2020 - Position 6
Updated: Jan 12
Unlimited Games. How should Red play 32?
This position fools many. Clearly the two should be played bar/23*. This gives Red a healthy lead in the race.
The question is how to play the three. Many elect to play 5/2* but that is the wrong idea. If White fans with both checkers Red will have missed his market by a long way but if White rolls a two he will have gone a long way to equalising the position.
Note that Red is stripped on all his outer board points and needs some flexibility. The three should be played 23/20, providing that flexibility. If White rolls a 2 he will have an anchor but a relatively poor position.
Bar/23*, 5/2* tries for a blitz when in fact Red should consolidate his advantage and play for a running or priming game.
I am the first to admit I got this wrong over the board, but I now have a much better understanding of the position. It is largely about making the cube work efficiently and giving White a difficult decision to make.
It is worth playing around with some of White’s next rolls to get a better understanding of the position. You will find that Red’s doubles are more efficient after bar/23*/20.
Bar/23*, 5/2* is an error but not a blunder.