501 Backgammon Problems Paperback – Mar 1 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
I've just read the first section and it gave me a headache. The rub is that the problems are grouped together followed by the solutions. This means you spend your whole time skipping back and forth from problem to solution. Now Robertie suggests that you work through the whole group and write your own solutions on a piece of paper, then move to the solutions section and compare them with his. Well I don't see how this avoids the 'flip flopping,' because unless you can memorize all the positions--and there's 59 of them in the first section--you'll want to go back to have another look at the position so you're 'flip flopping' again.
This isn't just user-unfriendly, it's brutal! It makes the product importable, which is the whole point of a book, no?
I like to read on my commute to the office and have struggling through, keeping two fingers marking the pages I'm on. I think a three-handed Martian would find it hard!
And the biggest shame of all is that the content is excellent, so I'm reluctant to toss the thing because I know I'd be missing out. So, I'll struggle on...flip flop flip flop x 1002.
A great book spoilt by a clumbsy layout... too bad!
PLAYING FOR A GAMMON*
SAVING THE GAMMON* BEARING OFF AGAINST CONTACT *VARIOUS ENDGAMES *THE RACE *THE BEAROFF *Plus an introduction with basic rules and backgammon notations and a final chapter with places to play backgammon.
For those of you unaware, Robertie, former two time world champion, has already written many books on backgammon and together with Kent Goulding co-published the sadly now defunct, but at the time premier magazine "Inside Backgammon".
As the title suggests, it is a compilation of 501 problems, split 360 checker plays v 141 cube actions. (67 doubles 74 redoubles). After the introductory chapters covering notation/probability/basic doubling strategy etc, there are 26 chapters covering many of the important concepts in backgammon from the opening to the bearoff. These are:
The Opening, Flexibility, The Middle Game, The 5-point, One Man Back, Priming Games, Connectivity, Hit Or Not?, Crunch Positions, Action Doubles, Late Game Blitz, Post-Blitz Turnaround Games, Ace-Point Games Back Games, The Containment, Game Post-Ace-Point Games, Saving The Gammon, The Race, Various Endgames, Bearing Off Against Contact, The Blitz, Breaking Anchor, Too Good To Double?, Playing For A Gammon, The Bearoff, Holding Games,
The book manages to cram the 501 positions and analyses into 384 pages of a book measuring just 23x15cms. This is achieved by squashing the diagrams with the effect of making the checkers oval. The problems in each chapter are all bunched together first and the solutions at the end of the chapter hence cutting down on the need to avoid looking at the analysis.
It's target audience is everybody from beginner to expert level. The only group that maybe wouldn't find many parts of this book valuable would be world class players.Read more ›
Robertie's solutions so closely mirror my JellyFish Tutor recommendations that I have simply dropped the examples into JellyFish and only consult the book when I have a disagreement with the bot.
Therein is the second value in this book for me: Robertie's analysis is succinct and sticks to themes over theory. When I do perhaps 50 positions quickly, only noting where I differ from the bot, and then read Robertie's suggestions for these positions, I usually find a recurring theme pointing to a weakness in my game.
For me, this book is ultimately what I've made of it, Robertie has provided the necessary resources and I recommend this book as such.
Most recent customer reviews
This book contains invaluable information for the improving backgammon player. It suffers from it's unfortunate layout (as do all Robertie books) --- poorly located diagrams or... Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by guitornado
i keep going back to this book to relearn what it has taught me! backgammon is easy when the dice go your way. Read morePublished on June 26 2003 by David Siegel
Dont hesitate to buy this book. I dont think there is another backgammon book that gives so much content for 25 dollars. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Matthias Nilsson