Traps

In this page we will present many of the interesting traps that exist in the game of draughts. Some of these are called shots and others are called strokes the reason for this eludes me :). In the following we will call the player that gains something from the trap the aggressor and the one that loses something the defender. What is gained is usually a win if the players have an even amount of pieces or a draw if the defender has more pieces.

Breeches

The breeches trap is a simple trap where the aggressor secures a draw even though he is a piece down by exploiting a weakness in the opponents formation. He places a piece between his two pieces which will threaten both pieces but since the opponent can't move away both pieces the aggressor can capture the remaining piece (the one that the defender doesn't move away). It is a requirement that the aggressor piece is crowned and that none of the defender's pieces are placed at the edge of the board where they are safe.

Breeches example A
Black to move and draw
Breeches example B
White to move and draw
Breeches example C
White to move and draw
NOT a breeches trap


Tailhook

In the tailhook trap the aggressor comes up from behind and threatens two pieces like in the breeches trap. It looks visually different but the reasoning is the same. Notice example C that is slightly more complicated because black first moves up and threatens white to move his piece into a tailhook trap.

Tailhook example A
Black to move and draw
Tailhook example B
White to move and draw
Tailhook example C
Dark to move and draw
NOT a tailhook trap


Elbow Shot

In the elbow shot the defender has tree pieces placed in an what visually looks like a bended arm. The aggressor sacrifices a piece to remove the elbow part of the arm and then captures the rest of the pieces of the arm. It is a requirement that the aggressor piece that is supposed to jump is secure by the edge of the board or by having another piece back it up.

Elbow example A
White to move and win
Elbow example B
Dark to move and draw
Elbow example C
White to move and win
NOT an elbow trap


Line Shots

The line shot is basically the same as the elbow shot except the three pieces are just lined up on the same diagonal, otherwise the reasoning is the same.

Line shot example A
Black to move and draw
Line shot example B
White to move and draw
Line shot example C
White to move and win
NOT a line shot


Assorted shots

In these different traps the common idea is to sacrifice one or more pieces in order to "move" an oppenent piece to a place on the board where it can be used to start a sequence of jumps. In example A black sacrifices a piece to gain two pieces. In example B black sacrifices a piece in order to gain three pieces. In example C black sacrifices two pieces in order to gain three pieces.

Assorted shots example A
Black to move and win
Assorted shots example B
Black to move and win
Assorted shots example C
Black to move and win
NOT a shot


King stroke

In the king stroke the aggressor takes advantage of the fact that a regular piece can't capture backwards. The aggressor sacrifices a piece in order to gain two or more pieces. This trap is probably the cause of most loses of piece among amateur players.

King stroke example A
Black to move and win
King stroke example B
White to move and win
King stroke example C
White to move and win
NOT a king stroke


In-and-out shot

The in-and-out shot is based on the rule that you can't jump backwards in the turn that you crown a piece. This can give the opponent an "extra" turn to simply move next to some pieces that he wants to jump and then jump them in the next turn.

In-and-out shot example A
White to move and win
In-and-out shot example B
White to move and win
In-and-out shot example C
Black to move and win
NOT an in-and-out shot


Slip stroke

The slip stroke is a more advanced trap where a combination of jumps secures the victory for the aggressor. It is a requirement that the formation is based on one of the long diagonals with 8 squares that is either the single corner diagonal (from single corner to single corner) or one of double corner diagonals.

Slip stroke example A
White to move and win
Slip stroke example B
Black to move and win
Slip stroke example C
White to move and win
NOT a slip stroke


We will go through example A, show how it is done and leave it up to you to try to solve the other two.

White moves 27-23
which forces black to go 20x27.
White follows with 18-15
which forces black to go 11x18.
White now has to go 23x14
and black 9x18
White jumps the last two pieces
and wins the game