2away/4away Answer

In the actual match, I (Phil Simborg) slotted the 5 point and was surprised to see how big an error it was.  It seemed to me that this is a position which calls for slotting.  I asked David Rockwell why slotting was wrong.


Here is David's answer:

Many players miss chances to slot in the middle game.  I encourage all of my friends to slot more often.  One of them remembered my advice and slotted the position of the day.  The score called for aggressive play and blue's home board is not what it should be.  Blue hit a shot, red hit back and won a gammon for the match.  All was happy until XG called the slot a mistake. 
 
Why doesn't this position call for a slot?  The answer is, it does!  Slotting is correct with:
 
43 played 9-6, 9-5
65 played 10-5, 10-4
 
Furthermore, making the five point and leaving a direct six shot is correct with:
 
41 played 9-5, 6-5
42 played 9-4, 7-5
54 played 10-5, 9-5
 
And numerous other rolls are played to leave an indirect shot on the 10 point.
 
Why isn't slotting correct with a 32 played 10-5?  The slot isn't needed.  It can be played 9-7, 9-6 breaking a point you want to break and keeping all checkers in play where they can be used constructively.  The two slotting plays listed above don't do as much when played without leaving a shot.
 
When deciding whether or not to slot, consider whether or not you have a constructive alternative.



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