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The most difficult problems in backgammon?

Posted By: Wolfgang
Date: Monday, 7 July 2014, at 4:12 p.m.

In Response To: The most difficult problems in backgammon? (Timothy Chow)

As for me, the most challenging task is the fundamental re-orientation in the game plan when things changed dramatically on the board. A few examples:

  • That is a classic problem: The blitz game plan has failed and the question arises to what game plan one should switch over. What game plan provides reasonable chances and what opportunities are left over? In addition to this, how can I minimize the extent of the imminent defeat? For example by saving the gammon. It is sometimes a difficult balancing act between two contradictory objectives:
    Using the remaining opportunities of winning the game, and minimizing the extent of the probable defeat. I think, this task requires profound backgammon competencies and skills.
  • Sometimes, it comes up with situations in which I would like to avoid rolling the dice. Instead of rolling the dice, I would like to sit out one or two rounds in order to bring to bear the positive characteristics of my position better.
    A massive holding game with two advanced anchors (on the 4 and 5 point resp. 21 and 20 point) is a suitable example of this type of position. When it comes to switching over from that massive holding game to another game plan, there are some problems to solve: Perhaps, the new game plan brings less clearness, and makes it even more difficult to meet the demands in a satisfactory manner.
  • I agree with Walter Trice, of course. Prime versus prime positions lead to very complex decisions players have to make.

The following aspect is possibly off-topic? Pardon me! From my point of view, a variety of backgammon tasks such as switching over to an appropriate and probably less desirable game plan cannot be merely considered as pure backgammon issue. I think that psychological aspects of mental flexibility, open-mindedness, and courageousness ought to be taken into consideration too. Imho, working on oneself´s personal development is important as well. Indecisiveness, for example, can be reflected in desperate approaches to solving backgammon problems.

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