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   331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2
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   Author  Topic: 331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2  (Read 612 times)
dpalmer
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331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2
« on: Mar 15th, 2015, 11:46am »
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http://arimaa.com/arimaa/gameroom/comments.cgi?gid=331829
 
Right after we did a CaMel exchange on 38s and 39g, even though I had lost 3 rabbits to 1, I had 2 of silver's horses to only one of mine, and felt reasonably good about the rest of the game. I believe that better play could have resulted in a gold win.
 
Silver quickly used better play to remove any advantage I had and I felt very well-controlled through most of the rest of the game.
 
I'd be very interested and grateful to have some moves pointed out that would have allowed me to control rather than be controlled during this phase of the game.
 
Thank you in advance,
 
dpalmer (Dan Palmer)
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dpalmer
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Re: 331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2
« Reply #1 on: Mar 15th, 2015, 11:48am »
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Note: The gender marker for my arimaa id incorrectly indicates female, and I tried to change it, but that apparently is not allowed.
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browni3141
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Re: 331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2
« Reply #2 on: Mar 15th, 2015, 6:36pm »
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The strategy in this game was a problem, but without tactics strategy can turn out to be unhelpful.
41g dd5s Ed6s dd4s Ed5s forks the dog in two traps and silver can not save it.
42g dd4e Ed5s He3w de4s is a good move along the same lines as before, and should win material eventually, but silver has delaying moves. It should look good strategically because the horse is working optimally by attacking a dog and the dog is severely threatened by being forked.
43g unnecessarily gives up a rabbit.
On 46g you could try 46g Ee6s Ee5e Ef5e Dg4w. Then at least to capture your rabbit right away the bot has to give up a dog.
47g Db4s ra4e Ra3n Hf2w is a stronger threat to the rabbit since you retain better trap control and your horse can't be frozen in one step anymore.
48g again gives up a rabbit unnecessarily. There are several moves to defend the trap that don't lose material immediately.
50g rb3e Cb2n Hd4e dc4e rc3x can win the dog next move as well. 49s should have retreated the c4 dog.
 
For strategy, after the camel trade it is very strong to attack c6 with a dog, forcing the elephant to defend and giving you strongest free piece (your horse). This can be achieved with 40g Df4e Dg4s de5e Ed5e first to buy time, then following up by advancing a dog in the west and fighting for c6 trap control. Your played move helps silver strengthen his defenses with a move like 40s ee6s dd5w dc5w ee5w. You want to keep the imbalance in silver's army by not allowing a dog to cross wings.
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kzb52
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Re: 331829 dpalmer vs. bot_Clueless2007P2
« Reply #3 on: Mar 15th, 2015, 7:33pm »
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I know you asked specifically about the endgame, but I figured I'd just go through the whole thing Smiley  Some of this is rendered redundant by browni3141's post, but I had it almost completely written so I figured I'd just put it out there anyway.  As with all of my advice, take it with a grain of salt, and agree with the stronger players if there is conflict Wink
 
In the very early going, you were a little wild with the camel.  You still got horse for cat, but in general you'll want to advance other pieces (and especially rabbits) to go with the M as support.
On 14g, I would have moved one of my horses to b5 again.  Silver is weak on that side (he defends with only a dog).  A horse on b6 would have been a nice advantage for you, and there is little silver can do to stop it (this is the so-called EH attack).  And even if you don't attack, your horse should naturally want to fight that dog, it's efficient piece usage.
 
Instead, you lashed out with the camel again and things were a little complicated for a while.  You're attacking both traps at once, which is very ambitious.  However, the silver camel is very inactive and c6 has no defending horse.  You can probably control c6 fine just by getting your horse on b6.  16g gold dog from e3 to f6 might be a way to continue the attack.
 
17g is a so-called "3 for 1" - you pull the silver dog into f6 with three of your steps, and it's something silver can just undo the next turn in one step.  That's very seldomly a good idea, since it wastes time.
 
I think 21g is a blunder.  After you give a camel hostage, your elephant is stuck defending the hostage trap (f6).  The main plan here is to defend f6 with two or more small pieces instead of the elephant.  Then your elephant will be free to dominate the rest of the board, and silver's E will be stuck around f6 dealing will all the defenders you've advanced.  f7 is a great square for the horse to defend f6 from, and so it should stay there unless it gets chased away.
 
22g and 23g pushing the silver camel to d4 may also be good.  The gold camel can be captured immediately, but silver has to sacrifice his dog to do it.  If you can trade your pacified hostaged camel for silver's free-range one, you typically benefit (even if it's an "even" material exchange).
 
After that, the game settles down and you start pulling pieces toward f3 and capturing them.  That's a concrete plan, and will be enough to beat lots of opponents (especially weaker ones), but I still think trying to swarm forward is the way to go strategically.  29g is still a nice tactical shot, no matter the strategy.  37g was another chance to trade camels, similar to the game line.
 
The material balance after the camel trade is an interesting one. I believe you are winning and Harlog (the most reliable material evaluator I'm aware of) agrees with me - http://arimaa.janzert.com/eval.html?MHCR3mhhcr .  You have fewer pieces and fewer rabbits.  Silver should try to advance and generate goal threats (which he did).  Your advantage is your horse, which is completely unopposed.  If you can force the silver elephant to defend somewhere else (say by attacking c6 with your dog and elephant) then your horse will be very powerful on the other half of the board.
 
Silver plays some good looking moves after the trade, advancing his rabbits while defending your material threats.  Both your dogs immediately got pacified defending the a and h files.  You have a couple of rabbits ont the back rank, shifting one over to the b-file to stop the goal would have been better than using your dog on 41g (and it's not even immediately necessary).  The other side of the board is very weak (your cat defending f3 was captured, that's a problem) and so I probably would have transferred my horse over there for support.  Then your pieces are more balanced and able to to defend silver's threats.  
 
On that note, I recommend moves like 40g He3e Hf3e Ed5n de5w or 40g He3e Hf3e Dc4w Db4n (attacking c6) and 41g dd5s Ed6s dd4s Ed5s (not defending the advanced rabbit because you don't need to yet, and winning material).  Hopefully I've made it clear that attacking c6 with the dog and moving the horse to f3 fit nicely together strategically.  You're preparing to control the f, g, and h files once both elephants get tied up in the c6 attack, balancing your army, and dealing with all of silver's threats at the same time.
 
I'm not thrilled with the way your horse got stuck on a passive square (f2) on 45g.  The easiest way to avoid this is probably to avoid giving up your rabbit on 43g, it can be defended.  43g is also bad because that rabbit advance leaves no pieces on the back two rows on that half of the board, and so your horse wound up in that role.  Advancing the rabbit would have been very good if silver had fewer pieces defending, but that wasn't the case here.
 
The natural way to pull a rabbit on 47s would be Db4s ra4e Ra3n.  This keeps one of your pieces on a nice trap control square (b3),  it keeps your defenses between the silver rabbit and goal, and it advances your own rabbit a little bit, in a safe way.  Giving up the rabbit on 47g was unnecessary, and by that point the bot is ahead I think.
 
After 50g (browni mentions your last real tactical chance for saving the game) silver gets his elephant recentralized.  From there, I think it's clear you just don't have enough pieces to even control c3 and f3, let alone advance your rabbits and make threats.
 
Hopefully you found my comments helpful.  Go forth and clear the ladder  
 Cool
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