the dorbel daily

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Big Quiz, part 6

Position ID: 2C7iATA2nsEDIA

Blue leads 126 - 153 before the roll, so it is pretty clear that he should try to get into the race. He can't just sit on the 24pt and let White extend her prime. Usually this means 24/17, leaping White's little prime and keeping the shots down to 23. Here though, 24/22, 13/8 is equally good. Not only does that smooth out the builders on Blue's side, but you will notice that fours and threes are duplicated, being the numbers with which White would like to split. One point for either play, a point which I can't claim as in the match I played the frankly awful 13/8, 13/11! This comes into the category of "Surely I didn't really play that?", which players offer as a defence when their match is recorded by hand, but javafibs doesn't lie and I made this very horrid triple blunder. Oh well, I've done worse before now.
Then the game went ....
White 5-3, 13/8, 10/7
Blue 6-2, 24/16
White 3-3, 24/18(2)
Blue 3-2, 16/11
White5-1, 13/, 6/5
Blue on roll in the position below. What is the correct cube action for both sides?

Position ID: Np5jBgDYbYPBAA

I really think that you must learn to count pips for yourselves and these positions are a great opportunity to practise. Use pencil and paper if you must, you will soon get the hang of it. Championship level players can do this in under 15 seconds, in their head and it is an essential skill. Should Blue double? If he does, should White take? We'll find out tomorrow. Keep the comments coming and until then, enjoy the game!


ah_clem said...

Blue is ahead 106 to 127 if I counted right. Were this a straight race, it would be double/pass by a good margin. But it's not a straight race, it's a holding game and holding games are seldom cubes. (Maybe that's why they're called holding games, because you should hold the cube.)

I hold the cube here. Yes, there are a few market losers (55, 44, maybe 33 or 22), but the vast majority of rolls give White ~40% game winning chances (maybe more). Her board is too strong and her timing too good to give her the cube. Most likely, blue will have to break from the midpoint before White has to break from the 18, and then white will have a 17/36 shot to hit. And even in the unlikely event that Blue gets a shot first, his poorly formed board is not nearly as good at containment as white's.

No double. Very very clear take.

BTW, I understand not showing the pipcount because you want us to learn to count. No problem with that. But it would be helpful to state the match score - I don't think it matters here, but it's still a good idea for those who may be wandering by for the first time.

kamikaze said...

i haven't done the math but my intuition tells me not to double at this point: white should take if i do. clem's descriptive reasoning is more enlightening.

i still would be tempted though - but would generally be inclined to wait a couple of turns to see if i roll a decent set of doublets / numbers to come home safely. or to see if my opponent rolls jokers.

unless the match score made me desperate to claw back extra points - me rolling something like 5-5 or 3-3 for example could quickly turn my potential cube into an easier decision to drop for my opponent.

regarding pipcounts, usually i can guestimate who is in front and by how much fairly accurately. but yes, it would definitely be beneficial to take it up a level and learn a particular technique. this one is supposed to be relatively quick to learn..



dorbel said...

There are many ways to count pips. I personally find Doug's method much much harder than just counting the things! One thing is for sure, when you sit down to play a tournament match is not the time to start learning. Find a method that works for you and practise it, daily. When you can count both sides in under 20 seconds, you are there. If you can't do it, you concede a BIG advantage to the player who can.