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player, he might be easily tempted into a false move by black moving 11 to 16, for white, seeing a supposed advantage in position, might move 24 to 20. Let us suppose these moves to have been made, and black wins at once, for, moving 3 to 8, he compels white to take 20 to 11, and then with the man at 8 takes 11, 18, and 25, and procures a king at 29, thus gaining a majority of two men, an advantage equivalent to the game, for by exchanging man for man on every occasion, he would soon reduce the odds to 4 to 2, or 2 to o.
If however, black play a more cautious game, he should move 4 to 8.
White again might lose the game if he moved either 24 or 23 to 19, for black would respond by 10 to 15, when white must move from 19 to 10, black from 6 to 29, taking these men as before.
Ulack's best move is, perhaps, 25 to 22.
At this period of the game exchanges of men usually take place, the object being an advantage of position, as follows:
9 to 14. 18 to 9.
5 to 14. 24 to 20.
6 to 9. 32 to l8.
I to 5. 28 to 24.
Up to the present time no great advantage is gained on either side, the game
being, perhaps, slightly in favour of black, who may cause a separation in white s men by the following:
9 to 13. 18 to 9.
White may reply by— 23 to 18;
Then, 14 to 23. 27 to 18.
Now, unless black moves 2 to 6, or to to 15, white could procure a king as follows: Suppose black had moved 12 to 16, then white 18 to 14,
10 to 17, 21 to 14,
and whatever black now does, white must procure a king. It is under such condition! as this that the acute player often wins a game; for we shall find that the eagerness for gaining this king may cause white to be in a difficult position. Carrying on the game under this supposition, we have
* This move of black's will very likely lose him a man, or at least allow his adversary to make a king rapidly.
Black must now lose a man, and therefore the game, as follows:
22 to 26, or 17 to 21. 23 to 18.
26 to 31, or 22 to 25. 19 to 15, and white wins.
The Double Corners.—When there is one king against two, the rule is that the game is drawn unless it be won in at least twenty moves. If the player does not know how to block up in the double corners, this may easily be a drawn game. We will now show the moves for blocking in the double corners, giving the case that will require the greatest number of moves.
Black's kings at 1 and 5; white's at 10.
5 to 9. :o to 15.
9 to 14. 15 to 19.
14 to 18. 19 to 24.
18 to 23. 24 to 28 (reaches double
I to 6. 28 to 32. corner).
6 to 10. 32 to 28.
10 to 15. 28 to 32.
15 to 19. 32 to 28.
19 to 23. 32 to 28.
23 to 18. 24 to 19.
18 to 15. 16 to 20.
Had black moved from 15 to 19 at last, white could have gone to 24, and the game would have been prolonged. There is no position on the board where two kings cannot defeat one in fifteen moves.
It is usual with two experienced players to pronounce the game drawn when there are two kings only on each side, one of which is enabled to reach the double corners. There are, however, two or three chances of catching an incautious player.
The following example will serve to illustrate cases. White's positions pre king at 28 and at 30; black at 24 and 19. Black moves.
24 to 27. 28 to 32.
19 to 23. 30 to 26.
25 to 30. 26 to 22, and wins.
Another case may be tried with caution, and which is as follows, two kings each: black at 15 and 23; white at 16 and 25. White moves.
16 to 11. 18 to 25.
II to 18, and wins next move by blocking.
These are not positions likely to entrap very good players, but succeed very cften with average hands.
The game in these instances resulted in the winner having what is called "the move." To ascertain whether you have the move of any one of your adversary's men, examine the situation of each. If your opponent has a black square at a right angle under his man, you have the move, and vice versd.
Draughts is in reality a deeply interesting game, and one that is very rarely appreciated.
The Losing Game Of Draughts.
The losing game of draughts is rarely understood, and therefore rarely appreciated. We believe that there is even more foresight required in the losing than in the winning game of draughts, for it is equally as necessary to see several moves on ahead, and the game may be almost instantly lost by a thoughtless move.
To win at the losing game we must compel our adversary to take all our men, and the novice usually commences by losing as many men as possible. This proceeding is an error: the player has the advantage who has the most men on the table, as will be instanced by one or two examples.
