Discussion:
Midgame blitz cube
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Tim Chow
2020-07-23 14:41:03 UTC
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XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-b-dAb----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

X:Player 2 O:Player 1
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O | | O X O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 125 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action

---
Tim Chow
Paul Epstein
2020-07-23 20:15:14 UTC
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Post by Tim Chow
XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-b-dAb----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10
X:Player 2 O:Player 1
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O | | O X O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 125 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action
A reference fact is that, if you split with an opening 52
and I roll 55 and you roll 41 and I drink a beer,
then it's a double and easy take.

This position is not worse so a definite double and it is the
take that has to be questioned.
Well, actually it doesn't _have_ to be questioned. But I'm questioning it,
okay? Stop being so picky!

O's problem is that X has two quite distinct paths to winning -- X can
bring the rear checker around to win a race or X can win the blitz.
In most superficially similar positions, X has got a whole community of
checkers chatting together in the rear quarter, and it ain't easy to
get them travelling home.

Blitzing is not so easy, but on the other hand it's gammonish, so let's
say that O's blitz survival is 50%. X seems a favourite to bring the
rear checker around and so O's equity is 50% * less than 50% = a drop.

And the QF considerations for those who like to be right?
I think D/P is an excellent QF answer because X doesn't have much ammo and
O has quite decent structure so many might take.

But will they take in this thread?
No, no, no! If I'm right, everybody's right.

The only way I can be the only one who gets it right is if I'm the only
answerer. When my teeth do eventually fall out, I'll have to be my own
tooth fairy.

D/P with 87.3% confidence.

Paul
Peter
2020-07-23 21:00:29 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
In most superficially similar positions, X has got a whole community of
checkers chatting together in the rear quarter, and it ain't easy to
get them travelling home.
Let's hope they're socially distancing, and if they're going home on a
bus that they wear face masks.
Paul Epstein
2020-07-24 05:50:42 UTC
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Post by Peter
Post by Paul Epstein
In most superficially similar positions, X has got a whole community of
checkers chatting together in the rear quarter, and it ain't easy to
get them travelling home.
Let's hope they're socially distancing, and if they're going home on a
bus that they wear face masks.
They are generally either family members or romantic partners; in fact, more
often than not, two of them occupy the same point.

Paul
Tim Chow
2020-07-25 15:44:41 UTC
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XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-b-dAb----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

X:Player 2 O:Player 1
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O | | O X O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 125 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action

This position was from a chouette. The box doubled everyone, and I was
on the team.

Paul's reference position was also my starting point. Here, X has two
extra checkers in the zone, and has escaped one of his back checkers.
Both of those factors are bad news for O. The question hinges on whether
the position on O's side of the board gives O enough counterplay to take.
O's two new points, especially her 4pt, would have convinced me to take
if X's straggler had been further back, but since X's straggler was already
partially escaped, I passed. I think about half the team took and half the
team passed.

The rollout indicates a take. Move X's straggler out to O's bar point and
the rollout indicates a pass.


Analyzed in Rollout
No double
Player Winning Chances: 67.23% (G:28.58% B:0.46%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 32.77% (G:6.90% B:0.35%)
Double/Take
Player Winning Chances: 66.45% (G:34.40% B:0.52%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 33.55% (G:8.19% B:0.47%)

Cubeful Equities:
No double: +0.720 (-0.214)
Double/Take: +0.935
Double/Pass: +1.000 (+0.065)

Best Cube action: Double / Take

Rollout:
1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Dice Seed: 271828
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
Confidence No Double: ± 0.010 (+0.710..+0.731)
Confidence Double: ± 0.017 (+0.918..+0.951)

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.207.pre-release

-------
Variant
-------

XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-bAd-b----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10

X:Player 1 O:Player 2
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O X | | O O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 123 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action

Analyzed in Rollout
No double
Player Winning Chances: 69.05% (G:27.43% B:0.46%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 30.95% (G:6.01% B:0.27%)
Double/Take
Player Winning Chances: 68.97% (G:32.13% B:0.47%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 31.03% (G:7.17% B:0.36%)

Cubeful Equities:
No double: +0.772 (-0.228)
Double/Take: +1.034 (+0.034)
Double/Pass: +1.000

