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Rules of the Game

The 6 Std Positions

The Cross

The Old 14th

The Barred (Approved for mail play only)
11-16 23-19




See the Standard Positions page for solution. The most famous ending of all!

*
For solution see
Standard Positions Page

LET'S
PLAY
CHECKERS



In Checkers, as in Chess, the various ways to begin the game has meaningful and colorful names.
In modern day play the style of play in most of our tournaments is 3-Move restriction, where the 1st 3 moves are determined by the drawing of a card, and the game starts with the first 3 moves being what the card dictates. Many of these openings are very hard and very famous.


The Skullcracker.     10-15, 22-17, 15-19 
The Double Cross.     9-14, 23-18, 14-23
The Octopus.          10-15, 21-17, 7-10 
The Nemesis.          10-14. 24-19, 6-10
The White Doctor.     10-14, 22-18, 12-16
The Edinburgh Single  9-13, 22-18, 11-15
And approved for Mail Play only: The Rattlesnake 9-14, 23-19, 10-15 The Wilderness 9-13, 22-18, 11-16 The Wilderness #2 9-13, 23-18, 11-16

However, in the last century, the style was GO-AS-YOU-PLEASE, which is the way we all learned to play. You know. Just start moving any where you want to. Practically all the analysis, back then, was concerned with this style of play.
No way to start the game is more popular than "The Cross and the "Old 14th"-as popular today as they were then.
In both cases, students of the game will notice that Red develops from his single corner, directly toward the center, avoiding the side of the board, and keeping the vulnerable double corner, solid and intact.
If there and "secret" to playing checkers, this it!. Fight for the center, and protect the double corner, when possible.
*


"THE CROSS"
"A model game for all to know."




*=Only move to accomplish
the terms. In this case to draw.
Nat. Ty=National Tournament.
To follow the moves, use the numbered board.

 
11-15-A
23-18-B
8-11
27-23-C
4-8-D
23-19
9-14-E
18-9
5-14
22-17
15-18-F
26-22-G-Var-1
11-15
17-13
7-11
22-17-H
2-7-I
31-27-J
1-5*
30-26
11-16-K
27-23
18-27
32-23
14-18
23-14
16-30
13-9!*-L
6-22
25-2
10-17
21-14
12-16
14-10
16-20
24-19
30-26
19-15
26-22
Etc.
Drawn

A. Designated "Old Faithful" by Tom Wiswell in his many times re-printed book of 1943-"Let's Play Checkers"- because it is the strongest and best way to begin the game. Period!
B. A fine reply, and forms "The Cross." It is doubtful if any way to begin the game rivals this in strength or popularity.
Diagram at right shows the position.
C. 26-23 is playable and known as "The Crescent Cross", but is a weak and handicap line for white.
D. Continuing the development from the single corner and very good. 10-14 at this point is also good and quite popular.
E. The position is diagrammed on the left. Again 10-14 is good.The opening is so vast, entire books have been devoted to it. We can only scratch the surface.
F. 6-9 is good and played many times.
G. Safest, but I have played 32-27 here many times on Gamezone and scored many wins with it. See Var-1.
H.13-9, 6-13, 24-20, ( to weaken the Red double corner ) 15-24, 22-6, 1-10, 28-19 is good. Red should play 14-18 now, though 11-15 will dr.
I. This 2-7 forms diagram on the left. With white, where would you move?
J. Sturges ( in 1800 ) also published 32-27 to draw here, as in Wiswell's LPC.
K. Sturges also gave 5-9 to draw here.
L. A fine and necessary move to insure equality- and the draw.




 Variation-1
32-27-A
11-15-Var-2
26-23*
8-11-B
25-22
18-25
29-22
6-9
17-13
1-5*
13-6
2-9-C
24-20
15-24
28-19
9-13!*-D
31-26
19-16
12-19
23-16
14-17
21-14
10-17
16-11
7-16
20-11
5-9
27-23
17-21*
23-18
13-17
22-6
15-30
Drawn
Ed King
vs.
Don
Lafferty
1970
Nat. Ty.



