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The Magic of Backgammon: 20 Lessons for the Developing Player

The Magic of Backgammon: 20 Lessons for the Developing Player [Kindle Edition]

Radek Dobias
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Backgammon affords deep intellectual gratification, attainable through careful analytic thinking and a personal commitment to constant improvement. In those regards, mistakes are the most fruitful field to explore. The subtler facets of the game that we either do not understand or only partially grasp are what keeps backgammon from ever becoming boring or trite.

Chances are you feel the same. I suspect you have a strong passion for the game, otherwise you would not be reading this book. You may be a beginner, an intermediate player, or an expert. It doesn't matter, as all players can get something out of it.

If you are a beginner, you may be wondering if this book is too difficult for you. It isn't. You will find many positions and concepts challenging, as they will go against what you know or think you know about backgammon. But don't worry. There is enough in the book to teach you what is right and why.

If you are an intermediate player (which I define as someone between a beginner and an expert), you will get the most out of this book. That's because the concepts and examples contained herein challenge the play of typical intermediate players and help them to think along new lines.

If you are an expert, the book will afford you the pleasure of studying various positions, as well as testing yourself to see if your backgammon skills indeed match reality.

Among the lessons, expect to find:
Lesson #1: Small Edges
Lesson #2: Know When to Break the Rules
Lesson #3: Context is King
Lesson #4: Never Play on Automatic
Lesson #5: How to Play in Tricky Positions
Lesson #6: Never Forget It's a Race
Lesson #7: Connect!
Lesson #8: The Best Backgammon Advice I Ever Received
Lesson #9: Be a Troublemaker
Lesson #10: Shortcut
Lesson #11: Have Balls
Lesson #12: Possibility Isn't Correctness
Lesson #13: 'Good Numbers'
Lesson #14: Consider Flexibility
Lesson #15: Maximize
Lesson #16: Use Elimination
Lesson #17: The Most Important Thing
Lesson #18: There Is More to Checker Play Than Meets the Eye
Lesson #19: Watch the Doubles
Lesson #20: Take What You Can

About the Author

After playing chess, go, hex, othello, mahjong, and poker for many years, I discovered backgammon. I instantly fell in love with it, and started playing seriously. I climbed from an absolute beginner to an expert (1900+ rating) in a matter of only 3 months by playing against strong AI (Artificial Intelligence software) for several hours every day.

I am not alone in achieving such a feat. Nack Ballard is famous for becoming one of the best in the world in the same way (not that I would claim to be one of the best :), but I do play at the expert level). In fact, such training has become the new orthodoxy among backgammon players worldwide. AI is better than humans, and has been for a long time. It is the ultimate opponent and tutor.

However, merely playing against the computer is not sufficient. There is a need to be able to understand the software's evaluations using dynamic principles. There are good, rational reasons why certain moves are better than others.

Discover them for yourself with The Magic of Backgammon.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1276 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Double Sixes; 1.5 edition (11 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EN9H9EE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable Short Book 29 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable short book on backgammon. It is easy to read and the advice is clear and helpful. What stops me awarding five stars is the depth of analysis: I would have liked to have seen more in each "lesson". I also felt the book could have looked at other typical situations. Saying all of this I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to develop their game, or trying to eradicate their mistakes, and to anyone who is building a library of backgammon material.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm the developing player to whom the book speaks. ... 4 Aug 2014
By Seneca - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm the developing player to whom the book speaks. It's my first foray into an understanding of the game beyond my intuition, and I quickly learned that my instincts are fairly unrelated to high level play. It's somewhat short so it will not on its own make you a consistent winner, but it will certainly get you on the road. It is a readable, no nonsense trip around the block. Every play is worth study and remembrance, Collectively they will point you toward appreciable improvement in your play.
4.0 out of 5 stars helpful 18 Aug 2014
By Barbara L. Taylor-iversen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Helpful but a bit advanced for my level. I found it hard to follow and had to set up my board in order to see the moves recommended. A good book for more advanced players.
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