# unclear move 4

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### robert lawrence

Jul 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/14/96
to

from a fibs match on sat, jly 13.
score o = 2, x = 0, to 5, co=2.

. . . . . . . . . . . .
o x x x x x o x o
o x x x x x o x o
x x
x

o o o o
o o o o o
. . . . . . . . . . . .

o to play 11.
whats the move?

### Peter Fankhauser

Jul 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/14/96
to
my mastering of backgames is somewhat poorish, anyway, I'd certainly
use 2 aces to move up the checkers on X's ace-pt. While 1-4 backgames
generate probably more shots than 2-4 backgames, O's timing is too
poor to rely on that. If O stays, this will likely develop into
a pure ace-pt game (probably with 3 checkers back) - not nice.
I don't care about the other two aces.

funk

### Kit Woolsey

Jul 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/14/96
to

: from a fibs match on sat, jly 13.
: score o = 2, x = 0, to 5, co=2.

: . . . . . . . . . . . .
: o x x x x x o x o
: o x x x x x o x o
: x x
: x

: o o o o
: o o o o o
: . . . . . . . . . . . .
:
: o to play 11.
: whats the move?

I think I remember having this position, and I played 24/23(2), 13/11.
There are several reasons to move the anchor up.

1) Having your points closer together generally makes it more difficult
for your opponent to clear his outfield points safely. In this position,
suppose you stay back and your opponent manages to make the two point.
Then he will be able to clear the eight point if he rolls two numbers
which don't contain a four. If you come up to the two point, he will
have to roll two numbers which don't contain a four or a six in order to
clear the eight point safely.

2) Getting off the ace point forces your opponent to play all his
numbers. Suppose you stay back, and your opponent successfully clears
his eight point so all his checkers are on the bar point or inside. Now,
he doesn't have to play any sixes, which will slow him down. If your
timing for the back game is shaky, which it obviously is here, then this
stall may cause you to crunch or give up one of the anchors before he is
forced to leave a shot clearing the bar point.

3) Hanging back on the ace point is more likely to get you gammoned or
backgammoned if things go badly. If you move up to the two point what
usually happens is that your opponent is forced to dump several checkers
behind you on the ace point in order to play safely. When this happens
it is safer for you to hold your back anchor or stay back with one
checker in order to get a last ditch shot and still be able to scramble
off the gammon because these checkers on the ace point have to be taken
off before he gammons you. If you are on his ace point, waiting until
the very end involves severe gammon or backgammon risks.

The main advantage in staying back on the ace point is that it will tend
to give you more shots later in the bearoff, particularly if your
opponent is unable to fill in the two point. This is significant, and
under different circumstances (better timing, gammons not counting,
opponent having such a ragged position that he is unlikely to make the
two point) it might well be correct to stay back. In the actual
position, however, the arguments for moving up are more persuasive to me.

Kit