21

We see the race doesn't exist for White and any shot he gets and hits is a virtual winner. In the first position with just the 8pt to clear White still manages to win ~8.8% of the time. With the bar point made that dips clear down to ~5.5%! That's a huge difference and something we'll come back to later in the article. Remember that the bar point is big in assisting the doubling player to bring the position home. It's not only because there are more numbers that clear the midpoint or if forced to leave a shot from the midpoint there will be less shots but even when we get to this stage of the game there is a gigantic difference in how easy it is to bring home.

The rest of this article (0.00 K) is premium content. Please subscribe below.

GammonVillage Subscriptions:

Choose a subscription length. Your best value is the lifetime subscription.

3 Month Subscription
25 Aug 2015
1 Year Subscription
25 May 2016
Lifetime Subscription

Proceed to Step Two

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card and PayPal. Google Wallet available.

Article text Copyright © 1999-2015 Stick and GammonVillage Inc.

You must be signed in to rate articles.

Feedback about this article:

Subject: Re: 20 pt. Anchor Holding Game Part 1
From: Igor
Date: 31 Mar 2013 21:45 EST

I never realized that distribution of spares has such a major impact in a holding game. Excellent examples.

You must be signed in to post comments.

List Price: $395.00Sale Price: $265.00

USBGF OLM 2015-05-20

Wed, May 20, 2015 03:54 PM

FIBS Board:
Re: B.B King R.I.P

Wed, May 20, 2015 01:53 AM

Big Money Bill:
Karen Davis

Thu, May 14, 2015 07:24 PM
Join the Gammon Village Store Affiliate Program today.
Help Wanted
Backgammon Board Game Cartoon
Social Networking
Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Follow Us
U.S. Backgammon Federation
The U.S. Backgammon Federation
Terms & Conditions I Privacy Policy I About Us I Contact Us I Advertise I Affiliates I Site Map
Celebrating 15 years in backgammon games