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Backgammon by Paul Magriel: The Classic Book that Changed the Game (Free PDF)



Backgammon by Paul Magriel PDF Free: A Comprehensive Review




If you are interested in learning how to play backgammon or improving your skills, you may have heard of a book called Backgammon by Paul Magriel. This book is widely regarded as the bible of backgammon, as it covers all aspects of the game in depth and detail. But what makes this book so special? And where can you find a free PDF version of it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will review the book's content, structure, concepts, principles, and benefits. We will also provide you with a link to download a free PDF copy of the book at the end of the article. So, let's get started!




Backgammon By Paul Magriel Pdf Free



Introduction




Before we dive into the book's content, let's first introduce the author and the game.


Who is Paul Magriel?




Paul Magriel was an American professional backgammon player, teacher, author, and mathematician. He was born in 1946 and died in 2018. He was widely considered as one of the best backgammon players in the world, as he won many tournaments and championships, including the World Backgammon Championship in 1978. He was also known as "X-22", his tournament nickname.


Magriel was not only a great player, but also a great teacher. He taught backgammon to many celebrities, such as Hugh Hefner, Lucille Ball, O.J. Simpson, and Barbara Streisand. He also wrote several books and articles on backgammon, including his magnum opus Backgammon, which was published in 1976.


What is Backgammon?




Backgammon is one of the oldest board games in history, dating back to ancient Mesopotamia. It is a game for two players, who each have 15 checkers (or men) of their own color. The board consists of 24 narrow triangles called points, arranged in four quadrants. The points are numbered from 1 to 24 for one player, and from 24 to 1 for the other player.


The objective of the game is to move all your checkers from your home board (the quadrant where your checkers start) to your opponent's home board (the quadrant where your checkers end), and then bear them off (remove them from the board). The first player to bear off all their checkers wins the game.


The movement of the checkers is determined by rolling two dice. Each die represents how many points you can move one checker. You can move one checker twice, or two checkers once, as long as the points you land on are either empty or occupied by your own checkers. If you land on a point occupied by a single enemy checker, you can hit it and send it to the bar (the middle of the board). The hit checker must re-enter the board from your home board before it can move again.


The game also involves a special device called the doubling cube, which allows players to increase the stakes of the game. The cube has six faces, numbered 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. At the beginning of the game, the cube is placed in the middle of the board, with the face 64 up. Either player can offer to double the stakes of the game by turning the cube to the next higher number and giving it to their opponent. The opponent can either accept the double and keep the cube, or reject it and forfeit the game. The player who owns the cube can offer to redouble it at any time during the game, and so on.


Why is this book considered a classic?




Backgammon by Paul Magriel is considered a classic because it is the first book that systematically and comprehensively analyzes the game from a mathematical and logical perspective. It is not a book that teaches you how to play backgammon, but rather how to think about backgammon. It explains the underlying principles and concepts that govern every aspect of the game, from opening moves to endgame strategies. It also provides hundreds of diagrams and examples that illustrate how to apply these principles and concepts in practice.


The book is written in a clear and concise style, with minimal jargon and technical terms. It is suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics of the game, as well as for intermediate and advanced players who want to improve their skills and understanding of the game. It is also a valuable reference for teachers and students of backgammon, as it covers all topics in a logical and systematic order.


Main Content




Now that we have introduced the author and the game, let's take a look at how the book is structured and what it covers.


How is the book structured?




The book is divided into four parts, each consisting of several chapters. Each chapter covers a specific topic or aspect of the game, with subheadings that break down the topic into smaller sections. Each section contains an explanation of the topic, followed by one or more diagrams that show an example position or situation related to the topic. Each diagram is accompanied by a commentary that explains what is happening in the position or situation, what are the possible moves or decisions for each player, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each move or decision.


The book also contains several appendices that provide additional information on topics such as notation, rules, glossary, bibliography, index, etc.


Here is a brief overview of each part and chapter of the book:


Part One: The Game and Its Objectives




This part introduces the basic rules and objectives of backgammon, as well as some general concepts and principles that apply to all stages of the game.



  • Chapter 1: The Rules - This chapter explains how to set up the board, how to move the checkers, how to hit and enter checkers, how to bear off checkers, how to use the doubling cube, and how to score points.



  • Chapter 2: The Objectives - This chapter explains what are the main goals of each player in backgammon: to race (move your checkers faster than your opponent), to block (prevent your opponent from moving their checkers), and to hit (attack your opponent's checkers).



  • Chapter 3: Basic Concepts - This chapter explains some basic concepts that are essential for understanding backgammon: pip count (the total number of points you need to move your checkers off the board), position (the arrangement of your checkers on the board), timing (the relative speed of your checkers compared to your opponent's), flexibility (the ability to move your checkers in different ways), safety (the protection of your checkers from being hit), exposure (the risk of having your checkers hit), distribution (the balance of your checkers among different points), communication (the connection between your checkers), priming (the formation of a wall of six consecutive points), blitzing (the aggressive attack on your opponent's checkers), back game (the strategy of holding two or more points in your opponent's home board), holding game (the strategy of holding one point in your opponent's home board), running game (the strategy of escaping your checkers from your opponent's home board).



