The Checker Maven

Man in the Middle

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"Man in the middle" can have several meanings. In the computer security world, it refers to a cyberattack based on intercepting--- getting in the middle of--- a network path. In the baseball example shown above, the baserunner is caught between bases. In general, being "the man in the middle" isn't a very good thing.

Not so in today's checker problem, which is credited to old-time checkerist D. Robinson of Glasgow. Let's have a look.

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

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

Black has two men in the middle (actually, two kings). But the title of our problem is "man" in the middle, not "men." That's a bit of a hint toward finding a somewhat surprising draw for Black.

Can you solve it, or will you get caught in the middle? Click your mouse (the left button, not the middle one) on Read More when you're ready to check your solution.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

7-11---A 29-25 23-18* 25-21 18-14 24-20---B 14-9* 21-17 9-5---C 17-13 5-1 13-9 1-5 to a draw---D.

A---A necessary step, jamming up the White men.

B---This move is the computer's choice. Moving the White king around would accomplish little. But now the Black king has a firm grip on the two White men.

C---9-6 similar.

D---White cannot make any progress. The Black king on 11, our powerful "man in the middle," can't be displaced.

Did you solve it, or just do middling well? In either case, we hope you enjoyed today's problem.

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07/09/16 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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