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To be a good draughts player, one has to pay particular attention to differing aspects of the game. Nowhere is this more evident than in the endgame when you have gained a material advantage of an extra playing piece, but have difficulty forcing a win. The following diagrams show the proper way to win these endings. All players should give them sufficient attention until they have mastered them. Diagram One shows how two kings can beat one king, while the following two diagrams show a common ending in the game where there are three kings playing against two kings, but each situation calls for a different strategy.

Diagram One: With "Red" to play move 18-23 32-28 23-27 28-32 19-23 32-28 27-32 28-24 32-28 24-20 23-18 20-16 28-24 Red Wins.

Diagram Two: With "Red" to play it is important that the following steps are followed to achieve the win:

The three kings attack on the same side of the board,

The dark coloured pieces gain entry to square 28,

The dark coloured pieces offer a 2x1,

The dark coloured pieces sacrifice a piece,

An exchange is required to pin the remaining king to the side of the board.

See these steps being achieved below in the solution.

Solution: "Red" moves 19-24 (a) 32-27 24-28 (b) 27-32 18-23 (c) 31-27 23-19 (c) 27-31 (note the 2x1 by 27-24 loses!) 20-24! 32-27 (as 31-26 gets 19-23!) 28-32 (d) 27x20 19-24 (e) 20x27 32x23 and "Red" Wins

In Diagram Three, the only strategy to win is to attack both "White" kings at the same time! It won't matter which side has to move. The win is achieved by;

Forcing the kings into the "Double Corners" by threatening to exchange one of them

Force an exchange to reduce the pieces to 2x1 and win as in diagram one.

Solution: If "White" to move, play 24-28 23-27 6-1 (if 28-32 then "Red" allows the exchange by 15-18 R.W.) 14-10 28-32 (if 1-5 then exchange 27-24 R.W.) 27-24 32-28 (if 1-5 10-6 attacks both corners and which-ever piece "White" moves, e.g. 5-1 then "Red" forces an exchange by backing up the piece 24-19 R.W.) 24-19 now whichever piece the "White" side moves, the "Red" side exchanges against the other piece, e.g. 1-5 19-24 28x19 15x24 Red Wins.

If "Red" to move, play 23-19 24-27 14-10 6-9 and 15-18 and the solution is similar to the one above as red has "changed the move" and will win by 27-32 19-24 9-5 (32-28 18-15 R.W.) 10-14 32-28 (5-1 24-27 R.W.) 24-27 28-32 27-23 32-28 14-9 5x14 18x9 Red Wins.


We use the abbreviations "R.W." to indicate Red Wins, and "W.W." to indicate White Wins.

© NorthWest Draughts Federation 2002