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Topic: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
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watsu

Posts: 795
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
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Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 6, 2019 7:10 PM

TL,DR:
Boat is best because it makes the wedge too tricky for P1 to win reliably, but aside from that you can still keep most of your general Pente theory while playing it, unlike with Keryo or Poof. D is too tough to find/analyse fair positions to propose and choose. G messes up Pente lines too much.

I'm going to attempt to make a case for Boat Pente being the best Pente variant - defining best as changes the game and lines the least while changing the advantage for P1 the most. Below are a couple of boat wedge games, one which Dmitri King and I played in a tournament awhile back and the other is an unfinished game between Dmitri and Ivans. These two games made Dmitri stop playing the wedge in Boat as P1 and I also stopped playing it as P1 after I won the one against Dmitri below. I made a mistake at move 21 in this game, I should have played 21. ... N14 because he could have played 22. P12 with the move I chose, which would have given me problems.


Second game:



Now, making players avoid the wedge because it may not be a sure P1 win in boat is a pretty huge difference for a rule change which allows many Pente lines to proceed as they normally would. After all, there are over 10K wedge games just in the database here alone (including both 1. ... K9 and 1. ... L9) and it is generally considered a sure win P1 line. Also, there are another 5K or so hammer games with those opening 4 stone combos to boot, with the wedge being P1's most popular counter to the sure loss of the Hammer. Also, the rule change which makes Boat Pente a variant is basically one from Ninuki Renju (Pente's more complex precursor). I guess Japanese players gave up on Ninuki renju. If only they'd had the tournament rule and the consequent wedge and hammer theories! Well, in the story I hope to get around to writing instead of posting here I'll time travel back to the 1910s so perhaps I can plant the tournament rule seed while I'm there


Message was edited by: watsu at Feb 6, 2019 7:29 PM


Message was edited by: watsu at Feb 6, 2019 7:36 PM

I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney


watsu

Posts: 795
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Home page
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 6, 2019 8:05 PM

Also of interest for this thread are:
https://pente.org/gameServer/forums/thread.jspa?forumID=27&threadID=231880&tstart=0
and
https://development.pente.org/gameServer/forums/thread.jspa?forumID=27&threadID=231391&tstart=0

I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney
pente_gon

Posts: 36
Registered: Dec 26, 2017
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 7, 2019 10:14 PM

Very interesting games. Really tough. I think I'll try it some day.

In my opinion we can compare pente/boat/poof/keryo but should not compare it with G-pente and D-pente which are "opening rules" (not strictly "game rules") and could be applicable for all this games.

I think that poof can be excluded because it is similar to normal pente and impact for game is very small. But I don't want to compare all variants. All are different but way of thinking is similar. I would rather focus on opening rules:
Tournament rule: in my opinion it is sure win for players in all variants of rules. It is just opinion I can't prove it. In this rule some day you will reach wall and see that there is nothing more to explore.
G-pente: I understand idea of it but it doesn't solve main problem. It force to play less popular moves but in fact only reduce possibilities.
D-pente: almost unlimited playable opens. I already wrote about it in other topic but for me it is best opening rule. As I said it could be use also in boat and poof not only in pente and keryo.

watsu

Posts: 795
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Home page
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 8, 2019 6:32 AM

Thanks for the reply, pente_gon. I agree with you that D Pente and G Pente rules are more opening rules than variants and can be played as opening rules for variants as well.

My feeling about D is provisional, since I haven't played a huge number of games, but when I was looking at positions to propose in a tournament I was pretty consistently finding that even when looking at the proposals made by one of the best players of the game here (ivans73) the proposals all seemed to end up as sure wins to one side or the other within a number of moves which was less than the number of moves in the most challenging wedge lines. It's also difficult for me to envision how best play could ever lead to a drawn D Pente game on a 19x19 board, so it seems likely to me that one side is always going to have a sure win in any proposed position, most likely by captures if the game stretches on too long. Maybe I missed some ideas when I was researching it, but I just found it really discouraging that the most even proposal I could come up with for D Pente (in terms of probable length and complexity of the game) was a wedge proposal shifted towards the edge of the board.

Of course it's still going to be a sure win for one player, it's just perhaps more difficult to know where that sure win lies if the other player has many choices. For me, I would far rather play Boat with tournament rules as second player and hope that I can find a winning line than to exhaust myself seeking a D Pente position proposal which doesn't last for as many moves as my Boat game would.

As to poof Pente, here is a tournament game I played as player 2 against Ksackett which would have been a sure win for him in regular Pente, but by making a poof block at move 10 I was able to win the game.


I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney
pente_gon

Posts: 36
Registered: Dec 26, 2017
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 8, 2019 9:29 PM

Thank you for really good example how poof works. I see that it can create some interesting possibilities but I'am still thinking that its very rare to use it during game. Maybe I'm wrong.

I think that Ksackett should play h15 and than f14 after your f10. It seems winning for me. Am i right?

watsu

Posts: 795
Registered: Dec 16, 2001
Home page
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 8, 2019 10:20 PM

It's more common to have poof show up in games than you might expect. I'll have to study the board some more to see how 11. H15 H14 12. F14 might play out. My initial impression is that 12. ... G16 might be my best response and after that the outcome of the game is unclear to me so far. But, I'll take a look at it some more when I have a bit of time later.
ETA: looking at the position further, G16 seems too defensive. 12. ... H9 looks like it might win at the expense of 2 or 3 pairs.


Message was edited by: watsu at Feb 8, 2019 11:13 PM


I don't want to play non tournament rules games. If you take one of my unrated invites, play tourney
pente_gon

Posts: 36
Registered: Dec 26, 2017
Re: Best Pente variant? Making a case for Boat Pente
Posted: Feb 9, 2019 8:58 AM

Yes you are right h9 is good. I realised that making of fours is useless in this case and one more time poof rule can be used! After white g13 black can play g11 and it works its getting more interesting...

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