The Checker Maven

Bumped Off

It's time for another installment from Willie Ryan's classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard. This month we'll see a practical example of the "run-off" tactic, and one of the earliest "gotchas" ever published. But we're sure you'd rather hear from Willie directly.

Bumped Off on the Run-Off

As a general rule, it is sound strategy to attack an advanced piece by squeezing or running it off. In the following example we have a good illustration of what can happen when a player tries to maintain an advanced piece against tactical pressure.

11-16 24-20 16-19 23-16 12-19 22-18 8-11 27-23 4-8 23-16 8-12 32-27 12-19 27-23 3-8---A.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W18,20,21,23,25,26,28,29,30,31:B1,2,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,19.

A---Black gets a rude awakening after this plausible push. The right route to draw is: 11-16, 20-11, 7-16, 18-15, 9-14, 15-11 (25-22, 6-9 draws), 6-9, 25-22, 9-13, 22-18, 10-15, 18-9, 5-14, 29-25, 15-18, 26-22, 18-27, 31-15, 2-6, etc.

The Scrub's Delight

11-15 23-19 8-11 22-17 4-8---A 17-13 15-18 24-20 11-15 28-24 8-11 26-23 9-14 31-26 6-9 13-6 2-9 26-22 9-13---B.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W19,20,21,22,23,24,25,27,29,30,32:B1,3,5,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,18.

The illustrated layout was one of the earliest standard pitfalls to be recorded in checker literature, being first shown, in 1800, by that pioneer chronicler of the checker art, Joshua Sturges. Appropriately labeled "The Scrub's Delight," it has probably dropped more novices than any other trap on the board.

A---Completes the Old Fourteenth opening, one of the first and most popular developments tackled by the learner. Winning chances are about equal.

B---Time-tested standard play to here. The text loses, forming the Scrub's Delight. The correct play to force a draw is: 1-6, 22-17, 18-22, 25-18, 15-22, 23-18, 14-23, 27-18, 9-13, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 30-25, 10-17, 25-21, 22-26, 21-14, 26-31, 19-15, 31-26, 15-8, 26-22, 32-28, 22-15, 24-19, etc.

Don't get bumped off and don't be a scrub. Try out the problems and then click on Read More to check your solutions.



Solutions

Bumped Off on the Run-Off

And now comes the bump-off by 23-16, 8-12, 21-17, 12-19, 18-14, 9-18, 26-23, 18-27, 31-8; and white wins.

Scrub's Delight

Continue from diagram: 22-17, 13-22, 20-16, 11-20, 21-17, 14-21, 23-14, 10-17, 25-22, 17-22, 19-15, 21-25, 30-21, 22-26, 15-10, 26-31, 29-25, etc., and white wins.

06/10/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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