A Hit and Run Case: The Golden Point

Backgammon is board game that's basically a checkers race. So when you're behind in the count, you can gain tempo if you just hit an opposing blot. Picture this, you've made your opponent's five-point and your opponent's got yours. You're neck and neck except that you've got three on your nine-point to bear-in while your opponent's only got two on their nine-point. What's the first thing you'd do to catch up? If your answer's to run your back checkers, well, that's okay… if you want to scatter blots all over the place. Ergo, the best answer is to bear-in the rest of your checkers first and then run.

You might say that it depends on the roll. True, but here's the kicker, you've both made each other's golden point and it's hardly sensible to relinquish that hold especially nearing the end-game. See, your five-point is your opponent's golden point and vice versa. Making that advanced anchor effectively cramps your opponent's bearing in opportunities as well as provides a safe point for you to re-enter if you get sent to the bar.

Keep this in mind, your opponent won't be too keen on giving up your five-point either. So if it's your turn to roll and move, try to bear-in all your other checkers. Build your inner board well because when only the advanced anchors on each of your golden points remain, it's going to be a hit and run case.

Luck favors the player who rolls doubles on this turn. But bear in mind, your and your opponent's back checkers will be head to head to cover more pips and a blot's fair game. If you leave a blot and your opponent gets a shot, you will be sent to the bar. So, don't hesitate and hit back when you get the chance. Remember, nobody can bear off until each and every checker of a player gets home. And when it comes to the point when you've passed each other around the corner unscathed, it's a race to get off the board.

The battle of the golden point makes for a nose to nose backgammon match. Control the urge to split your advanced anchor on your opponent's five-point until it's absolutely necessary and, more often than not, your opponent will hold on to yours too. When it's time to bring home each of your advanced anchors, you'll have to hit and you'll have run to acquire that advantage and come out first in the race.

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