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Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Problem of the Week #77: September 19

09-25-2010 , 06:12 PM
(a) I prefer Black’s position because he is ahead in the race (with 21 pips) and White has 3 back men.

(b) Black’s plan is to race, so the best is to play safe.
5-2: 13/6
4-1: 13/8
2-1: 13/10 (little more risky than 6/3 but creates a good builder)
6-5: 13/2 (more safe than 13/7 6/1*). To have fun I'll play 13/7 6/1* which is more complicated and allow to break the golden point if White shots or to make a good prime.

Last edited by yules; 09-25-2010 at 06:27 PM.
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-25-2010 , 06:25 PM
After having read all the posts, I see the general trend going like this:

- When ahead in the race, race;
- Try to play as safe as possible;

I guess I didn't have the good approach/game plan as I analyzed the problem.

My thought was like this:

Even if I play safe now, it's unlikely I will get home without being hit. Therefore, I was tempted to take some risks while White's board isn't that strong yet, because I know that it (his board) will improve very quickly since there aren't any back man to keep him honest.

That's why I love backgammon. You learn something everyday!
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-25-2010 , 08:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberkuber
Even if I play safe now, it's unlikely I will get home without being hit. Therefore, I was tempted to take some risks while White's board isn't that strong yet, because I know that it (his board) will improve very quickly since there aren't any back man to keep him honest.
The time to play a loose is when he's got a blot (or two) in his home board, so that if he does hit you in the outfield, he's putting home board checkers at risk. If you play loose now, he has very little downside to hitting.
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-25-2010 , 11:01 PM
what men would he be hitting with, that has no downside ?
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-25-2010 , 11:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by apkrnewb
what men would he be hitting with, that has no downside ?
Not "no" downside, but "little" downside. Breaking the advanced anchor to gain back 15 or so pips in the race with two checkers back and having already made the 5 point on the other side of the board isn't that bad for white. This is especially true because black isn't in position to launch a blitz (he's got to roll fairly well and white has to roll poorly -- black's position isn't diversified enough to give enough attacking rolls).

In all likelihood, if white hits from the anchor, he will be able to put the anchor back together again in a few rolls, and then he's right back in it.
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-26-2010 , 09:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W.
The time to play a loose is when he's got a blot (or two) in his home board, so that if he does hit you in the outfield, he's putting home board checkers at risk. If you play loose now, he has very little downside to hitting.
Good point. But is it better to take a few risks when White has a 2-pt board (even without board blots) or when he has a 3 or 4-pt board? My concern was that if you keep playing safe as long as possible, you might as well end up with stacked points and a poor development. And then, if White hits, all of a sudden, you lose your big lead and you're way behind in your development/structure.
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-26-2010 , 11:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberkuber
Good point. But is it better to take a few risks when White has a 2-pt board (even without board blots) or when he has a 3 or 4-pt board? My concern was that if you keep playing safe as long as possible, you might as well end up with stacked points and a poor development. And then, if White hits, all of a sudden, you lose your big lead and you're way behind in your development/structure.
I'm don't think playing safe "as long as possible" is correct, either. You just need to be opportunistic. For example, if white rolls 62 and plays 13/7 6/4, then in your next roll you can feel a little better about leaving a blot. If he rolls 42 and plays 8/4 6/4, you might want to play safe again (but then again, that might also be a good time to run because white has only one spare to attack with, and he won't be able to cover for a couple rolls if he hits loose).

Of course, all this assumes you roll numbers where playing safe is an option...
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote
09-26-2010 , 09:25 PM
Cheers !
Problem of the Week #77: September 19 Quote

      
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