Best Cube action: Double / Pass

Rollout:
1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Dice Seed: 271828
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
Confidence No Double: ± 0.011 (+0.760..+0.783)
Confidence Double: ± 0.019 (+1.015..+1.053)

eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.207.pre-release

---
Tim Chow
Paul Epstein
2020-07-25 21:40:29 UTC
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Post by Tim Chow
XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-b-dAb----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10
X:Player 2 O:Player 1
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O | | O X O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 125 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action
This position was from a chouette. The box doubled everyone, and I was
on the team.
Paul's reference position was also my starting point. Here, X has two
extra checkers in the zone, and has escaped one of his back checkers.
Both of those factors are bad news for O. The question hinges on whether
the position on O's side of the board gives O enough counterplay to take.
O's two new points, especially her 4pt, would have convinced me to take
if X's straggler had been further back, but since X's straggler was already
partially escaped, I passed. I think about half the team took and half the
team passed.
The rollout indicates a take. Move X's straggler out to O's bar point and
the rollout indicates a pass.
Analyzed in Rollout
No double
Player Winning Chances: 67.23% (G:28.58% B:0.46%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 32.77% (G:6.90% B:0.35%)
Double/Take
Player Winning Chances: 66.45% (G:34.40% B:0.52%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 33.55% (G:8.19% B:0.47%)
No double: +0.720 (-0.214)
Double/Take: +0.935
Double/Pass: +1.000 (+0.065)
Best Cube action: Double / Take
1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Dice Seed: 271828
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
Confidence No Double: ± 0.010 (+0.710..+0.731)
Confidence Double: ± 0.017 (+0.918..+0.951)
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.207.pre-release
-------
Variant
-------
XGID=aB-Ba-C-B--AcD-b-bAd-b----:0:0:1:00:0:0:3:0:10
X:Player 1 O:Player 2
Score is X:0 O:0. Unlimited Game, Jacoby Beaver
+13-14-15-16-17-18------19-20-21-22-23-24-+
| X O O X | | O O |
| X O O | | O O |
| X | | O |
| X | | O |
| | | |
| |BAR| |
| | O | |
| | | |
| O | | X |
| O X | | X X X |
| O X X | | X O X X |
+12-11-10--9--8--7-------6--5--4--3--2--1-+
Pip count X: 123 O: 153 X-O: 0-0
Cube: 1
X on roll, cube action
Analyzed in Rollout
No double
Player Winning Chances: 69.05% (G:27.43% B:0.46%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 30.95% (G:6.01% B:0.27%)
Double/Take
Player Winning Chances: 68.97% (G:32.13% B:0.47%)
Opponent Winning Chances: 31.03% (G:7.17% B:0.36%)
No double: +0.772 (-0.228)
Double/Take: +1.034 (+0.034)
Double/Pass: +1.000
Best Cube action: Double / Pass
1296 Games rolled with Variance Reduction.
Dice Seed: 271828
Moves: 3-ply, cube decisions: XG Roller
Confidence No Double: ± 0.011 (+0.760..+0.783)
Confidence Double: ± 0.019 (+1.015..+1.053)
eXtreme Gammon Version: 2.19.207.pre-release
I consider it quite a marginal pass, though.
I never saw it as a clear pass, so I think I understood the position ok.
It's certainly a much better position for the cuber than the reference
position.
Re the variant which is a very marginal drop.
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.

Paul
Tim Chow
2020-07-26 16:13:21 UTC
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Post by Paul Epstein
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.
This assertion is commonly made, but I don't really believe it.

It's true that while the blitz is raging, I am not going to have any real
decisions to make. But if I have no more real decisions for the rest of
the game, then I'm going to lose. It doesn't make sense to focus only on
those variations. I also have to focus on the variations when the game
turns around and I win. *Those* variations are necessarily that easy to
play. They may involve tricky decisions about whether to hit back right
away or wait until my board is stronger. They may involve tricky containment
plays. They will probably need me to judge the right moment to recube. In
short, it's not at all clear to me that my game will be easier to play than
my opponent's.

In this particular case, the box was not an especially strong player, but
I knew that he did generally play blitzes well. Also, I was not the captain,
so I didn't have full control over the checker play.

---
Tim Chow
Tim Chow
2020-07-26 16:14:33 UTC
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*Those* variations are necessarily that easy to play.
Of course, I meant that those variations are *not* necessarily that easy to play.

