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Rollout and Comments

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Tuesday, 1 December 2009, at 7:28 a.m.

In Response To: Rollout and Comments (eXtreme Gammon)

Thanks for all your help, Xavier (and Neil and John O and Stick and others) in explaining this to me. This position came up in a match I was playing with a student, and I was at a loss to explain how hitting could be right given the numbers. I got bogged down looking at those numbers and forgot to look at the affect of the play on the cube.

So as is often the case, it was a good lesson for teacher and student. ("You teach best what you most need to learn.")

One of the most common questions I get from students is this: "Once you see what the right play is, how can you find out why it is the best play." Of course, I provide some suggestions, such as looking at the numbers, considering the cube, the score, the price of gammons, moving the checkers around and changing the position to see if it is about the race or the number of shots or duplication etc. But what they are really asking for is a bot that will not only give us the numbers, but will give us the reasons, in writing (or verbally) why one play or decision is better than another.

Please, Xavier, start working on that bot. My bet is that we will see such a bot in my lifetime.

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