Backgammon Books


  SERIES: Teach Yourself
  AUTHOR: Robin Clay
  YEAR: 1992 (1977)
  PUBLISHER: Hodder Headline Plc
  CITY: London
  ISBN: 0-8442-3907-0
  BINDING: Softcover
  PAGES: x+164
  SIZE: 20 cm high, 13 cm wide
Hodder and Stoughton, 1977


     "The text is divided into the teaching material in the first section and a quiz which allows the player to test himself and keep score by awarding points for the various moves. He includes methods for calculating speed of movement (an interesting section where he suggests how to measure timing in a prime vs prime position), various shortcuts for counting races and generally lifts itself above the general run of the mill without, I think, losing the beginner."—Kieran Barry, August 1997


     "Easy to read book that takes you from the very beginning of the rules on how to move the checkers to the theory on when to double, and when to accept a double. It includes a chapter on probabilities, as well as brief chapters on duplication, tournaments, and chouette play. It is not at the level of the books by Robertie, or Woolsey (in terms of fine points of strategy) but a very solid and complete introduction."—Reader from New York, July 2000

1.  Beginners' Basics
2.  Basic Strategy: The opening move; response to the opening move
3.  A Running Game: Counting the position; tricks of running movements; counting the number of turns left
4.  Luck, Odds, Chances, Probabilities: The simple arithmetic of backgammon
5.  Blocking/Positional Games and Advice on Doubling
6.  The Back Game
7.  End Play
8.  Duplication and Non-Duplication
9.  Tournament Play
10.  Chouette
11.  Tables of Opening Moves and Responses
  COVER: Backgammon is compulsive, easy to learn, and quick to play. It is a game that offers hours of enterainment, with an exciting blend of chance and skill.
      This book explains the basics of backgammon concisely and clearly, and then goes on to discuss tactics and aggressive and defensive styles of play. Every game of backgammon is unique, so Robin Clay encourages you to experiment, take risks, and try out new strategies. The social version of the game—known as Chouette—which can be played by up to six players on one backgammon board, is also fully explained.
      Whether you play it as a simple game of luck or a battle of skill and deception, backgammon combines the intellectual stimulation of chess or bridge with the excitement of knowing that your fate depends on the roll of the dice.

Robin Clay is the well known authority on Backgammon, whose clear and concise introduction to the game is based on many years of playing experience. He now runs a Backgammon club in his area, from which many accomplished players have emerged, and was a finalist in the 1977 British Open Championship.
      POSTSCRIPT: Robin Clay died in November 2000. Here is an obituary written by Michael Crane.

   Backgammon in a Week
Robin Clay
1992: Headway, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, Kent
   Backgammon Winning Strategies
Robin Clay
1996: Pan Books, London

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