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### Number and algebra

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### Advanced mathematics

# Squash

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### Rain or Shine

### Playing Squash

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Age 16 to 18

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In the game of squash, players gain "points" by winning "rallies". If the "server" wins a rally, he or she wins a point; otherwise the service changes hands with no points gained.

Normally the game is won by the first player to reach 9 points -- typically by 2 or more points. But if the score reaches 8-8 then the person due to receive serve can call "9" (in which case the first to reach 9 wins) or call "10" (in which case the first to reach 10 wins).

I'm playing a game against Ivana Slogovitch, the Russian squash champion. I estimate that my chance of winning any particular rally against her, regardless of whether I serve or not, is p. The score gets to 8-8 and I am due to receive serve. Should I call "9" or "10"?

Predict future weather using the probability that tomorrow is wet given today is wet and the probability that tomorrow is wet given that today is dry.

Playing squash involves lots of mathematics. This article explores the mathematics of a squash match and how a knowledge of probability could influence the choices you make.