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What Colour is the Wind? (2015 Edition)

Posted By: Chris Bray
Date: Wednesday, 9 September 2015, at 12:23 p.m.

This morning I have released a new version of "What Colour is the Wind?". By way of explanation the following is an extract from the revised introduction:

"Thirteen years is a long time in the world of modern technology and that is certainly true when it comes to backgammon neural net software.

When this book was originally written I was using JellyFish and then the early versions of Snowie. Those programs were good and light years ahead of any non-neural net software but we were really still in the infancy of backgammon programming.

After three versions of Snowie the developers turned to other matters but luckily there was a new kid on the block, Extreme Gammon, which has proved to be much stronger than its predecessors. As I write we are using XG2 but an even stronger version, XG3, should be released in 2016.

A colleague of mine, Paul Plumptre, painstakingly analysed the positions in this book using XG and established that some of the solutions that were ‘correct’ in 2002 were no longer so. He very kindly shared his findings with me and as a result I have updated around twenty five solutions in the book. Sometimes the positions have been adjusted slightly, sometimes the text and sometimes both. In some instances I have added an Author’s Note to help clarify matters.

I have also taken the opportunity to modernise the font and have added a detailed contents list.

Is this the last word on these positions? Undoubtedly not. In his excellent book, “Classic Backgammon Revisited’, Jeremy Bagai remarks that “the pendulum of style continues to swing throughout the modern era, but the arc gets shorter as progress is made”. So you can expect further changes, albeit small ones, as our understanding of the game improves and the software grows ever stronger."

For those who don't have the book it can be purchased (as can my other books) via http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/chris_bray

The book is discounted by 15% for the next 10 days.

For those who already have the book I have created a pdf document which contains all the changed pages plus a summary of those changes. It can be downloaded from the 'downloads' section of my website: www.chrisbraybackgammon.com

Now this is done I will turn my attention to next year's book which is provisionally entitled "Backgammon in the Wind".

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