More news from Fibsleague. Your correspondent will top Master A with a 9-3 record, but the battle for the second play-off place is very strong. PHunter, BluNick and Zbyszko are already in the clubhouse with 7-5, but BushSucks and jackdaddy are on 7-4 and roadkillbooks and Prae can also get to 8 wins if they complete and win all their remaining matches.
Over in Master B, MasonVerger, runnerup and blotsalot are all done with an 8-5 record, but wordman and Magic_One can still also reach this figure, while stukatz (currently 6-4) and Backwoods (6-3) can even reach 9 or 10 wins, so anybody's guess who will make the play-offs here. Six days to go! If you don't already play in the league and would like regular tough matches, this is a good time to join with the new season starting at the beginning of March.
In the master's top 12 play off for 2011, Schigolch (Germany) has eliminated Mano, the last Frenchman standing, 2-0 and now meets PHunter (Switzerland) in the quarter-finals. In the only other tie started, BushSucks leads fellow-German masselkopp 1-0.
Thanks and much kudos to Franck del Rio (Tomawaky) for ten years running the best league on the Internet.
Now some more cube action from zyxtcba v Backwoods. We're in Game Nine with zyxtcba leading 7-5. Neither side has had a correct double up until now, but a double hit from the bar and a partial fan has left zyx in this position.
It's hard to imagine anybody taking this and looking at it now, I suspect that all of us would vote to play on here. Zyxtcba (Black) chose to double and White gratefully passed. It's easy to be critical with hindsight. The pressure of the match is something we can't factor in and this sort of panicky cube afflicts a lot of us after a game where the the pressure has been on for some time and we've suddenly leapt ahead. Maintaining a dispassionate and objective view at all times is a key skill, although easier said than done!
In the next game Black made a similar, although less clearcut mistake.
Black has a very solid position here, while White is in complete disarray. Again, nobody takes this as White and although Black often has to cash this later he should certainly play on for now. Should I double or should I play on for the gammon? Rather like "Shall I have Moet or would I prefer Veuve Clicquot?", this question is a pleasant one for a bg player, although it's often a tough call. Take your time over it. Savour the moment. Try to view it from the opponent's point of view. As White, you really want to give this one up I think. Hopelessly outgunned for race and position, you have to be pleased to escape from here only losing a point.
Now Backwoods (White) trails 5-9 to 13 and he should be very alert to any cube opportunities. He badly needs to win 2 or 4 points to get back into this and if he cubes aggressively, his chances of being recubed are of course very remote. One consolation for Black is that if he can take and win a gammon, that neatly wins the match, but White must take that chance. This position looks like just such an opportunity. On roll should White be doubling and if he does, can Black take?
We'll look closely at this one in the next post, which should come rolling out of the shop tomorrow with any luck. Until then, enjoy the game!
Monday, 20 February 2012
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Trailing 8-away 4-away favors more aggressive doubling and more timid takes than normal. Signs point to blitz here: 10 checkers in the zone, behind in the match, a black blot to shoot at, black's one-point board, and a made golden point.
White has better position and threats, plus a slight lead in the race (139 to 135 if I counted correctly, which is doubtful) That's clearly a double and a borderline take/pass, but given the match score and the blitz prospects I wouldn't play this one as black. I'm fairly certain it's not too good....
I get 139 to 135 for the pip count as well. For money I would take since Black is not on the bar and White has only two home-board points made. I'd guess that Black wins about 35% here. But ATS, Black has almost no recube vig and White's gammon value is elevated. D/P I guess, though I'm not sure about the pass.
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