The two obvious plays are (a) Bar/20, 8/7 and (b) Bar/24*, 20/15. The two plays are markedly different. The first tries to keep both back-game points as long as possible by putting a third man on the 20-point. Black will give up the 20-point at the appropriate moment and then play from the 22-point. Move (b) elects to put a white man on the bar, create some coverage of the outfield and attempts (at least temporarily) to win by going forward. After all black has a three-point board which at the moment is as good as white's.
Quickdouble wanted to hit, the Doyen (who was captain) wanted the more solid play, which I also preferred. The Doyen prevailed, nothing remarkable happened and the team lost a gammon. Intrigued, I fed the position to my two favourite pets, Jellyfish and Snowie.
Both elected for the more adventurous move (b), albeit not by a huge margin. What is more they came up with a third alternative not considered over the board, Bar/24*, 8/3. This combines the hit with an element of caution. Thus it saves time for black by sending a white man to the bar but takes less risks with blots than move (b). A long rollout using Snowie gives this third alternative as slightly the best move of the three. A salutary reminder that you cannot play the best move if you don't even consider it!Reuse content