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Old 10-27-2017, 05:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
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The European Split


Some time ago Kit Woolsey wrote an article "The European split". Today I came across this position:

You don't want to let your opponent use all his spares to make another point so hitting looks tempting. But then again you would rather make the 5 point than the 2 point. Putting your blot in the line of fire on the 20 or 21 point looks scary too. What to do?

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Old 10-27-2017, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: The European Split

Can I be persuaded to play 6/2*? Is it worthwhile risking the pips and the builder for a tempo? What can I pair it with?

I need builders so 13/10 looks natural, but the new builder would have nothing to team with, so I would need another turn to bring down another builder. Plus, I leave a small chance for white to escape with a hit. I don't like it.

The other option is 24/21. White can't hit and cover. I will probably get a shot next turn at one of white's builders. If my blot on 2 gets hit, and I have no return shot on white's side, I have a chance for an advanced anchor in the face of the builders. I don't hate this combo.

My first instinct is 13/10 13/9 – I need builders to blitz/close out. I think, however, that I give too many shots for white to escape with. I don't necessarily mind a blot-hitting contest with three vs two, but do I get enough out of it? I don't know.

What about 13/76? Stacking up the 6 point with no other spares isn't appealing, but something like 6/2* next time would look more feasible. Not my preference, but I don't hate it.

The last thing to consider is advancing the back checker and bringing down a builder. In this case, my preference would be for 24/21 13/9. I would rather be hit on 21 than 20. On the 9, there is one fewer roll to be hit, and I don't like having all my groups being two apart. Maybe I shouldn't be working on two fronts here, but I don't think I'm in a position to simply attack yet. This kind of preparation leaves me in a better position for that next time.

I'm going to go with 21/21 13/9. After this one, I would put the hitting play and the double builder play, not sure about the order.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: The European Split

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Old 10-29-2017, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: The European Split

When I look at this position, the first thing that sticks out to me is the heavy stack on the 13 point. Something needs to be done about that. Your 6 point is already unstacked and hitting on the 2 strips your 6 point with no active builders to make the 2 point.

So to me the 13/9 seems to be the first part played then decide on the best 3. Maybe 13/10, 9/6 or 24/21. 24/21 is coming under the gun, and 13/10 would leave a total of 15 indirect shots in the outfield, and 13/6 is the safest play.

So next I look at the safe versus bold: You only have one checker back compared to two, your opponent has a better home board, and you are winning the race. All of that argues for the safe play. It appears that 13/6 is the best play in this position.
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