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Game number: Main Page
White: David J Bush    Black: shyryan (LG) | This game (LG) | Download JTwixt file
On 2020-08-25 at 20:27, Peyrol (info) said:
Your K11 idea, to try to cut i9 off from my M12, seems reasonable, but this early in the opening it is better to start some threats along the bottom, for example with |8.l19. This "outward extension" roughly parallel to your own border rows is often a good idea in the opening. (Another possibility for black was to extend upward, for example with |8.n4) Returning to |8.l19, there are three overall ways white could respond to this.

*White could respond to the threat on the bottom right, say with 9.s16, but then black has 10.j11 This looks better than making a nice 3-3 setup pattern for yourself with K11. It is more important to block the opponent than to make a linking pattern for yourself. It might seem that J11 does not really block white since after 11.h11 white is on the winning diagonal that leads to B23, but that is where the black L19 and M16 pegs can play a role. One continuation is 12.k13 13.f16 14.f18 and it is not clear how white will reach the bottom on the left. If white tries 15.l10 then 16.l7 17.k8 18.j6 19.q8 20.q11 (with threats to connect to M16) looks good for black.

* White could play something like 9.j11 but then after 10.q19 black's position across the bottom looks strong.

* I might have played closer to the bottom with 9.g13. This threatens to reach the bottom either on the left or the right, and at the same time improves my overall coherence in the middle, so a black attack at J11 might not work as well. Overall the position seems much better for black than after your K11.

Of course it is very difficult to come up with an overall plan like this in Twixt. I just want to show you what types of opening phase moves are worth considering.

On 2020-08-26 at 14:22, shyryan (info) said:
You say that after |8.l19 9.j11 10.q19 black looks strong across the bottom.

For |8.l19 9.s16, you recommend 10.j11. If then 11.s10 (or thereabouts), is white not now as strong on the right as black was on the bottom in the first scenario? Is it just the presence of black n8 that makes white's right-side formation weaker? What's the difference?

This is a thorough explanation of your thinking, and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. I'm trying to extract general principles that can be applied to any opening scenario. I like your advice to 1) extend outward early, and you saying that 2) blocking your opponent takes priority over staying connected.

Still struggling to understand the principles that lead you to look for — and find — a move like j11 in |8.l19 9.s16 10.j11 when the left and right sides look equally threatening and there appear to be many choices for where to block one of those lines.

On 2020-08-27 at 03:48, Peyrol (info) said:
As far as I can tell, the difference between those two positions (black along the bottom versus white along the right) has to do entirely with specific tactics, and I didn't look as closely as I should have. For example in the line |8.l19 9.s16 10.j11 11.h11 12.k13 13.f16 14.f18 15.k9 looks much better for white than L10. Black can respond in that instance with 16.p12 but it is not clear who is winning.

So we could look at any line you want. After |8.l19 9.s16 10.j11 11.s10 black needs to worry about white K9. So before black plays top right, perhaps he should prepare first with 12.r13 13.r12 14.p12 15.s14 and then 16.r6

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