Cal's Currajong: The Well-Tempered Bottlenose Budweiser

Some ideas are best understood on an athletic evening of a long ago summer, contemplating the shimmering grace of that loveliest of intelligent sea mammals, the bottlenose Budweiser. One such idea is the two-thirds rule. There's no way really of doing it justice here, but I'll try. The ancient Greeks, Pythagoras maybe, discovered that ratios of small integers, translated into vibrating strings, make for mystically beautiful chords. The mechanics of the 18th Century, in turn, "tempered" those chords into cleverly imperfect, highly flexible elements.

Well, two is an important number in sprouts, because there are two players, and three is an important number because every dot gets three liberties. It stands to bubbly reason then that 2/3 is a mystically beautiful sprouts chord and that it only gets better when cleverly tempered to practical purpose.

All this by way of explaining my earlier statement that player1 tries for seven isolani in the 10 dot game. After my brain cooled, as writers do, I sauntered back to the police tape and noticed that unaccounted detail.

As warmonger on a nonopposite day, he needs an odd number. Two-thirds of 10 is 7, to the nearest odd integer.

ANALYSIS (Find a shrink.) 10+ Last time I let player1 try to avoid the 5 dot flipflop, but player2 "brung it on" nevertheless. It might be better to confront that devil directly. 1(11)1[2-5]

Now I'm liking player1. Ordinary tries to limit the 5 dots to 3 isolani fail when player1 creates a 2 dot trap. (And "trap" goes back to the beginning.) I'm not finding a good try for player2 here.

--Cal Hudson, First World Champion of Sprouts

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