4 Move Restriction ?

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4 Move Restriction ?

Postby liam stephens on Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:35 am

The following item appeared in ACFB #30 January 1957, by the then editor - Lee Munger:

"The question as to what style of play contains the most virtue and the least fault will be on the 'firing line' for countless years to come. Some devotees are now proposing the 4 move restriction! During a recent review of literature on the game, your editor found an article which stated that 4 move restriction would produce, after all untenable openings had been weeded out, approximately 665 playable openings! Man's eternal desire to master the world and its challenging problems remains unquenched. Does progress demand that we continually introduce new complexities and complications into existing problems ? And, if so, then what is the proper definition and price of such progress ?
Above all, is the goal that is sought worth the price to attain. Who has the answer ? ---Editor."
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:04 pm

liam stephens wrote:approximately 665 playable openings!
Number of sounds openings will be approximately close to 550-600. I think Kingsrow analyzed this preliminary (not very deep) some time in the past. Also, due to fact of even number of moves, white/red openings advantage will be evenly divided. I like an idea of introducing 4 moves restrictions and encourage mail players start over and begin playing this style ... along with 11 man ballot.

We can start using 4-moves restriction deck in real cross-aboard events only after we approve/disapprove soundness of openings.
Last edited by Alex_Moiseyev on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby George Hay on Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:00 pm

Liam, that is a very interesting subject! A computer assisted 4-move must be possible at this point, with the 4 moves (two on each side) randomly computer generated. This would be better than cutting up the game with 11-man ballot. I think it is important that any opening restriction used be played "as if" it were GAYP. I still consider GAYP the best way to play, influenced by Wiswell and Hopper.

P.S. I just studied the Single Corner game in Sixth, the very first game where Alex Moiseyev beat Ron King. There is plenty of play in the 4-move opening 11-15, 22 18, 15-22, 25 18. :)

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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby liam stephens on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:20 am

Yes indeed, George, and not forgetting the 26-17, jump also. :D

I would certainly recommend GAYP for beginners and youth (don't try to run before you can walk).
However, a 4 move restriction and/or 11 man ballot systems, might take the encyclopedists out of their comfort zone !
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby George Hay on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:13 am

Liam, good point, 11-15, 22 18, 15-22, 26 17 is featured in Lees' Guide, Martins vs Wyllie. In Sixth , page 261, note C, Alex Moiseyev comments about 26 17. It would be interesting to see if 26 17 Single Corner even qualifies as a ballot!

IMHO, a 4-move restriction would be better than 11-man ballot.
Starting Out In Checkers by Richard Pask has a small section on 11- man ballot on page 112. This is short and to the point. What I get out of Pask's commentary is that 11-man ballot is bad for checkers opening theory, and positions are reached that can not, even in theory, be reached in GAYP. In contrast, a 4-move restriction would enhance opening theory, just as 3-move restriction has, even for GAYP play!

Also, even with the low estimate of 550 ballots, it would be hard for the "cross-board" player to complain about the "book" player in 4-move restriction! :)

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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:56 am

George Hay wrote:Also, even with the low estimate of 550 ballots, it would be hard for the "cross-board" player to complain about the "book" player in 4-move restriction! :)
Not all of them are new. There will be only 100-150 some really new openings. Some weak moves were shown in BC.

We also may have in 4-moves deck openings which never ever happened in GAYP: 9-13, 22-18, 5-9, 18-14

BTW. 26x17 in Single Corner is sound move and playable, I saw it in cross-aboard games few times and played it on Internet. This weak jump strategically don't destroy much white position and red should paly it very accurately to manage advantage.
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby George Hay on Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:30 am

Liam, it looks like the 4-move restriction is more problematic than it first appears! If we take the example from
Alex Moiseyev, we have 9-13, 22 18, 5-9, 18 14. While 18 14 is a legal move, it misses a most probable win!
Instead 18 15 should be played, and after the jumps, white is a man ahead! This leads me to ask, with ballots like this what self-respecting checkerist would want to play 4-move restriction? After all, the game may become famous or infamous while the restriction used becomes obscure. It may be a good idea to build on the established 3-move restriction so that a 4-move restriction ballot contains credible moves for all four moves!

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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:44 am

George Hay wrote:It may be a good idea to build on the established 3-move restriction so that a 4-move restriction ballot contains credible moves for all four moves!
Original Tinsley / Hellman request to 3 moves deck was : "Every opening must be sound and every sound opening shall be played". With 4 moves restrictions we probably have to adjust this rule ...