---
Tim Chow
Paul Epstein
2020-07-26 16:47:25 UTC
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Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.
This assertion is commonly made, but I don't really believe it.
It's true that while the blitz is raging, I am not going to have any real
decisions to make. But if I have no more real decisions for the rest of
the game, then I'm going to lose. It doesn't make sense to focus only on
those variations. I also have to focus on the variations when the game
turns around and I win. *Those* variations are necessarily that easy to
play. They may involve tricky decisions about whether to hit back right
away or wait until my board is stronger. They may involve tricky containment
plays. They will probably need me to judge the right moment to recube. In
short, it's not at all clear to me that my game will be easier to play than
my opponent's.
... I thought I told you earlier that I have a second job as a
spokesperson for Bill Robertie. It's not an argument that I really
believe in, either. Hence my tentative formulation. I give an elegant
counter-argument to it in another thread.

Paul
b***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 10:45:12 UTC
Reply
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Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.
This assertion is commonly made, but I don't really believe it.
It's true that while the blitz is raging, I am not going to have any real
decisions to make. But if I have no more real decisions for the rest of
the game, then I'm going to lose. It doesn't make sense to focus only on
those variations. I also have to focus on the variations when the game
turns around and I win. *Those* variations are necessarily that easy to
play. They may involve tricky decisions about whether to hit back right
away or wait until my board is stronger. They may involve tricky containment
plays. They will probably need me to judge the right moment to recube. In
short, it's not at all clear to me that my game will be easier to play than
my opponent's.
In this particular case, the box was not an especially strong player, but
I knew that he did generally play blitzes well. Also, I was not the captain,
so I didn't have full control over the checker play.
---
Tim Chow
I don't know why you guys wouldn't believe that argument. I make it all the time. My side is easier to play because I'm the one playing it.

Stick
Paul Epstein
2020-07-27 12:09:47 UTC
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Post by b***@gmail.com
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.
This assertion is commonly made, but I don't really believe it.
It's true that while the blitz is raging, I am not going to have any real
decisions to make. But if I have no more real decisions for the rest of
the game, then I'm going to lose. It doesn't make sense to focus only on
those variations. I also have to focus on the variations when the game
turns around and I win. *Those* variations are necessarily that easy to
play. They may involve tricky decisions about whether to hit back right
away or wait until my board is stronger. They may involve tricky containment
plays. They will probably need me to judge the right moment to recube. In
short, it's not at all clear to me that my game will be easier to play than
my opponent's.
In this particular case, the box was not an especially strong player, but
I knew that he did generally play blitzes well. Also, I was not the captain,
so I didn't have full control over the checker play.
---
Tim Chow
I don't know why you guys wouldn't believe that argument. I make it all the time. My side is easier to play because I'm the one playing it.
I'm not sure of the point you're making. It's true that if you're better
than your opponent, in a skill position, a -1.02 drop is a practical take.
I don't think there's any doubt about that.

Is that your point?

Paul
b***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 17:14:34 UTC
Reply
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Post by Paul Epstein
Post by b***@gmail.com
Post by Tim Chow
Post by Paul Epstein
Assume you realised it was a very slight drop, there might be a practical
argument for taking on the grounds that your position is likely to be easier
to play than your opponent's.
This assertion is commonly made, but I don't really believe it.
It's true that while the blitz is raging, I am not going to have any real
decisions to make. But if I have no more real decisions for the rest of
the game, then I'm going to lose. It doesn't make sense to focus only on
those variations. I also have to focus on the variations when the game
turns around and I win. *Those* variations are necessarily that easy to
play. They may involve tricky decisions about whether to hit back right
away or wait until my board is stronger. They may involve tricky containment
plays. They will probably need me to judge the right moment to recube. In
short, it's not at all clear to me that my game will be easier to play than
my opponent's.
In this particular case, the box was not an especially strong player, but
I knew that he did generally play blitzes well. Also, I was not the captain,
so I didn't have full control over the checker play.
---
Tim Chow
I don't know why you guys wouldn't believe that argument. I make it all the time. My side is easier to play because I'm the one playing it.
I'm not sure of the point you're making. It's true that if you're better
than your opponent, in a skill position, a -1.02 drop is a practical take.
I don't think there's any doubt about that.
Is that your point?
Paul
It was meant as a half joke. Yes, that's the point. When I say my side is easier to play out it's generally true so I can take small to maybe medium sized passes.

Stick

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