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The trouble with doubles is...

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Thursday, 24 July 2014, at 5:09 p.m.

In Response To: The trouble with doubles is... (Ian Dunstan)

The "default" move for me here is 14/5 8/5; i.e., if I play something else, I have to convince myself that it's better than 14/5 8/5.

The main weakness of 14/5 8/5 is that it doesn't unstack the midpoint. I can't see any play that could beat 14/5 8/5 without unstacking the midpoint, so let's start with 13/10(2).

After 13/10(2), 8/5(2) looks too blotty even with White's weak board, and 6/3(2) just looks plain wrong. So the main choices seem to be (a) hitting 4/1* together with 14/11 or 13/10, and (b) just moving the back checkers around with 14/8 or 14/11 13/10.

Between 14/8 and 14/11 13/10, at first I thought 14/8 should be better because it leaves fewer shots. However, I think the extra shots are illusory, because is White really going to hit with a 4 after 14/11 13/10? So upon further reflection I think 14/11 13/10 is better. It's clearly more flexible.

Hitting is interesting. But it still leaves considerable return shots, and burying a checker on the ace looks like the wrong idea in a position where we're better placed to make points than launch a blitz. I don't like 4/1* as much as 14/11 13/10.

So now I'm reduced to this: I play 14/11, and have to choose between making the 5pt or bringing three checkers down from the midpoint. OTB I would probably make the 5pt, but QF suggests to me that 13/10(3) is the bot play.

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