The Checker Maven

Labor Day Salute

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Labor Day; it's a welcome day off work, a last hurrah for summer in North America, a time to see a parade, or squeeze in one more barbecue or picnic or camping trip before the leaves fall and the nights become chill.

And, as we point out each year, it's a time to show our respect for the average Jane and Joe that make up America's workforce, those honest, decent, hard-working people who show up every day, do their jobs, and help make America what it is. There was a time when checkers was their game, and although that's less of a truism today, checkers remains democratic, accessible, and suitable for everyone.

On holidays like these, we like to feature great American players and problemists. Today we have one of the few problems authored by one of the greatest American checkerists of all time, Samuel Gonotsky. It is based on actual over the board play.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,31,26,23,K14,13:BK30,28,24,20,19,16,15.

White is a man down but has mobility advantages. Can the situation be turned into a draw? Labor away at this one; but seeing the solution is hardly laborious and requires only a mouse click on Read More.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

26-22*---A 19x26 14-18 15-19---B 18-23---C 24-27 31x15 26-31 22-18 31-26 23-27 to a Draw.

A---A brilliant move, temporarily pitching yet another man, but anything else loses.

B---Black, if he sees what's coming, might actually concede the draw by playing 16-19 here; this move is favored by the computer (which sometimes favors moves that humans have trouble understanding).

C---Black is now left with no good move.

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09/03/16 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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