A3 escape trick

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The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. The correct title is a3 escape trick.

The term a3 escape trick denotes the fact that though a red piece on a3 is not part of an edge template to the top, it can still be useful as a ladder escape, when handled correctly.


Consider the following position, with red to move:


The a3 escape trick consists of laddering to e3 (making a three-hex gap between the ladder and a3) and then connecting to a3 through a bridge:


Blue's only working response is d3, to which Red responds with another bridge:


No matter what Blue plays, Red can either connect with the ladder or directly to the bottom.

Blue can also play c3 instead of d3 but the outcome is the same. If Blue plays d1 instead of d3, Red d3 wins locally (i.e., in this case, Red doesn't even require a connection to e6).

This escape does not always work, as it depends on the size of the board and the pieces already on it.

See also