ARTICLE #2 [First published in February 1987 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]
When you start to learn backgammon, you may make plays without fully understanding the strategy that is involved. In most games, you will try to get to the positive side of the cube so you can shorten the game by doubling before a reversal can occur. Your decisions of checker and cube play should be based on multiple factors, an understanding of which can help you become competitive.
The following are some of the factors that you should consider while playing the game:
A. Estimate TIMING to determine which types of games can be played
B. Use EQUITY to judge the degree of playing strength that is appropriate
C. Determine who has TEMPO in directing the line of play
D. Consider SACRIFICING WINNING POTENTIAL to maintain match integrity
E. Evaluate STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES of positions -- as well as opponents -- from the perspective of an overall match strategy
F. Observe opponents’ TEMPERAMENT so you can be prepared for the type of play that they might offer.
1. Giving “feints” to misdirect attention from your vulnerability.
2. Leaving “poison blots” to lure opponents into a premature attack.
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