Blunders / Ugly Wins Dots and Boxes

1 replies. Last post: 2005-08-30

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Blunders / Ugly Wins
  • KnoxB (Computer) at 2005-08-30

    In the first two completed games in the current championship, KnoxB has knocked off two of the top players which sounds impressive until you actually look at the games. In the game

    against alkosan, we reached the following position.

    click here I was thinking of when I should resign for KnoxB. The only thing left is to play free moves in any order and alkosan wins the endgame 14-11. What could go wrong? Instead of a free move, alkosan played a mysterious looking sacrifice that threw the game away – he miscounted the number of boxes he would get in the aluded to endgame

    and hence, didn't realize he had the game won!

    In the game against pako, it also seemed that the only thing left was a few free plays. Then pako wins the endgame 13-12.

    Pako played a free move yielding the following position.

    click here I'm not sure what happened here. It appears that pako got careless and neglected to consider KnoxB's proper response – sacrifice the lower-left corner box to create a 4th long chain turning a 1 box loss into a 1 box win. If pako had considered it, he could have stopped it by the simple a2-a3. But the situation was even worse than that; a complete analysis reveals the sad truth that pako's move was the *only* free move that loses the game! [note: the one box sac a3-a4/a4-b4 also wins.] So not only did pako have to get careless to lose, he also had to be unlucky enough to choose the losing play. Back to the game, if a4-a5 or b4-b5 instead of pako's move, then the sacrificing the lower-left corner box could be met by sacrificing the upper-left corner box leaving three long chains and winning by 3 boxes. (note: after a4-a5 or b4-b5, the sac play is not the best against perfect play).

    That's a strange way to start a championship.

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