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2023 - Position 151

Updated: Sep 18, 2023


Match Play. Blue trails 3-4 to 7. How should Blue play 11?

This problem comes from a training session with one of my students. He had this position in a match and wanted my opinion on it. Even with the Quiz Factor I couldn’t see beyond 6/3, 4/3 which is, as it happens, a double blunder. Why is that the case?

The solution is 13/12, 6/3. How can it be right to expose a blot against a four-and-a-half-point board. Let’s look at specifics. 44 is no longer a joker for White plus 54 now plays very awkwardly. On 33 and 53 Blue gets a triple shot rather than a double shot.

Blue’s winning chances in the initial position are only around 30% so anything that can be done to maximise those chances should be used. The ideas above swap 5.4% gammon losses for 4.9% extra wins. That is a very good trade for Blue and accounts for 6/3, 4/3 being a double blunder.

This is a very difficult problem that only one in a hundred players would get right over the board. It is also an extremely instructive position. When you are losing look for any opportunity to increase your winning chances.

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