Although the 3 is easy enough, I have a hard time choosing a 5 here. Spliting and playing down looks just as good as splitting and hitting.
- S = Split = Z = Reverse split = 24/21, 13/8
- X = Hit and split = 24/21, 6/1*
The pure play, S, provides balance. It reinforces the stripped 8pt, and bids for an advanced anchor in relative safety. There are no rolls that would allow opponent White to both make an anchor and make the 4pt. Considering that Blue has only 8 checkers in the zone, and that the race is still close, this quiet move could work out well.
The tactical play, X, also has its merits. If Blue plays the passive S, White has many good rolls.
|Play ||Roll |
|Make 1pt ||55 |
|Make 4pt ||11 42 |
|Make 4pt and 2pt ||44 |
|Make 4pt and 11pt ||22 |
|Make 5pt ||61 31 |
|Make 7pt ||66 64 41 |
|Make 11pt ||52 43 21 |
|Make 18pt ||65 63 51 |
|Make 18pt and 10pt ||33 |
|Make 18pt and 11pt ||62 |
|Hit loose on 4pt ||54 |
|Hit twice on 4pt and 1pt ||32 |
|Lift both blots ||53 |
In fact, White would have no bad throws. His only mediocre rolls are 21, 32, 53, 54, and 55, but by no means are these poor.
Hitting would leverages Blues stronger board. The tempo gained by forcing White to use half his roll to enter from the bar would take the sting out of many of his rolls.
Im for splitting with S, but the hit is probably not far behind.