The Checker Maven

Checker School: Coming From Behind, Part 2

Today we present the second in our series of three lessons on classic "man down draw" positions. No one who has played more than a few games has failed to encounter some of these seemingly lost situations, and, most likely, missed out on a possible draw.

The position below is attributed to Dr. T. J. Brown, and found in Ben Boland's classic, Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers:

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

We immediately note a similarity to last month's lesson: a single Black king is holding two White men at bay on the edge of the board. Once again, there is hope, and with careful play, Black can save the draw. (And we do mean careful play; a typical learner's attempt, 18-15, loses at once to 28-24.)

Work this one out for yourself, and then click on Read More for a detailed solution.



Solution

(from Ben Boland's Famous Positions)

18-23, 10-14-D, 23-27, 14-18, 27-31, 18-22, 31-27, 22-26, 27-31, 26-22, 31-27, 22-18, 27-31, 18-14, 31-27, 14-10, 27-23, 10-7, 19-15, 28-24, 23-18-i, 7-2, 18-23, 2-6, 23-18, 6-9, 18-23, 9-14, 23-27, 14-17, 27-23, 17-22, 15-11*, 22-17, 11-15, 17-14, 23-27, 14-9, 27-23, 9-6, 23-18, 6-2, 18-13, 2-7, 23-18, 7-3, 15-19. Drawn.

Game: 12-16, 23-18, 16-20, 26-23, 8-12, 22-17, 9-14,18-9, 5-14, 25-22, 4-8, 24-19, 11-16, 30-25, 8-11, 22-18, 1-5, 18-9, 6-22, 25-18, 10,14, 18-9, 5-14, 29-25, 7-10, 25-22, 11-15, 23-18, 14-23, 27-11, 16-23 22-18, 10-15, 18-14, 15-18, 14-10, 18-22, 21-17, 12-16, 17-13, 23-26, 10-6, 2-9, 13-6, 26-30, 6-1, 30-26, 1-6, 26-23, 11-7, 3-10, 6-15, 16-19, 15-24, 20-27, 31-24, 22-26, 24-20, 23-18, 20-16, 18-15, 23-27, 26-30-A, 27-24, 30-26, 24-20, 26-23, 16-12, 23-19-B, 12-8, 15-11, 8-3, 19-23-C, 28-24, 11-15. Forms variation D, at 6th move. P. Thirkell.

A---In the Eighth Scottish Tournament Games, J. MacFarlane vs. J. Kirk, the latter continued: 16-12, 15-11, 27-23, 30-26, 23-18, 26-23, 18-14, 23-18, 14-9, 18-14, 9-6, 14-10, 6-1, 10-15, 1-6, 15-19, 6-10, 19-16, 10-14, 16-19, 14-18, 19-15, 18-23, 15-10, 28-24, 10-15, 24-20, 15-10. Drawn.

B---In the above Tourney Book, Variation 1, at 5th Move, 15-11 is given to draw, but P. Thirkell in the Draughts World, June 1901, Vol. 17. Points out the win: 15-11, 28-24, 23-18, 24-19, 11-7, 12-8, 7-3, 8-4, 18-23, 19-15, 23-19, 15-10, 19-15, 10-6, 15-11, 6-2, etc. White wins.

C---But 19-15 would draw too as pointed out by the Editor of the Draughts World; 19-15, 28-24, 15-10, 24-19, 10-6, 19-16, 6-2. Drawn.

D---10-7,19-15, 7-3, 15-11, 28-24, 11-15, 3-8, 23-18, 8-12, 15-19, 24-15. Drawn.

The position may be found as No. 1 in the English Draughts Player, Jan. 1879,Vol. 2. It is No. 89 in Lyman's and No. 94 in Gould's Problem Book. The position has also been credited to A. J. Heffner, No. 191, Gould's Problem Book, and also to J. Wyllie, No. 160, Atwell's Scientific Draughts.

i---Editor's Note: if Black hastily presses with 23-19, then 7-10 White Wins. This idea recurs several additional times in the course of the solution and is a simple tactical consideration that the learner can easily miss.

11/12/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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