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What’s the right option?

So many choices, so little time


Problem 43 from "What's Your Game Plan?" by Mary Hickey and Marty Storer.

XG skin design by Rain


Not a great roll, but lots of options - make the 5-pt, slot the 5-pt, split your back checkers, play safe, or some combination of all of those. What’s your game plan?

Hopefully you recognise you’re in the stronger position here - you have the better board and you have an anchor - factors suggesting you can & should pay boldly. So let’s rule out 10/7 or other safety-oriented plays.

What about splitting? White has the beginnings of a prime, but splitting gives up your anchor (that’s allowing you to play boldly in the first place) and converts White’s position to a potentially strong blitz. There’s no hurry to split right now.

So the answer is the 5-pt. But do we we slot it (with eg 8/5 - leaving 23 return shots but giving you two builders to secure a 5 prime), or make it (with 7/5 6/5 - leaving 24 return shots and still two builders for a 5 prime)?

When in doubt - the 5-pt is the 5-pt! Anything other than 7/5 6/5 is a massive blunder.

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