At the end of May of this year (2017) your editor had the great pleasure of visiting with Mr. Richard Pask and family at his home in the town of Chickerell, in Weymouth, on England's southern coast. Mr. and Mrs. Pask, and their son Robert, are delightful and hospitable people, and it was a very memorable visit indeed.
Mrs. Pask, a musician and teacher, is also a talented gardener and keeps a wonderful English garden, the likes of which are seen only in movies.
Of course, we talked checkers, and Mr. Pask showed us through his library (shown above), packed with checker literature and checker memorablia. Our discussions ranged far and wide, continuing over dinner at a traditional English pub, The Turk's Head.
We asked Mr. Pask to tell us of his favorite personal game, and he said it came from the 1985 Scottish Open, where Mr. Pask had the White against Danny Shields with the Black.
A likely loss (already)! 11-15 or 11-16 would have been correct. Mr. Pask points out that this position can also arise from the opening sequence 1. 9-13 23-19; 2. 10-14 27-23; 3. 7-10?.
26-22 instead keeps the advantage.
The game has now reverted to a probable draw, although the actual play could be difficult over the board.
Probably loses. 8-11 would be a narrow draw.
9-14 was better; Black is surely lost.
Grandmaster Pask was able to find the win in this position. Can you? We'd rate this one as about medium in difficulty; a little effort will be rewarded. See how you do and then click on Read More to see the solution.
16. 10-15 is the computer's chosen move. Over the board the actual game continued instead 16. 3-8 26-22; 17. 10-14 19-15; 18. 14-17 15-10!; 19. 7-14 31-26; 20. 12-16 28-24; 21. 8-12 24-19. White wins.
Black can do nothing against the threat of 18-15. White wins.
Some day we hope to return the Pask family's hospitality should they visit Hawai`i during Mr. Pask's retirement.