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Next Steps

There’s only one way

Credits

Problem 21 from "Whats Your Game Plan?" by Mary Hickey and Marty Storer


XG skin design by Rain

Analysis

At first glance there are lots of options and lots of things to do here. White has a decent board but several blots, and you have ammunition in the right places. What’s the right theme?


You could blitz with 6/2 6/3* (unstacking your 6-point) or 24/20 6/3*. But you just don’t have the board yet, and the resulting blot-hitting contest is one you’re likely to lose. What’s your most important tactical move right now? It’s got to be preventing White from making their 5-point. With that made they have a big advantage in the game. So you must hit 24/20*. Then you’re left with either 20/17, 13/10, or 10/7 - all of which offer different risks & rewards. The answer comes from thinking about that upcoming blot-hitting contest. If you do get hit back, where do you want your checkers to be?


Hopefully that guides you to leave your half-anchor on the 5-point alone, and instead build your outfield prime with 13/10.


24/20* 13/10 it is. Anything else is a huge blunder.

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