Backgammon Books

  Second Wind

  AUTHOR: Chris Bray
  YEAR: 2007
  PUBLISHER: Chris Bray (Lulu)
  CITY: London
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: vii+261
  SIZE: 29 cm high, 20.5 cm wide
This is Bray's third book. Like the Backgammon, An Independent View and What Colour Is the Wind?, it is an anthology of his best columns from the Independent. The articles were written between 2002 and 2006.

     "The world's longest running backgammon column must be the one written by Chris Bray. His newest book is Second Wind, a better title [than What Colour Is the Wind?], and an even better book. Those who think a newspaper column is of necessity aimed at the lowest common denominator will be pleasantly surprised. Chris aims to pull his readers up, not drag them down, and he has no hesitation about tackling exceptionally challenging material."—Jake Jacobs, from Flint Area BackgammoNews, May 2007


     "Second Wind is a very fine book for intermediates to advanced players, and has some things to interest experts as well. The book isn't on the cutting edge of new backgammon findings; but seriously, there haven't been too many recent backgammon discoveries anyway. As a tough grader when it comes to backgammon books, I rate Second Wind B+ over all. The writing style and quality make it most enjoyable to read over and over. The book could be improved a bit by using the space below some problems to add a brief in-depth discussion or rollout results."—Neil Kazaross, from Chicago Point newletter, July 2007

1. Introduction 

2. 2002:  New Year at 221B; Early Game Planning; Playing on Automatic; Bright 'N' Breezy; Christmas Quiz Problem 1; Christmas Quiz Problem 2; Christmas Quiz Problem 3; United we stand ...; The Fear of Shadows; An Argument over Boxes; The Price of Money; The Price of Money Part 2; The Case of The Imaginary Threat; The March of Time; To Clear or Not to Clear?; Modern Backgammon; The Longer View; Double, Redouble and Match; Beyond the End of your Nose; Chouette; Unfounded Pessimism; Learning from the Machine; Attention to Detail; The Menagerie in Session; Brave New World; The Mid-Point; Think First, Act Later; 2002 World Championship; 2002 World Championship Part 2; 2002 World Championship Part 3; Therre are none so blind ...; The 3-Point Anchor; Big Cube, Huge Pass; Maximising Equity; The Mistakes of Dr. Watson; Offence or Defence?; Inside the Augean Stables; A Simple Choice?; Contretemps in The Menagerie; Silicon versus Carbon; The Kibitzer's View; Nemesis?; Hasty Redouble; Simple Mathematics?; Mutual Back Game Strategy; Full Circle?; Learning Difficulties; The Diogenes Chouette

3. 2003:  New Year Soliloquy; Dichotomy in the Menagerie; Taking a Roll; Beware of Small Furry Creatures; Top Players have Bigger Cubes; Anchors Away?; Quietly does it; Updating the Model; Understanding the Blitz I; Understanding the Blitz II; The Menagerie in Session; Half-Full or Half-Empty; The Second Move; Blunder!!; Double Bluff; The Backgammon Encyclopaedia; Four is More Than YOu Think; Joe Dwek; Machines have Fewer Problems; The Generation Game; Postprandial Chouette; Revision Time; Diogenes Doubles; More on Redoubling; Never Forget the Score; Monte Carlo; Roller Coaster Ride; Fear of Shadows; Ice Cold in Monte Carlo; Pressure Cauldron; High Cube in Monte Carlo; Pusillanimity in the Menagerie; Playing for the Gammon; Avoiding the Gammon; Two Way Gammon; Too Much Money; Expert Lesson; A Piece of History; The 1-5 Backgame; The Late Late Game; The Double Five Club; I'll Wait a Roll; Collective Madness; The Arrival of gnubg; Softly, Softly; Nack Ballard; Patterns; The Price of Turkeys

