Contributed by Gerry Tansey
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – real news you can use from Gerry Tansey, a source you can trust!
Take it away Gerry:
The match score can have a huge effect on the proper checker play. In this position, Black is trailing 3-2 in a 5-point match and gave an aggressive double earlier in the game. However, the tide has turned a bit, and now Black must make do with this roll of 43.
Note that since a 2-cube is in play, Black will lose the match if he loses this game. Additionally, a gammon loss for Black carries no additional penalty. Therefore, Black can afford to make the play that gives him the best chance of winning the game without worrying about losing a gammon. But what is that play?
Red has quite a few threats, but the most deadly is making the 4 point and creating a five-point prime. If Red is allowed to carry out this threat, Black will be nearly completely dead, as he will have three checkers blockaded and a front position that is nearing collapse.
The threats are so great that the best play is for Black to put Red on the bar by breaking his 6-point with the move 24/21 6/2*! After this play, Red has 9 numbers that dance, after which Black may be able to rebuild his board, make an advanced anchor, escape a checker, or hit another opposing checker. Black has some real winning chances on Red’s 9 fans. However, even if Black hits, all is not lost, as White may be able to establish an anchor or two in Black’s home board and generate some chances with a late hit. Every other play is a serious error.
This type of play is known as a “banana split” (as in “You’d have to be bananas to make that play”). In this particular position, the play would be too risky if White’s gammon losses hurt him, but there do exist other positions where the banana split is right even if the “banana splitter’s” gammon losses matter. If your opponent’s threats are intolerable, sometimes you must take extreme measures to keep your opponent from carrying out those threats.
1. Rollout¹ 24/21 6/2* eq:-0.305
Player: 30.56% (G:8.81% B:0.31%)
Opponent: 69.44% (G:37.28% B:11.26%)
Confidence: ±0.006 (-0.311..-0.299) – [100.0%]
Duration: 11 minutes 39 seconds
2. Rollout¹ 24/21 12/8 eq:-0.372 (-0.067)
Player: 28.98% (G:5.13% B:0.24%)
Opponent: 71.02% (G:29.66% B:4.85%)
Confidence: ±0.005 (-0.377..-0.367) – [0.0%]
Duration: 8 minutes 24 seconds
3. Rollout¹ 13/6 eq:-0.375 (-0.070)
Player: 28.39% (G:6.00% B:0.23%)
Opponent: 71.61% (G:27.04% B:6.55%)
Confidence: ±0.005 (-0.380..-0.370) – [0.0%]
Duration: 7 minutes 31 seconds
4. Rollout¹ 24/21 13/9 eq:-0.388 (-0.083)
Player: 28.19% (G:5.08% B:0.24%)
Opponent: 71.81% (G:31.54% B:4.88%)
Confidence: ±0.005 (-0.393..-0.383) – [0.0%]
Duration: 7 minutes 49 seconds
5. Rollout¹ 12/5 eq:-0.399 (-0.095)
Player: 27.33% (G:5.67% B:0.24%)
Opponent: 72.67% (G:27.28% B:6.29%)
Confidence: ±0.005 (-0.405..-0.394) – [0.0%]
Duration: 8 minutes 17 seconds
¹ 1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.10, MET: Kazaross XG2