Counter-intuitive best move Reversi forum

5 replies. Last post: 2010-09-20

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Counter-intuitive best move
  • isometry at 2010-09-20

    I was looking through one of the games of the current championships and found something interesting (or at least I thought so). In this position, what is white’s best move? Try to figure it out, and then check it with WZebra or similar software. (I can post the answer in a couple of days.)

  • quartastella at 2010-09-20

    I tend to play very quickly and I would have played A3 which is exactly what Guy did.

    I’m guessing the “best” move is A2 because if black now attacks the corner with A3 it will flip the white disc at F3 and now white can go to G2 and take a diagonal that cannot be attacked. Also, if black takes the A1 corner it creates a hole at A4 that can be trouble later. White would almost certainly run black out of moves very soon.

    However, I don’t really think a human would play it that way.

  • isometry at 2010-09-20

    A2 is indeed correct; it leads to a 39-25 win with correct play.

    It is easy to guess that no human would play like that (at least if they were not told that there is a counter-intuitive correct move, that is) but after watching Ben Seeley in the WOC semi-finals and finals I am not so sure. The audience were watching the games with WZebra analysis on a big screen in another room, and there was a situation were the correct move was at least as crazy-looking as this, and everybody wondered if he would find it – and he did! (This must have been in 2003 or 2004.)

  • isometry at 2010-09-20

    Actually, I may have been thinking of move 53 in the 2nd final game in 2004, which is perhaps not all that surprising. But there was also the element of the time pressure...

  • quartastella at 2010-09-20

    Ben once told me that – given time – he is able to see twenty moves ahead in many cases, so endgames are usually not a problem for him. I’m lucky if I see two moves ahead.

    By the way, Eddie Williams – the former editor of Othello Quarterly – told me once that he saw the great Tamenori reconstruct the transcript of a game played the day before simply by placing in the correct square the number of the move. In other words, he wouldn’t start from move one and write it in the proper box and then go to number 2, 3, etc., but he would start from A1 and write 51 because A1 had been taken at move 51, then move to A2 and write 28 because that square had been taken at move 28, and so on. That to me is just out of this world.

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