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Lamford's new book

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Tom Keith

May 26, 2003, 2:28:26 PM5/26/03
Has anybody read Paul Lamford's new book "Improve Your Backgammon"?
What topics does it cover? Is it as good as his other book,
"Starting Out in Backgammon"?


Frank Berger

May 26, 2003, 5:03:39 PM5/26/03
Tom Keith <> wrote in message news:<>...

> Has anybody read Paul Lamford's new book "Improve Your Backgammon"?
> What topics does it cover? Is it as good as his other book,
> "Starting Out in Backgammon"?

Hi Tom,

I've read "100 puzzles" from Lamford which is quite well and "Improve
Your Backgammon" is at least of equal quality but IMHO more advanced
and more interisting. I recommend it.



May 27, 2003, 8:17:53 AM5/27/03

The title is misleading as the book is quite advanced, much more than a
follow up to "Starting Out in Backgammon". I'd think you'd want to be well
over 1700 on FIBS before reading it.

Here's a list of chapters and a few of my comments:

Part One: Money Play

1. The Race - Includes a very accurate equity formula requiring some long

2. Technical Themes - Lots of useful and well analysed rules of thumb.
Definitely the easiest material to put to immediate use: Stay or Go? Hit or
Ignore? Slot or Not? Extra Shot? Clear or Hold? Safe or Bold?

3. Blitzes - Thorough look at how, when, why to fully attack and cube

4. Calculating Equity - Personally I can follow this material and put it to
use in quiz problems with pen and paper, but will need some major practising
before it'll affect my over-the-board decisions

Part Two: Mastering Match Play

5. The Basics - Match Equity Table which assumes slightly more gammons than
the Kit Woolsey table

6. Special Scores - DMP, 2-away 2-away (don't necessarily cube immediately),
Crawford, Post-Crawford (change of opening rolls, trap of late doubling for
the compulsory take)

7. Doubling Windows - Charts, 2-away N-away, Too Good but Not Good Enough,
Doubling When Opponent is 2-away

8. Advanced Cube Handling - Volatility, Efficient Recubes, Recube Windows,
High Cubes and Skewed Scores, Gammon Value Chart, Points to Remember
(Magriel style recap)

Part Three

9. Technology - Various links and info on bots

Exercises - There are about 40 problems across 19 exercises in the book. The
explanations are far more thorough than, say, Robertie's "501 Problems" but
not quite in the league of Woolsey's "New Ideas".


I find the writing style to be clear and concise, it's certainly a very
dense 128 pages. The drawback, like the other works of Paul Lamford's, is
that it's from a highly mathematical mindset and a bit weaker on the general
"vision" side of backgammon mastering. Certainly the race formula in the
opening chapter could frighten some readers away, but there's still plenty
of backgammon wisdom in there for those less numerate.

In terms of actual costs it's fantastic value compared to other advanced bg
books, listed on the back as £12.99 and $14.95. Available from

(1800-1900 on FIBS)


May 27, 2003, 1:48:05 PM5/27/03

Re Lamford's new book "Improve Your Backgammon"... highly recommended!

I'm getting ready to go on a two week backpacking trip, and its the only
reading material I'm going to take because A) the book only weighs a few
ounces and B) its so chock full of info that I'll be kept busy the entire
two weeks (finally gona memorize the Match Equity Table).

Later.. Allen

Tom Keith

May 30, 2003, 1:47:33 AM5/30/03
Thanks Alef! (and Frank and Allen)


Jun 5, 2003, 10:05:25 PM6/5/03
Thank you indeed!

On Fri, 30 May 2003 05:47:33 GMT, Tom Keith <>

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