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Defensive Play on a Gammon-Save

In backgammon, a gammon-save is a match play situation where you cannot afford to lose a gammon (or a double game) to your opponent. That's why you have to play defensively to, at least, bear off a checker before the game ends. Winning a gammon is not your priority in a gammon-save. Your main concern is to keep your opponent from winning a double game.

Situations that fall under a gammon-save depend on how far in points you and your opponent are in the match play's tally. A Crawford game where you're only behind a point and your opponent's behind two points is an example of you being in a gammon-save situation. Another case is when you're two points away while your opponent's four points away from winning the match play and you own the doubling cube at two.

Keep in mind that when a game's a gammon-save for you, it's a gammon-go for your opponent. Simply put, your opponent has to win a gammon and you have to prevent this from happening. You can accomplish this by winning the game and it doesn't matter if it ends in a single game or a gammon as long as you win it. Or if you're about to lose, you should limit that loss to a single game only.

A defensive play in backgammon incorporates creating anchors or made points on your opponent's inner board. The rationale behind creating anchors is to be able to re-enter quickly when you get sent to the bar and to keep your opponent from bearing in easily.

If you can safely split your back checkers, you should go ahead to set up your anchors. Keep in mind that the best anchor is on the opponent's five-point that's why it's also called your golden point. Also, when you split your back checkers, remember to slot on your outer board points at the same time to carry out a defensive split on different parts of the board.

A defensive play on a gammon-save aims to keep your opponent from winning a gammon or a double game. You can expect that you'll be sent to the bar and your opponent will close out your entry points. Be on the defensive by creating anchors so that you'll be able to re-enter safely and not get trapped behind a blockade. Remember, you only need to win the game (single or otherwise) or lose a single game to accomplish the gammon-save aim.