2022 - Position 180
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Match Play. Red leads 4-1 to 7. How should Red play 52?
A difficult containment problem where Red has to strike a balance between maximising his own hitting chances with minimising his chances of being hit.
13/8, 10/8 is too weak. In some cases Red doesn’t mind being hit because, in turn, it will give him an extra hitter.
There is some concern about being backgammoned with 66 by White but playing to avoid one roll is seldom correct.
Red doesn’t mind being hit with small numbers but doesn’t want to be hit with White’s bigger numbers which also get White much closer to home.
The best move, by a small margin is 23/21, 13/8. Second place, perhaps surprisingly, goes to 23/18, 10/8.
You need a computer to work out all the variations. Luckily, we have one. All humans can do is apply common sense, backgammon knowledge and some basic arithmetic.