"Every opening and every move shall be sound, and every sound opening shall be played"."
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:14 pm

When I find this opening, 9-13, 22-18, 5-9, 18-14 - my first impression was that this is the only one or very few exceptions. However, while looking and thinking deeper, I comeup across with more than 50 (!) such openings.

01. 9-13, 22-18, 5-9, 18-14
02. 9-13, 22-18, 5-9, 25-22

03. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 17-13
04. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 25-22
05. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 26-22
06. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 23-19
07. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 24-19
08. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 24-20
09. 9-14, 24-20, 12-16, 22-18
10. 9-14, 24-20, 12-16, 23-19
11. 9-14, 24-20, 12-16, 27-24
12. 9-14, 22-17, 12-16, 28-24

13. 10-14, 23-19, 14-17, 21x14
14. 10-14, 24-20, 12-16, 22-17
15. 10-14, 24-20, 12-16, 22-18
16. 10-14, 24-20, 12-16, 23-19
17. 10-14, 24-20, 12-16, 27-24
18. 10-14, 24-20, 12-16, 28-24

19. 10-15, 21-17, 15-19, 23x16
20. 10-15, 23-19, 12-16, 19x10
21. 10-15. 21-17, 12-16, 17-13
22. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 17-14
23. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 25-21
24. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 22-18
25. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 23-18
26. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 23-19
27. 10-15, 21-17, 12-16, 24-20
28. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 17-13
29. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 17-14
30. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 26-22
31. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 23-18
32. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 23-19
33. 10-15, 22-17, 12-16, 24-20

34. 11-15. 21-17, 12-16, 17-13
35. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 17-14
36. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 25-21,
37. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 22-18
38. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 23-18
39. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 23-19
40. 11-15, 21-17, 12-16, 24-20
41. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 17-13
42. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 17-14
43. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 26-22
44. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 23-18
45. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 23-19
46. 11-15, 22-17, 12-16, 24-20

47. 12-16, 24-19, 10-15, 19x10
48. 12-16, 22-18, 10-15, 25-22
49. 12-16, 22-18, 10-15, 23-19
50. 12-16 22-17 9-13 26-22
51. 12-16, 22-17, 9-13, 23-19 (maybe RW ?)
52. 12-16, 23-18, 10-14, 27-23
53. 12-16, 23-18, 10-14, 18-15
54. 12-16, 23-18, 10-14, 24-19 (probably RW)

All these openings generate a "strange" 4-moves ballots which never appear in GAYP or 3-moves play. Each such ballot is sound but includes unsound moves.

I changed my mind now. We can't exclude such a big number of absolutely sound and playable positions. For 1-2-few openings we can make exception, but not for 50+.
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Definite No!

Postby Richard Pask on Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:22 am

Personally, I would be totally against the 4-move restriction for the following 3 reasons.

1: There is no need. Current tournament and match play (the last 5, entertaining WCMs) reveal that 3-move is vastly more than adequate for present needs.

2: It's a step too far in terms of restricting a player's right to choose an attack or defence. (Of course, this argument could be used against both 2-move and 3-move, but there has to be a limit.)

3: It will add little of merit and simply increase the importance of memory.

For example: 9-13 22-18; 6-9

The options are 18-14, 25-22, 26-22 23-19, 24-19 and 24-20

All 6 of these are covered under the current 3-move - no new play is being opened up; it's simply forcing a player to be familiar with a greater quantity of pp.

Another example: 11-15 23-19; 8-11

The options are 21-17, 22-17, 22-18, 26-23, 27-23 and 24-20; the latterly probably being unsound, but certainly of no merit.

Again, the first 5 options are already covered under pp - what would be gained?

Obviously, the occasional sound 4-move debut will be added, but in my view the negatives vastly outweigh any positives.

Incidentally, any 4-move restriction would have to be based upon the 156 sound 3-move ballots. It would run entirely against logic, surely, to include any 4-move combination which is not entirely sound - such as those mentioned in earlier posts.

In conclusion, my view is that, until there is weighty evidence that 3-move is insufficiently difficult - never in my opinion - it should be retained. Should it ever prove to be insufficient, then other options could be considered; 4-move not being one of them!
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Re: 4 Move Restriction ?

Postby john reade on Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:16 am

Gwyn Pritchard used to recommend a return to 2-move openings.
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2-MOVE?

Postby Richard Pask on Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:47 am

While I would not recommend a return to 2-move, there are certainly far stronger arguments for this than ever moving to 4-move.
Without doubt a 2-move WCM would still be very much a live issue (of course).
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