Version Reviewed

Key Themes

This PDF version with 88 numbered pages is marked as 1st electronical version published December 2006 produced under permission of the author by Bob Newell.

Original published in 1991 by Checkered Thinking.

ISBN: 1-872796-01-X

About the author

Richard Pask – Draughts Grandmaster


Mr. Pask was born in Weymouth, on 1st December 1961.

His interest in the game was only sparked when, at the age of 11, he stumbled across books by Willie Ryan and Tom Wiswell in his local library.

However, it was not until he was 17, when he joined the EDA (English Draughts Association) and ACF (American Checker Federation), that he began to study the game seriously.

He managed to establish himself as a seasoned player during the years from 1983-1991. Although he lost his 1990 match for the British Championship with Derek Oldbury by the score of 0-3 and 13 draws, he was not at all discouraged, and believes that subsequent matches might well have turned out differently.

Becoming a full-time teacher in 1993 largely crimped Mr. Pask’s crossboard ambitions, although he successfully competed for the English Match Championship five times between 1995 and 2006, and forced him to concentrate on his book writing activities.

Draughts achievements:
English Match Champion: 1995-2006 (40-0 & 34 draws)
British Open Championship: 2nd in 1984, 1986 and 1990 (23-2 & 35 draws)
Board 1 for England: 1984 and 1988 Home Internationals (6-0 & 26 draws)
UK and Ireland v USA: 1983 and 1989 (2-3 & 35 draws)
County Championships (Avon): 1984-1997 (10-1 & 33 draws)
Avon Open Champion: 1987-1989 (35-2 & 25 draws)

Total score between 1984 and 2002: 161 wins, 13 losses and 334 draws (65%)

Books written on the game of draughts: 35

– Shorten from the online version of Checkers for the Novice –

Book index



The book lists occurring strategic midgame themes and how to execute them.


Who is this book for?

It shows common theme ideas that occur in the mid game. It helps you to widen your understanding of tactics that you can develop. The book is definitely for the advanced or aspiring master player. Richard Pask aims as much overview over the advanced topic as one needs to get the basic idea of each tactical idea. If you are starting it would not be the first book I would recommend you. For the advanced and aspiring player a true must-read.


It is a very comprehensive and compact book given the subject. It gives you the best ideas about all the key themes you should to know and how to resolve them with several examples. There are not many remarks only where needed which is fine for an advanced and master audience book. There are not a great many authors touching on this subject in such detail so it’s a true gem as not too many other books do cover these topics in such depth.


5 Star

Where to obtain

As usual Checker Maven is the go to page.

Checker Maven – Themes

Alternative books on problems

Boland’s Bridges in the Game of Checkers

Boland’s Familiar Themes in the Scientific game of Checkers

Key Landings

Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers

The Game of Draughts – Gould’s Book of Problems

…and so many more…