Backgammon can be played in several styles. The most aggressive and complicated approach to the game is the “pure” style, developed in New York during the 1970s and refined by many of the world’s best players right up to the present day. The pure style is built around aggressive slotting and prime-building, with a willingness to play the back games that may result when the all-out forward game fails. This match features a clash of styles between Mika Lidov, one of the strongest exponents of the pure style, and Hal Heinrich, possessor of a powerful all-around game. Each game abounds in complex play, and Kit Woolsey supplies an expert’s guidance to the several back games which result.
About the players: Mika Lidov was long considered to be the best woman player in the world. In 1989, she was runner-up to Joe Russell in the World Championship. Hal Heinrich of Canada won the World Championship in 1990 and was runner-up in the World Cup of 1992.