Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and today we are introducing you to the game of Backgammon. What we would like to look at next are the kinds of opening rolls that might get you to thinking your game plan in this game is the running game. This is the setup as the game begins, now what kind of opening rolls might get you into a running game. Well, a running game presupposes that you are ahead in the race. So it would naturally be the kinds of rolls that total of the higher numbers. The classic roll that gets you into a running game, if your blue here is rolling a 6-5 because notice the six comes here and then the five plays all the way safely to blue's midpoint. That has a name that's often called the Lovers Leap. But other numbers can get you get into a running game. A 6-4 puts your checker all the way there or a 6-3 puts it there. Even a 5-4 if you play the four there and the five puts you out quite a ways. Now when we look at the holding game, we will see that more advanced players don't often play rolls like 6-3 or 5-4 in ways that get them into a running game. So running games are simpler to execute than other types of game plans and especially if you have less experience than your opponent, there is nothing wrong with taking opening rolls in ways that would put you into a running game. In other words playing a 6-3, a 6-4 or a 5-4 in ways that put you out there well advanced in your opponents outer board ready to run around, if you are not hit. So, those are the kinds of rolls that might get you into a running game. Now how would you proceed from there?
Let's suppose white rolls an opening five ones, split the back runners and play the five down to there, you then rolled a 6-4 and now you are much more advanced than your opponent who rolled only a 5-1. If your opponent didn't hit, say your opponent rolled some other number maybe a 4-1, split there. What would you next do if you are into a running game? Well, you were hoping you wouldn't get hit here and sent back to the beginning and that didn't happen. So now you are ahead in the race. What you would like to do, suppose you rolled a 5-4. Suppose blue rolls a 5-4. What you would like to do is establish some safe landing places especially out here in your outer board. So, if from a position like this you rolled something like a 5-4, you would want to make a point. It helps to block your opponent's checkers, but more importantly if you are in a running game, it gives you a safe spot to land on. Next we will talk about the difference between an indirect and a direct shot.