the dorbel daily

Sunday, 1 April 2012

News and Blunders.

As of today, those who base their plays on XG2 rollouts will be looking with interest at new results showing that making the 5pt may not be the best opening 3-1 after all. At GammonGo the wide-open 6/5. 6/3 is almost certainly better, many more gammons and a chance to go into a deep backgame if hit. I look forward to trying it out, so let me know how you get on with it.

The Fibs Spring Open is under way with an entry of 105 players, generating a prize pool of $4, 725.
There are 13 previous winners in the field so it should be a tough tournament to win. This tournament offers a rare Fibs chance to see Kit Woolsey in action, still one of the strongest players in the world.
In the real world, Easter is always the time for the Nordic Open and as usual a very strong field will be on its way to Denmark. It's not too late to book in, has all the details.
A lot of the players from the Nordic will then head off to Velden in Austria for backgammon by the lake on the following weekend. This too will be well run and offer a good deal to players of all standards, so go to for details. Even if you don't think of yourself as a strong player, you'll find a division suitable for you at either of these venues and you'll make new friends and have a great time for sure.

Robert Fontaine recently made the point that it is very difficult to improve one's standard of play, even with a lot of study and work. I know how he feels! There's no doubt though that concentrating on the blunders, the really big mistakes is the way to go. A blunder costs you more than a tenth of a point, so keeping these off your scorecard will make you an overnight expert. Here are some of mine, without comment, so take a look at these and let's see if you would make the same mistakes. I'm playing a 7 pointer with The_Blade, a very strong Israeli player.


0-0 to 7, White has the cube, Black to play 3-2.

Position Two

Black leads 4-1 and has the cube and has to play 5-4.

Position Three

Same game, Black leads 4-1 to 7, holds the cube, is on the bar and has a 4-2 to play.

Position Four

Now it's Crawford, Black leads 6-1 and has to play a 5-3.

Position Five

Lastly, post-crawford, Black lead 6-3, has the cube and has a 3-1 to play.
How hard are these? I got them all badly wrong, so let's see if you can do better. Until then, enjoy the game!


Julia said...

1: I'm wondering about 7/5 6/3. We don't want to clear from the back just yet while White still has racing chances; we certainly don't want to stack up awkwardly on 4 or dump behind him. If White hits we'll have chances for a third man back or to close him out.

2: White hasn't got the material to hold us in if hit; I think 18/13 18/14 to keep a stranglehold on the outfield? 66 and 55 are pretty awful for us in any case. But this could go awfully wrong after a double-hit!

3: Can't see any reason why we want a second man back, or what we gain from having the ace point - with White's board we're almost never going to find ourselves forced to play 3/1 until the straggler is safely home. bar/19.

4: Hit twice. The bots always ding me for missing these ones :)

5: Initially I thought of hitting, but then we could strike out for the second anchor on his bar - we could end up with a respectable holding position. Hitting just doesn't seem to threaten very much right now while he has total outfield control. 21/18 12/11?

Anonymous said...

boop says

i haven't had so much fun in ages - i've played about 10 games against GNU opening with 6/5 6/3 and have lost 2 or 3 - plus i'm getting some good practice with back games

ah_clem said...

1) I tally black as over 20 pips behind in the race, so clearing from the rear might be the wrong idea since it gives white sixes to escape. OTOH, it forces white to run with a six with an avalanche of black checkers about to fall on her her head. A quiet play of 6/1 or 7/5 4/1 forces white to crunch unless with most rolls. 8/7 8/5

I'll clear from the rear and be content with just about any roll other than 66. 8/5 8/6.

2) I'll play 18/13 18/14 - yes, this gives white some 20 rolls to hit, with some of them being double hits, but the16 plays that miss give black an excellent chance to fill in the full prime, after which the gammon looks very likely. The alternative is playing "safe" by burying checkers. I prefer to preserve mobility in this backgame. Or 18/9 which doesn't look any safer than my play and leaves fewer covering numbers.

3)The tempo hit looks good here - black would like to make another homeboard point, so slot it and at the same time take away half of white's roll bar/21 3/1*.

4)Running is to be more favored at Crawford than usual. So I'll cover the blot on the 10 and run the checker on the 20. At a different score I'd think about making the five point. 20/15 13/10

5)A tough one. I'll try 21/18 12/11 but without much enthusiasm. I need to get that stack on the 21 moving and I think I like the idea of leaving the 22 point slotted. Hitting loose seems to lose too many gammons (and the match AtS).

Anonymous said...

boop says

ahhh i've just noticed the date of your post Dorbel! have i been fooled? - my small sample win rate says no and I even won a match on grid gammon using it ... but gnu tells me i lose over .5 equity - so...?

Anonymous said...

boop says: briefly

1) 8/6 8/5 roll them in
2) 7/3 9/4 speechless
3) Bar 21 21/19 keep running round. white will do very well to fill his board and hold me
4) 10/7 7/2 double hit - i imagine it can't be that simple but covering the 10 leaves blots and the possibility of a forward anchor for white
5) 21/18 12/11 looking for another forward anchor or back anchor and removing the possibility of being hit with a 3