• 2018 - Position 81

    XGID=-CBACaC--C---a---a--bbdbb-:1:-1:1:43:5:5:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red leads 3-2 to 7. How should Red play 33?

    This is a difficult problem.

    Over the board I played 11/8, 10/7(3) which turned to be nearly a double blunder.

    11/2*, 5/2 wins more gammons than any other play but leaves a somewhat disjointed position and White has an anchor so he cannot be blitzed. The extra gammons don’t compensate for the lower percentage of games won.

    Red is ahead in the race, so he should bear that in mind. White also has three rear checkers so a priming play looks logical. Combining these ideas, we find 24/21(2), 10/7(2).

    Now Red has an advanced anchor so he doesn’t have to worry about the blots he has left (and to a certain extent this play will help protect his racing lead as he won’t lose that many gammons), he has progressed in the race by moving his rear checkers and he has a solid prime in front of White’s three rear checkers - mission accomplished!

    I don’t think many would get this problem right over the board and even in the calm of one’s study it is none too easy. Difficult problems like this help us to understand the complexities of the game and accelerate our learning.

    Any play other than 24/21(2), 10/7(2) is at least an error. Even for money 24/21(2), 10/7(2)

    Is correct.

    2 Comments

    • 1. May 5 2018 9:28AM by Peder

      11/8, 10/7 is positional and pretty. However, at this score 11/2*, 5/2 must be the better choice. It hasn't to be pretty if it works.

    • 2. May 5 2018 3:10PM by Ben

      Having doubled, I agree with Peder. This play allows Red to make an additional point & tidy up a bit, too.

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