The Checker Maven

Fundamentals

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One thing experts agree on: if you're going to master something, whether it's playing baseball, writing novels, or becoming a checker champion, you've got to know the fundamentals. In the photo above, an aspiring baseball player is learning the fundamental skill of making contact with the ball.

Our game of checkers has its own fundamental skills, and solving a position like the one below is a definite and required step on the road to excellence.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W23,31:B2,K22.

This is clearly a "back to the basics" problem, and if you're up to date on your checker fundamentals, you won't find it difficult. By all means try to solve it from the diagram without moving the pieces. One fundamental thing that doesn't change: clicking on Read More will show you the solution.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

23-19 22-18 19-16 18-15 16-12 15-11 31-26---A 2-6 26-22 11-15 12-8 7-11---B 8-3 Drawn.

A---Of course 31-27 would lose.

B---Careful here! "Midget Problems" erroneously published 15-11 as the correct move for Black, but it actually loses: 15-11 8-3 7-10 22-18 10-15 3-8! 11-4 18-11 White Wins.

One checker writer suggested that you play positions such as these against a strong computer engine over and over until you've completely mastered every branch and variation. We think that's good advice. We'll wager that many a game has been lost for lack of being able to demonstrate this "simple" draw over the board, but the truth is, it's only simple when you know how!

02/02/13 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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