Monday, March 13, 2006

More GIPF for Dummies

(a sequel to GIPF for Dummies Like Me)

I played a game of GIPF against a real person yesterday, and as good as GF1 is, a real person provides a much more satisfying experience. But this article is not about that game, this article is about strategy. My ambition is to distil some GIPF maxims, such as are used to teach Go (although i don't remember any of them). Here are some attempts.

Run away from 3 on the 5 line. For black, it is suicide to enter onto the c7 line from either end, because he can be immediately captured. This is obvious with a bit of thought, but the trouble with GIPF is that sometimes you're thinking about other things. If you can make this rule an automatic instinct, you can avoid at least one class of stupid mistakes.

The centre point is safe.
No matter what white does, it's not possible to capture the black piece on the centre point, because all of white's chances to make 4 in a row involve that point. The centre point is also handy to push people up against, just make sure you don't lose it.

Destroy your opponent's structures. In this diagram, white is bulding a structure which will be useful under some circumstances. I like to disrupt their plans by doing this:

I don't like the idea of my opponent having 3 in a row, no matter what the position of the game. If I break up their structures, they have to work harder to threaten me.

If you're a GIPF expert, or even another dummy, I'd like your opinions.


orangeblood said...

Hi Friendless, nice commentary and graphics.

I'm confused by your comments that the center point is always safe. As long as the piece in the center can be pushed, it can be captured, correct?


Friendless said...

Yes, it has to be moved before it can be captured. That makes it a little bit safer than other pieces which can be captured by moving other stuff. It's also a bit harder to push the centre piece because it's a long way from all the edges where the pushing starts. I have a theory that the 5 rows are the most dangerous, the 4 rows are the safest, and after the 5 rows as you approach the centre you get safer. Of course that's strategy, and the game is fiercely tactical that strategy is hard to implement. And I might be totally wrong, too, there's always that possibility.