Posted by nand on January 8, 2010
OK, here’s a few more installments in my continuing battle against this opening. In my view Z5 is probably the strongest 3rd move for violet (now that I think I’ve dealt with Y-kiss). So here’s some lines that I think should do it for orange.
1. F – X / 2. W – N / 3. Z5 – F / 4. I5 – W / 5. X – Y / 6. U – L5.
…. 4. N – L5 / 5. X – Y / 6. U – P.
This is the trickiest line as orange has no combined block+attack on bottom. Here’s one possible line. I won’t spell out the moves as they follow the same pattern as above.
This is where I get uncertain. Suppose violet ignores orange F? What is orange’s best move on top? (If orange blocks the N with e.g. T4 then this is about a 4-point loss for orange IMO.) The game becomes very open, with orange having the smaller area but two leaks into violet’s area; violet has only one leak into orange’s. I THINK that this orange Y is probably the best move but would have to work it out in more detail. (The other obvious moves: turn the knob on the Y the other way; use Z4(G12rdr) for an unblockable move in anticipation of blocking on bottom right on the next turn. Probably others too.)
Posted in blokus, flawed openings, FW, openings | Tagged: blokus | Leave a Comment »
Posted by nand on December 17, 2009
OK, so I’m trying to rethink my approach to this, in part because there are some good midlevel players who still insist on using it despite its evident weakness. (It can win big against low- or midlevel players, I’ll admit; I’m purely concerned with optimal play, though.) Anyway, the most formidable of the “kiss” variants is one where violet tries to use Y and then Z5 or (better) T5 to round the corner, killing off all orange’s useful corners in the bottom left. Here’s the start of my line against it:
Moves: 1. F – X / 2. W – N / 3. Y – F / 4. X – W. Note that it’s a good idea to hang on to Y as a last-ditch block in the midgame (I1uur), though if it becomes freed up then it’s a major threat on top (L14ddl).
If violet is so foolish as to play N on top rather than X then you get one of my favourite positions, eminently winnable for orange:
Moves: …. 4. N – Z4 / 5. T5 – I5. This is an elegant example of an unblockable leak, since the only block (V5[F14ddr]) produces a horrendous I2-T4-I3 series of holes. You can see the violet T5 “corner kill” in action here — not that it does him much good.
If violet plays T5 on move 4 (or Z5) it’s a different line, I still think bad for violet. Will unpack it later on…
Posted in flawed openings, FW, openings | 3 Comments »
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:
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:
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:
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):
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