The Checker Maven

The Fugitive King

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Perhaps the most famous royal fugitive, King David, is to be found in the Scriptures. He spent 15 years in exile, fleeing from King Saul. Strictly speaking, David wasn't yet a king during his fugitive years, but he is nevertheless often referred to as "The Fugitive King."

Today's entry in our Checker School series deals with a checker-related "Fugitive King" theme. This problem is reminiscent of the "Fortress" situations that we've covered in several earlier columns, although here if Black plays correctly the White king will find no refuge.

J. ROBERTSON
WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W25,22,21,17,K5:BK23,K19,K16,13.

The problem requires very precise play and the solution is not short. We certainly have to rate this one as quite difficult. But don't go on the lam; try to solve it! When you're finished, run your mouse over to Read More to see the solution, a sample game, and detailed notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

As always, the solution, sample game and lettered notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor using the KingsRow checker engine.

23-26, 5-9, 19-15, 9-14, 16-11, 14-18, 15-10, 18-14, 11-7, 14-9, 7-3, 9-5, 26-23, 5-9, 23-19, 9-5, 19-15, 5-9, 15-11, 9-5, 11-7, 5-9, 7-2, 9-5, 2-6, 5-9---B, 6-1, 9-6, 10-15, 6-9---C, 1-5, 9-6---D, 5-9, 6-2, 3-8---1, 2-7, 8-12, 7-2, 12-16---E, 2-7, 16-19, 7-2, 19-23---E, 2-7, 23-26, 7-2, 15-11---F, 2. Black Wins.

Game: 12-16, 21-17, 9-13, 24-20, 5-9, 25-21, 11-15, 20-11, 7-16, 23-18, 16-20, 18-11, 8-15, 26-23, 4-8, 23-18, 8-11, 30-26, 1-5, 26-23, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 28-24, 6-9, 29-25, 3-8, 23-18, 14-23, 27-18, 20-27, 32-23, 8-12, 31-27, 2-7, 18-14, 9-18, 23-14, 15-19, 14-9, 11-16, 9-6, 16-20, 6-2---A, 19-24, 2-11, 24-31, 11-7, 31-26, 7-14, 20-24, 14-18, 24-27, 18-15, 27-31, 15-19, 31-27, 19-15, 12-16, 15-11, 16-20, 11-15, 20-24, 15-10, 24-28, 10-14, 28-32, 14-10, 32-28, 10-14, 28-24, 14-9, 24-19, 9-14, 19-16, 14-9, 27-24, 9-5, 24-19. Forms above position after 1st move. Asa Long.

A---L. Ginsberg vs. Long, Game 500, Seventh National Checker Tourney Book, played 6-1 to a draw. Long annotated the game and pointed out 6-2 would run into the "Fugitive King."

B---5-1, 3-8, 17-14, 10-26, 1-10, 26-23. Black Wins.

C---6-2, 15-18, 22-15, 13-29, 15-10, 29-25. Black Wins.

D---17-14, 15-10, 14-7, 3-10. Black Wins.

E---15-10 would allow White to draw by 17-14, 10-26, 25-22, 26-17, 21-5.
Drawn.

F---The Royal Fugitive is at last cornered.

The foregoing position by John Robertson arose from the Old 14th, 14-18 (at 9th move in game), controversy. In the "Draughts Board," March 1872, Page 182, we find this position by Robertson: Black---3, 8, 12, 16, King on 23. White---6, 14, 28, 32, King on 15. Black Plays, White Wins; 3-7, 6-2, 7-11, 15-18, 23-19, 2-7---G, 19-15, 28-24, 15-22, 24-20, 22-18, 14-10, 18-15, 10-6, 15-19, 6-2, 19-23, 2-6, 23-19, 32-27, 19-24, 27-23, 24-19, 23-18, 19-15, 18-14, 15-18---H, 14-9, etc., running into "The Fugitive King," colors reversed.

G---E. Cox in "Draughts World," Vol. 24, 1904, Page 386, plays 14-10 (and stars it), to a White Win, but Robertson in the "Draughts Board," Jan. 1872, Page 143, gave play on 14-10. He changed his play to 2-7 when R. E. Bowen (in a letter to Robertson, Feb. 5), suggested improvements on 14-10.

H---S. G. Uren in Problem No. 1151, Draughts World, Vol. 23, tried to correct Robertson by playing 16-19, 7-23, 15-18. This is now a problem by M. H. C. Wardell No. 264 in the Chelsea Public, Feb. 12, 1876! Uren continued 6-10, but the correct play is 14-10*, 18-27, 10-7, 27-23 (8-11, 6-10), 7-3, 23-19, 6-10, 19-24, 10-15, 24-28, 3-7, etc. White Wins. This win was pointed out by A. M'Gill, in the D. W. Page 366, Vol. 24, 1904. Also W. J. Wray and another in the Liverpool Mercury.

1---15-19 would also work here.

2---Precise and patient play wins the day for Black.

The Old 14th controversy began by Peter Rule in the Draughts Board (Old Series), March 1, 1870. Rule tried to correct J. Drummond in his (Drum-mond's) "Scottish Draughts Player," 4th Ed. Vol. 1, Page 35, Var. HI. Drummond professed to improve Anderson and the "American Draughts Player/' by altering Sturges' play.

Then Drummond replied in the Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette of March 19, 1870, giving play for a White Win.
Then came J. Bertie in the "Leeds Weekly Express" Nov. 12, 1870, showing a draw.

J. Forrester picked up the subject again in the D. B. (New Series), Feb. 1871, followed by J. Robertson and Wm. Reid in the March issue. The controversy raged right through to the end of the Draughts Eoard, 1872, with everybody lending a hand.

Compare to "The Fugitive Companion," Page 147 (to be presented later on in this series---Ed.).

11/24/12 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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