Tablut

Tafl strategy
Casshern
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Casshern » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:55 pm

04E74E6E-059B-49CD-B376-7BDA5F57EC2E.jpeg
04E74E6E-059B-49CD-B376-7BDA5F57EC2E.jpeg (124.87 KiB) Viewed 4489 times

Casshern
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Casshern » Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:42 pm

I am working on getting images and diagrams, asap. I do everything from my phone, since I don’t have a computer.

Here are the 6 openings moves for white that I discussed. As you can see, “positionally” they are the same no matter where you move on the board. Notice, the E and F squares can only be reach by a single pawn. Where as, squares A, B, C, and D, can each be reached by 2 different pawns.

Lets say, white wanted to move to the A square on d4, white could move e4-d4 or d5-d4. It just depends on how white plans to attack. Lets also say, white wanted to also move to f4. It wouldn’t make sense to move e4-d4, then d4-f4. White would just be moving the same piece back and forth. White especially wasted a move by moving e4-d4, then d4-f4.

Lets continue this plan. If white wants to move to d4 and f4, there are 2 ways to do so: 1. d5-d4, e4-f4 or 2. f5-f4, e4-d4. Which opening white chooses depends on whites plan of attack.

I hope the diagram helps to visualize how limited whites opening moves are in this game. One last quick note worth mentioning. It doesn’t make sense for black to open to an A or B square, since white would be able to capture any black pawn that moves to an A or B square. As black, I prefer to open play by moving to an E square, usually e2-c2. Opening to a C square, like d1-d2, is also very common. However, opening to a C square with a move like e2-d2, is probably not a good opening for black. Lastly, as I mentioned before, black opening to F is rarely played. Most likely, it is not an effective opening for black.

Casshern
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Casshern » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:16 pm

@Steiger: Yes, I meant to say e2-c2, not e2-d2. Sorry for the error. Regarding terminology, I will start another topic discussion where I explain terms in more detail. I am working on getting detailed diagrams soon as well. I apologize and thank you for your patience.

Regarding specific move strategies, I have only addressed:
Move 1: e2-c2, e4-f4
Move 2: e8-g8, f5-f6
Move 3: b5-b7, e3-h3
Move 4: d1-d3, g5-g1
Sorry again, I should also explain that each move consists of a black move followed by a white move. Move 1 is black e2-c2 and white e4-f4. And so on...

After black opens play, white has 6 possible moves:
1. d4
2. c4/d3
3. b4/d2
4. c3
5. b3/c2
6. a3/ c1

What I was referring to here was squares on the board. Specifically, the lower left quadrant of the board.
1 = A square
2 = B squares
3 = C Squares
4 = D square
5 = E squares
6 = F squares

I hope the diagram helps to visualize this concept. When discussing openings, a player might say, “I prefer to open to an A square, as white.” Or “As white, I open to A, if black opens to C.” Or “If black opens to E, I like to be aggressive and open to C.” Obviously, these are not specific moves on the board, just a conceptual way of looking at the board and moves. It is a concept or way of looking at the board that I have just recently come up with. Well, others have discussed these things before too, but I am trying to visualize the board as I have shown with the diagram. To show the symmetry of the game. Please let me know what you all think? Do you like the concept or do you think there is a better way of looking at it? Or a way to improve on it?

Steiger
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:59 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Steiger » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:39 am

Casshern wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:16 pm
Regarding specific move strategies, I have only addressed:
Move 1: e2-c2, e4-f4
Move 2: e8-g8, f5-f6
Move 3: b5-b7, e3-h3
Move 4: d1-d3, g5-g1
Sorry again, I should also explain that each move consists of a black move followed by a white move. Move 1 is black e2-c2 and white e4-f4. And so on...
Now I get it! I talk about similar game at the end of my video, only in a mirror image. This debut, for myself, I call "snake tail" :)
White's key moves is: e3-h3 and g5-g1.
Last edited by Steiger on Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

Steiger
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:59 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Steiger » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:29 am

It dawned on me! I have a new name for this debut - FomCa (in honor of Fomich and Casshern). In russian "фомка" is the thieves' name for a small crowbar for picking locks. In my opinion - a very accurate name, what do you think?

