the dorbel daily

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Slot Or Not

Position ID: OM/gARIzOycIIA

I will go on with the last position from the previous blog in a minute, but first I want to show you the preceding roll, as they make a very interesting pair. I got both of these wrong.
In the above position, Blue trail 7-away, 3-away and White owns the cube. I played 8/4*, 15/14 (to duplicate twos and give me 5-5 as a cover number). This is wrong. If White hits back from the bar, my blitz stalls. If she doesnt, I can carry on blasting away. Either play of course leaves the same chance of anchoring on the 4 or 2pts. It would be nice to have the 4pt slotted, but with four blots around the board, this is too much risk to carry. 8/4*/3 is the best play. The 4pt is not yet so important that I need to take a big chance to get it.

Then we came down to the next roll. White has anchored, so should I leave the 4pt slotted? Now the answer is yes! White is going to sit on her anchor until the end unless she gets a shot. Now Blue needs the 4pt a lot, as an essential part of the prime that he needs to build. 14/10 is the play, cutting the blots down to 2 and putting a lot of pressure on White if she breaks her anchor to hit. We could of course cover the 4pt from the 8pt, but giving up the point that blocks White's sixes is a high price to pay and gets us back to 4 blots, which as I never tire of pointing out is more than most positions can cope with.
What we have seen here is two different game plans. In the first position Blue is blitzing and doesn't need the extra risk of the slot which may stop his blitz dead, particularly if White can hit twice. In the second position White has anchored, so Blue must switch to priming and the 4pt is vitaly important to that prime. Leave it slotted.
Clearly I haven't had these principles organised in my mind, but they do come up a lot, so I'll be on the look out for the same thing again. Let's hope I get it right next time!

Now here's one from another match.

Position ID: bLdjACBmtxEALA

Blue leads 1-0 to 5, owns the cube and is in a lot of trouble. If you can get this one right for the right reasons I will be very impressed!

Give me some thoughts, don't be shy, you may have thought of something I have missed and then we'll all earn something new. I'll try and post this tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the game!


ah_clem said...

Blue can make a solid 5-prime with 7/3(2), but White also has a solid 5 prime with better timing, plus Blue has three checkers to escape instead of White's one checker. So making the 5 prime doesn't give Blue much chance - White will probably hold her prime while Blue's crunches and then the single white checker leaps.

Blue can also hit, but this just makes his timing even worse.

So I'll slot the 3 - if Blue is hit, no real harm done and white has a chance to crunch while blue is on the bar.

10/4 5/3

Andreas Graf said...

Tough one also for me, do you know the Chris Bray seminar on "To Slot or Not To Slot"?
It well worth watching all 7 parts of the seminar.