Version Reviewed

Starting Out in Draughts (UK version) or Starting Out in Checkers (US version)

Edition reviewed: 1st Edition

Print version with 128 numbered pages

Published 2001 by Everyman Publishers plc, Glouchester Mansions, 140A Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8HD.

Copyright © Richard Pask 2001.

ISBN 10: 1857442776

ISBN 13: 978-1857442779

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




Who is this book for?

This is a beginner book with in my opinion the best learning curve. Richard Pask aims as usual to give as many beginner and advanced ideas to put up a decent fight against even a lower expert level player. If you are starting out or want to go over the most basic ideas and structure it is one of the best if not the best.


It is a very comprehensive and compact book that gives you the best idea about all very important things and touches on some advanced subjects. I do like it as it has a good visual appeal. I do prefer it over his other beginner books. Would be one if not my first picks to recommend a beginner. I still like to pick it up now and then just to retain and refresh my brain with some of the problems in the book.


5 Star

Where to obtain

Long being out of print. Do look for the Starting out in Draughts version not the Checkers. Be at bit wary it looks like someone picks up the Checkers versions and makes it scarce and expensive at some reseller sites. If you fancy a free beginner book by Richard Pask you might as well go with Checkers for the Novice.


Alternative novice books

How to Win at Checkers

Checkers for the Novice

Play Winning Checkers

Win at Checkers

Draughts – An Introduction to Championship Play

…and so many more…