ARTICLE #13 [First published in January 1988 Chicagoland Backgammon Newsletter]

A Music Lesson

Beginning players are introduced to backgammon by being given the standards of checker and cube play. They are shown how to move the checkers according to the rolls of the dice. When a position develops where they achieve an advantage in a race or in flexibility, they envision the cube as a factor.

Because it’s difficult just to learn how to play the game (especially at a high level of competition), many players have trouble in advancing beyond the fundamentals of game strategy to match strategy. The purpose of having a match strategy is to subordinate the game in its relationship to the match. The match equity charts are good in giving the percentage probability of winning a match from a given score, but the application of these numbers in making decisions is up to the player’s interpretation.

As an analogy for match play, consider the playing of a musical instrument. Learning how to play a game is like producing notes. Learning how to play a match is like making music.

Fortune Cookie
A good player is a matter of performance, not popular perception.

Back to Takgammon