The Checker Maven

All In A Row

We've chosen our title for today's very interesting problem from its appearance on the checkerboard, with three columns of pieces all in a nice tidy row.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK11,13,17,19,27,28:B2,10,12,18,20,K26.

This turns out to be another one of those studies with a lot of options to look at. But there is only one move to draw for White. Can you find it, and demonstrate a draw against any of several possible Black replies? Can you show how other first moves lose for White? This is a position that is full of surprises and exciting checker action. Get your ducks in a row, solve the problem, and then click on Read More for the solution and complete analysis.

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09/27/08 - Printer friendly version
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Bailey's Blackjack

Willie Ryan never fails to please, and this month's installment from his classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard is no exception. While the pyrotechnics shown in today's position are not forced, they are by far the most spectacular way to wrap up a win, and the instructional value of Mr. Ryan's analysis is, as always, unmatchable.

Here's Willie once again:

"Ranking high among the classical bombshells of the board is this 11-piece sweep, credited to the late N. A. Bailey, of Rutland, Vermont. Although Bailey's blitz has been published many times, it has never been shown with the proper sequence of moves. As a result, the reader misses the scientific meaning of the preliminary moves leading up to the shot. Proceed with:


9-13 28-24 16-19
22-18 12-16---A 23-16
10-15 24-19*---B 12-19
18-14 8-12 30-26*---D
15-18 19-15*---B 2-6---2
24-20 4-8 forming the
6-9 26-22*---C diagram.
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W32,31,29,27,26,25,22,21,20,15,14:B19,18,13,11,9,8,7,6,5,3,1.

A---A losing move that can be tamed only by forcing black into the Bailey shot. The play from here to the finish is a first-class example of the indispensability of stroke technique in cracking a formational "dud" that otherwise would be drawable. The correct play to draw at A is: 1-6, 32-28, 6-10, 24-19, 10-17, 21-14, 11-16*, 20-11, 7-16, 19-15, 8-11, 15-8, 4-11, 28-24, 16-20, 14-10, 12-16, 23-14, 9-18, 25-22, 18-25, 29-22, 11-15, 26-23, 2-7, 30-26, 7-14, 22-18, 15-22, 26-10, 3-8, 10-7, 13-17, 7-3, 8-12, 3-7, 17-22, 7-10, 5-9,10-6, 9-14, 6-10, 14-17,10-14, 17-21,14-17, 22-25, 17-22, 25-30, 31-26, 16-19, 24-15, 12-16. Hugh McKean.

B---A meticulous probing of the position will prove that these moves are absolutely necessary to hold the win.

C---The correct and only move to win! Even Bailey, the author of this fine win, as well as others, prescribed 15-10 here, which allows black to get away by 16-19!---1

D---Stops 1-6 because of 14-10, and 19-24 because of 32-28."

1---This actually appears to allow Black to win! Computer analysis gives this possible line of play: 15-10 16-19 23x16 12x19 26-22 19-24 22x15 11x18 30-26 24-28 20-16 8-12 27-24 12x19 24x15 18-23 26x19 9x18 19-16 7x14 Black Wins--Ed.

2---1-6 holds out longer here but still loses; one line is 14-10 7x14 22-17 13x22 26x1 9-13 15-10 11-15 20-16 8-12 16-11 12-16 1-6 2x9 11-7 3-8 10-6 8-12 6-2 16-20 2-6 19-23 25-22 18x25 29x22 23-26 6-10 15-19 10-15 19-24 32-28 26-30 28x19 White Wins--Ed.

Can you find the flashy finish? When you've solved it, click on Read More for Willie's solution.

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09/20/08 - Printer friendly version
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Boxology

Fortunately, today we won't be discussing what is often known as "boxology" or the drawing of incredibly boring corporate organizational charts. But the term did come to mind when we looked at the "boxy" appearance of the pieces in today's edition of Checker School. The position is diagrammed below.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK2,19,20:B11,12,K27.

Boxy, yes; boring, certainly not! Although the two White men seem quite boxed in, there is a clever draw in the offing, one that is easier to spot than usual for a Checker School problem.

Can you find the draw, or will you be relegated to the bottom of the pecking order? We certainly hope that won't be your fate, and in fact clicking on Read More will leap you at once to the top of the charts.

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09/13/08 - Printer friendly version
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Not Too Tough

Like the appetizing dinner pictured above, this month's speed problem is definitely not too tough; in fact, it's rather tender and juicy. So much so, in fact, that we think ten seconds to find the solution is ample time; we rather suspect that most of you will finish it off in half that interval.

When you're ready to feast on this one, click below.

September Speed Problem (easy)

When you've finished the main course, clicking on Read More will bring you dessert--- in the form of our solution, of course.

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09/06/08 - Printer friendly version
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