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Nactation if on the bar

Posted By: Nack Ballard
Date: Thursday, 31 December 2009, at 5:45 a.m.

In Response To: nactation if on the bar (Andreas)

How to nactate:

1) dancing ?

The main choices are F, fan, or ^. Here are the details:

Assuming that you don't care about identifying the roll, choose (1) or (2):

(1) "F" (Stick's choice). For example, 64R-55A-F. (F does not mean Float because there is no roll.)

(2) "fan" -- good if you want your Nactation strings to be of uniform length. Examples: (a) If you type 52S-55A-fan-64 and have other positions (of any length) underneath, the hyphens and rolls line up. (b) If you store files in a folder, it will be easy to tell how many rolls are in each position even when some include fans.

(3) If you DO want to list the roll, I recommend a caret (^), which points in the direction where the checkers on the roof still are: upwards. For example, 52S-55A-31^ (if the roll is 31) or 52S-55A-66^ (if the roll is 66). The caret is Shift/6 on the keyboard.

How to nactate:

2) entering of 1 or 2 from several checkers ?

When there is only one checker on the roof and it is being entered, you can simply treat it as a back checker (on the 25pt, 1 pip behind the 24pt). For example, for 41S-62H-63, R runs from the 25pt to the 16pt.

Entering moves tend to give you more nactational options. For example, for 41S-62H-63, entering with the 3 is forced, so to describe 13/7 with the 6, you can use D (my preference) or \$ or 7; or you can use S for the broader definition of Split (moving a back checker and coming down) or Z or B: all three pertain to the movement of both checkers. In other words, you can choose to disregard the forced part of the move or you can treat that portion as a back checker movement.

Even if there is a choice of point to enter a checker, if the other number cannot perform a nactated task then your character options are increased. For example, for 63R-31X-51, you cannot enter with the 5 and legally come Down or sTack anywhere with the 1, so D or T can only mean that you enter with the 1 and play D or T with the 5. For Bar/24 13/8, therefore, you can use the uni-movement D or T (or 8), or you can use the bi-movement S, Z or B.

If two or three checkers are on the roof and enter with doublets, similar ideas apply. You can describe the whole move, or just the unforced portion of it. For example, if 52S-55A-22 is played Bar/21(2) it is @, or if it is played Bar/23(2) 6/4(2) it is either E (whole move), or P or 4 (unforced portion).

If one checker enters and the other(s) fan, the symbol "<" is my preference, as in entering with "less than" both checkers. It is also suggestive of a backwards-facing arrow (<-): the entering checker looks back wistfully at his war buddies still in prison camp. For example, 52S-55A-21< enters just one.

Another one-enter-other(s)-fan option is to repeat the number that enters. For example, 52S-55A-212 enters just one on Opp's 2pt.

If two checkers (or four with doublets) are entered, ">" completes my pet symbol trio. Entering two (or more) checkers is "greater than" entering one or no checker. The symbol also suggests a forward-facing arrow (->): the checkers can look forward to real choices now.

[A minor disadvantage of "<" and ">" is that they cannot be used in a file name -- they are reserved for other uses in the operating system. But there is no ambiguity caused by substitution, as the moves are forced anyway. Perhaps the easiest fix is to use the caret (^) for all three.]

In short, when the entire play is a fan or from the bar, and you've written the roll, I recommend using:

^ = fan
< = enter one, fan other(s)
> = enter both/all

If you mentally or visually follow the sequence, you'll see the fan or the enter-one-fan-other(s) or the enter-both/all move for what it is, so any character will arguably suffice as a space-filler. But dedicated characters make it easier to deduce a possible typo made in the surrounding sequence. Another possible benefit is seeing at a glance how many fans, partial entrances and full entrances that occurred; hardly a big deal but it's free.

Nack

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