Vic Morawski: Hi, I am Vic and today we are introducing you to the game of Backgammon. Next we will look at some pieces of strategy that you can use to improve your chances of winning in the middle of the running game. I want to show you another important part of the strategy of a running game. Not every roll you roll is going to be an optimal roll that you can do something immediately constructive with. You are going to have some awkward rolls. Part of what you want to do in a running game and especially a situation like this where you are playing a running game against what is called a holding game where your opponent holds one of the points in your inner board and will like to hit you and send you back to the beginning and erase your lead in the race.
One of the things that you want to do is learn to play your awkward numbers behind and opponent's blocking point or an opponent's anchor. So suppose in this situation blue rolled a 6-4, now one option that you would have with the 6-4 would be to take two checkers and make your two points. Well you would like to make some points so that if your opponents decides to leave with only one checker, you might be able to attack the checker that's left. But note if you were to do that in a situation like this, it does two bad things for you. One is it takes away from you a valuable not only blocking point, but point that gave you places for your checkers to land safely. Additionally if you played the 6-4 that way, it leaves a direct shot for your opponent and note in a running game you want to play it pretty safely and you don't want to leave direct shots if you cannot avoid that. So how could we otherwise play a 6-4. Well, here again, the strategy is to play your awkward rolls behind your opponent, so you can play the six here and the four here and go behind where your opponent does not have a direct shot at the checker and in this case you also accomplish something positive by covering a block that was there on the three point. So, remember in a running game to play awkward rolls behind any kind of point that your opponent may have established we call this an anchor in your home board. Next, we are going to consider the blitz or attacking game.