Duo to the Death

Blokus has taken over my life

Archive for the ‘Bigwood F’ Category

Bigwood F #2

Posted by nand on September 3, 2009

I’ve been working out orange lines for this one. There are so many lines that lead off it, depending on orange’s first move, that I think possibly its main strength is just that it’s hard for even high-level players to remember all the variations. I suspect it’s not all that strong an opening, in fact, just a hard one to grasp. So my little project is to limit the lines & make this a manageable game for orange.

My current thought is that the best initial move, no matter which way the violet F is turned, is a mirror. This almost inevitably gets a violet Y plunked into the middle of the board, cutting off two orange corners & threatening to cut off more. Here’s one line of response (the L5 move is, I think, mine; the U I’ve seen from other players):

One response to Bigwood F (variation 1)

One response to Bigwood F (variation 2)

Moves: 1. F – F / 2. Y – L5 / 3. N – U. Orange L5 is key here: if it were Y then a hanging violet N (E3uuru) or L5 (E3uuur) would threaten a cut-off on the bottom. There’s no powerful cutoff move for violet on the bottom left on move 3, so violet is forced to threaten on the right side. But once violet N is played, orange U leaves only three unappetizing options for violet: (1) block with L5 (K10rrrd or K10rrru) sacrificing a tempo & the entire bottom right corner plus creating a terribly vulnerable series of sides in violet’s top area; (2) play a kiss move (probably T5 [K10rr]); or (3) play a move threatening a cutoff (e.g. W [K10ruru]). I think option (2) is the only viable one, & I’ve played games with this line that have gone either way.

Whatever move violet makes on move 4, I think orange’s logical 4th move is T5 (E5uur), which forces a response from violet (in order to avoid orange N [C8uuru] on move 5).

I do not think that violet can afford to ignore orange U & attack on the left on move 4; if he tries this, orange should simply play as aggressively as possible on the top. I can try to be more concrete about this line in a later post, if it seems worth pursuing.

Thanks to Dormys fan club & mike_yosuke for playing a few games with me that allowed me to work some of this stuff out.

[UPDATE: Bigwood tells me that the position in the 1st board is correct but he thinks in the 2nd board violet’s Y is positioned wrongly: it should be at H6uuu. Then obviously the violet N is no longer the obvious option…. in the game we played together BW played X there. Obviously I need to work on a sequel to this post.]

Posted in Bigwood F | Leave a Comment »

Studies in turned F #1

Posted by nand on June 9, 2009

Anton (Gerenuk) requested that I post something on the turned-F opener. I haven’t got a handy nickname for it; the players who currently use it most are BIGWOOD and Bobby_Bob, but I’m not sure whether either of them can be said to have first dibs on it. (Any suggestions for a name are welcome!)

UPDATE: Bobby_Bob tells me it’s BIGWOOD who laid down most of the groundwork for this opening. So perhaps it should be indeed called the Bigwood F!

There are two varieties of this opener, depending on whether the F’s 3-bar (the row of 3 squares) is horizontal or vertical. Here is a typical game with a horizontal orientation for the 3-bar, where orange replies with X-up. I’m not sure that that is necessarily a bad response, but certainly orange must be wary. The T5 below strikes me as a very poor response.

Violet 74 - Orange 61

Violet 74 - Orange 61

I didn’t witness this game but here is the order of moves I infer:

1. F – X
2. Z5 – T5 (this is a mistake: U or P would be better)
3. Y – Y
4. L5 – F
5. T5 – V5
6. W – L5
7. N – W
8. P – U
9. I5 – I5 (very bad move)
10. L4 and the rest of the game is obvious

Needless to say, this is a risky opener, not least because the other lines if orange DOESN’T play X-up are far more ambiguous.

Posted in Bigwood F, openings | Tagged: | 1 Comment »