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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Puzzle #3: How would you respond to this board state?

This is a game I played yesterday against TakticianBot. I was confused by the bot's response to this board state, as it was different from what I would have done and, I believe, lost the bot the game.

Let me know what you would have done as black:

Also, if anyone has thoughts on the game other than this state, I'm all ears. This was my second win against TakticianBot (the first was a bug where it missed my road threat). This win really surprised me. Did I just play an awesome game or did Tako miss obvious responses to my play? Here is the link to watch or try alternate moves:  Rabbitboy84 wins! Wait, Rabbitboy84 wins?


  1. So b2> doesn't really help - white responds with d3, which is tinuë in about 2 moves.

    Se2 doesn't work - again, white plays d3, and black doesn't get to take the d2 stack.

    d4< obviously doesn't work.

    And... that's it, as far as I can tell. The cap stack can't go south without leaving a white piece on e4, none of the possible captures work, and the only placement is Se2, which doesn't work. So it's road to tinuë at this point.

    Going back a move, I'd play Sb4 instead of Sb2. Still not a good situation for black, though.

    1. Thanks for your response!

      I was even thinking Sb5 instead of Sb2. I felt Sb2 was too little, too late and also, too near the capstone. Had I been Tako, I would have played Sb5 to have a shot at stopping both the vertical and horizontal threats. Not sure if it would have worked...but, I believe it had a better shot than Sb2.

  2. I would take C3 with my wall on B2.
    Then place another wall at C3 if white flattens my C3 stack.

    Black will be able to either take the stack at D2 (if the cap flattens the new wall) or move their wall up to C4 and threaten to take that stack.