The Checker Maven

Pretty as a Picture (Frame)

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A pretty picture deserves a pretty frame. In our experience very often the frame, if it is one of quality, is more costly than the picture itself.

There's a picture frame in checkers, too, or more precisely, a picture frame position, and it's the subject of this month's Checker School column. Here's the pretty as a picture position.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,31,30,28,21,13,K4:BK29,20,12,5,3,2,1.

As you'll see in the solution notes, it was once thought that this was a win for whoever played first, but actually, it's a draw either way. It's somewhat complex, and in fact we've corrected a couple of errors in Ben Boland's published solution. But, you get the picture.

In fact, we invite you to stay in the picture and try to solve the problem. And picture this: clicking on Read More will show you the solution, sample games, and comments and corrections.null

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11/18/17 - Printer friendly version
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Robertson's Tool

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If you've ever lived in Canada, you'll know about the Robertson screwdriver, invented by Canadian P. L. Robertson around 1908. Robertson screws and screwdrivers supposedly have many practical advantages, though we won't go into them here.

Would P. L. Robertson be related to D. Robertson of Glasgow? Probably not, but if the Canadian Robertson was known for practicality in tools, Glasgow Robertson might equally be known for practicality in checker settings.

Consider the problem below.

D. ROBERTSON
WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Move and Draw

B:WK29,24,12:BK23,K7.

This is, indeed, a practical situation; Black has two Kings but is down a piece. Pulling off a draw in this situation would be rather a success.

Can you do it? Keep your grip on your best checker tools, and give this one a turn or two. You can see the solution by applying your mouse to Read More.null

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11/11/17 - Printer friendly version
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Spectacular Finale

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A spectacular finale: It's the goal of many a concert, show, or special event, and it sends everyone home just as pleased as might be, often with an unforgettable memory.

Does checkers offer the same level of excitement? Certainly! Today we bring you a problem that will make you sit up in your seat.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W31,30,22,17,16,14,10:B24,K21,18,15,8,7,3.

This is a stroke problem that is supposed to an "easy" one, but we have our doubts about that unless your powers of visualization are very well developed. We'd call it at least "medium" in difficulty, but as a pleaser, it surely rates way up there.

Stroke problems may not be practical, but they are great fun, and they develop our ability to look ahead. Give this one a try and see if you aren't just a little taken in by the spectacular conclusion. As always, clicking on Read More will show you the winning moves.null

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11/04/17 - Printer friendly version
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