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Retrograde Backgammon � Three Puzzles, partial spoiler

Posted By: Taper_Mike
Date: Wednesday, 4 November 2015, at 5:57 a.m.

In Response To: Retrograde Backgammon � Three Puzzles, partial spoiler (Nack Ballard)

Did you say 7 moves? Uh, oh! I better get back to the drawing board.

When I first constructed sequences for these positions, I rolled out all close positions. My solutions, therefore, are "perfect" according to strong rollouts in XG2.

For this puzzle, though, I don't want folks to work that hard. Anything XGR++ calls best is good enough. I have also been more lenient on certain openings and replies. For instance, I allow opening 64R, 64S, 43Z, 21S, and a few others, even though those are not the top plays according to the strongest rollouts I have. Perhaps perversely, I have not allowed myself to use certain other openings, such as 41$.

My standard has not been to set a threshold. Instead, I try to limit myself to plays that are frequently made by good players. Of course, by this standard, I should allow 41$, but—hey!—I get to make my own rules!

Solvers of the three puzzles should feel free to do the same.

There are multiple solutions for each of these problems. Any one is acceptable.

Puzzle 1: Of the two solutions you mentioned, I generally use the one that does not involve a dance. That way I can use it for the related position where the opponent's blot is on the 4pt.

Puzzle 2: I, too, have the three very similar 5-move solutions. Before I found them, I also constructed a pair of 7-move solutions. I am sure there are others of varying lengths.

Puzzle 3: Oh, man! You're busting my buns! I think I worked for at least an hour to find my solution. Actually, I have three 9-move solutions, two of which are similar. In addition, I have a 14-move solution that was the first one I discovered.


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