Pips, Crossovers, and Stacks

by Douglas Zare
1 January 2008

Douglas Zare

    "What happens if we make this play?"
    "We come in second."
    "There is more than one way to place second."
    -- a chouette at the New England Backgammon Club

Avoiding gammons and backgammons is not flashy, but proper technique in grim situations is part of playing well. At the end of the session, points gained from winning extra gammons are just as valuable as points saved from losing fewer gammons. In this column, we will look at some of the decisions you may face in a medium length race to save a gammon, and we will relate gammon races to normal races.
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