The Checker Maven

The Crocodile Position

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There's been a lot in the news in recent months about alligators attacking humans, sometimes with tragic results. But crocodiles, particularly the South Pacific varieties, can also be very dangerous.

The differences between crocodiles and alligators are many, even if they seem to be similar creatures. For instance, they have different jaw shapes, and crocs are more tolerant of saltwater environments.

The position below, an entry in our ongoing Checker School series, could be either crocodile or alligator. In fact, as you'll see in our solution notes, it's been called both at various times. But regardless of name, it's quite ferocious.

CROCODILE POSITION
W. H. RUSSELL

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W10,15,19,23,27,32:B1,3,8,12,16,20.

Don't get caught up in the jaws of this one; work it out and then snap your mouse on Read More to see the solution, sample games, and detailed notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

Lettered notes and other unattributed text is taken from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor, using the KingsRow computer engine with 10-piece endgame database.

10-6, 1-10, 15-6, 3-7, 6-2, 7—10, 2—6, 10-14, 6-9, 14—17, 9-14, 17-22, 14-17, 22-26, 32-28, 26-31---1, 19-15, 31-24, 28-19, 20-24, 23-18, 16-23, 15-11. White Wins---2.

Game: 9-13, 22-17, 13-22, 25-18, 11-16, 29-25, 5-9, 18-14, 9-18, 23-14, 10-17, 21-14, 8-11, 24-19, 16-23, 26-19---3, 6-10, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 11-16, 28-24, 16-23, 27-18, 7-11, 30-26, 11-16, 26-23, 16-20, 31-27---4, 2-7---5, 24-19, 7-11---6, 14-10, 11-16, 18-15, 4-8---A. Forms above position. F. B. Fishburne, “Master Play," Part 1, Var. 15H, Page 18.

Game: 10-15, 21-17, 9-13, 25-21, 11-16, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 8-11, 17-14, 16-20, 29-25, 4-8, 22-18, 6-9, 25-22, 11-16, 22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 2-6, 32-28, 6-10, 30-26, 1-6---B, 17-13, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 13-6, 10-17, 6-2, 7-10, 2-6, 10-14, 18-9, 5-14, 26-22, 17-26, 31-22, 14-18, 22-15, 3-7---C, 6—9*, 7-11, 9-14*, 11-18, 19-15*, 18-22---D, 14-17, 22-26, 17-22, 26-31, 22-17. Same as above solution at 16th move. W. H. Russell, “Master Play," Part 4, Var. 22D, Page 249.

A---1-5, 10-6, or 10-7 is suggested to draw by F. Tescheleit, but no play is given---7.

B---8-11, 19-15, 10-19, 27—24, 20—27, 31—8, 16-19, 23—16, 12—19; 8-4, 9—13, 26-22, 7-11, 14-10, 19-23*, 18-14, 23—26, 10-7, 3-10, 14-7, 26-30, 17-14, 11-15, 7-2, 30-25, 14-10, 25-18, 2-7, 13—17, 21-14, 18-9, 4—8, 15-18, 7-2, 18-22. Drawn. F. Teschleit.

C---Now Diagram No. 125, Master Play, where it is named the “Crocodile Position."

D---To here by F. Teschleit.

1---8-11 28-24 26-31 17-22 11-15 19x10 16-19 24x15 31x24 White Wins.

2---Winning on the move. A very nice finish.

3---Out of book. 27-18 is the computer move, but this move is fine.

4---This is actually the losing move. 18-15 was correct to draw.

5---No! This only draws. 2-6 wins here.

6---Another losing move; 1-6 would draw.

7---All of these suggested moves in fact lose.

The above position by W. H. Russell may be found as No. 43 in Lee's Guide, colors reversed at this stage; Black--- on 5, 6, 10, 18 King on 20 and White--- on 13, 17, 19, 21, 25. Black to Play and Win. I. Lees' comments, "a magnificent conception. A gem of purest ray serene."

The above position may also be found as No. 24, in “It's Your Move," there Willie Ryan states:--- "The famous 'Alligator' Position by the late Alf. Jordan, named thus by the also deceased Captain Fishburne, a former Southern Champion, because the Captain said it had such a wicked snap."

08/20/16 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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