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What is the proper thought process in this DMP prime v prime?

Posted By: Timothy Chow
Date: Tuesday, 2 June 2015, at 12:32 a.m.

In Response To: What is the proper thought process in this DMP prime v prime? (Marv Porten)

First, I think that 7/2*/1* can be dismissed on general principles. This sacrifices structure for tempo and I think it's much too optimistic to think we can escape all our checkers while White is dancing, especially since White may hit one or more checkers that we then have to extricate.

In terms of the thought process, I would attempt to visualize what is likely to happen over the course of the next few rolls. For example, after option B (point on head), the most likely variation is that White will dance. An immediate 6 will then be very powerful, but even if not, you still have three spare checkers to play with while you wait for your 6. Alternatively, if White enters, she may crack (e.g., she'll crack immediately with 14). Even with her joker 16 from the bar, you're not dead yet because you still have a five-point board with one of her checkers behind it and maybe a second checker (if you roll a 1 from the bar). All in all, this looks like a pretty favorable prognosis.

What about option A (not hitting)? White now has a few more rolls that immediately cause her position to deteriorate. That's the good news, but there's also bad news. White can escape a back checker with a 6, giving her extra time. When it's your turn, if you can't escape a back checker, your forward position is rather fragile. You may have to give up your five-prime, and certainly you're not likely to be able to roll your prime forward smoothly, so you'll be stuck with a four-point board. This looks considerably weaker than option B to me.

I would play 7/2* 3/2, but to your question, the advantage of visualizing what happens next is that if you're wrong, then you can go back and figure out where your prognosis went awry, for example by playing out the position a bunch of times, and this will help improve your understanding. I don't think that memorizing reference positions is going to do much for you in this kind of situation.

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