The Checker Maven

School Bells Ring, and Children Sing ...


... it's back to checker school again!

Throughout the USA and Canada, and much of the western world, school bells are ringing and children are heading back to school after the long summer vacation. No doubt checker practice will quickly begin in earnest as all of the elementary school, middle school, and high school checker teams prepare for battle in the upcoming checker season.

It seems appropriate, then, that we continue our ongoing Checker School series with another installment from Ben Boland's classic Famous Positions. In this lesson, we'll look at Wardell's Position, which is akin to First Position, but the win is obtained without the winning side having "The Move." Unclear? Well, pay attention in class!

M.H.C. Wardell
Red

White
White to Play and Win

When you've tried the problem, click on Read More to see Mr. Boland's solution, a game run-up, and some great notes and commentary.

Extra (non-checker) points if you can give the source for "School Bells Ring and Children Sing" and quote the rest of the jingle.



Solution
(from Ben Boland's Famous Positions)

18-23, 11-16, 23-26, 28-32-A, 27-24, 16-20, 24-28, 32-27, 28-32, 27-24, 26-23, 24-27, 23-19, 27-31, 19-24. White Wins.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 9-13, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 15-18, 19-15, 4-8, 24-19, 6-10, 15-6, 1-17, 25-22, 18-25, 30-14, 13-17, 27-23, 2-6, 23-18, 17-21, 26-23, 11-16, 28-24, 16-20, 18-15, 20-27, 31-24, 8-11, 15-8, 6-10, 14-9, 5-14, 8-4, 14-18, 23-14, 10-17, 4-8, 17-22, 24-20, 21-25, 20-16, 25-30, 8-11, 7-10, 11-15, 10-14, 15-10, 14-17, 16-11, 30-26, 32-27, 26-31, 27-24, 31-27, 24-20, 22-26, 11-7, 27-24, 19-15, 26-30, 7-2, 17-22, 2-6, 22-26, 15-11, 12-16, 11-8, 3-12, 20-11, 24-19, 11-7, 26-31, 7-3, 12-16, 6-2, 16-20, 2-7, 20-24, 10-15, 19-10, 7-14, 24-27, 14-18, 31-26, 18-15, 26-23, 3-8, 27-31, 8-12, 31-27, 12-16, 27-24, 16-20, 23-27, 20-16, 24-20, 16-19, 27-23, 19-26, 30-23, 15-10, 23-18, 29-25, 20-16, 25-21, 16-19, 10-6, 19-15, 6-1, 15-11, 1-5, 11-7, 5-1-B, 18-14, 1-5, 7-10, 5-1, 14-9, 1-5, 9-6, 21-17-C. Forms above position, colors reversed at 2nd move.

A---16-20, 27-32, 28-24, 26-23, 24-27, 23-19. White Wins.

B---To here Game No. 22, M. E. Pomeroy vs. A. Jordan, in their 1913 Match Games Book. Often the writer was asked why the above game was played out to an ending when Black did not have the move for "First Position." The above position is the answer.

C---5-1 must be played to draw.

The above position may be found as No. 23 in Lyman's Problem Book, 1881. From "Chelsea Public," No. 245, Nov. 6, 1875.

Wardell noted that in Payne's "First Position" (same as above position after first move, with man on 11 on Square 12, with White to play and win), that if Black were to play 12-16, White would win, as above. With this in mind he placed the man on Square 11, having the same effect as being on 12 and moving to 16, but when on 12 then moving to 16 is not forced, as in the game.

One may ask: Did Payne's school of players know the above position? The answer may be, not necessarily, as 5-1 may be played as in Note C, to draw, and let it go at that.

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Beginner's Note from the Editor: in the solution, after 18-23, do you see why Black has to play 11-16 and why the natural-looking 28-32 loses? The answer is that the man on 11 is at risk. If White puts a king on 19, the man on 11 won't be able to move, and the other White king can circle back at leisure to eliminate the unfortunate Black piece:

28-32, 27-24, and now if 32-28 then 24-19 and it's over: 28-32, 23-18, 32, 27, 18-14, 27-32, 14-10, and if 11-15 there is no escape after 19-23.

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The jingle we've borrowed for the title of this article belonged to a clothing store chain, the long-defunct Robert Hall, and dates back about 45 years:

School bells ring and children sing
It's back to Robert Hall again.

Mother knows for better clothes
Go back to Robert Hall again.

You'll save more on clothes for school!
Shop at Robert Hall!

09/03/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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