A. See diagram on right. A favorite of mine, though considered a tad weak. I have won many games with this on Gamezone.
B. See diagram on left. I like this move, to get the well know transposition. 7-11 also draws as in Ketchum's Cross.
C. Now a case of one opening transposing into another. This position is also a "Double Corner" position brought up from: 9-14, 22-18, 5-9, 24-19, 11-15, 18-11, 8-24, 28-19, etc. as in trunk game in Wiswell's LPC. Don Lafferty has told me that he was aware of the transposition at the time this game was played against Ed King, in 1970.
D. Not the careless 11-15? White would go 22-17!, 15-24 and 17-13 gets a king behind the pieces to a win!


Variation-2
6-9-A
19-15*
10-19
17-10*
7-14
24-15
12-16
26-23*
18-22!
25-18
16-19!
23-7
14-32
15-10*
2-11
21-17*
11-16
17-13
9-14
13-9
16-20
29-25-B
32-27
31-24
20-27
25-22
27-31
9-6
31-27
6-2
8-12
2-6
14-18
22-15
3-7*
ETC.
Drawn

A. Considered best here, and forms diagram on the right.

B. The position is diagramed on the left, before this move. The play has been forced to here.This move is possibly necessary. Though 9-6 is published to draw, it allows 14-18!with Red now threatening a king majority. 29-25 stops 14-18, as white can cut it off with the 25-22 exchange. With 29-25 played the resulting play is forced to a finely played draw.

C. Published play in Ketchum's and more recently by
A.Tucker vs AL Lyman on Gamezone.

"We have only just begun on this fine opening, but space
does not allow us to cover all the play in this fantastic
opening."


THE "OLD 14TH"
"A model game for all to know."

This opening is about as famous as the above Cross. It is an excellent defense against Red's powerful 11-15 opening move.
11-15
23-19-A
8-11
22-17
4-8
17-13*-B
15-18
24-20
11-15
28-24
8-11
26-23
9-14
31-26*-C
6-9-D
13-6
2-9
26-22*
1-6-E-Var-1
22-17*
18-22
25-18
15-22
23-18*
14-23
27-18
9-13
17-14
10-17
21-14
6-10
30-25*
10-17
25-21
22-26
21-14
26-30
19-15*
30-26
15-8
26-22
32-28!*
22-15
24-19*
15-24
28-19
13-17
19-15
17-22
Is the
Draw by
Joshua Sturges
published in
1800!


A. Another fine defense to Red's 11-15. It also stops any idea of Red taking what is known as the "Dyke" with the 15-19 double exchange.
B. Or 25-22, which can play the same.
C. Every move is a picture of timing for white. Diagram on the left show the position.
D. The characteristic move of this attack.
E. The diagram on the right shows the position before this move. Red also has 3-8 in Var-2, a fine alternative. But 9-13!?, allows what is known as the "BIG SHOT" of the Old 14th. If 9-13, white initiates the fireworks with 22-17*!, 13-22, 20-16!*, 11-20, 21-17!*, 14-21, 23-14, 10-17, 25-2, white can now win! Did you ever!
F. In preparation to remove the mighty king, and necessary. Brilliant analysis in 1800 by Joshua Sturges and still played today.


VARIATION-1
3-8-A
22-17*
18-22
25-18
15-22
17-13*
1-6*
23-18*
14-23
27-18
10-14
30-25*
14-23
25-18-B
23-26-C
29-25*
26-30
32-28*
7-10
19-15*
10-19
24-15
12-16
25-22
30-26-D
28-24
26-17
21-14
16-19
14-10
Etc.
A Draw by
J.C. Brown
>/P>



A. Either this or 1-6 as in trunk. An important point arises here. Which ever move is chosen the other one cannot follow! In other words 1-6, and 3-8 cannot be played in tandem.
B. It is doubtful that a player could find his way through all this without prior study! The combinations are beautiful and the timing essential. As in music and poetry, this game has tempo.
C. 7-10 is another good move and forms the diagram on left. White must play with care to secure the draw. Continue: 21-17*, 23-26, 29-25*. 26-30, 25-21, 30-26, and the saving clause with 18-14!*, 9-18, 20-16!*, 11-27, 32-7 to Draw. Nothing to it!




Two of the most popular ways to play the game. Both openings contain much play and perhaps we will include more variations in future up-dates.


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