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Subject: A Beautiful Move in Margo rss

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Richard Reilly
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Margo Game 157 played on Gamerz.net
White = Cameron Browne
Black = Me


Part 1: A Desperate Situation

After a brief skirmish on the left, a major battle developed on the right side of the board. At first I thought I was doing well, seemingly roping off a viable territory for myself. But repeated threats from Camb forced me to fill in many of my own eyes--I had too many diagonal connections!--leaving me in this position:



My group had only one, two-space eye! Two more moves and my entire group would be dead! surprise

And there was no apparent means of escape. There seemed to be only one place where the besieging forces were at all vulnerable: white's little group of 3 at the bottom of the board, on I3-I1-K1. But the two obvious means of attacking it both had obvious responses. A move to G3 would immediately be captured by G1. A move to G1 would be answered by G3, and his group would then be well-connected. I also considered E1, and the possibility that Camb might be stupid and respond at G1 (allowing me to capture by moving G3), but I don't like tactics that depend on the opponent being incompetent.

So I seriously considered resigning the game at this point, as my position seemed hopeless, and a loss of that many marbles would surely mean my defeat. Still I delayed: I was in the office, so I went back to work for a while, planning to come back later when I had more time to study the situation. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I wasn't missing something. Could I perhaps find a threat that he would be forced to respond to, that would lead to my salvation?

Can you?

Part 2: A Bridge to Freedom!

I could! G1 was, indeed, the answer. At first glance it seems pointless--and if this were a game of Go it would be. But this is not Go, it's Margo, a game in which marbles can climb up and over enemy walls. If I moved to G1 he would have to respond with G3 to save his little group of three, but that in turn would make this possible:



G3 creates a bridge that I can extend onto (at H4), threatening both to connect with my group on the left, AND to connect with my marble on G1. He could block one or the other--either at F4 or G2--but not both. Of course, if he chose to block the connection to the group on the left--which in fact is what he did--I would have to pin I1 in order to connect with G1. But look what else happens:



White I1 and I3 are both pinned and can't be removed, but K1, having no freedoms, is removed from the game, creating a second eye for my group! I was saved! It was still anyone's game!

And in fact, I went on to win this game . . ..

Margo is a great game, filled with fascinating tactical situations, immense strategic depth, and--as this game shows--exciting drama! I went from a seemingly hopeless position to a decisive victory. I hope you won't think me too full of myself for calling this maneuver "a beautiful move."laugh
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Michael Howe
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RDReilly wrote:

I hope you won't think me too full of myself for calling this maneuver "a beautiful move."laugh


Not at all. Nicely done, and thanks for the analysis of an interesting abstract.
 
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Richard Reilly
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"Nicely done, and thanks for the analysis of an interesting abstract."

Thanks!

Also, I forgot to thank Cameron, not only for the game, but for helping me with the pictures. Thanks Camb!
 
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Jonathan Kandell
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You did a wonderful job of describing the game. So difficult to do with abstracts, and this was so much more valuable than most of the session reports I see on BGG.
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Richard Reilly
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jkandell wrote:
You did a wonderful job of describing the game. So difficult to do with abstracts, and this was so much more valuable than most of the session reports I see on BGG.


Thanks! Maybe I should write some more . . .
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Cameron Browne
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Check out my Digital Ludeme Project: http://www.ludeme.eu
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Yes that was a beautiful move... which I hope to repay some day

Nice analysis thanks.
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Donald Acker
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Great thread! The narrative context sets up a single critical move that demonstrates how Margo is different from Go.
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Richard Reilly
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pigasuspig wrote:
Great thread! The narrative context sets up a single critical move that demonstrates how Margo is different from Go.


Thank you!
 
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