On Line Backgammon

An Analysis of a Holding Game with High Anchors

A well-discussed (and debated) variation of the holding game is one that has high anchors on it. It is also one game in backgammon that would require some analysis. We'll discuss some specific items related to this particular type of holding game.

With a quick look of this type of a holding game, it would seem like one of the mid-point vs. anchor variations. The key difference of a holding game with high anchors is the presence of two to three points before the high anchor. The points mentioned serves a critical purpose detrimental to the trailing player.

The player who is in the lead often can make a good run for it to the safety of the points established before the high anchor. This is precarious to the player who is behind as he is already way behind in the game.

The big advantage is on the leading player's side. Given this type of holding game, a player should not be too cocky or too much of in a hurry. Nevertheless both the player in the lead and the player who is trailing should consider the different items that come into play in this variation of the holding game.

First thing both players need to check is the position of the high anchor. Yes, even the player in the lead should check this element too to be able to secure a win. A high anchor placed at the 5 point is truly potent. The player at the lead shouldn't under estimate this high anchor.

A high anchor positioned there would be in a fair striking distance -- should the opponent's back men falls short of safety. It also provides a good roadblock to the development of the home board.

An even better high anchor is the 6 point. With a high anchor positioned on the 6-point the incoming checkers would be in direct striking distance. A high anchor on the 4 point is quite all right but not as effective.

The leading player has another thing to check. If ever he still has checkers on the mid-point the first order of business should be to bring these into the safety of the nearest points. After doing this the next item the leading player should look out for is the number of points he has that are in front of the opponent's anchor.

The leading player should make it a point to move checkers past the anchors. If offered a double the trailing player also needs to check the number of points in front of his anchor. A trailing player should pass on the offer when the only checkers he can hit are at a distance of three points or less.

A holding game with high anchors doesn't completely favor the player in the lead. Both the leading player and the underdog of the game should check all the nuances of this situation and base their next moves on sound winning principles.

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