Before the reader continues, he should ask himself this simple question: How much does it bother you to have all those men back there? Or conversely, how do you feel when you’ve hit a bunch of your opponent’s men that are now occupying your inner board?
Strangely enough, having four or five men back on black’s board does not mean the end of the world. In fact, if a player can manage to secure two, or even three, points on his opponent’s board, he will have a good chance to win the game. The acquisition of these points is known as a “back game.”
A good back game, properly played, will more often than not lead to a win. But, before rushing to get into back games at every available opportunity, bear this one fact in mind: Even though a player may win more games than he loses, many of the games he loses will be gammons, or even backgammons. Therefore, whenever he loses a game, he pays off at two or three to one, whereas when he wins, he gets only one point.
To answer the question of how one should feel about being hit repeatedly, he should feel that with a little luck, he will be the favorite to win the game, but he would just as soon call the whole thing off.
Prerequisites for a Back Game
In order to have a successful back game, the player must have two points on black’s inner board. Having two points rather than one makes it very difficult for black to get his men on his board and then to bear them off without having a shot for white.
Not only does possession of two points make it much harder for black to play safe, but when white does get the hoped-for shot, he has men on two points, all aiming at black’s blot, not just men on one point. This situation almost doubles white’s chances of hitting the blot when the opportunity arises.
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