Part Two: Basic Checker Play




This part covers the basic techniques and strategies of moving your checkers in different situations and stages of the game.



  • Chapter 4: The Opening - This chapter explains how to choose the best opening move based on the roll of the dice, and how to respond to your opponent's opening move. It also introduces some common opening sequences and variations.



  • Chapter 5: The Running Game - This chapter explains how to play a running game, which is a strategy of moving your checkers as fast as possible to your home board and bearing them off. It also explains how to counter a running game by your opponent.



  • Chapter 6: The Holding Game - This chapter explains how to play a holding game, which is a strategy of keeping one point in your opponent's home board as long as possible, in order to slow down their progress and create opportunities for hitting. It also explains how to counter a holding game by your opponent.



  • Chapter 7: The Priming Game - This chapter explains how to play a priming game, which is a strategy of building a wall of six consecutive points in front of your opponent's checkers, in order to trap them and prevent them from moving. It also explains how to counter a priming game by your opponent.



  • Chapter 8: The Back Game - This chapter explains how to play a back game, which is a strategy of holding two or more points in your opponent's home board, in order to wait for a chance to hit and turn the game around. It also explains how to counter a back game by your opponent.



  • Chapter 9: The Blitz - This chapter explains how to play a blitz, which is a strategy of attacking your opponent's checkers aggressively and sending them to the bar, in order to gain an overwhelming advantage. It also explains how to counter a blitz by your opponent.



Part Three: Advanced Checker Play




This part covers the advanced techniques and strategies of moving your checkers in more complex and challenging situations and stages of the game.



  • Chapter 10: The Middle Game - This chapter explains how to play the middle game, which is the stage of the game where both players have moved some of their checkers into their home boards, but neither player has started bearing off. It also explains how to evaluate the position and decide whether to play for a win or a draw.



  • Chapter 11: The End Game - This chapter explains how to play the end game, which is the stage of the game where both players have started bearing off their checkers. It also explains how to calculate the odds and probabilities of winning or losing, and how to use the doubling cube effectively.



  • Chapter 12: The Bearing Off - This chapter explains how to bear off your checkers efficiently and correctly, and how to avoid making mistakes that could cost you the game. It also explains how to deal with different scenarios, such as having more or fewer checkers than your opponent, having gaps or spares on your points, having checkers on the bar or in your opponent's home board, etc.



  • Chapter 13: The Doubling Cube in Action - This chapter explains how to use the doubling cube in different situations and stages of the game, and how to make optimal decisions based on various factors, such as the score, the position, the volatility, the market losers, etc. It also explains some common doubling cube errors and misconceptions.



Part Four: Doubles and the Cube




This part covers the special rules and strategies of playing backgammon with doubles (two dice showing the same number) and using the doubling cube.



  • Chapter 14: Handling Doubles - This chapter explains how to handle doubles when rolling or facing them. It also introduces some special moves and terms related to doubles, such as jokers (doubles that are very favorable), dances (doubles that prevent you from entering from the bar), etc.



  • Chapter 15: Basic Cube Strategy - This chapter explains the basic principles and concepts of using the doubling cube, such as when to double, when to take or drop, what are market losers, what are free drops, etc.



  • Chapter 16: Cube Strategy in Practice - This chapter explains how to apply the basic cube strategy in practice, by analyzing some example positions and situations. It also explains how to adjust your cube strategy according to different factors, such as the score, the match length, the gammon and backgammon risks, etc.



Conclusion




In this article, we have reviewed the book Backgammon by Paul Magriel, which is considered a classic and a must-read for anyone who wants to learn or improve their backgammon skills. We have seen how the book covers all aspects of the game in depth and detail, from the rules and objectives to the techniques and strategies. We have also seen how the book is structured and formatted, with clear explanations, diagrams, examples, and commentaries.


We hope that this article has given you a good overview of the book and its content, and that it has inspired you to read it or revisit it. If you are interested in getting a free PDF copy of the book, you can download it from this link: [link to free PDF copy of the book].


Thank you for reading this article, and happy backgammon playing!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book Backgammon by Paul Magriel:



  • Q: How long is the book?



  • A: The book is 404 pages long, excluding the appendices.



  • Q: How difficult is the book?



  • A: The book is not very difficult, but it is not very easy either. It is suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics of the game, as well as for intermediate and advanced players who want to improve their skills and understanding of the game. However, some parts of the book may require more attention and concentration than others, especially the ones that involve calculations and probabilities.



  • Q: How old is the book?



  • A: The book was published in 1976, which makes it 47 years old as of 2023.



  • Q: Is the book still relevant today?



  • A: Yes, the book is still relevant today, as it covers the fundamental principles and concepts of backgammon that have not changed much over time. However, some parts of the book may be outdated or inaccurate, as backgammon theory and practice have evolved and improved over the years. Therefore, it is advisable to supplement the book with more recent and updated sources of information, such as online articles, videos, podcasts, etc.



  • Q: Where can I buy the book?



  • A: You can buy the book from various online platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, etc. However, be aware that the book may be out of print or out of stock in some places, and that the price may vary depending on the condition and availability of the book.



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