The Checker Maven

21st Century Checkers, the 12-16s


Today we present the seventh and final volume of Grandmaster Richard Pask's 21st Century Checkers, comprising the 12-16 ballots. 21st Century Checkers will surely be the definitive reference for many years to come, and The Checker Maven is proud and privileged to be able to offer Mr. Pask's work, absolutely free for the taking thanks to Mr. Pask's boundless generosity to the checker-playing community.

Looking forward, Mr. Pask contemplates an "omnibus" which will be comprised of all seven parts in a single book, to be entitled Complete Checkers; it will be available most likely later on in 2016 as a free downloadable electronic version. We are also contemplating a printed edition, which of course cannot be free, but will be offered on a non-profit basis, with all proceeds above costs being donated to support youth checkers.

Meanwhile, volume seven can be downloaded here or from the "Richard Pask" page linked in the column on the right. And to get you started, here's a fascinating position taken from the book. The run-up is as follows:

1. 12-16 22-17
2. 16-20 17-13
3. 11-15 25-22
4. 8-11 24-19
5. 15x24 28x19
6. 11-15 19-16
7. 4-8 29-25
8. 8-12 22-17
9. 12x19 23x16
10. 15-19 25-22

We have now reached {v14, #2096 in the book}

11. 9-14 27-23

A losing move. Detailed computer analysis shows 30-25 to be a narrow (and very hard to find) draw, but can you find the Black win here?

Black to Play and Win


This problem is certainly in the grandmaster category. But we urge you to try it anyhow. Doing the analysis will surely develop your skills, and when you click on Read More and view the solution, you'll learn something no matter what your current skill level. Advanced problems are a great challenge for top players and a source of inspiration and education for the rest of us.


The solution follows analysis by Smith and Slade, as given in the book. Additional computer analysis is from the KingsRow computer engine and 10-piece endgame database.

12. 19-24 23-19
13. 5-9 30-25
14. 14-18 22x15
15. 9-14 32-27
16. 24-28 27-23
17. 14-18 23x14
18. 28-32

This is now a sure Black win.

18. ... 26-23

26-22 is the KingsRow computer move, but there is not much difference.

19. 32-27 31x24
20. 20x27 16-12
21. 27-31 15-11
22. 7x16 14x7
23. 2x11

This is the end of Smith and Slade's analysis. Computer play continues as follows.

23. ... 17-14
24. 31-27 23-18
25. 16x23 14-9
26. 6-10 25-22
27. 23-26 22-17
28. 27-23 18-14
29. 10-15 14-10
30. 23-18

Black wins. A very amusing looking position!

For detailed commentary on this variation of the ballot, download the book without further delay!

01/16/16 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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