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Middle Game 33

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Wednesday, 22 February 2012, at 8:59 p.m.

In Response To: Middle Game 33 (Michael Depreli)

Blue's biggest problem is the straggler, which has a better chance of escaping from the 21 point than from the 24 point. Suppose we make a rough estimate of the chance of Blue running from the 24 point into the outfield and not getting hit immediately (we ignore that White might make the 5, 4, 9 or 10 point, or hit loose, or that Blue hits an outfield blot:

11/36 * 24/36 = 20%

And from the 21 point, a rough estimate of Blue first not being pointed on, running, and not being hit immediately:

27/36 * 3/36 = 6% Blue is home free with 65 and 55

27/36 * 19/36 * 24/36 = 26%

So 24/21 seems better than 13/10(2) 6/3(2).

With 24/21 Blue might play 6/3(2) or 13/10(2) 6/3. The first play gives Blue 6-2 and 5-3 to run to safety immediately on the midpoint, but 6-5 does not play safely. It also gives Blue a third board point, which might be useful if White hits loose on the 4 point or if Blue hits an outfield blot. The second play gives Blue the 10 point to reach safely after running into White's outfield. Blue would otherwise have the 13 point for that, but 13/10(2) also solves Blue's second biggest problem of clearing the midpoint.

I'd play 24/21 13/10(2) 6/3. The position reached seems more harmonious and flexible. For instance, his small numbers that don't run can be used to make the 3 point and leave a diverse position, instead of putting a 4th checker out of play leaving a flat one.

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