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Simborg

Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 408
Location: Chicago

 Post subject: A classic Cube problem Money game, black on roll, what is the proper cube action? As Snowie shows (below) it is wrong to double here. Black is not strong enough to double, and anyone who is doubled should take. Snowie, however, assumes with any decision that it makes, that the other side will make the right decision. In real life, we play against people...people don't alwalys make the right decision. In this situation, I was black, and I was playing against people (in a chouette) who I know are very conservative about taking cubes. So I doubled, and they dropped. To be honest, I wasn't SURE this was not a double, but I was relatively sure that I might get a drop, and that is what matters most over the board in a real game.
Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:04 pm
giannisp

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 101
Location: greece

 Post subject: I have been many times in this situation. Do you believe the reason it's not ( yet) a double is because of your back checkers or because of your inner board?? I mean given all the same , but one of your back-checkers was at oponnent's 4-point , would it be a double? Or if your 4-point was already made and all the others the same , would it be a double??? My opinion is that the back-checkers troubles you and that's why you don't have a double here. Is this the case ????
Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:40 am
puzzle_t0rico

Joined: 20 Apr 2007
Posts: 72

 Post subject: Hi there I put in gnuBG the two positions you mention and here is the results: One checker in white 4-pt (position ID: zN4GAFi2bhIBIg) Black 4pt done (position ID: zN4GAFi2bRIBMA) So, we could say that the reason to not double is that we have 2 checkers back AND our inner board is not strong enough. Though, whenever one of these elements changes, it is time to double. Nevertheless, it seems more dangerous for white to advance one checker than building the inner board. I suppose that it is because of timing I am always fascinated in backgammon by how a very little difference of the position makes the situation to change so dramatically. It is a good example of the "butterfly effect" _________________If the brain were simple enough to be understood, we would be too stupid to understand it.
Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:11 pm
giannisp

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 101
Location: greece

 Post subject: The tests you did were excellent. Well done and thanks very very much. The test made it crystal clear that the 2 back checkers are a real problem that affects two decisions : Ours whether to double or not , and our oponnents whether to take a double or not. Another thing is to cover our blot in our inner board , which though important , has many chances to happen as we have 3-builders for it and many good rolls. The real problem ( it's actually a problem yet,it's a threat !!) is the 2 back checkers!!! A big bravo for the good work
Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:49 pm
Simborg

Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 408
Location: Chicago

 Post subject: I am very please to see you all looking at these positions and trying to figure out WHY they are or are not doubles. Usually the reason that something is or is not a double is not because of just one factor...a checker or two back, or lack of strength in the inner board, or your opponent's positions...it's a combination of all the factors. I had a great lessons once from one of the top players in the world, Perry Gartner. I didn't understand why a certain position was not a double, and he explained it to me. But he also had me take the same position and start moving checkers around, one pip at a time, until it was a double. That way, I could clearly understand what makes it a double and what makes it not a double. In the position above, you could do just that and find out, for yourself, in a way you are much more likely to remember and understand, what makes this position not a double, and what would need to be different to make it a double. Move a checker from the back up a little, and see if it becomes a double. Make your inner board a little stronger, and see if that makes it a double. Give your opponent a loose checker in his outer board (increasing the chance of winning a gammon) and see if that makes it a double. These exercises take some time, but you will really start understanding the fine points of the game extremely well this way. Neil Kazaross, one of the top players of all times, almost always responds to me with statements like: "This is not a double, but if you move your spare from the 6 point to the 4 point it would be a huge double." One of the biggest differences between average players and top players is the are constantly honing their skills by looking for these fine distinctions in positions.
Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:03 pm
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