• 2019 - Position 89

    XGID=-ABBBBBA-A--b------eBabcb-:0:0:1:31:3:4:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red trails 3-4 to 7. How should Red play 31?

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  • 2019 - Position 88

    XGID=-----AB-D----aa-beBdbC-AAA:0:0:1:11:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 11?

    Red has to decide which back game to play.

    I think in my youth I would have been happy with a 1-4 or 2-4 back game but experience has taught me that back games with contiguous points play better and thus the 3-4 game is the right one to play here by moving bar/22, 23/22.

    Remember also, that the higher the points the fewer the gammons you lose and that is borne out by the rollouts here.

    Nearly any other move is a blunder. Bar/24, 23/22, 8/7(2) is the second best move but even that gives up 0.075 equity points. So remember, go for contiguous points.

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  • 2019 - Position 87

    XGID=-----bE-C---bE--bd-e----AA:0:0:1:52:0:0:3:0:10

    Money Play. How should Red play 52?

    This is close and for years I would play bar/20/18 in such positions believing it was better to be hit outside rather than inside.

    In fact bar/20, 6/4 is very marginally the better play. It starts the point you want to make most in White’s board and also usefully unstacks the heavy 6-pt. The combination of these factors is just sufficient to outweigh the problems Red gets into when White rolls one of his ten pointing numbers that make his 5-pt.

    Bar/20/18 is not an error but it is a small strategic mistake.

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  • 2019 - Position 86

    XGID=-aBB--DaB---cBa--cBbca---A:0:0:1:00:3:2:0:7:10

    Match Play. Red leads 3-2 to 7. Should Red double? If doubled, should White take?

    A classic volatile middle game position. White’s four blots invite a double which is perfectly correct and not doubling is a blunder.

    The take is very clear as White has so many ways to win the game from here, especially as Red is on the bar and fans 11% of the time. Passing this would be worse than a quadruple blunder.

    Interesting things happen when you play around with moving the checkers in Red’s home board. Give him his 5-pt and 4-pt instead of his 3-pt and 2-pt and the position becomes double and big pass at this score but double and an easy take for money.

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  • 2019 - Position 85

    XGID=aCCBB--AB----B-a---dbbbba-:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

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

    This type of position is deceptive. It is surprisingly difficult to bring Red’s checkers home safely and he normally leaves a fair number of indirect shots.

    It is a double and not to do so would be blunder. Equally well White has a very comfortable take and dropping would also be a blunder. Once you have seen a position like this you know what to do but I have seen many a player drop such doubles as White.

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    3 comments

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