Backgammon Books

  Backgammon for Dummies

  AUTHOR: Chris Bray
  YEAR: 2008
  PUBLISHER: John Wiley & Sons
  CITY: London
  ISBN: 978-0-470-77085-6
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: xvi+260
  SIZE: 21.5 cm high, 14 cm wide

     "It is hard to write a fresh beginner book about backgammon, but Bray has succeeded. This book's good content, its visual appeal, and that reassuringly familiar Dummies format make Bray's new book an essential addition to the elementary backgammon canon."—Mary Hickey, Flint Area BackgammoNews, January 2009

      About This Book
      Conventions Used in This Book
      Foolish Assumptions
      How This Book is Organised
      Icons Used in This Book
      Where to Go from Here

Part I: Starting and Playing the Game

Chapter 1: Tackling the Basics of Backgammon
      Looking at the Basics of the Game
      Setting Up the Board and Arranging the Pieces
      Examining the Rest of the Equipment
           Dice shakers or dice cups
           Doubling cube
      Digging into the Underlying Concepts
           Making use of arithmetic
           Practising pattern recognition
           Being mindful of psychology
      Combining Three Parts into a Whole Game
      Choosing among the Different Ways to Play the Game
           Wagering one-on-one
           Entering the chouette

Chapter 2: Playing the Game
      Rolling the Dice
      Agreeing on the Notation
           Indicating the roll of the dice
           Numbering the points on the board
           Showing how the checkers move
      Moving the Checkers
           Starting the game
      Making the moves
      Hitting and re-entering
      Bearing off

Chapter 3: Looking at Basic Backgammon Tactics
      Understanding Dice and Numbers
           Reading a dice table
           Using the dice table
      Starting Out with the Fundamentals
           Making points
           Building primes
           Hitting your opponent's checkers
      Choosing Your Move
           Indentifying candidate plays
           Selecting the best play

Chapter 4: Making the Opening Move
      Understanding Opening Objectives
           Defining the objectives
           Introducing risk
      Winning the Roll and Making the First Move
           Starting with the best
           Handling other opening moves
      Responding to the Opening Move
           Destroying a slot
           Gaining tempo with a hit
      Changing Priorities
      Dealing with Doubles

Part II: Handling the Middle Game

Chapter 5: Upping the Stakes by Doubling
      Understanding the Basics of Doubling
           Introducing the doubling cube and counting by doubles
           Presenting the procedure
      Estimating Your Chances
           Counting pips to see who's ahead
           Applying the 25 per cent rule
           Improving your odds by owning the cube
      Answer the Three Key Questions about Doubling
           Offering a double
           Looking at end-game doubling decisions
      Remembering Reference Positions

Chapter 6: Progressing to Advanced Doubling
      Good Principles Make Good Doubles
           Checking your position in the race
           Inspecting your structure
           Evaluating threats
           Putting the principles into practice
      Judging Volatility and Looking for Market Losers
      Accommodating Gammons
      Applying Psychology
           Playing the opponent
      Redoubling Quandary: When Is Your Position Too Good?

Chapter 7: Planning Tactics for the Middle Game
      Having a Plan
      Demonstrating Basic Middle Game Tactics
           Diversifying your good numbers
           Duplicating your opponent's good numbers
           Picking and passing
           Priming and attacking
           Paying now or paying later

Chapter 8: Discovering Strategies
      Racing toward the Finish
           Bearing into your home board
      Holding Position in Anchor Games
           Playing holding games
           Anchoring on the 4-point
           Trying an anchor on the 3-point
           Avoiding the smaller anchors
      Braving a Blitzing Game
           Blitzing early
           Blitzing in the middle game
      Going Prime Versus Prime
           Sorting out a strategy
           Moving with zugzwang
      Playing Back Games with Anchors

Part III: Bearing Off (The Last Lap)

Chapter 9: Bearing Off without Contact
      Assessing No-miss Positions
      Using Robertie's Addition Method
      Counting on the 8-9-12 Formula

Chapter 10: Bearing Off Against Contact
      Bearing Off when Your Opponent is on the Bar
           Getting them home
           Getting them off
      Staying Afloat with an Anchor in Your Home Board
           Navigating the ace-point game
      Doubling the Weight with Two Anchors
           Killing numbers
           Checking your numbers

Part IV: Varying the Play

Chapter 11: Looking at Complex Endings
      Winning after Hitting a Late Shot
           Building a prime
           Rolling home a prime
           Bearing off to victory
      Becoming Aggressive under Duress
      Meeting the Coup Classique
           Setting the scene
           Executing the coup
      Weighing Anchors
           Pulling out too soon
           Trapping off an anchor

