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XG 3 Ply Error #1 - All Plies

Posted By: Keene
Date: Monday, 15 December 2014, at 11:35 p.m.

In Response To: XG 3 Ply Error #1 - All Plies (Timothy Chow)

TC: I'm convinced that these results are garbage. 6/5 6/2? Give me a break.

Well, let me introduce you to the idea of racing pips. All races - in psuedo holds are races, it doesnt matter where the pips exist, just that they do. This is how the bots treat races. So, in the kind of position that Stick demonstrated, XG simply doesnt care about where in the homeboard those extra pips exist, whether its on the 6pt, or buried deeper, all it cares about it maximizing its opportunities, and the number of rolls that it can clear that held point with. It also wants to be able to keep its 6s and 5s here available for that purpose (to prevent a forced break) for as long as white is forced to stay back in order to continue the hold.

Another key here is placing checkers on points - no holes. So, if it came down to breaking the 6pt entirely away - it may be correct to do so, but only in more extreme situations, where white holds that 9pt for a long time, otherwise it will sacrifice a spare on the 8 to avoid that.

You may well be correct about it being garbage, but from a PR perspective, this is how it plays out. I suppose one way to test it is to apply a ply that forces white off the holding point - so something like 6ply would do it, then during analysis there will be a percentage of times that white is forced to break, and play will adjust accordingly. This may well make for a minor change in future technique, but not a big one, IMO.

Either way, until the bearoff has become a rolls vs pips or rolls vs rolls situation, this process of maintaining the saving checkers will continue, and as far as I can tell, is correct. I am sure that if the hold was weaker (i.e. the 10pt or further), then the plays will change then. I am also sure that there is a tipping point, which is likely at a 4-away hold (as demo'd here) that dictates the "save" play technique - although I couldnt specify exactly what the conditions and criteria are.

The shorter version of all my rambling: If you are going to be 15-20 pips up in a race, you should maintain the pips, maximizing ways to prevent you from breaking, if you break last, with a 15-20 pip lead, you'll still win enough for it to be correct.


PS: Stick / UBK / NK / JOH / Any other pundit willing to devote time to it - feel free to rip apart my thoughts on this in any way you like.

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