2022 - Position 167
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Match Play. Red trails 0-2 to 7. How should Red play 31?
This position was kindly sent to me by Leo Waters. Complex back games like this are very, very difficult to play well and accurately. Even XG struggles with these.
There are multiple moves to choose from, but the key here is not to give up any of the points in White’s home board because it is not clear to do so. Keeping the points will (hopefully) generate multiple shots for Red but hitting and then containing a blot will be very problematic because of Red’s very weak home board.
Red will win the game nearly 50% of the time but he will lose a gammon 40% of the time and a backgammon about 11% of the time.
Which is the best move? XG has 18/15, 16/15 as best, perhaps because it blocks a future double fives from the bar by White but any move that doesn’t break the rear points is OK.