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  A view from ACF Player's Representative Richard Beckwith : 2012-09-22

9-14 24-20 10-15


In this edition, we explore another mid-game landing.

Question: What is a good defense to 9-14 24-20 10-15 to avoid that awful mid-game for red?

Answer: I assume he refers to the published play game of:

9-14 24-20 10-15 22-17 7-10 (Var. 1) 25-22 3-7 29-25 5-9 17-13 11-16 (Var. 2) 20x11 7x16 (A) 23-19 15x24 28x19 16x23 26x19 8-11 (Var. 3) 30-26 11-15 (B) 22-17 15x24 27x20 4-8 26-23 8-11 23-19 14-18 17-14 10x17 21x5 6-10 (C) 31-27 11-15 27-24 18-23 25-21 2-6 (D) 21-17 15-18 is the Edwin Hunt draw

(A) Forms Pask’s Key Landing #19. Note this landing can arise other ways, including in GAYP:
• 11-15 22-17 9-14 25-22 7-11 24-20 3-7 29-25 5-9 17-13 11-16 20x11 7x16 same
• 11-16 24-20 7-11 22-17 3-7 25-22 9-14 29-25 5-9 17-13 11-15 20x11 7x16 same

Interestingly, Pask gives no alternatives prior to this landing in his recent 21st Century Checkers. I have looked at various lesser-known alternative defenses over the years and have struggled settling on any “easy-to-remember” defense. One of these defenses I show here (Var. 1-3) may yield an easy draw against the right opponent, but these alternate defenses all seem to require proper timing and knowledge (much like the trunk game) to be prepared against anything, but I find there are more natural defenses here without the man-down stuff.

(B) Basic Checkers now says red must work the oracle to draw. Many subsequent moves are forced.

(C) Fortman gave 18-23 to lose in Basic Checkers, but later agreed there was a narrow draw in his 6th Int. Match G. 18 notes, 1995 ICHF annual. See ACFB #348 p. 8 for further play.

(D) Red should avoid 23-26 (instead of 2-6*) 21-17 2-6 20-16 to the P. Davis – M. Tinsley WW.


VAR. 1: 6-10 28-24 {as 25-22 allows 15-19} (1A) 11-16 (1B) 20x11 7x16 23-19 (1C) 16x23 26x19 8-11 25-22 2-6 (1D) 29-25 (1E) 5-9 17-13 3-8 31-26 11-16 22-17 16x23 27x11 8x15 draw

(1A) The “Chinook” attack of 27-24 may be met with 11-16 20x11 7x16 23-19 16x23 26x19 8-11 25-22 14-18 29-25 (17-13 may be safer) 18-23 (better than weak 11-16, Schwartz-Chinook, ACFB #257) 31-27 3-8 27x18 11-16 18x11 8x15 17-13 with red better.

(1B) 1-6 25-22 15-19 is a sound, alternate draw shown by Bobby Martin in 36th Am. Ty. G. 24 notes, although white has several “new play” options besides 25-22.

(1C) 23-18 (24-20 allows 16-19, Beckwith-Lowder draw, 1997 PA, also later played in ACFB #339) 14x23 27x11 8x15 17-14 10x17 21x14 16-19 32-28 3-7 25-22 1-6 30-25 4-8 22-18 15x22 24x15 6-10 25x18 10x17 28-24 12-16 24-20 8-12 to draw, Tinsley-Lafferty analysis shown in 36th Am. Ty. G. 24 notes.

(1D) 1-6 is given in KingsRow opening book. 2-6 is the Master Play defense (p. 50 note O, colors-reversed), but I have tweaked the continuation here to reduce potential side attacks.

(1E) 17-13 4-8 29-25 12-16 & 15-18 is a Hugh Henderson draw continued in Master Play, p. 51-P colors-reversed.


VAR. 2: 15-19 23x16 12x19 27-23 (2A) 8-12 23x16 12x19 31-27 (2B) 4-8 22-17 1-5 (2C) 27-23 (2D) 8-12 23x16 12x19 32-27 14-18 17-14 10x17 21x14 11-15 14-10 7x14 25-21 draws

(2A) 22-17 11-15 27-23 8-12 23x16 12x19 20-16 7-11 16x7 2x11 26-23 19x26 30x23 11-16 28-24 now 16-20 or 15-19 draws, but 4-8? lost after 24-20, P. Davis – G. Lindsay 1991 GAYP

(2B) 32-27 11-15 20-16 7-11 Draw; note the upcoming 1-5 defense idea doesn’t work against 32-27

(2C) My improvement over the weaker 11-15 in Basic Checkers

(2D) wanted by red, but white should take 27-24 14-18 24-15 10-19 32-27 11-15 17-14 8-11 26-22 18-23 27-18 6-10 shot draws


VAR. 3: 10-15 19x10 6x15 13x6 1x10 22-17 8-11 25-22 2-6 (I prefer this first over published 4-8 now, which allows a new 31-26 attack) 17-13 (31-26 11-16* draws) 4-8 22-17 (31-26 15-18 22-15 10-19* 26-22 14-18 draws) 15-19 30-26 11-15 32-28 8-11 27-23 19-24 28x19 15x24 26-22 11-15 22-18 15x22 23-19 14-18 17-14 10x17 21x14 is the Lemler-Kester 3rd NCA mail ty. draw.

Read more articles from your ACF Players Representative in the Rep's Corner Archive.

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