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"Every disciplined activity brings multiple rewards"

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Wednesday, 9 April 2014, at 7:17 a.m.

In Response To: METs for equal but weak players? (Bob Koca)

I believe a study of weaker players might identify cube and checker tendencies that could help weaker players improve their games, or might help teachers and coaches (like me) help weaker players improve their games faster.

Of course, the term "weaker" needs to be further separated as I believe we will see very different problems in 5.0 and 6.0 players than 8.0 and 9.0 players.

I strongly suspect that we already know that the weaker the player the worse he plays at lopsided scores and at GG, GS and DMP, and we already have a pretty good idea of what the weaknesses are. When two equally bad players are playing badly at, say 2away/4away, it would be interesting to see if the weaknesses cancel each other out or if the mistakes on one side of the score are more dramatic than on the other side. And it would be interesting to see if more equity is given away with checker play or with cube errors.

But it seems like it would be a lot of work to find out what we already know. We already what what you "should" be doing at those scores, and we already know that the weaker the player the less he is aware of those adjustments and the less he knows how to do them over the board.

But what if we actually found out that at 2away/4away the weaker player really has 40 percent instead of 33? Rather than teaching weaker players to adjust their take points because of this, wouldn't it be better to teach them to play better at that score? That's something we're already doing.

So while this might be an interesting study, if the net outcome is that we don't really change our approach to the game or to teaching weaker players (or learning if you are a weaker player), I am having some difficulty seeing the practical value of this study.

But as my title quote states, there are often other kinds of useful information that could come out of a study like this.

Personally, because we already know pretty well how "weaker" players (and by that I mean over 6PR, but you might mean something else) screw up, I think it wold be fascinating to see what the MET would be for 4.0 players compared to XG....that would give us some real insights relative to the differences between very high level players and the bots, and might help us all sharpen our games further if we discovered some tendencies.

We have enough saved games of the giants and giant-level players to where we can look at certain scores and determine, for example, if top players give away more equity when they are trailing in the match or when they are leading. We might even find that humans play particularly poorly at GS or at DMP or when leading by more than 4 points etc. etc. I think that would not only be interesting information, but useful as well.

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