V vs. H game 1

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Game information

  • Size: 11x11
  • Result: 1-0 (Red won)
  • Comments: David Boll
  • Note : the swap rule is not used here

The following is an annotated transcript of a hex game. Follow along with this on a board, and you could learn all kinds of stuff. The players are H and V, V moves first. H is a bit weak in the opening, but the mid game is wide open after a questionable move by V. V ends up preserving the win by carefully maintaining the winning line throughout some tricky positions.

1. f6   The center hex, the strongest opening move for V.
  ... f5 H chooses a weaker line of defense, g3 is usual.

2. h4   V presses the attack on the north edge.
  ... i1 H plays the "classic" defensive move. Note that g5 may look tempting here, but H is in trouble after h5.
3. e4   V shifts focus to the right side, threatening, but not establishing, a link to the north.
  ... e3 H's piece at i1 allows this defense, but f1 might have been better.
4. g2 g3 H can stop V's connection to e4 or h4, but not both!
5. i3   V is now connected from the north. j2 or h2 both get the link, and H can't stop both.
  ... e9 H shifts sides and tries to play defense on the south.
6. h7   Nice, aggressive, offensive and defensive move.
  ... g10 H's game is all defense at this point.

7. i9   V connects to the south, choosing to fight for the link in the middle rather than along the edge.
  ... j2 H's first sign of life on offense. H threatens h2 or i2, which links H from the right out to f5...
8. h2   But, V shuts the door on that!
  ... h6 This piece is linked to the right, even though it's not the usual 4th row template, thanks to the H piece at h2,
9. j5 i4 V tries to block, and H saves the link.
10. g7?   Not a terrible move, but d9 was probably better. V links up in the center with this move.
  ... g6! If V responds with a knee-jerk f7 to save the link, H looks pretty good after g5.

11. d6!   A nice reply to H's strong move. V de-fuses f5, and extends from e4, which could end up being connected to the north.
  ... g5 H makes the link anyway. Perhaps H would have been better off moving on the south side here.
12. f3   V keeps the sure thing to the north.
  .. f7 H is now connected from the right out to f7/e9.
13. c9   Once again, V gets a link and plans to fight for connection in the middle.
  ... d5! A very sneaky threat. If V plays a knee-jerk e5, H plays d9, and forces V to choose which side of c9 to play defense on. If north, H attacks south at b11, with some north ladder help at d5, and east ladder help at g10. If south, c8 wins for H.
14. c6!   But V sees right through all that! This move strengthens ties to c9, and allows V to stop H even if H makes the e5 link.
  ... g1 H tries to throw some doubt in V's ability to stop H from connecting from d4 to the left.
15. f2 f1 V forces two ladder steps, which restores ability to stop
16. e2 e1 H after H's threat of e5.
17. h1   Now this is safe for V.
  ... c8 H's last gasp at a win. Inexact play by V could lead to a ladder east then north to H's link to the east edge.
18. e7   The only win-preserving move in the area.
  ... d8 Forced.
19. e8 Resign Threatens to connect at d9 or f8; H has run out of tricks. H resigns.


Source : mazework