• 2019 - Position 8

    XGID=-AaB-aDAC---dB-a-b-db---B-:0:0:1:00:4:5:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red trails 4-5 to 7. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    For money this would be no double/beaver but once again the score has a dramatic effect and it becomes a double. Of course, White has a trivial take.

    The vast majority of players would not even consider doubling this position, but an expert will recognise the potential of the position. With eleven checkers in the attack zone there will be a fair few gammons to be had.

    Technically, not doubling is an error.

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    3 comments

  • 2018 - Position 7

    XGID=-BaBB-BBB--A-AA------cbcf-:0:0:1:65:4:5:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red trails 4-5 to 7. How should Red play 65?

    I got this one wrong over the board playing the ultra-conservative 13/7, 11/6.

    Also wrong is 8/2*, 7/2. Losing a gammon is ruinous for Red (he loses the match) and five blots is too many despite having a five-point home board.

    Red should steer for the middle ground here with 11/9, 13/7 leaving only two blots and four shots.

    The risk is justified because the gammon losses are outweighed by the extra games won when Red manages to make his 5-pt.

    This is not an easy problem to get right over the board and many would make their 2-pt and then close their eyes!

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    3 comments

  • 2019 - Position 6

    XGID=-B-BBaCCB-A----------bbcg-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    This one is fairly easy. Red has a lot of market losing rolls but 4’s and 6’s do not hit (although 24, ad 34 give Red a pick and pass) so White, who has a large racing lead, has a trivial take.

    Not doubling is a blunder while passing is in quadruple blunder country.

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    1 comment

  • 2019 - Position 5 (Corrected Solution)

    XGID=-b-aBBB-B-A-aD---bbc--bBb-:0:0:1:00:5:4:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red leads 5-4 to 7. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    For money, this would be double and a huge drop. White’s structure is terrible and his lead in the race does not give him nearly sufficient compensation.

    The common strategy at 2-away vs 3-away is to play on for an undoubled gammon but here Red has a lot to do to achieve that and much can still go wrong. So, should he play on for the gammon or double?

    He should double and give White a tricky decision. White needs 25% game-winning chances to take (gammons don’t count, of course). In fact, White has just slightly more than 25% game-winning chances and so he has a skinny take but it’s no bargain.

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    4 comments

  • 2019 - Position 4

    XGID=a-aBB-CBBB--d----c-bbb-AA-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    You can view this position as prime versus prime with both players having two trapped checkers behind broken primes.

    Red clearly has the advantage with White on the bar. His small numbers make the 5-pt and large numbers escape a checker.

    It is a powerful double but White has plenty of ways to win and has all his checkers in play.

    With pleasing symmetry it is a 2.5 blunder not to double and a 2.5 blunder to drop.

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    2 comments

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