Nordic Open Semifinale

23-Point Match

Game #18

Andersen (12)    M. Oulčs (15)

(Black needs 11)    (White needs 8)

1. 5-1:13/8 24/23    5-2:13/8 24/22


Black to play 3-2.

K: Making crucial points is better than hitting loose. This rule of thumb is almost always correct in the opening stages. As it is here.

Making the 21-point (24/21 23/21) wins about 3% more games and shows an about 0.08 higher equity (+0,06 Û -0,02) than the double hit (6/3* 3/1*).

Clearly best play: 24/21 23/21.






2. 3-2: 6/3* 3/1*    6-2:Bar/23

3. 1-1:2x(8/7) 2x(6/5)    5-4:Bar/21 13/8

4. 5-4:

Black to play 5-4.

K: Normally itīs correct to hit the opponentīs checker on the edge of the prime if you donīt give up your prime. But if Black hits loose on his 4-point (13/4*), he has two blots in his board and if his blot on the 4-point survives he has problems to cover the 4-point without giving up another point of his 4-prime. It isnīt easy to lengthen a stripped prime (no spares on the block).

In addition Black is able to duplicate the number (two) that hits and makes the point at the edge of his prime by starting the flight of one of his back checkers (23/14).

This combined makes the flight a little bit superior to the hit!

Best play: 23/14.


4. 5-4:13/8 24/20    3-2:8/5* 23/21

5. 6-4:Bar/15    5-2:8/3 5/3

6. 5-1:

Black to play 5-1.

K: Black canīt hide the blot on the 15-point. So he should place it where the opponent gets the fewest counter chances. 15/10 places the blot on a point where White can hit the checker with a six, the same number he needs for attacking the blot in his home board (8/2*).

Therefore Black should stay there and play the ace with the spare on the prime (8/7). The duplication play gives White less attacking chances with double hits than 15/9.

If Black had his back checker on the 24-point, 15/9, the duplication of fives would be correct!

Best play here: 15/10 8/7.


6. 5-1:15/9    4-3:

White to play 4-3.

K: The race is almost even. White risks too much by hitting loose on the deuce-point (6/2* 13/10) while the reward when White doesnīt get hit is not high enough. 13/9 6/3 is correct!








7. 2-2:23/21 13/9    8/6 6-5:9/3 6/1

Again the loose hit riks too much.


Black on roll. Cube action?!

Black to play 4-3.

K: White has the security of an advanced anchor, the race is almost even and the position isnīt volatile. No reason for doubling this position (the equity is about 0.38)! Correct cube decision: No double / take.

With a 4-3 Black should remember his main game plan: Play your checkers on your prime, play them into the board as safely as possible and keep the opponent from escaping with his back checkers as long as possible to get the advantage of bearing off some checkers before White gets his checkers into his home board.

Black canīt expect an advantage by staying back on the 4-point with his back checker. On the contrary he takes the risk of getting attacked by White, if White has the opportunity.

Clearly conformable to the game plan and absolutely the best play is running with the back checker (21/14).

8. doppelt auf 2 Take

9. 4-3:13/6    2-1:3/1 13/12*

10.5-4:Bar/21 6/1    4-2:12/6

11.4-1:21/16    4-2:8/4* 6/4

12.6-4: dancing    5-5:13/3 2x(8/3)

13.5-3:Bar/17    6-2:

White to play 6-2.

K: White is forced to leave Blackīs board with one of his back checkers (21/15). If White stays on the 15-point, Black has almost no bad numbers, because those sixes that donīt hit the checker in Blackīs home board hit the blot in the outfield. Instead, if White goes to the 13-point, he duplicates Blackīs numbers that hit in and outside the board. Black has really bad numbers with 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3.

Best play: 21/13.





13. 6-2:21/15 3/1

14.5-1:16/10*    6-1: dancing


Black to play 4-1.

K: By hitting on the 4-point (9/4*) Black has the best chances to close out Whiteīs back checkers and to score a gammon. In this the inflexible 8/4* 8/7 is inferior to the straightforward 9/4*.

Black takes a big risk in hitting loose, because he loses a point in his prime and has to reckon with some losses after Whiteīs hits.

White has a strong board and Black has a high number of blots. Black also loses a high share of his losses gammon.

10/5, the calmly distributing play most of the time delays the attack to a better opportunity, wins more games and loses only very few gammons. Therefore 10/5 is the best play.



15.4-1:8/4* 8/7    5-3:Bar/22

16.6-6:17/11 10/4    5-3: dancing


17.5-1:11/5    5-4: dancing

18.5-4:7/2 6/2    dancing

19.5-5:2x(7/2) 2x(6/1)    3-1: dancing


Black to play 6-4.

K: If Black gets hit during the bear off, he still has good chances to win the game, because Whiteīs board isnīt closed. Each born off checker can be decisive if the game turns into a race.

Black not only wins more gammons by bearing off a second checker but also wins more games.

Therefore clearly best play: 5/off 4/off.


Erstellt: akspiele OHG   Copyright by Harald Johanni, Nürnberg
Zuletzt geändert am: 08. Feb. 2000