Was it really time to resign? Slither forum

25 replies. Last post: 2012-05-11

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Was it really time to resign?
  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-24

    Hi. I’m trying to learn a little about this new game. In game #1403353 White resigned but it seems to me he can fight on with G8G9F9. Am I missing something? Thanks!

    #1403353 zwack vs. ordenanza1
    B W
    W W B
    W B
    B
    W B
    B W B B B B
    W W W

  • MarleysGhost at 2012-03-24

    I’m no expert, but I think Black can ladder down the H column and while White might be able to block for a while in the G column, Black will eventually connect to H3.

    20.G8G9F9 21.E3F2H9 Then what?

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-24

    This is a bit hard for me to visualise without a board, but how about 22. G9G8H8 ?

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-24

    Oops. That looks like an illegal move. So maybe resigning was appropriate! Thanks MG.

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-24

    OK. One more try, this time on the other side. :) I’m still not convinced White resigning is best here. How about 20. E2F2F1 ? If Black tries to push through with 21. G2, say, then White has 22. H2H1G1 and he seems OK. If Black pushes all the way through with 21. H3G2G1 then the original move proposed for the top (G8G9F9) now works since there is no longer a ladder. Is this right? Thanks for all your patience!

  • maraca at 2012-03-24

    You probably see things a little bit too static, it’s not like hex or TwixT. Black could play 23. F8G7H9 and like this bring the piece now on F8 to the line more to the right next move and white probably is in trouble. This kind of movement can be repeated then next move if you have enough space, everytime bringing a piece from the left to the right chain and white only can bring additional pieces to the fight by moving them long distances, which takes too much time.

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-25

    ... and therefore White resigned? So after all, do I just need to get more comfortable with these kinds of positions and resigning made sense? Or was it premature??

  • maraca at 2012-03-25

    Yes, I’m pretty sure black wins if he makes no mistake. But there is no ‘right’ answer to the question if it was time to resign or not. There was a discussion about that in the chess forum recently and people had very different views.

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-25

    At the risk of beating this to death, I conclude the following: (1) If a strong Slither player says “I'm pretty sure black wins if he makes no mistakes” I think that means White resigned prematurely. (2) Much more to the point, the original post was about learning more about Slither and the lesson I think I learned here is that there really is no obvious win for Black in this position.

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    As already quoted in the chess forum: “Different people feel differently about resigning.” - Bobby Fischer

    I would say the lesson is how to play ladders:
    (X tries to connect to the left)


    O X X X X X X X X
    O . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . . .

    O . X X X X X X X
    O . X . . . . . .
    X . . . . . . . .

    O . X X X X X X X
    O O X . . . . . .
    X . . . . . . . .

    O . X X X X X X X
    O O . . . . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    O . X X X X X X X
    O O O . . . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    O . . X X X X X X
    O O O X . . . . .
    X X X X . . . . .

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    BUT:


    O O O O O O O O O
    O X X X X X X X X
    O . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . . .

    O O O O O O O O O
    O . X X X X X X X
    O . X . . . . . .
    X . . . . . . . .

    O O . O O O O O O
    O O X X X X X X X
    O O X . . . . . .
    X . . . . . . . .

    O O . O O O O O O
    O O X X X X X X X
    O O . . . . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    O O . O O O O O O
    O . X X X X X X X
    O O O O . . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    O O . O O O O O O
    O . X X . X X X X
    O O O O . X . . .
    X X X X . . . . .

    O O . . O O O O O
    O . X X O X X X X
    O O O O O X . . .
    X X X X . . . . .

    O O . . O O O O O
    O . X X O X X X X
    O O O O O . . . .
    X X X X X X . . .


    and so on... X won’t connect to the upper chain, but still be able to connect to the right with the lower chain.

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    These are 2 simple cases, if there are some free stones around it gets much more complicated.

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    Okay there is a mistake in both examples, if you find it you understood the ladders... If O plays the right move black won’t connect to the other chain in both cases... however X is still winning, no matter what O does.

  • MarleysGhost at 2012-03-26


    In the first one, O can configure to

    . O X X
    O O . .
    X . . .

    instead of

    O O X X
    O . . .
    X . . .

    so when X goes

    . O X X
    O O . .
    X X X .

    O can respond with

    . . X X
    O O O O
    X X X .

    Is that what you had in mind?

  • Carroll at 2012-03-26

    Then what would you do after:


    . . X X . X X X X
    O O O O . X . . .
    X X X X . . . . .?

  • MarleysGhost at 2012-03-26

    @Carroll: Good question. I have no viable response for O.

  • Richard Lorentz at 2012-03-26

    I appear to be confused (again!). If O plays as below, what can X do?


    . . X X . X X X X
    O O O O . X . . .
    X X X X . O . . .


    But what really has me stumped is that in a position like the one below, I can’t find any legal moves. Isn’t a draw supposed to be impossible? What am I missing??


    X X X X . O O O O
    O O O O . X X X X
    X X X X . O O O O
    O O O O . X X X X
    X X X X . O O O O
    O O O O . X X X X


  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    @Richard: There are legal moves for both players, for example:


    X X X X . O O O O
    O O O O . X X X X
    X X X X . O O O O

    X X X . . O O O O
    O O O O X X X X X
    X X X X X O O O O

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    Now to the solution:


    O . X X X X X X X
    O . X . . . . . .
    X . . . . . . . .

    O . X X X X X X X
    O . X . . . . . .
    X . O . . . . . .

    O X X X X X X X X
    O . . . . . . . .
    X X O . . . . . .

    O X X X X X X X X
    O O O . . . . . .
    X X . . . . . . .


    ...

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    ah continuation is not obvious, it only didn’t work because X had no help, if he repeats the movement, then it works:


    O X X . X X X X X
    O O O . X . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    Now O can’t do the following, so X still manages to connect, but it takes longer.
    O X X . X X X X X
    O O O . X . . . .
    X X X . O . . . .

    here is how it goes:
    O X X . X X X X X
    O O O O X . . . .
    X X X . . . . . .

    O X X . X X X X X
    O O O O . . . . .
    X X X X X . . . .

    O X X . X X X X X
    O O O O O . . . .
    X X X X X . . . .

    O X X . . X X X X
    O O O O O X . . .
    X X X X X X . . .

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    @Carroll, you forgot an X in your starting position, if it is there, the ladder will be played out similar to the solution I’ve posted.

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    @Carroll: And “what would you do after?”... In this position X can connect by using the kind of movement I posted to show Richard the legal moves in his position.

  • maraca at 2012-03-26

    Ah sorry, I’m confused again, Marley’s ghost forgot the X not Carroll, I think it’s best I stop posting here for some hours until new questions arise.

  • CoreyClark at 2012-03-28

    Richard L., a draw is impossible if Slither is played according to the official rules wherein a player is forced to pass in the event that they do not have a legal move. In any one of these cases the opponent will still have a move available. Unfortunately Slither was not implemented here with this amendment, however even without this rule the likelihood of a position in which any player will lack a legal move seems remote enough to me not to worry about. Although I have appealed to Richard Malaschitz about implementing this rule. But I can say with absolute certainty given any position either one player or the other will have a legal move.

  • Florian Jamain at 2012-05-11

    resign is always a dominated move.

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