A conundrum bearoff position
Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Monday, 12 January 2015, at 1:53 p.m.
This came up in one of Herb Roman's matches in New York. In the position below, it is a dead heat as to whether blue should clear the 6 or clear the 3 point.
Now, take Blue's spare checker on the 1 point and bear it off, and what play would you make?
I would have thought that would make you more inclined to clear the 6 point, and so did a few Giants I showed this to. But it's just the opposite. Now you are better clearing the 3.
The reason must be that you have to assume that your opponent will probably stay on the bar and you will probably have to continue to be careful bearing off and that means you are likely to miss, and since you are likely to miss, the importance of going from an odd number of checker off to an even number of checkers off is reversed.
My guess is that Wachtel or Sconyers or someone has probably covered this somewhere in a book or articles, but it didn't register with me and several Giants and none of us got this right until we saw the rollout, and all were surprised by the answer.
So, is there anyone here who would have gotten this right over the board, and if so, is there a better explanation than the one above?
White is Player 2
1 point match pip: 43
Blue is Player 1
XGID=aCBBBBB-----------------j-:0:0:1:32:0:0:0:1:10 Blue to play 32
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.206.pre-release
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