Forum Archive : Miscellaneous


From:   Dean Gay
Address:   demiga@hotmail.com
Date:   24 February 2000
Subject:   Re: Opening Move Variations
Forum:   rec.games.backgammon
Google:   38b57452.108615369@news.mindspring.com

> What do those numbers mean?

The numbers are a common way of describing the movement of checkers.
The points around the board are assigned numbers from 24 to 1:

  | X              O |   |    O           X |
  | X              O |   |    O           X |
  |                O |   |    O           X |
  |                O |   |                X |
  |                O |   |                X |
  |                  |   |                  |64
  |                  |   |                  |
  |                X |   |                O |
  |                X |   |                O |
  |                X |   |    X           O |
  | O              X |   |    X           O |
  | O              X |   |    X           O |

This board is seen from X's perspective, and he is moving clockwise,
so his 2 checkers on the 24 point have the farthest to travel before
being able to bear off.

Let's look at an example from the original post:

62 - 24/18 13/11

The 62 represents the roll to be played; the other numbers represent
the movement of the checkers.  In this case, the poster is indicating
that the 6 will be played by moving a checker from the 24-point to the
18-point, and that the 2 will be played by moving a checker from the
13-point to the 11-point.  After the move, the board will look like

  | X              O |   | X  O           X |
  |                O |   |    O           X |
  |                O |   |    O           X |
  |                O |   |                X |
  |                O |   |                  |
  |                  |   |                  |64
  |                  |   |                  |
  |                X |   |                O |
  |                X |   |                O |
  |                X |   |    X           O |
  | O              X |   |    X           O |
  | O              X |   |    X        X  O |

If a move results in a checker being hit, this is indicated by adding
a * to the end of that portion of the move.  For example, if O rolled
64 in the position above he might play:

64: 1/11*

Since it is not important whether the 6 or the 4 first was played
first, the intermediate step (1/7/11* or 1/5/11*) can be omitted.  If
X had left a blot on the 5-point which O also wanted to hit), the move
can be described as follows:

64: 1/5*/11*

Note that an asterisk immediately follows the point on which a checker
is hit.

Doubles are often shown by placing the number of checkers moved in
parens after the move.  For example, if O rolls 22, it could be noted
as either

19/21(2) 12/14(2) or
19/21 19/21 12/14 12/14

It's common to use the words "bar" or "off" to describe moves where
checkers are entered from the bar or taken off during bear off.  For

bar/24 13/9 or
5/off 4/off

Finally, it's common (though not always observed--I didn't do it in
the examples above for the sake of simplicity) to reverse the
numbering of the points when O is on roll.  So the 24-point now
becomes O's 1-point, and the 7-point now becomes 0's 18-point.

Hope this helps.  If I left anything out, or something is unclear,
feel free to drop me an email.


("Chase" on FIBS and GamesGrid)
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