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My Ideas on DMP -- Read B4 QUIZ

Posted By: Stick
Date: Saturday, 10 March 2007, at 12:38 a.m.

Before the last ABT tourney in Pittsburgh I decided to start my long, probably never ending, jump into match play. Up until then I really didn't pay the least bit of attention to anything other than money play. I'd picked up this and that here or there of course, but never played any real matches against either of the bots or in real life. I don't know if it's the best way to go about it but I'm starting at the ground & moving up. What I mean is DMP, or -1 -1, -2 -2, -1 -3 to start with (at -1 -3 Crawford you should both be playing as if it's DMP, winning/losing a gammon is basically meaningless [free drop] and the only minor consideration is winning/losing a backgammon). After that I'll ascend in score, -2 -3 (always from both angles), -2 -4, -3 -4, etc... up til @ least 7 or I scratch my eyes out, whichever comes first. I've done what I consider reasonably well playing DMP games v. Snowie. I dropped the thresholds for errors to .020 and blunders to .060. DMP checker play errors are much more serious, often costing you many %s of MWC. Below is what I've observed so far and I'd be happy if anyone could add to it.

  • From the first move on your moves may differ from normal checker play because winning & losing gammons does not matter. This may seem obvious but it's important to keep it at the forefront of your thinking while playing. As early as the first move you can give away serious chunks of equity. For example an opening 6-4 for money the 3 plays are interchangeable with making the two point winning the rollout wars by the slightest margin. This is because of the gammons it wins and since gammons don't matter @ DMP making the 2 pt. with an opening 6-4 is a .0168 error according to Tom Keith's Opening Move Rollouts ATS.

  • Blitzing should usually be put on the back burner if a more structural play is available. You don't want to commit to only one game plan at DMP. For money the blitz pays off again, because of the gammons won, but at DMP a lot of the time another play will win a larger % of the time than a pure blitzing play. Of course if the blitz play is strong enough it may still be correct, let's not go to extremes, but as an example an opening 5-4 followed by a typical blitzing 5-5. For money the automatic unquestionable play is 8/3(2) 6/1*(2). At DMP the plays are too close to call though. I actually prefer the more structural 13/3(2).

  • When to hit throughtout a DMP game will be one of the harder decisions you have to make. Money play if you don't know it's usually correct to go ahead and whack away, it is probably a small error at worst. DMP is different, you could be chunking away lots of equity by hitting (or not hitting) at the correct times. When you've extricated your back men there are many times you will pass up a normal looking hitting play if your race lead is large enough. Your hope is to bring the game around and win, period. Sometimes you won't want to leave the indirect/fly shots, other times you simply won't want your opponent entering on one of your lower points and hassling you the rest of the game. Remember, it's double match point, if he gets a checker back there it's no leaving unless he has a real reason to get the hell out of there.
  • Do not fear playing a backgame at DMP. On the same note, don't go overboard when there's another solid option to win the game (such as going forward).

  • If you do end up in a backgame don't be afraid to go balls to the wall to time your backgame. All of this reflects back to playing to win. Slots, double slots, crazy hits, all these plays must be considered once you fall into a backgame. You have to know what will keep your timing and preserve your forward position.

  • When you're lucky enough to have your opponent on the bar and you're bearing your checkers in (bearing in, not off), always consider the *tricky* plays that clear your highest inner board point before you bring them in. This usually happens when you have more than one of your opponent checkers on the bar and you will leave no jokers of course. You try to push your opponent forward while smoothing your up & coming bearoff.

  • When bearing in against a checker on the bar play as safe as possible. If you have a won race already all you want to do is clear from the rear safely and get your opponent off the bar asap. As soon as he comes in its typically game (and match) over.

  • Same goes for bearing in against any anchor. Play for safety no matter what anchor your opponent holds, play for long term safety, we're just trying to win here.

  • Did I mention winning & losing gammons does not matter. I only reiterate this point because all the other points are basically an extension of it.

Are you ready for the DMP quiz?



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