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Coup Royal

Coup Royal is one of the most important and beautiful shots in International Checkers.

You must get very familiar with this shot as it appears often in the practical play.

Here is the basic idea:

Characteristics of the Coup Royal:
  1. These shots often begin with the move 27-22 (24-29 for black) in order to break up the chain by removing the man on 18.
  2. The black piece on 23 (28 for white), jumping the most, completes a half-circle, ending up on 34 (17).
  3. Unlike the straight jump one normally finds in the Philip's shot, the executioner on 40 (11) winds its way in a snakelike path through 20 (31).

Of course, minor variations occur from time to time but these three features typify the essence of the Coup Royal.

In all positions White to Move and Win unless noted otherwise

Notice the importance of the Olympic structure [men on 40 and 45 (6 and 11 for black); so called because of its intensive use in tournaments].

Its presence or even the possibility of building one plays a large role in positional and combinational strategies.

Baba Sy - Black to Move and Win

Baba Sy
At times, the target piece on 26 is forced to 34 via a king row:
  Black to Move and Win

Take away black's man on 17 and the win is easy by 24-19 and, after jumps, 7:11.

In this position black eliminates the unwanted man via a standard two-piece pitch:

Notice the neat trick with 4.24-20! to pull the checker on 15 into the chain
  Germaine (Haiti)
This beauty starts with three!! forcing moves, then continues with a variation of the Coup Royal wherein, through the aid of the Majority Rule, the man on 44 assumes the role of a missing Olympic.

Let's review and implement what we have learned so far to the next position.

First stage: Finding the chain.
We want to examine the possibility of making a 40:29:20:09:18:07 and perhaps :16 jump.

Second stage: Building the chain.
We reason as follows:
A. Tracing backwards, we seek a black checker to be forced to 34.
There are three candidates, 14, 12 and 21.
Since 14 is already in the chain, its choice may be dismissed; actually, there is no possibility of utilizing it for anything else.
The only way to involve the man on 12 would be: 1.28-22 17:37 2.26:17 12:34 3.40:09 but this loses.

B. Also, the man on 18 must be removed in order to open the chain.
It appears that 28-23 is the only logical move.

Third stage: Finding the actual shot.
1.28-23 18:29
Now we are presented with two choices in order to accomplish our aim of forcing the man on 21 to 34, 38-33 and 32-28. It is necessary to count out (analyze) both variations.
Remember, do not run the diagram (and, if using regular checkers and board - do not move any checkers) - it all should be done mentally!

A. 2.38-33 29:38 3.32:43 21:32 4.43-38 32:34 5.40:07 11:02. Even pieces and even game.

B. 2.32-28 21:34 3.28-22! 17:28 4.26-21 16:27 5.31:33 29:38 6.40:16x.

Be sure you envision the final position after the shot. Record the positions of all the pieces, then make the shot and compare it with your notes.
It is advisable to do such exercises often; they will sharpen your ability in mental analysis.

Black to Move and Win
By now the shot mechanics are second nature to you - yes?
Let's discuss this position.
Besides the making of a chain by 14 and 24, there is another possible chain, 7 and 17.
Recalling, that after a Coup Royal the men on 13 and 24 are eliminated, this chain will encompass the pieces on 7, 17, 18 and 19.
Thus, if we could find a way to force an opponent to occupy 30, then your man on 35 could jump five pieces to 2.
Having such an idea in mind, we begin analyzing:
1.28-22 17:48 2.27-21 (replacing a man in the chain) 26:17 3.39-33 48:30 4.33-28 23:43 5.44-39 43:34 6.40:09 13:04 7.35:02x

This seem to be an easy shot - bring 26 through the king row to 34 and...

Do not play the diagram just yet - do count all the moves out to the very end - you will be surprised!

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