Game analysis: a short and sweet midgame.

For my first game analysis, I chose a simple game with a very direct midgame. During the opening, Pink both played fences in front of Green (b3h, d3h) and defensive fences (d6h, d8h). Green only counter-attacked against Pink (e5h, c5h, h6v).

You can see the situation at the end of the opening in the diagram to the right. Green has 7 fences left and Pink has 4 fences left.

The move count is: Green 9, Pink 7
Green has six Shiller paths:
7-2, 7-6-3, 7-6-4
8-6-2, 8-3, 8-4
Pink has six Shiller paths:
1-2-7, 1-2-6-8
3-6-7, 3-8
5-4-8, 5-4-6-7

The game is still pretty even at this point, despite the fence difference. Things are still pretty wide open. So it seems that Pink’s efforts did not yield much results at all.

Just to clarify: when I write Shiller path, what I mean is a path which goes through a distinct set of gaps (1-gaps and/or 2-gaps). This can probably be used interchangeably with path, but I just want to be specific about what I am counting. What interests us specifically in game analysis are the paths that can be manipulated by one or both opponents.

At this point, Green has closed the right side of the board to stop Pink from reorienting itself. Green has 5 fences left and Pink has 4 fences left.

The move count is: Green 10, Pink 12
Green has three Shiller paths:
5-3, 5-3-6
Pink has three Shiller paths:
2-1-6-3, 2-1-4-3

Both sides have obvious moves at this point. Green’s obvious move is to close 5 and reduce its path count to one, without affecting Pink’s (closing 7 would be ideal but it is a 2-gap, and at this point Green would never have the time to close it). Pink’s obvious move is to close 1 or 2, reducing its path count to one and keeping Green’s at two. This is what Pink does on its next move.

You can easily see how we’ve ended the midgame quite abruptly: there are no fenceable gaps left. This one fence by Pink has virtually wiped all the resources off the board, except for the branching on the top right due to h6v, which is easily repaired by Green due to its fence advantage.

The move count is now Green 11, Pink 12, so this is still anyone’s game.

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