4-21-10 Checker Play/Answer

Like any play, you have to first decide what your priorities are, and that usually means figuring out your game plan.  Determine what is most important.  In this position, it is very important to move that checker from the 24 to the 23 point so that you won't be forced in a few moves to play a 6 off the 23 when you only have 2 checkers there.  Once you decide that is a major priority, it's pretty natural to make your 5 point.  It's usually right to make that point when you can for a lot of reasons, but here it could hold your opponent back and give you more safe entries into your inner board.

This is one of those positions where, unfortunately, you are not trying to maximize wins as much as you are trying to prevent disaster (gammons).  While you don't want to completely give up on wins (21 percent is still a significant number of wins), you have to keep in mind that in a match to 5, being down 4-0 Crawford is no where near as much fun as being down 2-0.

So after you've moved up to the 23 and you've made your 5, you know you must leave a blot somewhere, and leaving it on the 1 point has the least chance of getting hit.  So that's the logical play.

There are many other features of this position that could be discussed at length, and it is even possible that fine players could come up with totally different reasons to make this play.  But as they say, this is my story and I'm sticking to it!


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