the dorbel daily

Friday, 23 July 2010

More Is Possible.

Before you read on, take a moment to think about this position. It's a seven point match and White leads 2-0, with Red holding the cube. How would you play Red's roll?

If you played 18/11, you are in good company, as that is what I played, but it's a blunder. Because of those two blots in White's home board, Red can play to get a double shot after White's next 6 and try 18/15, 5/1, or 18/15, 7/3. This works particularly well when White throws 6-3 and has to expose four blots! It's quite a rare position, I made this mistake years ago and haven't seen anything quite like it in the interim. It's rare for Red to still have the luxury of a spare on the anchor. However, similar positions do occur fairly regularly and when the side bearing in has butchered his board and has a couple of blots hanging about, I like to raise a flag over it, to remind myself "More Is Possible", to prevent myself from making the hasty, "obvious" and safe play. Note that the two blots don't always make it right to expose a blot, but you do need to give it some serious thought.
I hope to be posting more regularly now, so until the next one, enjoy the game!


ah_clem said...

What seems to make this position unusual is the forced hit that also leaves two blots uncovered. For instance, if red faced a roll of 5-3 playing 18/13 would be a blunder because 6-1 hits and covers.

What about 18/14 ? Is it really all that different than 18/15? It seems to be a similar idea. My take is that it's inferior to 18/13 because the 6s that don't force a hit leave a double-shot and being 4 points away from the shot is better than being 3 points away. Anything else I'm missing?

dorbel said...

Yes 18/14 is outranked because it doesn't duplicate threes and because it leaves three fewer shots (25 to 28)after White rolls a non hitting 6.

higonefive said...

Here, red had his midpoint resolved. But often in this type of position, the barpoint-holdinggame, the midpoint exists, because we learned to hold the midpoint. And when white then throws 61, he can't even play his 6! Another flag. It is a question of efficiency.
So we have to ask ourselves: Where is the man an asset? It is not enough, that he is not a liability. And the question asset or liability is a question after the requirements of the position: it depends. Every time. Beyond the rule of thumb (riding a man to safety) lies a whole new world.