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Stick 2-1/Answer




 I hate this problem a little bit because the score may influence the correct checker play.  There is one thing that is a must at all close to regular scores and that is moving the back checkers.  You can't sit idly by while your opponent makes or attempts to make another point in his prime.  You may think so what?!  He doesn't have that many numbers that makes the 5pt and some of them will need to use a checker from the 8pt thus leaving me a blot and direct shot.

That's all good but what happens when you don't hit that blot?  Worse yet, what happens when your opponent rolls mildly awkward but now since you haven't split he can slot right into the point he wants to make, the 5pt.  Now instead of having a double shot plus escaping numbers (or in essence, forcing him not to make that play), you only have a single shot you need to hit or you're in a bit of trouble.   So I would start by making what I see as the mandatory movement of my back checkers, 23/22. 

Now comes the hard part but using some common sense you will at least make a decent play.  You have a two to play, it's obvious you aren't going to break the 8pt or any inner board points so those 10 checkers remain in place.  The checker on your 23pt doesn't move, that's up to 11 checkers that don't move.  You now look at 13/11 and that sure seems loose, 5 checkers spewed around when you just gave up your anchor?   Feels like too much to me, and you'll be scrambling to clean them all up in upcoming turns if you do somehow get away with that play.  Now we're down to only two plays with the deuce, either 9/7 or 22/20.

If you've attacked the problem rationally and made it this far consider it job well done whether you get the top play or not.  You have avoided making a big mistake and that's one of the keys to winning backgammon.  You identified your game plan and your opponent's and are playing in your best interest on both fronts. 



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