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10.5 Connection

The fields black_eye.cut and white_eye.cut are set where the opponent can cut, and this is done by the B (break) class patterns in `conn.db'. There are two important uses for this field, which can be accessed by the autohelper functions xcut() and ocut(). The first use is to stop amalgamation in positions like


where X can play at * to cut off either branch. What happens here is that first connection pattern CB1 finds the double cut and marks * as a cutting point. Later the C (connection) class patterns in conn.db are searched to find secure connections over which to amalgamate dragons. Normally a diagonal connection would be deemed secure and amalgamated by connection pattern CC101, but there is a constraint requiring that neither of the empty intersections is a cutting point.

A weakness with this scheme is that X can only cut one connection, not both, so we should be allowed to amalgamate over one of the connections. This is performed by connection pattern CC401, which with the help of amalgamate_most_valuable_helper() decides which connection to prefer.

The other use is to simplify making alternative connection patterns to the solid connection. Positions where the diag_miai helper thinks a connection is necessary are marked as cutting points by connection pattern 12. Thus we can write a connection pattern like CC6:

?xxx?     straight extension to connect



;xcut(a) && odefend_against(b,a)

where we verify that a move at * would stop the enemy from safely playing at the cutting point, thus defending against the cut.

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