2020 - Position 229
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Match Play. Red leads 10-9 to 13. How should Red play 21?
This is not an easy problem. The score helps with the decision as a gammon loss is disastrous for Red.
The choice is really between bar/22, seeking a route out for that rear checker, or bar/23, 4/3*, taking the security of an anchor and taking a tempo from White.
For money it is relatively close but at this score, taking the anchor is crucial. Bar/22, 4/3* also creates significant duplication of White’s small numbers, particularly twos. Making the anchor also prevents White from attempting a blitz with big numbers, especially big doubles.
Red is not the favourite to win this game, whichever play he chooses, but he must make the best of what he has. It turns out that any play other than bar/23,4/3*, is a blunder. But, as I said, this is not an easy problem, and many would choose bar/22. You need to look quite deeply to see why bar/23, 4/3* is the correct play.