Book Suggestions

Forum Archive : Book Suggestions

After Magriel

From:   Robert-Jan Veldhuizen
Date:   22 August 2000
Subject:   Re: Book Suggestions?

> I was wondering what some of you suggest for reading after Magriel. I
> have been hearing Robertie's two volumes of Advanced Backgammon and also
> Woolsey. Are Robertie's two volumes worth the $70-$80? Anybody know where
> I can get them cheaper, used perhaps?

Robertie's two books are most useful. Lots, lots of (very) interesting
positions and also very good for improving your cube-handling I think.
There's also good discussions on specific issues and reference
positions, etc.

Just as Magriel's book is dated in some ways, Robertie's book is too.
You might want to have JF rollouts for the book to see which advices are
probably or perhaps not okay; these are available on the net (although a
bit hard to find). It doesn't really decrease the value of the book
though, just don't take all advice as gospel.

> Also, which books by Woolsey are most helpful?
> The MatchQiz series?

I have one of those books and I like it very much. Kit Woolsey gives
excellent analyses and explanations and is better in this respect than
Robertie in my opinion, but that might be a matter of taste.

These books describe complete matches, just like you play IRL and I
think that's nicer to read and probably also useful, because you get to
see how your "gameplan" should change as the dice dictate (and how even
expert players sometimes fail to do so properly). It is also good to
watch a game progress to see when and why one should double (and drop or
take), and again what kind of errors very good players can make
(probably also at least partly because of the way a game or match

However, these books don't serve as reference books very well, for that
you should really buy Robertie. Or just buy them all, I'd say! ;o)

> Or New Ideas in Backgammon?

That book is high on the list as I hear all good stories about it. From
what I know, these are really deep analyses (with the help of JF) of a
relatively small set of positions. Probably the most advanced of all the

I've heard of some of the other books, but can't really comment on them.
Some are very specific or theoretic, others might just not give very
good advice. Some are probably pretty good too, although not as popular
as the books above.


Nikos Albanopoulos  writes:

I recommend robertie's "501 essential backgammon problems"
it is cheap (you will find it for less than 20$), detailed, goes
through all the parts of the game and will help players from amateur
to mid level alot.

I would recommend that you would buy robertie's advanced backgammon or
woolsey's new ideas after you read the 501 book.

nikalban in netgammon / gammonline

Gregg Cattanach  writes:

Jake Jacobs books are very entertaining, but they aren't filled with
theories and techniques for the game.  The 'Fish' book is an extremely
mathematical approach to changing play style based on skill differences
between the players; interesting but obscure.  The '4 point' book is a
great read, VERY amusing, but not a lot of backgammon analysis.

Everything else you mention is pretty good.  I might be a bit cautious with
the MatchQiz series. Some of those were written 10-15 years ago before we
had Snowie/Jellyfish, so some of the recommended plays in the older matches
are actually quite wrong.

For a reference book, Robertie's two 'Advanced Backgammon' volumes are
pretty much indispensable, but his latest book '501 Positions', was not a
very good effort in comparison, IMO. It was worth going through once, but I
don't use it as a basic reference like Advanced Backgammon.

Kleinman is great, and VERY amusing.  Super stuff about chouettes and lots
of details about close bearoffs and saving the gammon, stuff like that.

All the Ortega books are SUPERB match analysis books, and 'Cubes and
Gammons near the End of the Match', although pretty technical, is great for
understanding match equity concepts and cube actions in matches.

'In the Game until the End' is only about ace-point games. I'm not sure if
that subject is worth an entire book.

Some people really like Peter Bell's book, but it was only worth a quick
read through for me.  There are better resources about cube handling, and
he has some rather complicated counting systems that I can't really imagine
trying to memorize and use.

I'd also recommend buying some of the back-issues sets of the 'Inside
Backgammon' magazine. Great questions, problems, and analysis in each one.

Good luck!

Gregg Cattanach
Zox_ at GamesGrid, Zone
ICQ #2266410
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Book Suggestions

After Magriel  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen+, Aug 2000) 
Annotated matches  (Walter Trice, Jan 2000) 
Best books from the bot era  (Chuck Bower+, Nov 2007) 
Best next step  (Gregg Cattanach+, July 2002) 
Bibliography  (Carl Tait, Apr 2000)  [Long message]
Books for advanced players  (Edward D. Collins, June 2003) 
Books for serious players  (Douglas Zare, Feb 2003) 
Books on match play  (Keene Marin+, Sept 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Buyer's guide  (Chuck Bower, Feb 1998) 
How to read backgammon books  (Gary Wong, Jan 1998) 
Ideal book on backgammon  (Laury Chizlett, Apr 2000) 
Informal book survey  (Chuck Bower+, Dec 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
John Bazigos's suggestions  (Mika Johnsson, July 1993) 
Magriel, Robertie, and Kleinman  (Gregg Cattanach, May 2000) 
Marty Storer's reading list  (Larry Hunter, May 1992) 
Recommended Backgammon Books  (Butch Meese, Jan 1984) 
Survey of some available books  (William Hill, Jan 1998) 
Three underrated books  (Mary Hickey, July 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
What's a good second book?  (Tommy+, Dec 2000) 
Which book by Chris Bray should I buy?  (Timothy Chow+, July 2012) 

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

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