Secret Agent Man

I recently had a bit of a dispute with a local disc jockey who repeatedly called me dumb, ignorant and stupid. Well, that part he got right. Yesterday morning, driving along the I-26 from Columbia to Charleston with my beautiful, artistic wife – a reputedly monotonous drive, but with yesterday’s gorgeous sun flashing across such fascinating patterns of vegetation – I discovered again how dumb. Not thinking about anything in particular, the surprising thought came to me, the configuration of nasty double switches that caused me to abandon my old approach to 8+ is the exact same configuration I am having trouble with in my new approach! How embarrassing. It took me several weeks to see that.

Right is supposed to win 8+, but I have been having trouble working it out after 8+ 1(9)2. Right needs six survivors, so Right needs an antipharisaic move. My old approach was 1(10)1[3,4] but I became afraid of “nasty double switches” (as I believe I described it in another article) after 3(11)10. I therefore began exploring a different first move for Right, 1(10)1[2,3]. I thought Right’s chances looked promising, even after 4(11)10, which I suspected was Left’s strongest reply. But this position is exactly the same as the “nasty double switches” position above, of course. Why could I not see that?

I have resolved to get to the bottom of this position, because I think this may be the key position in the entire opening. Despite my Polar Bear fiasco, I will now give this opening a name, dubbing it the “Secret Agent”. (I intend this name to subsume the “nasty double switches” position and all variations deriving from it.)

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