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Another match format that could be exciting

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Thursday, 25 July 2013, at 10:03 p.m.

I know that there are "purists" out there that hate any change to the game and only want to play the same way we always play, but variations make for fun, interesting, and stimulating side events and alternative exercises. Nackgammon has proven to be an excellent alternative, and my variation where you can't make a point on the opening roll makes the game a little more complex and interesting and fun. Backgammon-to-lose is my favorite alternative as you really have to think and you find yourself in position that are very challenging and require real insight to play well.

I have had a problem with really long matches because they are not really exciting for the players or spectators until several games are over, unless of course there is a bigger cube. So that led me to my latest idea: Double-Gammon.

Play a 9 point match, but the cube starts in the middle on 2 for the first 2 games. (After that the cube would start on 1.) That would not only make a 9 point match more exciting and interesting, it also will require us to think differently about initial cubes and takes and there are going to be 4 cubes and recubes that could be very interesting.

My guess is that a 9 point match played in this fashion will generally take about as long as a standard 7 point match, and I think it would be a fun alternative.

I have also toyed with the idea of an 11 point match with the first cube starting at 4 and the next game at 2 and then the rest at 1.

Another variation would be similar to a European chouette game where you must beaver the first cube. Think about a 9 point match where that is the rule for the first two games. Could be fun, and again, it would change your doubling windows and take points and you'd have to be able to adjust your cube and checker play accordingly.

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