Steiger
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:59 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Steiger » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:20 am

Image
I think is better to use uppercase and lowercase letters, 'cause, for example, if I want to explain white's key moves in the "FomCa" debute I will say: is "E" and "f" squares and it will be clearer than if I said: E and F.
Catch?

Although, apparently, it is clear that these are cells h3 and g1,not g2 and g1 or h3 and i3?

And is it worth clarifying that all this should take place in the reflected quarter of the field relative to the first move of black, and is it worth, in this regard, to complicate the marking of the squares even more?

But, despite all these nuances, the idea of marking squares that take into account symmetry is very good.

Casshern
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Casshern » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:32 am

I like naming this position Fomca. I don’t mind Snake Tail either, but Fomca sounds much better. And the meaning is fitting.

Since you arranged the square with upper and lower case, we can simply further to either Fe or Ef, I think Fe is better. And yes, this opening would refer to h3 and g1 or g2 and i3, but not g1 and g2 or h3 and i3. Since white cannot reach those squares from the starting position.

In truth, having a name, like Fomca, for specific board positions is much better. The letters on the board were mostly to show the game’s symmetry and the limitations on white’s move possibilities.

And looking at the chart, we can see how black opening to E (e2-c2) blocks 3 possible moves for white: 1. E itself, 2. F on c1, and 3. C on d2. Compared to black opening to C (d1-d2), which only blocks one of whites moves C itself. Though C (d1-d2) does protect the pawn on e2 and brings another pawn to the second row, I think it is more important for black to at least half close every file and limit white’s move possibilities as quickly as possible. And I know, I am using terms that I have not defined formally yet. I will get on it asap.

Steiger
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:59 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Steiger » Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:32 am

Image
Without a doubt, this is the best opening formation for black, so the main task of white, in the opening, is to prevent black from building it, by aggressive way through sacrifice
Image
or "fomca" debut)

Casshern
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Tablut

Post by Casshern » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:03 am

Either approach is ok. I like Fomca because I like to be more methodical. I value piece development and spacing over aggression. It is important not to be too passive, but I feel that constantly attacking and sacrificing, white is just hoping that black will make a mistake. Instead of hoping my opponent will make a mistake, I try to see all possible scenarios. I find it tougher to play as white. So, as white, I just try to create situations where white has better positioning than black, an advantage. And I keep looking for advantages until I see a path that black cannot block.

To reiterate what I said before, if black opens to E, white should try to attack where black is moving away from. Which is exactly what Fomca does. Fomca allows black to get 3 E’s in exchange for very good positioning in the last quadrant. In this case, the lower right corner. f5-f8 just speeds up the process. White goes straight into the attack without any piece development. This is a great illustration of the example I gave before as well, “If black opens to E, I like to be aggressive and open to C.”

As black in Tablut, if my opponent opens to C, I will capture pretty much every time. I should clarify, I will capture the C pawn, not the unguarded pawn on g5. Here is how I see this move sequence playing out:

Move 1: e2-c2, f5-f8
Move 2: f1-f7xf8, e5-f5
Move 3: c2-f2, g5-g7xf7

Then black has a few options, e1-e2, e8-g8, or move a pawn on the right up to the second row, either i4-h4 or i6-h6. I will have to think about it more, to see if I prefer one move over the others.

The main thing I like about this opening for white, is that it forces black to move the c2 pawn to f2. Where it will be locked in place until the king moves somewhere else. Then it will probably have to shadow the king where ever he goes. Also, the three pawns remaining on the bottom of the board, will probably not be enough defense on their own. Black will have to find a way to support those pawns, probably with another pawn from the left or right side of the board. It looks like white can create an advantage here, but black may still be able to defend.

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