The Checker Maven

The Stumper

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In the world of American crossword puzzles, each week renowned cruciverbalist Stanley Newman publishes the "Saturday Stumper." It's a very hard puzzle, often substantially harder than the one in the Saturday New York Times, which is in itself a real challenge.

Checker problemist Brian Hinkle has come up with a "stumper" of his own, and has kindly shared it with us. Let's have a look.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw 2 Ways
W:W8,10,13,25,30:B1,4,5,16,17.

As is typical with Brian's compositions, finding the first move is the real key, although even then you've still got to demonstrate the draw. But "Stumper" actually has two solutions. You may not necessarily be stumped in finding the first solution, but finding the second solution is truly a "Saturday Stumper" of our own.

Will you be stumped, not just on Saturday but in the ensuing days? Consider yourself a good solver if you find the first solution, and an amazing one if you find the second. Clicking on Read More, of course, will show you everything.null

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02/23/19 - Printer friendly version
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Dang Tough

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Tough steak? Bit off more than she can chew? The steak might possibly have been a little less tough, and more appealing, if it was tenderized and ... cooked.

Tough in checkers, of course, means something different (and so does "cooked" but that's a story for another day). It seems like we've published quite a number of tough problems lately, but hopefully they've been interesting and instructive. With that out of the way, we're going to publish one more. It's a good one, and although we've lost track of the source, it's nonetheless pleasing--- and tough.

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W17,18,20,22,23,24,30,31,32:B1,4,6,8,9,10,11,12,16,21.

Yes, Black can win this position with skillful play and quite a bit of patience. That's by way of saying that the solution is rather long and requires careful application of technique. Are you tough enough to stick it out and gain the win? But when you're ready, it won't be very tough at all to click on Read More to see the solution.null

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02/16/19 - Printer friendly version
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Hammer It Out

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No, not like that! Computers can be frustrating sometimes, but the suggestion to 'hammer it out' shouldn't be taken literally.

Sometimes checker games can be frustrating, and you've got to hammer out a solution. In today's Checker School entry, continuing our series of 'gem' problems, we have something composed, appropriately, by Wm. M. Hammer.

Wm. M. Hammer
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK9,K10,20,K22:B2,12,13,K23,K24

If you're Black, you might be frustrated at the difficulty of hammering out a win. If you're White, and a man down but with a centralized position, you might be frustrated at the difficulty of hammering out a draw. Yet a draw is there. Work it out and then pound your mouse on Read More to see the solution.null

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02/09/19 - Printer friendly version
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A Short Stroke for a Short Month

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Leap Year won't come until next year, so February remains a short month. It's always seemed a bit unfair to us. Even though there are only 28 days, the rent or the mortgage or the condo fees remain at their full amount, as do the cell phone bill, the cable bill ...

We're certainly not going to solve that problem here, so maybe we'd best concentrate on a checker problem. It's a short stroke for a short month, and we think you'll find it to be on the easy side.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W6,K7,10,11,22:B4,12,15,K21,23.

Can you solve this one in a short time? Figure it out and then make a short leap with your mouse onto Read More to verify your solution.null

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02/02/19 - Printer friendly version
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