The Checker Maven

The Time Machine

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Do you remember The Time Machine by H.G. Wells? There were movie adaptations but the novel remains an unmatched classic of the genre. But at The Checker Maven we have a time machine of our own; it lies in our modest collection of old checker books and magazines.

Today, let's go back in time 91 years, to March of 1925, and take a look at a checker problem published then, and attributed to problemist W.J. Wood. (By the way, it was Rex Wood, not W.J. Wood, who edited the famed magazine Wood's Checkerist.) Like many a problem published in that day, the purpose was to instruct as much as to provide clever entertainment.

BLACK
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WHITE
Black to Play and Win

B:W31,29,24,13,12,K8:B27,K17,11,4,2,1.

There is a bit of flash in this one, but by and large, it's solved with old-fashioned over the board playing skill. Can you go back in time and show your chops? Time's passing; find the solution and then clock your mouse on Read More to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution


1. 2-6

Computer analysis shows the natural-looking 11-15 very likely also wins, for instance 11-15 8-11 15-18 29-25 27-32 31-26 17-14 11-16 14-10 13-9 10-7 24-20 32-28 16-19 18-23 26-22 23-26 25-21 28-32 22-17 32-27 and now Black's victory is certain. However, the text move, 2-6, is clearly best, and surely what the problemist had in mind.


1. ... 8x15
2. 6-9 13x6
3. 1x28 31x24

Three for three. Black has a win on the board but he needs to play it out.


4. 17-14 29-25
5. 28-32 24-20
6. 14-10 20-16
7. 10-7 25-21
8. 32-27 21-17
9. 27-23 17-14
10. 23-18 14-9
11. 18-14 9-6
12. 14-9 6-1
13. 9-5 1-6
14. 5-1 6-2

On 6-9 then Black has a flashy finish with 4-8! 12x3 1-5 3x10 5x7 16-12 7-3 Black Wins.


15. 7-3 16-11
16. 3-7 12-8
17. 7x16

Black Wins. An instructive lesson in checkerboard technique.

03/26/16 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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