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A Great Mistake

As you can see from the ExtremeGammon evaluation below, the right play is to keep going and simply leave your opponent a double-indirect shot.  You can throw a checker to the ace point and not leave any shot, but that is a highly inefficient use of your checkers.  Of course, if you make the right play and your opponent rolls a 7 or 9 you are very unhappy, but having that checker there, if not hit, gives you far more flexibility on your next few rolls. 

The expert I was watching (I won't embarrass the young man by name) made the safe play, and a roll later was forced to leave a shot, got hit, and lost the game and the match.  Sure, he might have lost anyway, and sure, it's easy to hindsight, but the reason I took a picture of the position when he made the play was because I felt the safe play was wrong.  Remember one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite authors:  "Sometimes, taking no risk is the greatest risk of all."  (P. Simborg)


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