Steve Brown’s Game: Round 3(2)

We now have two empty columns for the first time. Obviously I’m counting an empty column if it can be obtained with reversible moves only since Steve is only playing to win, regardless of the number of moves required.

Usually, two or more empty columns mean we get to tidy in-suit builds without committing ourselves to any irreversible moves. For instance, if we had two long sequences such as K-Q-J-0-9-8 and K-Q-J-0-9-8-7-6 in different columns then chances are you will be able to swap two cards of the same rank (such as both Jacks) and increase the number of in-suit builds for free. Unfortunately, we don’t get to do that here. Ergo, the advantages of two empty columns boil down to guaranteeing two turnovers (plus the knowledge these columns never contain face-down cards for the remainder of the game).

The obvious (and correct) plan is to turnover column 2. This avoids exposing a new Ace in column 3 and also allows us to shift the C1:5h if desired. Unfortunately, we don’t get any new in-suit builds since we have “duplicated” the Ks-Qd-Jd. At least our option of turning over column 3 implies we have some leeway before the dreaded “one-hole-no-card” scenario.

  • Move: gf, bg, bf → As
  • Move: af, jf, cj, ch → Js
  • Move: ce → 3h, deal

Note that Steve chose to deal immediately after turning over the Three of Hearts. Normally, we get to make some “final tidies” once there are no more turnovers available, but not today (actually, it is probably a good idea to play hf, to have the majority of the Diamond suit contained in a single column. From experience, I find this does come in useful at the long run).

We only got three turnovers from our two empty columns. Steve avoided dumping the Ace in column 2 into an empty column because there is already an Ace in column 7. This “diversification” increases our chances of recovering an empty column in the next deal. On the other hand, Steve exposes the Ace of diamonds. This is tolerable since (i) we have two exposed Threes, (ii) we desperately need turnovers in column 3 to avoid one-hole-no-card (iii) after the next deal, the Ace of Diamonds will be covered anyway.

The last point is worth remembering: whenever you expose an Ace, you are “forgiven” to some extent as soon as a new row is dealt (LINK). As a corollary, you can afford to expose more Aces if chances are you will soon be forced to deal a new row of cards.

Steve criticises his choice of moving the 2-A of diamonds to column 6 instead of column 8. Unfortunately, Steve has only recorded his moves but not the logic behind them, and it would be difficult for Steve to reverse engineer this logic (especially considering he did the same for over 300 games). Steve can only say that it is quite possible that he did not notice column 8 is missing a Five.

Finally, Steve concludes he is unhappy with his prospects. He has 18 face-down cards, but of the 149 victories (in 306 games) he had only 13 face-down cards at the end of round 3. I agree the game state is poor. If I were an Impostor, I would be salivating at the sight of a Backgammon Doubling cube – but probably in private, otherwise I would be rot13(pbzcyrgryl fperjrq) as soon as someone calls an emergency meeting.

One thought on “Steve Brown’s Game: Round 3(2)

  1. Well, we inch along here. It looks like my idea of working towards getting column a into the space was not a high priority for Steve (or GM), and just as well because my plan involved junking up column c, and then the turnover revealed another ace in column b. I heartily agree that putting the 7 in the space instead of a second ace is a good idea.

    GM did ask us to think about the long-term plan here, but I didn’t see where he revealed any of his own thinking on that subject. I guess we continue to wait.

    Like

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