It’s a match to 5 and black holds a 2-cube, and white to play 5-2. Scroll down for the answer.
The right play is to break the 8-point, leaving a blot on the 8 point!
I showed this play to many people at the Ft. Lauderdale tournament, and only Mike Corbett got it right (or right according to Snowie). Maybe he’s not such a bad player after all? (I always had very little respect for Michael’s game because I beat him once…but it was only a short match and I drugged his drink.)
I’d love to know if you got the right play.
Some additional insights from Perry Gartner:
I got it wrong but I can theorize why leaving blots is useful now that I realize this was an option I dismissed. I only looked at moving the inside or outside points.
The 8 point is better than the 9 considering the possibility of blotting once the opponents 4 is covered considering the loss of equity risk is quite small. Every number without an ace brings 2 in from the 8 and you need to have a number without a 1 or 2 to bring 2 in from the 9. Timing looks like it will play a key role in the most common variations.
If not hit you have 2 and 5s to make the 8. Only 8 numbers hit and cover for White and the return hits are powerful for black and even just coming in without hitting creates a timing advantage being down in the race. Some hitting numbers that leave 3 blots or even 2 blots may not be used to hit as the returns are so powerful.
This is a wonderful position to test you on seeing all plays.