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Backgammon For Winners, 3rd Edition Paperback – September 30, 2002


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Backgammon For Winners, 3rd Edition + 501 Essential Backgammon Problems: 2nd Edition + Backgammon for Serious Players
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cardoza; 3 edition (September 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580420435
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580420433
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bill Robertie did not become two-time backgammon world champion and one of the greatest players of all time by pursuing a conservative game. He calls his style "dynamic backgammon" and he teaches it in this book, aiming his lessons at the raw beginner as well as experienced players. He starts at the very beginning--setting up the board--and takes the reader through his approach to every element of play. It's an approach that pays off, as his championship record shows. The book is rich with clear diagrams and explanations, with three sample games that illustrate his points well. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author


Bill Robertie
(Poker, Backgammon, Chess)

When Bill Robertie started playing chess as a boy, he could have had no idea that his single-minded focus on that game would eventually lead to significant world-wide achievements in 3 games - chess, backgammon and poker.

As a young man, Robertie played chess for Arlington High School (where he met fellow Metropolitan league player from Christopher Columbus High School, Dan Harrington). Robertie was the captain of his chess team for 3 years at Harvard College. He won the U.S. Speed Chess Championship and tied for First in the Golden Knights, the U.S. postal chess championship. He also gave simultaneous blind-fold exhibitions on 8 boards. A lifelong devotee of the game, Bill Robertie has written extensively on chess (Master Checkmate Strategy; Easy Endgame Strategies) and is a chess book collector with a complete set of "Chess Life" going back to 1932, missing only 1991 and 1992, for which he is actively searching.

In 1976, Robertie switched to backgammon, where his years of studying and playing chess served him especially well. Robertie very quickly became a world-class backgammon player - winning multiple tournaments including the Monte Carlo World Backgammon Championship twice, the Boston Black & White tournament, the Bahamas Pro-Am and the Istanbul World Cup. He is the author of 10 classic, best-selling backgammon books including Modern Backgammon, Advanced Backgammon V1, Advanced Backgammon V2 and 501 Essential Backgammon Problems.

In 2003, Robertie's remarkable game career took another important turn when he & Dan Harrington (now a poker player and World Series of Poker champion) co-authored their first poker book, Harrington on Hold'em/Strategic Play (published by Mason Malmuth's 2+2 Publishing). The first poker book that was written clearly so that players could easily get a sense of the true nuances of the game, Harrington on Hold'em/Strategic Play quickly became an instant classic, changing poker playing overnight and becoming a must-read for serious students of the game. They followed it up with Harrington on Hold'em/The Endgame, Harrington on Hold'em/The Workbook, Harrington on Cash Games V1 and Harrington on Cash Games V2, with other "Harrington" series books in the works.

Today, Bill Robertie still writes extensively on backgammon and poker. He moderates the Backgammon Forum at http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com. He also travels to backgammon and poker tournaments world-wide, and offers backgammon coaching (in person in Boston and New York City and via phone and special in-person arrangements world-wide). Details at thegammonpress.com.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter A Smith on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I wanted to get into playing backgammon at some of the online sites, but I hadn't played in years. I figured I needed some help so went looking for a book on backgammon and more or less at random picked Backgammon for Winners by Bill Robertie. And it turned out to be a decent choice.

It's a fairly thin book, which I liked. I didn't want to spend 2 weeks reading about the history of the game (at least not right now). Robertie jumps right into the meat of the subject, first giving the rules and a bit of broad strategy as well as best opening moves for every possible first roll of the dice. But the bulk of the book is taken up with three different sample games, and Robertie analyzes each move of each game, giving lots of explanation for why something was a strong or poor move. While he suggests you set up a board and move the pieces yourself, there were enough illustrations that you don't have to do so (I didn't).

By the time you work through these three sample games you'll understand backgammon notation, the different phases/styles of a backgammon game, why control of certain points is more important than others, and you'll even see examples of when the 'rules of thumb' should be broken. He does a good job of urging you to go back and reread a section if its covering difficult material, keeping you from glossing over it with an "I'll figure this out later" shrug.

Overall, I'm thinking this is a good first backgammon book. Recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is as good as any for the raw beginner. The great Robertie explains the rules of the game, basic objectives, and opening moves, and then takes you through three sample games. That's about it, and if you're an experienced player you won't learn anything from it you don't know already. On the plus side, Robertie's conversational style is more enjoyable than some of the older beginner books, and he tries to explain things that aren't obvious to the novice (for example, a 5-5 looks like a great roll here, here's why it's not). All in all, a short user-friendly guide for the novice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William T. Katz on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've been playing chess since I was a little kid, but a group of friends at the local coffeehouse started to play a lot of backgammon. So this book was a first attempt at seeing how the pros approach this dice-based game.
In short, the book is great if you want a quick read that outlines the best opening moves and gives you a feel for aggressive 'modern' backgammon. In addition to the rationale behind how to use opening dice rolls, the book gives you 3 sample games and lets you hear the pro's thoughts on possible moves. My favorite line is "He could play 14/20, moving the blot on the 14-point to safety, but this is a craven play, unworthy of a modern player." :) How could you not like such opinionated tutelage?? I could have used more exposition on why some seemingly valid plays (e.g. hitting an opponent's blot in your inner table even though its deep) are really less effective. Even better would be some statistical analysis showing why some moves make sense when looking at the odds, but I'm not sure there's such a book out there.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mariano Gonzalez Vasconcelos (omgv@nl1.telmex.net.mx) on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've been playing backgammon tournaments for 2 months now, and while I read the book cover to cover, it left me wishing for something more. It does help a lot if you are REALLY new to the game. Don't get me wrong, you'll get some good tips from the book....just not enough from a world champion, at least not in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NomDePlume on March 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned to play backgammon in college. Then, 25 years later, I started playing again, online. I stunk. I really, really stunk. I was so bad that I decided to either learn to play the game well, or get out of Dodge. I picked up this little book, and my game began to turn around. Robertie writes clearly, and for beginners.

If you want to play better backgammon, here's my formula: Read this book. At the same time, download and install the gnubg program. It's free, and it's the best. Use the "hint" mode in gnubg, and try to learn why it's recommending all those bizarre moves. Compare those moves to what Robertie says. Keep at it, then keep at it some more. Your backgammon will get better, I promise.

I have two other Robertie books: Backgammon for Serious Players, and 501 Essential Backgammon Problems. I recommend them both, but it's Winners that got me started. Thanks, Bill!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Aben Rudy on September 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
An interesting book for the semi-advanced player is destroyed by typo after typo, a fault that ultimately drives the reader mad. What's going on in the publishing world?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Bourret on November 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
Agressive backgammon. Wimpy players need not apply! I've played backgammon for a number of years, but never in competition. I bought the book after just having started on an on-line backgammon server. I was losing. Then I read this book. Mr. Robertie's lessons emphasise agressive play. Not simply hitting other players, but agressive movement, agressive defense and agressive doubling. After implementing the straegies outlined in the book, my rank began to rise. These strategies work...espescially against concervative players. This book is for intermediate players who are looking to improve their game to new levels.
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