The Checker Maven

A Great Shot, But Can You Win The Ending?

(We are taking a short break and so this really is our last Wednesday column until September. Saturday columns will of course continue without interruption.)

On this "Anything Can Happen" Wednesday, we bring you a game played by guest author Ingo Zachos in a recent matchup on the It's Your Turn on-line game site. Capitalizing on an error by his opponent, Ingo finds a thrilling shot--- and then still has to demonstrate the win in the endgame! We've interspersed Ingo's own interesting comments and analysis with our own, which are due to running the world-class King's Row program at 15 minutes per move.

Ingo Zachos - Raymond Faircloth
It's Your Turn January 2005
with commentary by Ingo Zachos

1.11-15 23-18
2.8-11 27-23
3.4-8 23-19
4.10-14 19x10
5.14x23 26x19
6.6x15

I know 6.7x14 is the fashion, but I was inspired by Game 7 of the GAYP World Championship of 1956, Wiswell- Fraser, after reading International Checkers and Draughts.

6...19x10
7.7x14 24-19
8.11-16 31-26

Here Fraser played 8...19-15 and after 9.16-19 22-17 10.14-18 25-22 11.18x25 29x22 12.12-16 22-18 13.16-20 17-14 14.9-13 14-10 15.19-23 18-14 16.2-7 31-26 17.7-11 26x19 18.11x18 he played 19-16 and lost, thus: (18...32-27 19.18-22 19-16 20.8-12 16-11 21.12-16 28-24 22.22-25 21-17 23.13x22 30x21 24.22-26 21-17 25.26-31 10-7 26.3x10 14x7 27.1-6 7-3 28.6-10 3-7 29.10-15 7-10 30.16-19 27-23 31.19x26 10x19 32.20x27 19-23 is given by Dr. Fraser as drawn.) 19.18-23 16-12 20.8-11 10-7 21.3x17 21x14 22.1-6 12-8 23.13-17 8-3 24.17-21 3-8 25.23-27 8x15 26.6-9 32x23 27.9x27 28-24 28.27-31 24-19 29.20-24 15-18 30.24-28 19-16 31.28-32 18-22 32.32-27 16-12 33.5-9 22-17 34.27-23 12-8 35.23-19 8-3 36.19-15 3-7 37.31-27 7-2 38.15-10 17-22 39.27-23

9.16x23 26x19
10.8-11!?

10.9-13 trying to avoid the rapid advance of White's single corner side, is better, but I underestimated the power of the man on 15. (King's Row thinks any of 2-6, 1-6, 2-7, 8-11, 9-13, or 3-7 are about equal. --Ed.)

10...19-15
11.11x18 22x15
12.12-16

I also calculated 12.2-7 28-24! but there seemed to be equality with less chances of a tactical surprise. (The idea was the trick 12...15-10? 13.14-17 21x14 14.9x18 to a neat win.) 12.3-8?! would be a minor variation because of 15-10 and the piece on 10 is very disturbing. (In fact, Kings's Row agrees that 3-8 is weak. --Ed.)

12...15-11?!
13.14-17!?

Sometimes masters say they calculate 50 moves ahead. Well, here I already saw the final position of this game in my mind very clearly and knew it was won.

13.1-6 as indicated by the programs, might be better, but during the game I evaluated it as drawn.

(Editor's note: King's Row thinks 12. ... 15-11 is inferior, though not an outright loss, and prefers 30-26 or 25-22. But King's Row disagrees with our author over 13.14-17, rating the resulting position as a draw. As our author points out 1-6 is preferred but the game is still far from a win.)

13...21x14
14.9x18 30-26?

Believe it or not, this is already the fatal mistake.

WHITE

RED
Red to Play and Win

(Editor's note: let's pause here. Ingo is about to play an exciting shot. Can you spot it? And if you can, are you able to demonstrate the win after the shot is complete? When you've figured it out, click on Read More to see the rest of the game.)



Solution

Let's let Ingo show us how it's done:

My opponent plans to besiege the men on 15 and 16, but missed a surprising little "Zwischenzug."

14...32-27 was a better way, but still it loses to a similar trick: 15.18-22!! ( The transposition 15.2-7!! 11x2 16.18-22!! 25x18 17.1-6 2x9 18.5x32 would also lead to a win.) 15...25x18 16.2-7!! 11x2 17.1-6 2x9 18.5x32 28-24 19.32-27 24-20 20.16-19 20-16 21.19-23 30-25 22.23-26 and again the motive of first position will decide, as the man on 28 will be immobile and Red has the move. Better is 14...25-22 15.18x25 29x22 16.1-6 leading to a position slightly in favor of Red as the man on 15 tends to be a weakness, but by proper defense a draw is still possible.

15.18-22!!

One can easily miss moves like this, as the piece offered can be captured in two different ways, but either way White take, he cannot avoid the in-and-out shot that follows: 15.16-19?? was perhaps what White expected: 32-27 16.5-9 25-22 17.18x25 29x22 and a White win, for the man on 19 will fall. Also possible is the transposition 15.2-7!! 11x2 16.18-22!! leading to the same position as the text.

(At this point King's Row sees a clear win for Red. --Ed.)

15...25x18

15...26x17 does not change things. After 16.2-7!! 11x2 17.1-6 2x9 18.5x30 the same poition as in the game is reached. A second "sacrifice."

16.2-7!! 11x2
17.1-6 2x9

And now Red "takes them all" and ends up in a winning position.

18.5x30 28-24

18...32-27 does not help as both candidate moves I considered win easily:

A) 19.3-8 28-24 (19...27-23 20.8-11 23-18 21.16-20 18-14 and again a first position setup is reached with Red winning.) 20.8-11 24-20 21.16-19

B) Easier is 19.3-7 27-24 (19...27-23 20.7-10 28-24 21.10-15 24-20 22.15-19 20x11 23.19x26 11-7 24.26-31) 20.7-11 24-20 21.16-19

19.3-7

The other candidate move also wins: 19.3-8 24-20 (19...32-28 20.8-11 24-20 21.16-19; 19...32-27 20.8-11 27-23 21.11-15 24-20 22.15-19 20x11 23.19x26 11-7 24.26-31 7-2 25.31-26 2-7 26.26-23 7-10 27.23-18 10-6 28.18-14 6-1) 20.8-11 32-28 (20...32-27 21.16-19) 21.16-19

19...32-27

19...24-20 makes matters easier: 20.7-11 32-27 21.16-19 and Red wins all the pieces.

20.7-11 27-23
21.11-15

Now White is lucky not to lose immediately, avoiding zugzwang, but all he gets is a technically lost endgame. (King's Row prefers 30-26 or 16-20 here but the outcome isn't changed. --Ed.)

21. ...24-20
22.15-19 20x11
23.19x26 11-7
24.26-31

And my opponent, knowing First Postion, resigned and congratulated me.

I wish all players on It's Your Turn would be fair enough to resign when they know that a loss is inevitable!

(The Editors thank Ingo for sending us this fine game and analysis.)

06/22/05 - Category: Games - Printer friendly version
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