Strategy--Checker play

Forum Archive : Strategy--Checker play

Blitzing strategy

From:   Fredrik Dahl
Date:   12 July 1997
Subject:   Re: Can someone explain the concept of blitz play?

Phil Shulkind wrote:
> Can someone explain the concept of blitz play? I've seen a couple of
> mentions of this recently, but I don't know much about it other than
> that Jellyfish seems to do this to me and win quite a lot. So, what
> situations merit the use of it, and what does one do to try and stop
> it?

A blitz is a postion where one side is caught on the bar without an
anchor, and his opponent rushes to close him out. A successful blitz
will normally win a gammon or BG. Once 'committed to the blitz' the
attacker should not care much about the 'purity' of his position. This
means that deep points are as good as high points in his board. Deep
points may even be better because the holes in his board will then be
high and easier to reach with his following echelons of attackers. The
attacker should often hit in his board even if this leaves direct shots
from the bar (hitting loose), because it will be a major disaster if the
defender anchors.

Blitzes are often quite easy to play for the attacker, but sometimes he
must choose between hitting loose, making points, hitting in the
outfield or jumping over the opponents prime if he has one. The key
strategic decision will often be if you should start the blitz in the
first place, and whether or not you're 'committed to it', which means
that you've put your checkers in positions that are useless for anything
but blitzing.

Once the blitz is on there's not much the defender can do but hope for
good rolls. He can of course defend against the blitz before it starts
by keeping an anchor and leaving few blots. But other things are
important too in backgammon, so you're supposed to be blitzed every now
and again. As an example it's perfectly ok to play an opening 52: 13/8
24/22, even if this means he will blitz you with a 55: 6/1*(2) 8/3*(2).
If you then stay out with both checkers, he will double you in a
moneygame, and you'll have a close pass.

- Fredrik Dahl
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Strategy--Checker play

Avoiding major oversights  (Chuck Bower+, Mar 2008) 
Bearing off with contact  (Walter Trice, Dec 1999) 
Bearing off with contact  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 1998)  [Long message]
Blitzing strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, July 1997) 
Blitzing strategy  (Fredrik Dahl, July 1997) 
Blitzing technique  (Albert Silver+, July 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Breaking anchor  (abc, Mar 2004) 
Breaking contact  (Alan Webb+, Oct 1999) 
Coming under the gun  (Kit Woolsey, July 1996) 
Common errors  (David Levy, Oct 2009) 
Containment positions  (Brian Sheppard, July 1998) 
Coup Classique  (Paul Epstein+, Dec 2006) 
Cube ownership considerations  (Kit Woolsey, Apr 1996) 
Cube-influenced checker play  (Rew Francis+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Defending against a blitz  (Michael J. Zehr, Jan 1995) 
Estimating in volatile situations  (Kit Woolsey, Mar 1997) 
Gammonish positions  (Michael Manolios, Nov 1999) 
Golden point  (Henry Logan+, Nov 2002) 
Hitting loose in your home board  (Douglas Zare, June 2000) 
Holding games  (Casual_Observer, Jan 1999)  [Long message]
How to trap an anchor  (Timothy Chow+, Apr 2010) 
Jacoby rule consideration  (Ron Karr, Nov 1996) 
Kamikaze plays  (christian munk-christensen+, Nov 2010) 
Kleinman Count for bringing checkers home  (Øystein Johansen, Feb 2001) 
Late loose hits  (Douglas Zare+, Aug 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Mutual holding game  (Ron Karr, Dec 1996) 
Pay now or pay later?  (Stuart Katz, MD, Nov 1997) 
Pay now or pay later?  (Stephen Turner, Mar 1997) 
Pay now or play later?  (Hank Youngerman+, Sept 1998) 
Play versus a novice  (Courtney S Foster+, Apr 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Playing doublets  (Grunty, Jan 2008) 
Playing when opponent has one man back  (Kit Woolsey, May 1995) 
Prime versus prime  (Albert Silver+, Aug 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Prime versus prime  (Michael J. Zehr, Mar 1996) 
Saving gammon  (Bill Riles, Oct 2009) 
Saving gammon  (Ron Karr, Dec 1997) 
Splitting your back men  (KL Gerber+, Nov 2002) 
Splitting your back men  (David Montgomery, June 1995) 
Trap play problem  (Brian Sheppard, Feb 1997) 
When in doubt  (Stick+, Apr 2011) 
When to run the last checker  (Stick Rice+, Jan 2009) 
When you can't decide  (John O'Hagan, Oct 2009) 

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