Gateball Puzzle #3

Thanks to Bernard Thys from Belgium who submitted gateball puzzle #3 which poses the question of how red should address their slow start.

Readers should leave a reply in the comments.

Gateball Puzzle #3:
5 to play. 5 is ready to pass through gate 1.
The score is 0-2 with 28:30 remaining in the match.
What should 5 do on it’s turn?



Previous gateball puzzles are available at the links below:
Gateball puzzle #1
Gateball puzzle #2 – difficult

Gateball puzzle #1 also included information on the format of the puzzle and outlined how you can submit your own puzzle.

4 thoughts on “Gateball Puzzle #3

  1. Ok – I’ll go first, even though when faced with a similar position at the Vic Champs vs Canberra everything went horribly wrong. Still, that’s how you learn….

    Staying all off is clearly a legitimate tactic at this point. Unless I had exceptionally good players I think staying all off (or at least leaving 5 and 7 stay off) is a good move.

    There’s two very dangerous outcomes for Red from here. One is that 2 touches 4 and sends 4 to 5. So wherever 5 is put, 4 can reach it. The other risk is arguably worse. 2 touches 4, then 2 passes gate 2, then sets a gate touch for ball 4.

    The more aggressive approach for Red is for 5 to stay off, 7 and 9 to collect at corner 1 (? – the corner just to your right when you’re at the start box…the lower right in the diagram). But the key play is for 1 and 3. At the start of round 2, ball 1 comes on then moves about 50cm towards gate 2, staying as a pivot ball for 3. That way, 2 is forced to set a very protected gate touch for 4, or to vacate the area entirely. If not, 3 can put 1 near the line equal with the gate (leaving 4 with the option of the gate or the ball, but not both).

    If you have a player playing 5 who has a strong chance (by which I mean 75% or so) of making gate 1 and gate 2 straight away, then that tactic is legitimate. Ball 5 makes gate 1, then gate 2 then sits near gate 3. This is a high-risk and high-return strategy. If it doesn’t work it can go horribly wrong. (See Vic Champs game mentioned above.)

  2. Good explanation, Philip. I think this is more challenging as there is no “right” answer and so much depends on individual skills. Will play it out and see what happens. Interested to hear from others.

  3. Totally agree with Phillip. I’d be inclined to keep 5, 7, and 9 off for the first round.

    I’d then set No. 1 up as the pivot ball for No. 3, and then once No. 3 has used No. 1, I’d then re-spark No. 1 to be another pivot ball for No. 5. No. 3 would then either attack the white balls, or score the gate, with the intention of hiding somewhere in an attacking position to score Gate 3 on its final shot.

  4. I would keep 5 and 7 off and hope that white continues to bring balls onto the court.

    If white has presented a target in front or behind gate 2 then 9 could take a risky shot through gate 2 or at a clump of balls.

    We’ve found that the all off strategy often works out well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.