4. 2004:  New Year Soliloquy; The Weaver Play; Structural Failure; Backgammon in the Media; The Case of the Missed Play; St. Valentine's Day Massacre?; 10th Anniversary; Opening Remarks; Imagination; Last Orders; The 2-pt Game; Comples Redouble; More on Redoubling; Box Fright; Wheat and Chaff; To slot or not to slot?; Understanding Backgammon; Prop or Drop; Advice from the Hitchhiker's Guide; One for the Luddites; One Man Back; Racing Formulae; Physician, Heal Thyself!; The Case of the Broken Board; Inside the Database; The Menagerie in Session; Risk and Reward; Caught at the Flood; Money Management; Magriel and Cooke; More on Ents; World Championship 2004; Backgammon Boot Camp; The Backgammon Masters; Scrambling; A Squabble in the Menagerie; Carbon and Silicon; Of Gift Horses; World Championship Revisited; Beauty or the Beast?; Uncharted Waters; Staying Focused; Prime Time; The Art of the Middle Game; At the Eleventh Hour; Learn How to Learn; What Type of Game? Man vs. Machine; Christmas at The Diogenes

5. 2005:  New Year Soliloquy; An Independent View Revisited; A Simple Ending?; Comples Prime vs. Prime; Tournament Update; Pressure Play; Pivotal Moment; A Very Common Error; Never too Late to Learn; Mea Culpa; Silicon Instruction; The Premature Whinge; Inside Backgammon Revisited; Cancerbackup Event; Pay Now?; The Itinerant Italian; None, One or Two?; Shock Result at Eynsham; More on Match Play; Tokyo Chouette; Late Night Blues; Know Your Man; Opening Trap; A Heated Debate; Backgammon Praxis; Anchors Away; Sundridge Park; The Half Empty Glass; Not a Game of Perfect; World Championship; Endgame Technique; Don't Always Judge by Results; British Championships 1989; Attention to Detail; Monte Carlo; Woolsey's Whopper; A Close Call; Take Your Time; Trap Play; A Four-Pipe Problem; Double Trouble; Error Rates; Double Header; Connectivity; Backgammon on TV; Backgammon on TV: The Answer; Mervin Makes a Point; Double Whopper; Christmas Comes Early; Cyrano de Bergerac Syndrome; Volatility; Baker Street Review

6. 2006:  Discord in the Menagerie; The Gaby Horowitz Proposition; Of Wood and Trees; What Else?; Chouette 1; Chouette 2; Chouette 3; Chouette 4; Woolsey's Law; Sleeping Easily; The Heart of the Matter; Palm Beach Doubles; Palm Beach Doubles 2; Winning Won Games; Settlement; Backgammon and Poker; Baker Street Riddle; Should I Stay or Should I Go?; Adrenalin Rush; Misunderstanding; One to One Charity Tournament; Know Your Man; Age Shall Not Weary Them; Disagreement with the Doyen; Summer Reading; Beware the Steamer; Middle Game Blitz; Vischjager vs. Villa; Learning from Match Play; Last Chance Saloon; Run or Wait?; Monte Carlo 2006; A Conversation with Snowie; To Lift or not To Lift?; A Very Simple Plan; Disquiet in the Menagerie; Silicon Insight; Escape from Alcatraz; Country House Party; Country House Party II; Reference Model; Mutual Holding Game; Denmark vs. Ukraine; The Dunce's Cap; All Together Now; The Prevent Defence; Christmas at 221B; A Good Bluff

7. Addendum 

8. Bibliography 

  COVER: In this anthology of his most recent Independent articles, Chris traces the development of on-line play and looks at many other aspects of the game.
      The game is changing rapidly and in the five years since the publication of Chris's last book, What Colour Is the Wind?, the spread of broadband connectivity has driven unprecedented growth in backgammon on the Internet. Backgammon playing computer program, such as Snowie and gnubg, are helping players of all strength to develop their game.
      The material in this book covers not only the development of backgammon theory but also looks at the history of the game inlcuding some of its more famous and colourful players.
      Several new players, including the Dowager Duchess, have joined his menagerie to help paint a graphic picture of life in the high stakes chouette—the very lifeblood of backgammon.
      Chris's articles are targeted at a broad range of players and everyone from the casual player to the expert will improve their game by studying the diverse positions in this book.

Chris Bray is the backgammon columnist for The Independent newspaper in London and has been playing and studying the game for nearly thirty years.

   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
   Backgammon for Dummies
Chris Bray
2008: John Wiley & Sons, 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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