2020 - Position 49
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Match Play. Red leads 2-0 to 7. How should Red play 51?
This is a difficult problem that posted on the USBGF site a couple of months ago. Here is the solution that I posted there:
The two blots in White’s home board give Red the licence to make a bold play. The question is what is the right game plan?
Red can attempt a blitz by hitting on the ace-point or play to prime White’s rear checker.
For the blitz Red can play 9/8, 6/1* or 6/5, 6/1*. Over the board it would be difficult to choose between the two moves, but the rollouts show that 6/5, 6/1* is the better play, partly because it doesn’t give White the super-joker of double fours!
What about priming? Over the board 9/4, 6/5 was played but it turns out that 13/8, 6/5 is the stronger play. To hit on Red’s mid-point White must give up his/her mid-point while a hit on Red’s 8-pt or 9-pt will generate multiple return shots. 13/8, 6/5 is the play that takes advantage of White’s home board weakness better than any other move.
This is not an easy problem, but the key is to see that priming is the better game plan, because of White’s home board weaknesses. A passive move such as 13/7 does not meet the demands of the position. Red can play aggressively here and should do so.