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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Puzzle #74: Black to Play; Black to Gaelet

Happy Saturday, everyone!

I had the choice between a Black - Best Move puzzle and a Gaelet puzzle. I decided to go with the Gaelet this week because it has been so long since I've done one.

The reason I haven't posted one in a while is because they are harder (in my opinion) to find and make into puzzles than Tinue board states. I don't feel like it is a worthwhile Gaelet puzzle unless the side that you are playing is behind on flats and only 1 or 2 branches allow you to win, assuming, just as in a Tinue puzzle, that your opponent makes the optimal response to each of your moves.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a Gaelet is an unavoidable flat win. Here is a link to a more in depth explanation.

Please form your answer with PTN or a link to your solution via Also, be sure to use the spoiler tag so as not to ruin it for later puzzle solvers.

UPDATE:  Reddit has updated and the newer version does not recognize the older spoiler tag - " [spoiler text](/spoiler) ". The new version has it's own spoiler tag " >! spoiler text !< ". Unfortunately, the new spoiler tag does not work on the old Reddit. So, for the time being, since we have community members using both new and old Reddit, both tags need to be used. I found a way to nest these spoiler tags:

>! [spoiler text](/spoiler) !<

Ex:  >![35. a3> 3b2+](/spoiler)!<

I know it's a bit of a pain, but eventually, we should be able to switch over to the new tag only.

Without further ado...


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Shifting Focus

When I wrote Level I, I was working 40 hours a week with a mandatory 1 hour lunch break each day. I actually wrote the majority of the book during those mandatory lunches, using my nights and weekends to polish the content. About a year ago now, I started my new job. And, while I am soooo much happier with the new company and the work that I get to do, I work 55 hours a week with a 1 hour commute each way and a 15-30 minute lunch break. I'm not trying to impress anyone with my work ethic, or make anyone sorry for my plight. I'm just trying to set the framework for my decision-making.

It all comes down to time. What do I WANT to do and what do I actually have TIME to do. So, I've been working on writing out my goals and matching those up with the time I have available to accomplish these goals. Some of the goals that I examined had to do with my hobbies. Tak is, of course, among those hobbies. And, with the lessened free time that I have, I've realized that I need to make some adjustments.

I've only been making minor progress in the last 6 months on Level II. Part of this extreme slowdown is the limited quiet time that I have to write. But a large contributing factor is the difficulty of representing the more complicated parts of the game (larger boards/larger stacks/longer branches) in 2D format. So, I've decided to shift my focus regarding Tak, starting with my book projects.

I am no longer planning on publishing levels II and III. That's not to say that I won't be writing about Tak. My writing will just shift from my personal book projects to broader community projects, such as writing for the USTA Capstone Quarterly, my blog, or content for YouTube videos.

Instead of putting Level II in a box on the shelf, I would like to make what I have of this book available to those in the community who are interested. Specifically, those people who would like to present the ideas contained within to the community in a digestible format (YouTube videos and blogs). I feel that these mediums would reach more people, be more readily absorbed by today's (and tomorrow's) players, and more easily represent advanced gameplay.

So, I'm viewing this not as giving up on my books, but as transitioning them to a more collaborative and modernized format.

I'm hoping that my shift away from writing these books will free up time to participate in more human vs human games and help grow the community via the USTA. This way, I can more actively contribute to Tak instead of passively writing bits of books.

As far as my other Tak activities are concerned, I still plan on seeking out interesting board states to make puzzles from and will do my best to keep to my weekly schedule of posts to Reddit. I also still plan on participating in whichever tournaments that I am able to.

I hope all of you understand where I'm coming from. Please contact me if you're interested in using the content from Level II or if you have any questions/concerns/grievances.

u/rabbitboy84 on Reddit and Discord,


Puzzle #73: A Puzzle from Both Sides

Hello all!

Tonight's puzzle is from a board state forwarded to me by SultanPepper. Thanks, Sultan!

Part I

The first part of the puzzle is a Tinue puzzle. For the purpose of this puzzle, Tinue is defined as a board state in which no matter what the opposing player does during their turn (Black, in this instance), a road win will be awarded to the other player (White) on their next turn. If you are familiar with Chess, Tinue is very similar to Checkmate.

The Tinue that I found ends the game in 7 turns, but, there may be other options that I haven't considered; see what you can find!

Please form your answer with PTN or a link to your solution via And, remember to add the r/Tak spoiler tag to your solution so as not to ruin it for others. To do this, put your answer in brackets and follow with (/spoiler). Ex:  [26. a3- Sa3](/spoiler).

Part II

The second part rewinds this puzzle 1 move (1/2 a turn). Now, viewing things from the other side, what can Black do to avoid Tinue? I only found 1 successful move, but, as above, see what you can find!

I hope everyone enjoys this one; it's quite an interesting board state.