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XF Tetris-Time packing

Posted by nand on February 21, 2010

By request, here’s the 1-point loss for orange for one key line of XF Tetris-Time. There are a few different possible packings in top right but the key is to use I3 and V3.

Moves: 1. X – X / 2. F – N / 3. N – V5 / 4. W – F / 5. T4 – L5 / 6. L4 …. and the rest is packing.


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Achilles heels #3

Posted by nand on June 10, 2009

One of the most popular openings is the XF kiss. People often call it the “TT” (Tetris-Time) after a player who developed it a lot (not sure if it’s original to him). Most recently it has been reexamined fruitfully by mike_yosuke. Some people tell me it’s only a 1-point win if orange plays perfectly, but I have to inspect the lines myself before I’ll vouch for that.

Fairly early on it became known that the best reply by orange is to block off the more dangerous (hanging) corner of the X with the N. On the whole I think this should be played with the 3 side DOWN. Violet’s best response is to hang an N around the N in return (a line I’ll discuss in a different series of posts, as it’s actually a pretty solid opening), but a lot of beginning and mid-level players are too cautious and play a W to kiss it, which is pretty weak if orange knows what to do. Here’s a typical game with an orange victory.

Violet 57 - Orange 68. One example of why move 3 violet W is bad in this opening.

Violet 57 - Orange 68. One example of why move 3 violet W is bad in this opening.

This isn’t the best line for violet, but I’m more interested here in showing “typical” play. If you’re a beginning player you can learn a lot from this game about how to close up apparently dangerous leaks: the I3 side on orange’s N is far less vulnerable than it appears, as violet learns to his cost.

The moves:

1. X – X
2. F – N
3. W (bad!) – Y
4. Y – Z5

note: NOT F, it’s important to save it for the bottom. And not T5, as it’s important that orange have two corners in violet’s area which cannot be simultaneously blocked by a single violet move.

Violet has by now let orange secure the bottom right corner; & orange is also now impossible to stop from grabbing some of the top right. (Violet’s Y should be turned with the knob on the left, but I’m not sure this is sufficient to save the game for violet.) From here on out, various lines are possible, none of them favouring violet.

5. Z5 – F
6. N – L5

VERY important to create the one-square “pocket” here (4 up, 4 across from the bottom corner) which will eventually stop the leak around orange N.

7. T4 – P
8. 1 – I3
9. I3 – W … and the rest of the game is just packing.

Note that the beauty of the orange N in this orientation is that if violet decides to plunge ahead with an attack rather than defend, the only way he can get very far is by wrapping L5 around it…. giving orange lots of nice long sides to work with (& meanwhile orange’s smaller area is eminently defensible with all its jagged corners).

Posted in flawed openings, openings, XF Tetris-Time | Tagged: | 3 Comments »