Spoiler alert – if you haven’t read Position of the Week 1 already, you might wish to go back and see that before reading to the bottom of this post!
Graham Davidson writes:
I am a member of a small backgammon club in Sydney. I recently posted a problem which I thought was pretty interesting – but didn’t get much feedback 😊 Now it could be that it is too flaming simple for the typical backgammoner mind, lol – or it could be that I posted the answer after XG analysis, and no-one wanted to add to that.
I call this “Greed or Caution”. Basically you are almost certain to win, but are given the chance of a hit, with a small risk of losing, but with a massive increase in chance of a gammon.One thing I know for certain is that I hit, and then so did my opponent – with a 63 – however I thought it was interesting that I STILL had a 76% chance of recovering and beating him across the line. Didn’t happen. I went on to lose.
This one isn’t even close. If you leave the blot alone, yes, you are gin, but with seven crossovers to get off and Black having seven to save the gammon, you only get that gammon 22% of the time. Hitting raises that to a comfortable 61.7% – and what does Black have to do to win? Hit you now with 63 or 54, or sit on your acepoint and hope for a shot as you carry on bearing off – and even then, hold that man in long enough to make up the deficit. With each extra gammon worth half of an extra loss, Black would need to be nearly 20% to win to make you play safe; in reality he’s barely 5%.