Chapter 12: Entering the Chouette
      Listing the Reasons to Play in Chouettes
      Examining the Players and the Play
           Introducing the players
           Explaining the play
           Doubling in a chouette
      Developing Chouette Tactics
           Accommodating weak players
           Playing in the box
           Playing on the team
      Checking your Bank Balance before Joining a Chouette

Chapter 13: Playing Tournament Backgammon
      Introducing Tournament Play
           Paying to play
           Scoring the play
           Playing with a clock
      Following the Rules about Doubling
           Doing without doubling: The Crawford Rule
           Earning a free drop
           Making automatic redoubles
      Strategising Match Play Tactics
           Getting to know your opponent
           Adapting your opening moves
           Concerning gammons
      Playing to the Score with Match Equity Tables
           Explaining a match equity table
           Calculating match equity tables
           Applying match equity tables
           Nearing the end

Chapter 14: Using Computers and Online Play
      Playing Against Computers
           Mousing to move
           Finding your level
           Taking hints
           Going for analysis
      Venturing Online
           Watching others
           Paying the rake
           Playing at speed
      Playing Online
           Choosing a site
           Choosing a stake
           Choosing an opponent
           Varying your tactics online

Part V: The Part of Tens

Chapter 15: The Ten Commandments of Backgammon
      Thou shalt Love the Game Above All Others
           and Have no Other Game but Backgammon
      Thou shalt Follow the Words of the Expert Magriel
      Thou shalt do Thy Sums
      Thou shalt Hit in the Openings
      Thou shalt not Kill (the Checkers)
      Thou shalt not Take a Kife to a Gunfight
      Thou shalt Remember that Every Roll is a Doubling Decision
      Thou shalt Use the Proper Tools to Evaluate Thy Doubling
      Thou shalt not Play on Automatic
      Thou shalt Study and Play both Humans and Bots

Chapter 16: Ten Useful Backgammon Resources
      Top Ten Books
      Online Supply Sources
      Auction Websites
      Flint Area Backgammon News
      Chicago Point
      Backgammon Software
      Online Playing Sites
      Gammon Village
      Backgammon Galore


  COVER: Learn to:
  • Set up a backgammon board
  • Shine from the opening move to bearing off
  • Use the doubling cube to your advantage
  • Get into the swing of tournament backgammon
Your step-by-step guide to becoming a masterful backgammon player. Backgammon is an exciting, tactical game, and this straightforward book enables newcomers to get in on the fun, as well as providing expert advice for the more experienced player. Fully illustrated, it's packed with opening strategies, middle- and end-game tactics, tips on how to make key moves, and advice to get you up to speed on dice probabilities. You'll be hooked in no time!
  • The basics of starting play — set up your board, get to grips with the rules and tactics of the game, and make the opening move
  • Move smoothly into the middle game — work out basic probabilities, apply the 25 per cent rule, and raise the stakes with the doubling cube
  • Bearing off into the last lap — discover key "no-miss" positions and mast er complex endings
  • Cast your gaming further afield — compete in tournaments, pit your skills against a computer, and play live games online
Open the book and find:
  • The 36 possible outcomes that rolling two dice produces
  • Over 50 illustrations of a backgammon board highlighting key tactics and rolls of the dice
  • Definitions of backgammon-speak, from anchors and builders to a lover's leap
  • Strategies to apply to each type of middle game
  • Advice on playing against computers and online opponents
  • Useful backgammon resources to help refine your game further

Chris Bray has been playing backgammon for over thirty years. He is a multiple tournament winner and plays regularly on the European circuit. Chris writes the only backgammon column published in a national newspaper, The Independent, where his words have graced many a breakfast table on a Saturday morning for the last fifteen years.
      Chris is also a prolific author and Backgammon For Dummies is his fifth book. His other works include What Colour is the Wind? and Second Wind.
      Chris lives in south-west London with his wife Gill and daughter Kate.

   Backgammon, An Independent View
Chris Bray
1998: Electra Publishing, Cheddar, Somerset
   What Colour is the Wind?
Chris Bray
2002: Chris Bray, London
   Backgammon for Blood
A Guide for Those Who Like to Play but Love to Win
Chris Bray
2007: Skyhorse, New York, New York
   Backgammon to Win
Play like a pro both online and off
Chris Bray
2007: New Holland Publishers, London
   Second Wind
Chris Bray
2007: Chris Bray (Lulu), London
   Wind Assisted
Chris Bray
2010: Chris Bray (Lulu), London
   The Wind of Change
A Backgammon Book
Chris Bray
2013: Chris Bray (Lulu), London

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