by Ash Dalvi
29 March 2011
Ash Dalvi PhD has been studying backgammon for 10 years. Much of his backgammon is played on the internet which requires fast play. As such, he has developed methods to enable him to assess most backgammon positions in seconds. In his articles, he shares some of the techniques he has developed. Recently, he co-founded a backgammon club in Edinburgh, Scotland called ScotGammon.
I am not good at mental arithmetic. So, I have tried to devise something easier.
I noticed that in almost every pip count, I would be multiplying by 13 at some stage due to checkers on the mid point. This gave me an idea. I'm calling it "The Ash Dalvi 13 Count". The idea is that it is easier to do one multiplication by 13 rather than adding a bunch of big numbers together.
What you need
You need to learn your 13 times table up to at least 13 x 10. If you need a higher product such as 13 x 16, you can just do 13 x 6 = 78 and add this to 130 (13 x 10). However, it's better to just learn the 13 times table up to about 20. The less steps involved in counting, the less chance of making a mistake and faster you will count.
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