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Learning Naccel - Problem 1

Posted By: Matt Ryder
Date: Sunday, 24 January 2010, at 11:03 a.m.

I vowed I'd master Naccel, but so far I've managed to creatively procrastinate actually doing much about it. Well, no more! I intend to blunder out onto the ice, and to do so publicly. Hopefully others will also take up the skates as well (or at very least enjoy the spectacle of my humiliation ;-)

For this series, my pip-counting source material will be Mike Corbett's Backgammon Problems, which contains many complex, contact-rich positions just crying out for nacceleration. The problems are quite interesting in themselves, so even if you're not keen on Naccel, the initial diagram in these posts may prove food for thought.

I'm starting with the diagram on page 1 ("Gratitude is a disease for dogs"):

Blue to play 4-3

Position ID: bdsAACu43TYIAA Match ID: cInxAAAAAAAA

The play looks "obvious", doesn't it?

But I'm not going to get sidetracked; on to Naccel...

Let's start with Blue. Shifting 2 pips forward, 2 pips backward, we get:

Switching to Naccel numbering

Position ID: AAAAsL1tBAAAAA Match ID: cAngAAAAAAAA

"Poof!"

Position ID: AAAAAEYAAAAAAA Match ID: cAngAAAAAAAA

That's 1 [S1] and 1 ["Pair"] = 2 {Trad count: (2x6)+90 = 102}

Now let's turn our attention to White:

Position ID: bdsAACsAAAAAAA Match ID: cAngAAAAAAAA

Shifting 1 back checker (to form a "block" on the 17 and 16 points) and adding a checker to the 1-point to form a closed board:

Position ID: bdsAABsAAAAAAA Match ID: cAngAAAAAAAA

The "block" counts for (3x3) + (2x1) = 11 (from Nack's post # 6)
Adding a checker to the 1-point, we get closed home board, which counts for -5
The "block" adjustment (-1 pip) and the home board adjustment (+1 pip) cancel each other out.

So we're left with 11 - 5 = 6 {converting to trad: (6x6) + 90 = 126 pips}

The only trouble is that the actual pip count is trad 132, not trad 126! Nack, where did I blunder?

(I suspect it's because I've added an extra "phantom" checker into the mix, so the naccel adjustment should be 16x6 = 96, not 15x6=90...)

Matt Ryder.

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