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  • Writer's pictureChris Bray

2023 - Position 120

Updated: Jul 20, 2023


Match Play. Blue trails 1-4 to 5 (Crawford). How should Blue play 42?

This is a difficult problem. The natural tendency is to play 7/5, 7/3* or 7/3*, 5/3.

The problem is that with only seven checkers in the attack zone Blue is unlikely to contain White’s rear checker.

Blue has an ugly stack of four checkers on White’s 5-pt that aren’t doing much and need to get into the game.

The correct move is 20/16, 7/5, Creating good outer board coverage at the cost of a shot. It is very hard to make that play when you have the option of putting White on the bar.

Over the board I played 7/5, 7/3* but that is wrong.

I don’t think that more than one in fifty players would get this right over the board but presented as a quiz problem you have a better chance.

20/16, 7/5 wins more games and loses fewer gammons than the other plays. That is not obvious at first sight.

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