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Sportive Cubing

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Monday, 3 December 2012, at 4:40 p.m.

In Response To: Sportive Cubing (Phil Simborg)

That's what I have done with "The Simborg Rule" which I think is a major improvement to the game (you can't make a point or run with 6-5 on the opening move). It was used in side events at many tournaments. The players had no problem adjusting, all agreed it made the game more interesting, challenging and fun and took away some of the advantage of getting a great first roll, but I doubt it will ever become the rule of the game. Why? Because it is different. New. Not because it is worse.

The obvious counterobservation is that a reason players might find the rule interesting, challenging and fun is because it is novel, not because it is better.

It does reduce the advantage of the opening roll a little, but the types of positions it creates by forcing major or minor splits are not unfamiliar, since similar positions are reached with normal plays of 63, 62, 54, 52, 51, 43, 41, 32 and 21, and of 64. It makes a difference only on these plays:

RollEquity with best playEquity with best allowed playdifference
31+0.262+0.022 (minor split)-0.240
61+0.184-0.024 (double split)-0.209
42+0.204+0.059 (major split)-0.145
53+0.113+0.077 (minor split)-0.036
65+0.102+0.066 (major split)-0.036
64+0.014+0.011 (major split)-0.003

So the rule reduces the cubeful advantage of winning the opening roll by about 0.045. Winning the opening roll should still be advantageous, perhaps by about +0.040 (the average advantage is about 0.040 cubeless, per rollouts at bkgm.com gi) Equities above are cubeful from Gnubg 4-ply evaluations except for a rollout for 64.

Further reading: http://www.bkgm.com/rgb/rgb.cgi?view+1244

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