Tom's move

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Introduction

Tom's move is a trick that enables a player to breakthrough a second ladder. Its name originates from player Tom239 who devised it during a game (against dj11, on 15 December 2002) on Playsite. This was not its first use ever, just how it came to be known among hex players on Playsite.

Minimal example

In this diagram Red wants to connect to the bottom edge.


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It looks impossible to use the single stone on the fourth row as a ladder escape. How can it be done? By using Tom's move:

He pushes the ladder until he is right underneath it, and then he plays at 5.


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Now the situation is completely identical to that in the Double ladder on 2nd line Escape. Blue's natural defense is to play at (+).


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Now Red´s two pieces at g3 and f4 are connected to the bottom edge via edge template IV2b, and his ladder can thus connect to the bottom edge in two different ways, by playing in either of the starred cells.