The Checker Maven

Complete Checkers, 2nd Edition

Photo by Katherine Pask

The weather in the Dorset area, on England's south coast, hasn't been so great this winter. The photo above is of a frozen-over window in Richard Pask's home. Brrr!

But if the cold weather has kept Richard indoors, we are the beneficiaries, for today we're pleased to announce the immediate availability of the second edition of Richard Pask's landmark work, Complete Checkers. This edition incorporates about 100 changes, updates, and corrections. The Checker Maven thanks Mr. Pask for the continuing privilege of publishing and presenting his work to you, the checker players of the world.

Of course, the revised book can be downloaded in PDF format, completely free, either here or from our Richard Pask page, as linked in the right-hand column. The printed edition has also been updated and can be obtained from Amazon's US, UK, and European outlets (although going to the expense of replacing your first edition printed copy is by no means necessary).

Here's an example of a new idea in the new edition.

1. 11-15 24-20
2. 8-11

This is Ballot 102.

2. ... 28-24
3. 9-13 22-18
4. 15x22 25x18
5. 3-8 26-22
6. 5-9 30-26
7. 1-5 32-28
8. 9-14 18x9
9. 5x14 22-17
10. 13x22 26x17
11. 11-16 20x11
12. 8x15

Several moves draw here. In the 1st edition, with play attributed to Willie Ryan, Richard showed a draw after 29-25, but in the second edition, 24-19! is presented (also attributed to Ryan). The computer tells us that 24-20 and even 17-13 are also probably draws, although the draws are definitely more difficult than in the line of play after the brilliant 24-19. (For subsequent play after 24-19, refer to the book, game #1748 on page 482.)

But what if White tries a hasty and badly mistaken 31-26? Then we have this:

Black to Play and Win


It doesn't look so good for White, does it? Black indeed has a win. But can you show it over the board? It isn't especially difficult if you know the technique, but it's one of those highly practical things that you simply must know if you're to succeed at the upper levels of the game.

See how you do (are you stuck indoors too?) and then click on Read More to view the solution.null>


12. ... 31-26?
13. 4-8 24-20
14. 8-11 28-24
15. 15-18 17-13
16. 11-15 23-19
17. 7-11 29-25
18. 6-9 13x6
19. 2x9 26-22
20. 9-13

Black Wins. White is out of safe moves.

The lesson? White's 31-26 took away the possibility of freeing up his position with a later 24-19. As Champion Alex Moiseyev has often said, checkers is about mobility. After 31-26 Black capitalizes on White's lack of mobility to craft a win, in this case by running White out of safe moves.

03/10/18 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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