Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and today we are introducing you to the game of Backgammon. We want to look at some of the things you want to keep in mind when you trying merely to save the gammon and bear your checkers into your home board most efficiently. In the position that I have set up here, white is in the middle of bearing off has already taken some checkers off. Blue on the other hand is seriously behind in the race and is in serious danger of losing a gammon. Blue does not have much hope of winning the game here. It might be mathematically possible, but almost impossible, but what blue does have a good hope of doing is to try to what we call save the gammon, that is, what blue is trying to do here. Is to lose only one point to not two. So there are some strategies involved in taking your checkers around, so that you can get them into your inner board and get at least one off to save the gammon that I want to illustrate. The first thing you want to do is to not waste any pips, any points moved in your home board. So if you rolled a six, you would not want to take a checker from here deep into your home board. So the first rule when you are bearing off to save gammon is don't waste pips in your home board. Aim for your six points as if it were a target that you don't want to undershoot and you don't want to overshoot. You want to just get them into your home board and not waste any points or pips in your home board.
The second thing to remember and this goes even for bearing off and bearing in to win a race is to maximize the crossovers. In other words we said that the backgammon board is thought of as having four quadrants one, two, three, four quadrants. What you want to do is to move your numbers so that you maximize the crossovers from one quadrant into the other. So don't waste pips in your home board. Maximize the crossovers, aim for the six points. So in other words, if I rolled a four, my most efficient four here would be this four. It doesn't waste any pips in my home board, makes a crossover. It would be very inefficient for me to move that four here because it does not make a crossover into another quadrant and again, I wouldn't want to move the four from here because I am wasting too many pips in my home board. So basically, then this is the strategy that you want to follow when all you are trying to do is pile them up on a six point, so you can get in and get one checker off before your opponent gets all their checkers off and save the gammon. Next, we will look at bearing your checkers in to win a race.