2021 - Position 129
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Match Play. Red leads 2-1 to 5. How should Red play 52?
This one is not obvious by any means. I played 22/17, 7/5 but that leaves Red with too much work to do and a 27-pip racing deficit.
13/11, 12/7 turns out to be a triple blunder which really surprised me while 22/17, 7/5 is merely a single blunder.
Once again, the aggressive play wins the day and 12/7, 6/4* is easily the best move. It puts pressure on White to roll an immediate 4, 22 or 11.
On the other twenty-three rolls White is likely to have three checkers trapped behind a five -point prime. Even if he rolls one of the thirteen good numbers, he will still have three checkers trapped behind a four-point prime and if he doesn’t quickly roll a 5 or a 6 his home board could collapse. Even if Red is hit, an immediate 3 will maintain his good winning chances.
12/7, 6/4* wins 5% more games than any other play but loses 7% more gammons so the risk is worth the reward.
Not many people get this one right so don’t worry if you didn’t. The key is to learn from the solution.