• 2109 - Position 122


    Money Play. How should Red play 44?

    For once making the 5-pt is not the right play – that leaves the rear checkers stranded.

    There are two plans. One is to make the 9-pt and the 20-pt with 24/20, 13/9(3). The other idea is to advance the rear checkers with 24/16, 20/16, 13/9. This keeps the checkers well connected but gives up on making the 9-pt immediately.

    It turns out that both plans are fine and the equity difference between the two plays Is tiny. The key is not to blindly make the 5-pt just because you can. It turns out that making the 5-pt is a blunder which somewhat surprised me.



  • 2019 -Position 121


    Money Play. How should Red play 65?

    All the plays are quite close here. I played 24/13 but that turns out to be the third best play but bot an error.

    13/8, 13/7 very narrowly beats 20/9 which leaves the rear checker stranded. 13/8, 13/7 gives meaningful duplication of 3’s and leaves the rear checkers connected. This marginally outweighs the benefits of nearly escaping a rear checker, leaving only 5’s to hit.

    The key is to ensure that you at least saw all three moves as viable candidate plays – you can’t make a move if you don’t consider it.



  • 2019 - Position 120


    Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 11?

    This is a lesson in back game technique.

    Red needs to make it as difficult as possible for White to clear his outer board points. He does that by exerting pressure on them and so 23/22(2) is an essential part of the solution. If, in due course, he has to give up the 21-pt then he is left with a viable 3-pr holding game.

    The other two aces are less important but 7/5 is marginally better than anything else.



  • 2019 - Position 119


    Money Play. How should Red play 21?

    This turns out to be a dead heat between 13/10 and 6/3*, proving both game plans are viable.

    The latter makes it more difficult for White to escape but does leave 14 shots instead of 6. The trade-off exactly balances out according to the rollout.



  • 2019 - Position 118


    Match Play. Double Match Point. How should Red play 41?

    Hitting is the wrong idea here. That traps two checkers on the same point behind a broken prime.

    Red’s objective is to get those two rear checkers moving. Therefore bar/21 is correct for the four.

    5/4 and 3/2 are both viable options for the ace but the simple 24/23 is the right play. This partially freezes White’s checkers on his 8-pt and makes Red’s twos good for next turn, a number that does not play well elsewhere.

    So the best play is bar/21, 24/23.



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