by Michael Strato
14 March 2006
1) 9/5, 6/5. Close between 3 plays. 9/5, 6/5 will pay off longterm - unless we spend the rest of the game trying to come in and this play leaves the most returns. 13/9, 2/1* puts white on the bar and gives us some flexibility and duplicates 1s but does nothing to improve our board. But white's stripped position means he'll often have to leave another blot or 2. The ugly 9/8, 6/2 leaves only one extra blot which could be very important against whites 4 pt board and makes another home board point but leaves more 15 hits and gives up a good blocking point. Whites lack of direct attackers on the 2 point swing it to making the 5 point for me.
2) 11/5*(2), 24/18, 13/7. After the obvious first 2 we can make either bar point or start both. 8/2(2) is also a possibility. With our much better board we need to go all out to pick up white's 2nd blot and starting both bar points having threats on both sides of the board is the best way to do this.
3) ND/T. Many of our wins will be gammons so a 4 cube has a lot of wastage - not worth giving away the cube. May be a double from the center.
1. 9/5 6/5 a la JK I do not find it close at all! 1. White has already buried 2 stones on the home ace point. 2. White has no spares anywhere, so shots are coming, and there is no ammo to attack blots in white's home board. 3. Many 6s are awkward for white, so now is the time to lock the famous 5 point.
2. At this score there is only one play: 11/5 x 2 (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) 13/7 x 2 a. This isolates white's runner, and builds a 5 prime. b. No other play is so unwelcome by white. And white's 6s STINK! c.The gammon possibility is now very high, as white's LONE runner can never anchor. The second white blot can be picked off, but the GAMMON wins the match..
3.D/Drop With 2 more fat targets, and an inferior to green board, white must drop the cheap 1 point.
1. I see only 13/8! ( I didn't see 9/5, 6/5 :-( but now when I see it I still don't make it. ) 13/8 leaves virtually only one blot instead of two when making the 5 point. The 9 point itself is very nice here too.
2. 11/5(2) is easy. Priming with 13/7(2) looks tempting but I prefer the calm and easy 24/18(2). Looks likely that I can double out (or double in) my opponent soon after this move.
3. Tricky. My guess is ND/P. I would go for No Double (hoping for gammon, and also keeping my option to double later on). From whites side it's also tricky. Might be a take since gammons won't cost much extra with a 4- cube. "Only" 11/36 rolls that hits a second guy directly. Anyway I would chicken out and pass to 0-2 as white.
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