Bat in the Backgammon Belfry

by Bart Brooks
25 May 2008

Bart Brooks

The reason I decided to do this article has to do with one of the very few times I played with a partner. It was a long time ago. I don't remember the exact position just the situation and remonstration. Our opponent had a made board and had been able to hang around just long enough with a bat in the belfry. That's an enemy checker in the empty spaces or pips between say your five or six point and remaining checkers on say the ace and deuce points.

We wound up with a choice of taking off one high checker and moving a pip closer to our opponent cutting down the number of shots to be left or taking off a second checker leaving an extra shot or two. I had decided to take the extra checker off leaving an extra shot. "What are you doing?" he exclaimed, "Are you crazy? Always leave the minimum shot in that position!" Rather than argue, and being a bit exhausted from instruction, I made his play. I don't even remember if we got hit or not. I do remember thinking what did he mean 'that position?' There must have been a hundred variations and there are no 'always' in backgammon. So this article is a bit of research for me, trying to perfect another piece of the backgammon puzzle.

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