Golden anchor and golden point
In every Backgammon book you can read the term “golden point” or “golden anchor” or “most important point on the board”. These terms describe the 5 or 20-point. The golden point is your own 5-point, the golden anchor is the 20-point (the opponents 5-point). These are the most important strategic points on the Backgammon board for several reasons:
- Together with your 6-point, they form the beginning of an effective prime to block the enemy back checkers in your own home board.
- In every blot-hitting-contest you have the best possible prime with two points made (6 and 5-point) against the checkers your opponent must enter from the bar.
- The best possible case, is a 6-prime or a closed board against the enemy checkers. The 5-point is the next best point (together with the 6 point which you already own) to achieve this goal.
- If you have the golden anchor it is much harder for your opponent to build an effective prime against these checkers, compared to the checkers on the 24-point.
- If your opponent makes an advanced anchor in your home board it is always in front of your inner board points, that is strategically advantageous for you.
- Suppose your opponent must enter from the bar and you own the 5 and 6 point, the highest numbers on the dices. If your opponent is not able to come in from the bar (with the numbers 6-6, 5-5 and 6-5), he will waste much more pips (what is bad for the race) on average compared when you have the lower points and he cannot enter from the bar.
In the opening of a game there is often a hefty struggle for both 5-points because the reward to make and own the 5-point or 20-point often outweighs the risk to get more checkers back. Here it is a typical example of an early fight for the 5-point from both players.