On 5/6/2022 4:06 PM, Masanori Itikawa wrote:
> now available
Ah, very nice! So what is the story...was everything
canceled the last year (or two?) and are things back to
normal as far as the Japan Open is concerned?
As for the problems:
1. I got dinged for a massive blunder in a position
like this one recently. If I've learned anything, I
should get this one right: 7/4 6/4. We're in danger
of losing the priming battle and need to make a bid for
a prime of our own that is as good or better. Black's
sixes are duplicated to hit and make his own prime.
2. The score might make a difference because we're
itching for a gammon. Thus we need to consider the
banana split 5/4*. But Black has no other blots to
pick up, so I'm not sure if 5/4* is called for. If
we do play 5/4* then the question is whether 13/8
(for another builder, but not on a different point)
or 21/16 (for better board coverage) is the 5. I think
I would go with 13/8. But do we play 5/4* at all? We
could play safe and just try to consolidate our race
advantage, but that seems like the wrong idea with such
a strong board advantage and a high gammon value. I
would try 22/16, which triplicates Black's 4's and gives
us good chances of hitting a shot soon.
3. Black's position is fragile and we'd like him to play
his roll rather than dance. But making the 1pt looks
very inflexible. I think the choice is between making
the 3pt with 8/3 6/3 and hitting with 7/2* 6/3. Making
the 3pt obviously gives Black a good 6, but a lot of
other rolls crack Black's prime. If we play 7/2* 6/3
then I don't see any immediate cracking rolls for Black
because he has a spare on his 7pt. I think I'll go for
4. Oh, Paul just posted one like this. Whatever we do,
we shouldn't touch the checker in the 13pt because that
is how we plan to play an ace. I also don't think there
is any real need to fill in the gaps on the 3pt and 5pt.
We'd like to save the 8pt checker to play our 2s. So
5. We want Black to play 3/2* with an ace, so make the 2pt.
6. My first instinct is to jump Black's prime and roll our
prime with 21/15 5/3. An alternative would be to step up
with the 2, 23/21, but then what's the 6? I think it has
to be 21/15 again because we don't want to break our solid
five-prime. It looks a little scary but at DMP we don't
care about getting gammoned. Let's try it. 23/15.
7. I would play to leave no shots if that were possible, but
it's not possible. I still think we are reluctant to leave
more shots than absolutely necessary. We have only two
choices for the 6. If we play 8/2, then 8/6 leaves 13 shots
and 6/4* leaves 15 shots (the other alternatives leave too
many shots IMO). If we play 7/1*, then 8/6 leaves 17 shots
and 3/1 leaves 13 shots, and it also has the advantage of
making the 1pt and forcing Black forward. 7/1* 3/1.
8. For money I'd be thinking about whether I can take the
upcoming double. We have a very vulnerable position so I
don't think it's time to be leaving extra blots around. The
only meaningful point we can make is the 9pt and that comes
at the cost of the 11pt and two blots. Not worth it IMO.
Even 8/2 risks another checker getting sent back in the
ensuing blot-hitting contest. It's ugly but I will go with
9. There sure do seem to be a lot of priming problems this
year! Anyway, one thing I've discovered about my own game is
that I tend to underestimate the value of hitting loose when
I have a four-point board. So 7/1* is a candidate for sure.
If Black rolls an ace, we still have a (broken) five-prime so
it's not the end of the world, and if he rolls a 4---well, he
could have rolled a 3 if we hadn't hit. So the downside isn't
terrible. If we do hit then I think we take the opportunity to
break anchor with 22/18. What if we don't hit? 13/3 looks
awkward, disconnecting our position and misplacing a checker.
22/12 doesn't look better then 22/18 7/1*. I'm going with
10. Gammon wins are meaningless ATS. The pip count is even.
We just don't want to get hit. Unfortunately there is no
completely safe play. Fewest shots looks like 6/3*/1, which
has the downside of exposing another blot. A "nothing" play
such as 8/5 6/4 gives Black 16 shots (including 55!) and I
think the only other way to leave fewer shots is to play
17/15 6/4 (or 17/15 8/6) which still leaves 15 shots. I will
minimize shots with 6/3*/1. If Black doesn't hit, we should
be able to clean up fairly easily.