Feature Columnists: Bill Robertie - The Master Plan

Handling Early Positions

01 Apr 2004 - by Bill Robertie

The game's first four or five moves for both sides offer incredible scope for original and creative play. These are positions that are are very fluid and come at a time when all checkers are available for battle.


Rating:  4.82
"The Master Plan" Archive
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Quiz Gammon 3

01 Mar 2003 - by Bill Robertie

Here's a sampling of the problems from the annual Quiz Gammon contest, an almost entirely pure-skill backgammon event of the Boston Open.

Rating:  4.88

Stay Alert!

01 Nov 2002 - by Bill Robertie

Let's take a look at some positions where the right play is not one you'll immediately see with just a cursory glance.

Rating:  4.88

Adventures In Monte Carlo II

01 Oct 2002 - by Bill Robertie

More juicy positions from this year's World Championship in Monte Carlo, plus the hard-luck story of the tournament.

Rating:  4.74

Adventures In Monte Carlo

01 Aug 2002 - by Bill Robertie

The World Championship in Monte Carlo is the highlight of the summer season for most of the players on the Tour. As you might expect, each year the tournament produces a huge batch of fascinating positions. Try your hand at a few of these.

Rating:  4.91

Double Match Point - Part 3

01 Jul 2002 - by Bill Robertie

In the early game, we learned that the key idea at Double Match Point (DMP) was to play for a racing advantage. That's still important as we move into the middle game, but other plans and ideas also become important as structures form.

Rating:  4.76

Playing At DMP - Part 2

01 Jun 2002 - by Bill Robertie

This time we'll look at some positions that occur a little further into the game, but in situations that are still sufficiently undeveloped to be considered early positions.

Rating:  4.77

Playing At Double Match Point

01 May 2002 - by Bill Robertie

In this series of articles, I'll give you a glimpse into the strange world of cubeless, gammonless backgammon. Leave your preconceptions aside; this is weird stuff indeed.

Rating:  4.57

Sneaky Plays

01 Apr 2002 - by Bill Robertie

Some positions announce themselves as difficult and tricky. Others, equally difficult, sneak by us because one alternative is easy, obvious, and safe.

Rating:  4.83

Action Doubles

01 Mar 2002 - by Bill Robertie

When considering to offer a double, most players think exclusively about how big a favourite they are now and not how big they are likely to become on the next turn. Let's learn about Action Doubles.

Rating:  4.74


01 Feb 2002 - by Bill Robertie

Try your luck with these six positions (including the toughest) from the recent QuizGammon contest held at the Boston Open and see if you can score a perfect 14!

Rating:  5.00

Playing Efficiently

01 Jan 2002 - by Bill Robertie

Neural nets say some positions are dominated by immediate tactics.

Rating:  4.55

Candidate Plays

01 Oct 2001 - by Bill Robertie

When a play has five or more reasonable choices use an orderly approach.

Rating:  4.53

Beavers - Part 2

01 Sep 2001 - by Bill Robertie

Later situations where an incorrect double provokes a beaver.

Rating:  3.84

Early Beavers

01 Aug 2001 - by Bill Robertie

Beavers juice up the game and punish a grossly incorrect double.

Rating:  4.07

Blitz Connectivity

01 Jul 2001 - by Bill Robertie

A new and more effective way to handle blitzes.

Rating:  4.75

Primes Vs. Stacks

01 May 2001 - by Bill Robertie

Let's talk about when and how to use primes to fight against stacked positions.

Rating:  5.00

Risk And Reward

01 Apr 2001 - by Bill Robertie

Most players tend to focus on the big play or the small play but the best value may come from one of the middling plays.

Rating:  4.69

Tricky Trap Plays

01 Feb 2001 - by Bill Robertie

A trap play is a tactical concept that every aspiring player needs to master.

Rating:  5.00

Handling Six-Primes

01 Jan 2001 - by Bill Robertie

"A full six-prime is the most powerful formation in Backgammon." How do we play certain rolls to keep it and when should it be broken? In this month's column, Bill Robertie gives us some lucid pointers on how to cope with six-prime situations.

Rating:  5.00

How To Play Bad Positions - Part 2

01 Nov 2000 - by Bill Robertie

Last month Bill Robertie showed us how to survive in a couple of extremely bad positions. In Part 2, Bill focuses on some moderately bad scenarios where use of the big play can prevent your opponent from being able to double efficiently.

Rating:  4.93

How To Play Bad Positions

29 Sep 2000 - by Bill Robertie

GammonVillage is pleased to introduce the newest member of our editorial team, Mr. Bill Robertie, renowned author and two-time World Backgammon Champion.

Rating:  4.88
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