# The Checker Maven

### Fifth Position

If you're a ballet student of any standing, you've certainly encountered "fifth position," as shown above. It's one of the basics that every aspiring ballet dancer must learn.

Checkers, too, has Fifth Position, and it requires mental effort similar to the physical effort required for ballet's position of the same name. Yes, we've seen Fifth Position in our columns before, but perhaps not to quite the depth of today's lesson in Checker School.

Here's the basic premise.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W23,22,21,20,19:B14,13,12,11,6.

Even if you've done it before, it's worth another try. Solve it, then click on Read More to see the solution and the heart of this study: six sample games that lead to Fifth Position.

Solution

As always, solutions, sample games, and lettered notes come from the Ben Boland classic, Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor using Ed Gilbert's KingsRow engine with his 10-piece endgame database. Take the time to work through the sample games, as this will cement your mastery of Fifth Position.

13-17---A, 22-13, 6-10, 13-9---B, 11-15, 9-6---1, 15-24, 23-19, 24-27, 6-2---1, 27-31, 2-6, 31-27, 6-15, 27-24---2, 20-16, 14-18!, 15-22, 24-15, 16-11, 15-8, 22-18, 8-11. Drawn.

Game: 11-15, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 12-16, 29-25, 10-14, 24-19, 8-12, 25-22, 7-10, 27-24, 16-20, 32-27, 3-7, 19-15, 10-19, 24-15, 7-11, 15-8, 4-11, 27-24, 20-27, 31-24, 6-10, 24-20, 9-13, 18-9, 5-14, 22-18, 1-5, 18-9, 5-14, 26-22, 10-15, 23-19, 15-24, 28-19, 2-7, 30-26, 7-10. Forms above position with 27 on 26, colors reversed. J. Drummond.

Game: 10-14, 24-20, 6-10, 22-18, 10-15, 28-24, 15-22, 26-10, 7-14, 25-22, 1-6, 22-17, 14-18, 23-14, 9-18, 30-26, 6-9, 26-22, 18-25, 29-22, 9-13, 17-14, 2-6, 32-28, 6-10, 14-7, 3-10, 27-23, 5-9, 23-19, 11-16, 20-11, 8-15, 24-20, 15-24, 28-19, 9-14, 31-26, 4-8, 26-23. F. Dunne, in his Draughts Praxis, Game 40.

Game: 9-13, 22-18, 11-15, 18-11, 8-15, 21-17, 13-22, 25-11, 7-16, 24-20, 3-8, 20-11, 8-15, 29-25, 5-9, 28-24, 4-8, 24-20, 8-11, 26-22, 1-5, 31-26, 9-13, 25-21, 6-9, 23-18, 15-19, 26-23, 19-26, 30-23, 10-14, 23-19, 14-23, 27-18, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 32-27, 2-6, 27-23. T. Graham.

Game: 10-15, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 11-15, 18-11, 8-15, 21-17, 9-13, 30-25, 13-22, 25-11, 7-16, 23-18, 5-9, 29-25, 6-10, 18-15, 10-19, 24-15, 9-14, 28-24, 16-19, 24-20,1-6, 26-23, 19-26, 31-22, 3-8, 27-23, 8-11, 15-8, 4-11, 23-19, 6-9, 25-21, 9-13, 32-27, 2-6, 27-23. L. M. Lewis vs. R. Gould.

Game: 11-15, 24-20, 8-11, 28-24, 9-13, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 3-8, 26-22, 5-9, 30-26, 1-5, 32-28, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 11-16, 20-11, 8-15, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 8-11, 24-19, 15-24, 27-20, 6-9, 17-13, 11-15, 13-6, 2-9, 23-19, 15-24, 28-19, 7-11, 20-16, 11-20, 31-27, 9-13. Forms position, colors reversed at 2nd move. H. Egan.

Game: 11-16, 23-18, 16-20, 24-19, 10-14, 18-15, 7-10, 22-17, 9-13, 27-23, 13-22, 25-9, 5-14, 29-25, 3-7, 31-27, 1-5, 25-22, 20-24, 27-20, 7-11, 22-17, 11-27, 32-23,8-11, 30-25, 11-15, 25-22, 15-24, 28-19, 6-9, 17-13, 4-8, 13-6, 2-9, 22-18, 9-13, 18-9, 5-14, 26-22. J. B. Hanson.

A---6-9, 22-18, 13-17, 19-15, 11-16, 20-11, 17-22, 11-7, 22-26, 7-2. White Wins.

B---20-16, 11-20, 13-9, 20-24, 9-6, 24-27, 6-2, 27-31, 2-7, 31-26, 7-11---C, 26-31, 11-7---D, 31-26. Drawn.

C---Here 7-11 or 19-15, or 23-18 draw, but 7-2 loses and forms a problem by Tom Quinn: 7-2, 26-22, 2-7, 22-18, 19-16, 18-27, 16-11, 12-16*, 11-8, 16-19*, 8-3, 27-24*, 7-11, 19-23, 11-16---E, 23-27, 3-7---F, 27-31, 7-2---G, 31-26, 2-7---H, 26-23, 16-11, 24-20, 11-8, 23-19, 8-11, 19-16, 11-8, 16-12, 8-11, 20-24, 7-2, 14-18. Black Wins.

D---If 11-15, then 12-16*, 15-6, 14-17, 19-12, 31-27. Black Wins.

E---3-7, 23-27, 7-2, 14-18, 2-6, 10-15, 11-16, 24-20, 16-11, 27-31. Black Wins.

F---16-11, 24-20, 3-7, 27-31,11-8, 31-26. Black Wins.

G---7-11,24-20, 16-19, 14-18. Black Wins.

H---16-11, 14-18, 11-16, 26-23, 2-6, 10-15, 6-10, 15-19, 16-20, 23-27, 10-15, 18-22, 20-16, 27-23. Black Wins. T. Quinn.

1---20-16 also draws.

2---White's jammed position will allow Black to draw.

The earliest record of "Fifth Position," I found by John Drummond, arising from above game in his "Scottish Draughts Player," 3rd Edition, 1861, Page 8, Note A.

Fifth Position was so named by J. Lees and F. Tescheleit.

03/21/15 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version