How Really Important is Keeping the Middle, Bridge, etc.

Discussion about the strategy and tactics used in the game of checkers. A forum dedicated to the aspects of checkers that are not specifically problem solving.

How Really Important is Keeping the Middle, Bridge, etc.

Postby Corey Modich on Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:24 pm

*Dusts off old forum*

Well I've been thinking for some time and well how really important is it? People say its important, but when other moves are better we have to often change our strategies.

So what do you guys think?
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Re: How Really Important is Keeping the Middle, Bridge, etc.

Postby Patrick Parker on Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:05 pm

when the facts change so does my opinion

its ok to have a plan but make sure your plans arent your opponents to trap you
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Re: How Really Important is Keeping the Middle, Bridge, etc.

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:00 am

Well, concerning the bridge position, I think that most of the time a move like 31-26 or 31-27 creates not only a hole on31, but also weak squares on 27 or 26 respectively and together with other weak squares, say on 19/20 and 24 creates chances for either shots or breakthroughs for the opponent right into your own camp, where you r most vulnerable.
So keeping the bridge at all costs is most likely a good advice if you want to lose.
It seems more important to me to cover weak squares and to keep the structure compact, and moves like 31-26 or 31-27 destroy the structure, whereas alternatives like 30-26 or 32-27 create holes on 30 or 32 resp., but often these holes r less telling, as they r far away from your own "pawn chain".
I will post a few examples for this here after the German Open this weekend.

Greetinx from rainy Dortmund,

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Re: How Really Important is Keeping the Middle, Bridge, etc.

Postby jimloy on Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:20 pm

Concerning the center, here is a game:

[Event "Kear's Ency., p.45o"]
[Black "Dixon, W."]
[White "Bryant, W."]
[Result "1-0"]
12-16 23-19? 16-23 27-18 11-16 22-17 16-20 24-19 9-14 18-9 5-14 25-22 8-11 26-23 11-15 30-26 15-24 28-19 4-8 17-13 8-11 22-18 14-17 21-14 10-17 19-15 11-16 15-11 7-10 18-14 10-15 1-0

The first clue to what is going on is the second move, which is a loss. Look at the position four moves from the end, and you will see what looks (at first glance) like a dazzling center for White. Lesson #1, the future of this position is more important than the looks of this position. Lesson #2, mobility is more important than looks. And here, mobility is more important than a "strong" center. White is not completely immobile, but some study should convince you that White is losing. It did take a little creativity on Red's part to allow White a strong-looking center.

About the back row. Imagine that Jim Grandmaster (in my dreams) plays 3-7 sometime in the opening. He very probably made that move because it was a familiar move in an opening variation that he had studied for many hours. He has not chosen this move, he has chosen this opening variation, and is aiming for strong future positions.

Sometimes moving a piece off square #3 (or some other back row square) is very tempting or even forced. Maybe the piece on 3 is needed for some task. An example is the most popular line of the Glasgow (11-15 23-19 8-11 22-17 11-16 24-20 15-24 (or 16-23 to same) 20-11 7-16 27-11 3-7 28-24 7-16 24-20 16-19 25-22 4-8). Red has mutilated his/her own single corner; it looks terrible. But a little study shows that White will not begin to king in that single corner anytime soon, and Red still has the advantage. Again, the future is more important than looks.

So, how do you make decisions about the center and the back row? Easy (not always), you use your knowledge of the opening variation being played, and you use thought (study of the position), experience, and judgment. Experience and judgment come from hard work, sorry.
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