Strategy--Checker play

Forum Archive : Strategy--Checker play

Pay now or pay later?

From:   Stephen Turner
Date:   18 March 1997
Subject:   Re: Have the Tooth Out Right Away?

Duncan D. Robertson wrote:
> Money game, O owns cube at 2, X has 3 men borne off:
> +-24-23-22-21-20-19----18-17-16-15-14-13
>       O  O  O  O  O           O
>       O  O  O  O  O
>             O
>    X              X
>    X  X  O  X  X  X
>    X  X  O  X  X  X        O
> +--1--2--3--4--5--6-----7--8--9-10-11-12
> X rolls 4-4.  Should X play safely (for the moment) and move his 5s and
> 4s and hope all goes well with the later throws, or should he bite the
> bullet and move his 6s and blot his 5?

I play safe at any score. Why would you want to leave a shot now? You're
unlikely to have to leave more than one shot later (unless O leaves his
anchor and you roll n3 for n >= 4), so why leave a voluntary shot now? Even
if you do get hit later, you've got more men off. Besides, you might get
away with it...

The only circumstances in which you might consider leaving a shot now are
if O's board was bad but about to get better.

In general here are the criteria to consider in "pay now/pay later"
situations: [Edited to reflect followup posts --tk]

1) How likely are you to get away with not paying at all if you don't pay
   now? [SOME]
2) If you do leave shots later, are they likely to be more or worse than
   the ones you could leave now. [NO]
3) Is your opponent's board going to improve by the time you pay? [NO]
4) If still in doubt, pay later.

Stephen Turner
Stochastic Networks Group, Statistical Laboratory,
16 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1SB, England    Tel.: +44 1223 337955
"Collection of rent is subject to Compulsive Competitive Tendering"
Cam. City
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Strategy--Checker play

Avoiding major oversights  (Chuck Bower+, Mar 2008) 
Bearing off with contact  (Walter Trice, Dec 1999) 
Bearing off with contact  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 1998)  [Long message]
Blitzing strategy  (Michael J. Zehr, July 1997) 
Blitzing strategy  (Fredrik Dahl, July 1997) 
Blitzing technique  (Albert Silver+, July 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Breaking anchor  (abc, Mar 2004) 
Breaking contact  (Alan Webb+, Oct 1999) 
Coming under the gun  (Kit Woolsey, July 1996) 
Common errors  (David Levy, Oct 2009) 
Containment positions  (Brian Sheppard, July 1998) 
Coup Classique  (Paul Epstein+, Dec 2006) 
Cube ownership considerations  (Kit Woolsey, Apr 1996) 
Cube-influenced checker play  (Rew Francis+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Defending against a blitz  (Michael J. Zehr, Jan 1995) 
Estimating in volatile situations  (Kit Woolsey, Mar 1997) 
Gammonish positions  (Michael Manolios, Nov 1999) 
Golden point  (Henry Logan+, Nov 2002) 
Hitting loose in your home board  (Douglas Zare, June 2000) 
Holding games  (Casual_Observer, Jan 1999)  [Long message]
How to trap an anchor  (Timothy Chow+, Apr 2010) 
Jacoby rule consideration  (Ron Karr, Nov 1996) 
Kamikaze plays  (christian munk-christensen+, Nov 2010) 
Kleinman Count for bringing checkers home  (Øystein Johansen, Feb 2001) 
Late loose hits  (Douglas Zare+, Aug 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Mutual holding game  (Ron Karr, Dec 1996) 
Pay now or pay later?  (Stuart Katz, MD, Nov 1997) 
Pay now or pay later?  (Stephen Turner, Mar 1997) 
Pay now or play later?  (Hank Youngerman+, Sept 1998) 
Play versus a novice  (Courtney S Foster+, Apr 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Playing doublets  (Grunty, Jan 2008) 
Playing when opponent has one man back  (Kit Woolsey, May 1995) 
Prime versus prime  (Albert Silver+, Aug 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Prime versus prime  (Michael J. Zehr, Mar 1996) 
Saving gammon  (Bill Riles, Oct 2009) 
Saving gammon  (Ron Karr, Dec 1997) 
Splitting your back men  (KL Gerber+, Nov 2002) 
Splitting your back men  (David Montgomery, June 1995) 
Trap play problem  (Brian Sheppard, Feb 1997) 
When in doubt  (Stick+, Apr 2011) 
When to run the last checker  (Stick Rice+, Jan 2009) 
When you can't decide  (John O'Hagan, Oct 2009) 

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