Duo to the Death

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Archive for October, 2009

(rejected) FW: complete solution, part 1

Posted by nand on October 16, 2009

Considering all the depressing news I usually post about hard-to-beat openings, I thought it time to post something on an eminently defeatable opening. Sometimes I have a little trouble with it, so I thought it worth trying to work out a solution in more detail to avoid mistakes. As always in duo, even bad openings can win if you make a single error in your defence…

So: FW, the favourite of beginning & some mid-level players. It’s an interesting opening in that it looks pretty good but is actually one of the flimsiest of the F openings. I think this can actually be defeated by orange in ALL cases, though I must confess that I haven’t (inevitably) worked it all out. I would be very interested to hear from people who have suggestions for lines I should examine in more detail.


UPDATE: I’m no longer happy with the line given below, as I think violet has a strong reply to the orange Z5. I will try to post more shortly. I will keep this page here nonetheless as an interesting false start.


Here’s the basic orange response:

FW basic opening

Violet must reply on the left. (If violet plays on the right, orange plays I5(D7u) and the game is easy: I won’t spell out that line here as it should only require basic understanding of duo strategy.) There are basically two possible replies: a hang or a kiss. My solution is simple: if it’s a hang, play Z5(K8ullu); if it’s a kiss, play F(K8uul). I’ll consider the various cases in turn.

Case 1a) Hang and circle

The usual pieces for the violet hang are Z5(E7lddl), T5(E7ldd) or N5(D9ddld or dldd). If violet circles, orange should keep going aggressively rather than block until violet pokes up around the side. Here’s the line:

FW with a Z hang, the circling game

Note that orange F grabs the V in the nook of the violet F (& note that orange Z4 is dependent on keeping the W for a block). This game should produce an orange win of about 3 points. If violet plays T5 not Z5 then orange needs a different path, playing W(A8urur) to grab the L4 spot in the nook and using a different blocking method on the right (you figure it out).

If it’s an N hang, then it’s a little trickier, but the I5 is still the best bet, I think. At worst it’s a tie but here’s my packing for a 3-point win:

FW with N hang, orange I5

Moves: 1. F – X / 2. W – N / 3. N – Z5 / 4. Z5 – I5 / 5. I5 – T5 / 6. T5 – F (very important to tee up the I3!) / 7. L5 and the rest is hole-filling and packing.

Or if you like to make things exciting this is a good line too, & possibly a larger win (I haven’t worked it out in full but in practice it can lead to bigger wins versus players who aren’t good with open games):

FW with N hang, circling

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XF Lerpy du jour #2

Posted by nand on October 1, 2009

Another line I’m thinking about. The orange V5 is an experiment… actually it’s not bad, 4pts loss is respectable though I usually try in “solved” lines to get it down to 3 or under. In general I want to find the key points where orange can play a defensive move without resulting in a huge loss (this is useful for tournament play).

Lerpy 1 Oct 09 game C

Moves: 1. X – X / 2. F – Y / 3. T – N / 4. W – L5 / 5. L5 – I5 / 6. N – W / 7. Z5 – V5 / 8. U – T4 / 9. Y – L4 / 10. I1 – T5 and the rest is packing.

Note if violet plays L4 for U, then orange must not use the L4 to block (it’s needed on the right). Use O4 and I2 to block–one less point, but violet also gets one less point so the results are the same.

REFLECTION: Violet Y could also be V5 (the V3 leak doesn’t matter much since orange has already left a V3 spot for himself in top left corner). Then violet gets an extra I3 but (playing through the leak) orange also gets an I3 in bottom right & the results are identical.

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XF Lerpy du jour #1

Posted by nand on October 1, 2009

Still thinking a lot about this opening recently — I haven’t posted much on it lately simply because I want to give genuinely useful responses (otherwise this risks simply becoming a how-to manual for people looking to win as violet by lifting games from the blog… it happens). Anyway, my suspicion is that versus good violet play it’s hard to do better than a 3-pt loss. But it’s so complex I won’t pass judgment until a lot of lines are explored.

Anyway, for the moment I’m primarily interested in what is in my view the best reply: orange Y with the knob down. So I’ll just start regularly posting games that I think are close to optimal play. If you have suggestions for where orange or violet went wrong, please post comments, as I want to really map this line out.

OK: so this line is the result of some discussion with oldmanc, who agrees with me that the orange N kissing violet F on move 3 is kinda weak. We have both toyed every so often with L5 in that spot instead. I think these games show this may be promising.

Lerpy 1 Oct 09 game A


1. X – X / 2. F – Y / 3. N – L5 / 4. Y – Z5 / 5. T5 – W / 6. L5 – I5 / 7. I5 – F / 8. Z4 – N / and the rest is packing.

This could be improved (the screenshot is from a live game): orange plays V5 in place of N, P in place of O4, N in place of P. One point more for orange!!! But violet can also improve on it: U and 1 in place of the P, and P in place of O4. So we’re back where we started, just 62-59.

Lerpy 1 Oct 09 game B

oldmanc thought violet might do better by blocking orange I5. This game suggests the results are more or less the same. It’s a little hard to tell because both sides have to worry about leaks so packing gets tricky.

1. X – X / 2. F – Y / 3. N – L5 / 4. Y – Z5 / 5. T5 – W / 6. L5 – I5 / 7. W – I4 / 8. I5 – P / and the rest is packing (but violet must not play the O4 till orange has used up the I2, otherwise there’s a leak).

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