Friday, 10 February 2012
Backwoods v zyxtcba Part 3
It's Game Six now and zyxtcba (Black) has built a comfortable 6-2 lead. It's Backwoods (White) who is on roll here though, with one of those juicy late game positions so volatile that the cube is red hot on almost every roll.
The pipcount favours Black 75-105, but that shouldn't stop White from doubling here. Hit and dance is a market loser and he has lots of rolls that hit two checkers. He can actually be too good after this next sequence. Black has the stronger board of course and that 30 pip lead, so he can take. White's play isn't always straightforward though and after the take he rolled 2-1, playing 17-14*. This is not a big error, but the double hit is clearly right. Always do what the enemy does not want you to do. If you were playing Black here, do you want White to put two men on the roof? Emphatically not. The double hit clearly wins more gammons and trailing 2-6 Black has to select that option. Anyway, he played 17/14*, Black rolled 2-6 and we got to this position.
White only has one number that misses and here it is, 5-5. Worse still, he crucially misplays it with 15/5, 14/9, 6/1. The best play is 14/4, 9/4(2), leaving a checker on the 15pt to cover the outfield as best it can. There was no more hitting after this and in the end White staggered over the line and won the race.
Game Seven started with Black now leading 6-4 to 13. There were no interesting cube opportunities for either side in this game, but there were two checker plays that clearly illuminate themes that recur over and over again, so it will be valuable to look at these.
Position Three. Black leads 6-4 to 13 and has to play a 6-4.
What's your play?
Later in the same game, it's White on roll. Black is on the bar.
White correctly decided that he was now too good to double and rolled 6-1. What's your play?
We'll take a look at these tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the game!