2021 - Position 117
Updated: Jul 16
Match Play. Red trails 0-5 to 9. How should Red play 21?
Red can play the simple 22/20*/19 and win about 40% of the time.
However, that other White blot on White’s 2-pt should give him pause for thought. Can he pick up that checker or even split the two checkers on White’s 4-pt and then pick up one or more of them?
The answer is yes and the correct play here 22/20*, 2/1, voluntarily breaking the perfect home board. Now look how 32 plays for White! There are other variations of course but any 2 by White except 22 will give Red a chance to pick up the second blot.
Red increases his winning chances to nearly 45% at the cost of losing some gammons but not nearly enough to make 22/20*/19 correct.
The solution to this problem is very similar to the very last problem ever published in Chicago Point and so I had seen the technique before. Now you have too, and so you can use it in future games.