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historical position 1

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Saturday, 23 June 2007, at 9:55 p.m.

Here's something interesting, I thought: how does White play 5-4?

If Blue has played bar/22 7/5, White should of course play safe, 6/1 6/2. And then it's most likely that Blue will have to run, even though he'd rather stay because White's 7, 6 and 4 points are stripped.

But if Blue has played bar/20, White should play 7/3 7/2, immediately exposing a blot. And then Blue has 15 ways to hit on the ace point, after which most of White's entering number don't safety the blot on the 3 point.

So which sequence is better for Blue? Probably the second one, by a squidge. In any case, Blue's immediate hits aren't the only source of gammon wins, which weakens the case for staying on the 22 point, especially since only rarely is White forced to leave a blot immediately.

Nack speculated that JellyFish "misplays -- it ... has [Blue] close White out at the first available opportunity. If so, JF will lose out on a plethora of gammons, and naturally will support the play that wins a tad more games."

Chuck, did you check if Gnubg closes White out at the first opportunity? I speculate that it doesn't (actually, in the sequence bar/20 ... 21: 6/4 2/1 ... 64: I know gnubg doesn't make the ace point). According to your rollout, bar/20 does indeed win a few more games, but many of the them are gammons -- 0.72% more games including 0.39% more gammons (fwiw; the SD on the gammons is quite large).

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