ARTICLE #5 [First published in May 1987 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]

The Cube

The quality of checker play in backgammon has developed with an amazing surge, while the play of the doubling cube has stagnated within its own dogmas. Part of the problem may be with the player’s inability to understand the importance of correlating cube usage to the play of the pieces. A cube should be viewed in different ways at different times:

A. The POSITIONAL CUBE is based strictly on the position of the checkers. It promotes consistency in the development of one’s game; but oftentimes, players fail to understand that there are other variations of cube usage that may conflict with this view.
B. The CUSTOMIZED CUBE is aimed at your opponent. Cube moves vary according to each individual’s range of takes and drops. Tailoring of the doubling cube can produce more effective results because the pressure of giving or not giving may alter your opponent’s play.
C. The STRATEGIC CUBE is used according to your own match play views. It has very little to do with understanding your opponent. Your cube decisions are based on attaining effective match scoring results relative to your opponent.

Understanding the different ways of using the doubling cube should make you a better player.

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