Suppose white to have a king on each of the four squares, 1, 2, 3, 4; black, one on 31. First, we will suppose that white commences thus:
4 to 8. 31 to 27.
Black must now retreat, for if he moves to 14 or 15 the game is lost, as he may be compelled to take each of his opponent's men in succession. Thus, suppose he move to 14:
5 to 9. 14 to 5.
6 to 9. 5 to 14.
7 to 10. 14 to 7.
8 to 11, and wins.
Thus black's move must be a retreat in answer to white's 1 to 5. Then
18 to 22. 5 to 9.
26 to 31. 14 to 18.
31 to 27.
At this point, if white advanced from 18 to 23 to be taken, he would lose the game unless very careful, as the lost man would have the move against him. His best move, therefore, would be 18 to 15. If black move to 24, he loses. Black had better move to 32, and white 6 to 10.
32 to 28. 8 to 11.
19 to 3. 11 to 7, and wins.
We will now point out the best "traps" for the losing game.
Suppose white's men to be placed from 21 to 32. If then we can secure one of the adversary's men at 21, we are almost certain to lose all our men first, and thus to win the game, for by keeping this man blocked until required, he can be made use of at the right time. Let us take an example, white moving first.
22 to 18. 9 to 14.
18 to 9. 5 to 14 (very bad play
21 to 17. 14 to 21. this: ought to
23 to 18 (not a good move, but will 10 to 13.
28 to 24. ad vantage of man at 21). I 5 to .
24 to 15. 6 to 10.
26 to 22. 4 to 8.
27 to 23. 16 to 19.
22 to 18. 10 to 15.
4 to 11. 2 to 7.
11 to 2.
White now has six men on the board, whilst black has only two; but white can reduce this number at any time by moving 30 to 26. Black can only move 19 to 24 or to 23. Suppose he move it to 23, then it will be better for white to reduce black to one as follows:
31 to 27. 23 to 26.
30 to 23. 21 to 30.
29 to 25. 30 to 21.
32 to 28. 21 to 17.
28 to 24. 17 to 14.
If black move to 18,10, or 9, he loses at once, so 14 to 17 is the best move. l f white move 27 to 23 he loses the game, for black would move 17 to 22, from which white could not escape. Hence the game would be best played by
6 to 10. 21 to 25.
10 to 14. 25 to 30.
14 to 17.
The game might now be prolonged, but still to win the losing game with the four against one is almost a certainty, as it can only be lost by an oversight.
NINE MEN'S MORRIS, OR MORELLES.
This game, also known by the name of the " Shepherd's Game," is a peculiar rustic amusement, and flourishes in many parts of England, where it is played on hill-sides and glades, on the rustic " public " table, on the door-step, on the slate on the way from school, and on the highly-finished board from London in the squire's drawing-room.
The published rules of the game are very imperfect, and do not by any means give an idea of the art of the game, or of its variations. There seem also to be different ideas as to the formation of the board to be used, at least among those who know the shepherd's game only from books. To avoid the confusion which necessarily arises from different rules being used, we will explain how the foresters and countrymen in Hampshire and Wiltshire play the game, and their principle we believe to contain in it the original law and best board.
Shakspeare, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," speaking of the overflowing of rivers caused by fogs and rains, says:
"The folds stand empty In the drowned field,
The countrymen then, as now, evidently played the game out of doors. Their board was cut out of the turf, and thus, when heavy rains set in, it was, as Shakspeare asserts, "filled up with mud."
Until we ourselves became devotees to morris, we wondered to see the excitement over a game played on three squares with nine dark pebbles against nine bits of chalk, the performers little ruddy foresters, who knew better how to trail a deer to its lair, or to spot a badger, than how to make pothooks and hangers. At length we were initiated into the laws of the game, and having thought over it for some time and practised " right hand against the left," we became so skilled as to be a " caution," and few foresters would have ventured to risk a "pint" on the result of a combat with us.
So easily is a board made, cither on a slate, piece of cardboard or wood; so easily can men be enlisted, either by means of pebbles, bits of chalk, paper, wooden chips, &c, that the game need not wait long because no board has been brought, or men have been lost; but whenever there is half an hour to