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January 16, 2013

texmex whoppers

Below are blunders from an online match against Texmex

Score is 7 away 7 away.  32 to play.  Split or not?

is texmex

score: 0
pip: 128
                         
7 point match
                          pip: 133
score: 0

is Chutzpah
XGID=-B-BbBB-B---aC--abbe---bB-:0:0:1:32:0:0:0:7:10
to play 32

1.XG Roller++24/22 24/21eq: -0.147
Player:
Opponent:
48.29% (G:11.71% B:0.32%)
51.71% (G:18.78% B:0.48%)
2.XG Roller++24/22 13/10eq: -0.215 (-0.068)
Player:
Opponent:
45.97% (G:12.55% B:0.40%)
54.03% (G:20.65% B:1.01%)
3.XG Roller++24/21 8/6eq: -0.249 (-0.102)
Player:
Opponent:
44.64% (G:11.05% B:0.32%)
55.36% (G:18.96% B:0.86%)
4.XG Roller+24/21 13/11eq: -0.092 (+0.054)
Player:
Opponent:
49.15% (G:12.40% B:0.40%)
50.85% (G:17.17% B:0.76%)
5.XG Roller+13/8eq: -0.232 (-0.085)
Player:
Opponent:
44.86% (G:10.42% B:0.25%)
55.14% (G:15.15% B:0.56%)
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.02, MET: Kazaross XG2
13/8.  I didn't split. On the logic that texmex has a lame prime going and is just itching to attack me.

However, any form of splitting is better than my play.  The best version is 24/21, 13/11 which splits to the highest point and duplicates 52 and 43 as a bonus. 

Why split?  Not sure.   Here are some possible reasons:

  • I have him outboarded.  Therefore contact favors me.
  • It is bad for me when he makes the 4 point whether or not my man is there.
  • If I do get pointed on, I have some return shots from the bar, plus some anchoring chances (like 54 or 32)
  • I am short on timing.  If I don't split now, I probably never will.  This seems to be my best chance.
I looked at a variation where I improved the opponent's position.  I moved his spares from the six point and closed his 5 point.  Splitting is still a whopper even in that position.

Another variation gives texmex the 5 point and cleans up all blots.  (Move 2 from six point to close 5 point, and move man from 9 point to midpoint).  Splitting is even more correct.

So even as the opponent's position is getting stronger, splitting is getting more and more correct.  Not sure what's going on here.  Perhaps the above reasons (outboarded, sucks when he makes it anyway, if not now, when?) make this a last ditch now or never try for a game.

****************
Later in the same game.  I own the cube and have 52 to play.  Duplicate 4's or least outside shots?

is texmex

score: 0
pip: 72
                         
7 point match
                          pip: 71
score: 0

is Chutzpah
XGID=-ECBC-------a----bbb-Bccb-:0:0:1:52:0:0:0:7:10
to play 52

1.XG Roller++21/14eq: -0.708
Player:
Opponent:
30.37% (G:0.95% B:0.01%)
69.63% (G:6.19% B:0.11%)
2.XG Roller++21/16 4/2eq: -0.781 (-0.074)
Player:
Opponent:
29.50% (G:0.94% B:0.01%)
70.50% (G:7.26% B:0.13%)
3.2-ply21/16 3/1eq: -1.000 (-0.292)
Player:
Opponent:
24.24% (G:0.84% B:0.00%)
75.76% (G:11.16% B:0.20%)
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.02, MET: Kazaross XG2
I went for duplicating 4's with 21/16, 4/2.

Correct was running all the way with 21/14.

On closer inspection, it appears that my play doesn't duplicate anything, and actually diversifies his 4's.

After 21/16, 4/2 ...

41 picks and passes clean.  The other way picks and passes on the inner board, giving me a few combo returns from the bar.
42 also picks and passes clean.  The other way picks and passes on the inner board and I get a few combos from the bar.
43 is strong either way.
44 points on me and hits a second checker.  The other way 44 is really good but at least doesn't pick up a second man.
45 now becomes a pick and pass whereas the other way 45 leaves a direct shot.
46 also becomes pick and pass while the other way it plays clean.

I guess the lesson is look at how the numbers play.  It 'feels' like I am duplicating 4's athough I am actually making all 4's really good numbers.

21/14 gives good 2's but gives me shots on 45 as some compensation.  Also the race is close and this brings the man closer to home. 

*************
I trail 7 away 5 away and trying to scramble home after getting hit from a 1/3 backgame.  32 to play.

is texmex

score: 2
pip: 173
                         
7 point match
                          pip: 56
score: 0

is Chutzpah
XGID=-bGbFb-Aa--A--------bb-bb-:1:-1:1:32:0:2:0:7:10
to play 32

1.XG Roller+11/9 7/4eq: +0.133
Player:
Opponent:
50.40% (G:27.63% B:2.81%)
49.60% (G:5.30% B:0.11%)
2.XG Roller+11/8* 4/2eq: -0.359 (-0.492)
Player:
Opponent:
36.93% (G:20.14% B:1.81%)
63.07% (G:18.86% B:0.44%)
3.3-ply7/2eq: -0.049 (-0.182)
Player:
Opponent:
45.73% (G:25.12% B:2.60%)
54.27% (G:8.15% B:0.20%)
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.02, MET: Kazaross XG2
This one is so obvious there really is no point in analyzing it.

I instantly played 11/8*, 4/2 temporizing by putting him on the bar.  But let's count the return shots.

61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66
55, 54, 53, 52, 51,
43, 41
33, 32, 31
21

Everything except 42 and 44 which dance.  And it leaves two blots!!

11/9, 7/4 walks into a triple shot but cleans up a blot.  'One blot theory' is a good rule of thumb, but is completely obvious here where it actually leaves less shots.  55, 52, 32 miss.

The reason to post the problem is to remind myself to slow down.  Playing too fast, making the first move I see gets me into trouble more often than I care to admit.  I estimate that by always pausing to consider a second checker play option I would probably improve my PR by at least .2

****************
I lead 3 away 5 away, have already doubled and have 32 to play.

is texmex

score: 2
pip: 86
                         
7 point match
                          pip: 86
score: 4

is Chutzpah
XGID=-B-BbBCBB-B--------bbbbcb-:1:-1:1:32:4:2:0:7:10
to play 32

1.XG Roller++8/6 8/5eq: +0.220
Player:
Opponent:
69.62% (G:2.94% B:0.04%)
30.38% (G:0.99% B:0.01%)
2.XG Roller++6/1eq: +0.198 (-0.022)
Player:
Opponent:
68.98% (G:2.34% B:0.03%)
31.02% (G:1.24% B:0.01%)
3.XG Roller++10/8 10/7eq: +0.179 (-0.041)
Player:
Opponent:
67.63% (G:2.19% B:0.02%)
32.37% (G:0.76% B:0.01%)

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.02, MET: Kazaross XG2

I cleared from the rear, 10/8, 10/7. Not terrible but a illogical technical error which is worth time examining. The race is close so contact favors me here. I want to slow opponent down by blocking the big numbers (sixes here). Also I want to position myself to attack my opponent should he run with one checker. 8/6, 8/5 suits both objectives. I have 4 builders/attackers in case of 45 or 46. Boxes are blocked. And if opponent rolls 5's or 4's he has to think twice about running off the anchor. Even the lame looking 6/1 is superior to my play. While it kills a builder at least it holds the blockade. My play disengages from the rear at a time when that is simply the wrong game plan.

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