Named move patterns

Tafl strategy
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Named move patterns

Post by Adam » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:48 am

Roderich wrote:I don't know if this is the right place to discuss that, but I really would like to know which are the established opening names and their exact coordinates – whatever starting position – so far (the Millar Gambit does already "exist", doesn't it?).
So far the names are unofficial, the establishment of an international hnefetafl society/association (see Crusts topic which talks about this) would be the first step in setting such names in stone. Names that do pop up are ones that we have used in the forum and game chat, and as seems befitting, the ones that help us stick. Crust and I started using the name Millar Gambit (e.g. white G5 to G2) when crust (real name Tim Millar) started using that opening regularly and we started seriously looking at good responses for black. It lead to the term 'Millar Gambit declined' for one promising response (white G5 to G2 - black E1 to E3), though now that we have a few variations on that we'll need to expand the terminology. Also it looks like white then playing D6 to D4 makes the Millar Gambit declined a fairly bad move. Probably need a new topic to hammer that one out though : )

The draw forts are great fun to name, Tim has had a crack at it on his draw forts page on his website:

Otherwise, if you start finding patterns or spot what looks like the origin of a distinct strategy, feel free so suggest a name for it! I agree they help enormously when playing and discussing. This is a renaissance after all, we are like the first astronomers discovering and naming the moons of Jupiter!
Last edited by Hagbard on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Named move patterns

Post by crust » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:47 am

Please note: an “x” after a move denotes that a warrior has been captured by that move.

Black’s problem is that White has a “guillotine” position – Black can't stop the white warrior on k3 moving to k2 and capturing his man on j2, and he also can't stop the same warrior from moving back to his original square on k3, opening a path for the king, which black must block with another warrior if one is available, who will also be killed in his turn. So, Black has no choice but to go on feeding more warriors into this killing machine, while White calmly executes them until there are none left that can get there in time. This is the guillotine! It even has a realistic chopping action. Extremely nasty ... for Black (who often resigns at this point).

Good work Adam, you have identified all those solutions to this problem which concern dealing with that troublesome warrior on i6. He is the one who is preventing black from destroying the "guillotine" by moving j2 - k2 x (the "x" denotes that a warrior is captured, in this case, the "executioner" who is operating the guillotine) - if black makes this move before dealing with the warrior on i6 (either by capturing it or blocking it), then white can move the king forward i2 - j2, forcing black to respond with i1 - j1, and then that white piece on i6 sweeps down and captures with i6 - i1 x. And it's all over for black. So, neutralizing i6 is desirable. These are the ways it can be done:

h3 – h6 x (not brilliant as it leaves no black warriors on the 3rd rank)
h11 – h6 x (best)
k5 – i5 (blocking instead of capturing)
g4 – i4 (same idea)
k4 – i4 (the least good solution, as it makes it difficult or impossible to capture executioner)

THe continuation is as follows:
.................white k3 – k2 x,
black j6 – j2 x, white k2 – k3
black j2 – k2 x, white i2 – j2
black i1 – j1 (still looks o.k. for black!)

There is however another approach entirely, and another move you haven't thought of, and I have to confess it is that which I was thinking of when I designed this puzzle (later I realized that taking or blocking i6 would also work). This other move is cunning, and unexpected. It does not involve removing or blocking the warrior on i6. But what is it, you ask? Ah ha, I reply. So, the puzzle is not yet completely solved!


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Re: Named move patterns

Post by Hagbard » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:27 pm

Proposals for naming of some often used board patterns.
Some tactics, tricks.

X corner square
k king
w white piece
b black piece
- empty square
! if an enemy piece lands on this square, it's taken

Snap trap, straight. (klapfælde, lige)
Makes a place unsafe for the enemy.

Code: Select all

b ! ! b
Snap trap, angled. (klapfælde, vinklet)

Code: Select all

b ! -
- ! b
Snap trap chain. (klapfældekæde)
Covers a larger area with few pieces. (Position in diagram, hat tip Thanir).

Code: Select all

- ! b -
b ! ! !
! ! ! b 
- b ! -

Clamp. (skruetvinge)
The two whites are locked in position. If one moves, the other is captured.

Code: Select all

b w w b
Shuttle. (svikmølle)
Eradicates enemy pieces against two corner squares.
The king moves first, from side to side, every time killing a black piece.

Code: Select all

X - - - - - - - X
b b b b b b b b b
- - - - - k - - -
Spring. (fjeder)
Blacks form a tightened spring. Immediately when the white piece moves, the spring snaps and closes the barrier, barring off the corner.

Code: Select all

X - b -
b b - -
w - - -

X - b -
- b b -
w - - -
b - - -
b - - -

X b b -
w - - -
b - - -
b - - -
Balling. (indnøgling) (Position in diagram, hat tip kAAgEE).
The king is separated from his men by a swarm of attackers.

Cordon. (kæde) (Position in diagram, hat tip casshern and Kratzer. Name, hat tip Tim Millar).

Corner fight. (Hat tip: Tim Millar and Adam Bartley)
The special battles around forbidden corner squares.

Se also about
the Millar gambit, forts, the magic quadrat, the guillotine, the tower, barricades and cordons at Millar's:
the Fork, the Pin and the Tower at Damian Walker's: ... both-sides

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Re: Named move patterns

Post by mccluskeyp » Mon May 21, 2018 6:54 pm

Writing with a question about the position shown in the image below. This is a position from a game I recently completed.
Capture.PNG (64.97 KiB) Viewed 9 times

Is there an established name for the White position involving the L-shaped group of King and defenders on c4 and d5? This position can take any L-shape where the King is the angle of the L. It is a temporary bastion for the King, very strong in this small board size and associated small number of pieces. Strong enough in this board position to give White some hope of winning despite his tough-looking situation.

Appreciate your thoughts and comments.


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