• 2019 - Position 172


    Match Play. Red leads 3-2 to 7. How should Red play 54?



  • 2019 -Position 171


    Match Play. 0-0 to 13. How should Red play 65?

    The key to this position is the doubling cube. For money this would be double/pass due to the Jacoby Rule.

    In a match the correct technique is to play on for the gammon with no risk if possible. Here Red should simply play 8/3, 8/2. If White enters with an ace Red should cash the game. If he fans Red should play on for the gammon.

    I got this wrong over the board playing 13/2 but that move and any other move that is not 8/3, 8/2 is a blunder. I found this a very useful learning exercise as it will enable me to play similar positions correctly in the future.



  • 2019 - Position 170


    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    The White checker on the bar makes just enough of a difference to push this into pass territory but it is very close. The number of extra gammons won is the key difference. The take is not an error in technical terms. Not doubling, however, is a double blunder.

    However, the double/pass decision is based upon perfect play. If Red were a cautious enough player to move 10/2 with a 62, following double/take, then you should take as White. (The correct play is 13/7, 10/8.)



  • 2019 - Position 169


    Match Play. Red trails 7-9 to 13. How should Red play 51?

    For money this would be a relatively close call between 13/7* and 8/7*, 8/3.

    At this score it is no contest and any play other than 8/7*, 8/3* is at least a blunder. Most of the time Red will seeking to get in a powerful redouble or playing on for the gammon (or both!). This is not the time for caution. If thing go badly for him Red will lose a gammon and the match so he should think positively and play the move that maximises his match equity.

    That play is 8/7*, 8/3*.



  • 2019 - Position 168


    Match Play. Red trails 4-6 (Crawford) 7. How should Red play 42?

    For money bar/23, 6/2* would be a blunder because of the gammons lost but here Red doesn’t care about losing a gammon.

    It turns out that bar/21, 23/21 and bar/22, 6/2* have virtually identical equities so you can take your pick at this match score.



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