Book Review

Robertie's Lee Genud vs. Joe Dwek
Kent Goulding, 1982

From Backgammon Times, Volume 2, Number 3, Summer 1982.

Lee Genud vs. Joe Dwek:
The 1981 World Championship Match

by Bill Robertie.

$20. (Available through Bill Robertie, 382 Mass. Ave., #805, Arlington, Mass. 02174.)

Bill Robertie has done an excellent job of annotating the final match of the 1981 World Backgammon Championship Tournament. He starts out with twenty pages of tables, charts, and explanations of proper cube strategies in match play. This section covers topics such as calculating doubling equities in match situations, preserving a lead, catching up, and strategies at particular scores. This alone makes the book worth its price; the other 150 pages of moves, diagrams, and detailed analysis are gravy. And they are tasty gravy at that.

Robertie's comments are often lengthy and detailed, leaving little doubt about the correct plays in seemingly difficult positions. In many cases he has actually played the positions out, sometimes hundreds of times, to determine which play or cube action is best. His comments are not confined to the specific positions of the match. He frequently expands upon issues raised by the match to discuss more generally certain types of positions and strategies (e.g., backgames, holding games, and racing games) with emphasis on proper use of the doubling cube. Certain other positions he brushes over lightly. In some instances I disagree with his comments, but for the most part he has done a convincing job. The notation is easy to follow and the diagrams are clear and appear in key places throughout the match. The text gives the reader a clear view of how Robertie, an acknowledged expert, thinks about each play. To top it all off, the match would be interesting and educational even without comments.

The softcover book of 170 pages is a bargain at $20. All tournament players, from beginners to experts, can learn from it. I recommend it highly.

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