The Checker Maven

A Wiswell Doubleheader

Today we bring you two Tom Wiswell problems--- a doubleheader--- which bear a certain relationship. If you solve the first one, it will help you with at least one major variant of the second one.

But this doesn't mean that a "Sunday doubleheader" (alas, seldom seen these days) will turn into a "Sunday picnic." Not at all. In fact, when these problems appeared around sixty years back, there was plenty of discussion and controversy. In the end, Mr. Wiswell collaborated with one of the more colorful checker characters ever (next to Willie Ryan): Mr. Julius D'Orio, he of the "triangle" theory of checkers, to come up with a definitive solution.

And, as we shall see, modern computer analysis bears out the solution to what has been called the D'Orio-Wiswell Position.

Game One
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

Did you get that one? Now try this one:

Game Two
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

White is two men up, so it's easy--- until you try it.

When you've played out both ends of the doubleheader, click on Read More for solutions and commentary.



Solutions

Game One

3-7-**, 6-2, 7-10, 2-6, 10-15, 6-2, 16-19, 2-6, 19-23, 6-9, 15-18, 9-6-A, 18-14, 6-2-B, 14-17, 2-6, 17-13, 6-2, 23-18, 2-6, 18-14, 6-2, 13-9, 1-6, 5-1, 6-13, 14-9, 13-6, 1-10. White Wins.

A---9-13, 18-14. White Wins.
B---6-9, 32-27. White Wins.
** Just by way of contrast, here's a computer solution, done using the "Perfect Play" 7-piece endgame database of World Championship Checkers Platinum III. WCC-III gives a win in 89 moves (actually 89 plies), which is a couple of plies shorter than Wiswell's published solution:

16-19, 6-10, 19-23, 10-14, 3-7, 14-17, 7-10, 17-13, 10-14, 13-9, 32-27, 9-18, 23-14, 28-32, 27-23, 1-6, 14-18, 6-1, 18-15, 1-6, 15-19, 32-27, 23-18, 6-1, 18-14, 27-32, 14-10, 32-28, 10-7, 28-32, 7-3, 32-28, 3-7, 28-32, 7-11, 32-28, 11-15, 28-32, 19-24, 32-28, 15-19, 28-32, 24-28, 1-6, 5-1, 6-9, 19-23, 9-5, 23-18, 5-9, 28-24, 9-5, 1-6, 32-28, 24-19, 28-32, 19-23, 5-1, 6-9, 1-5, 9-14, 32-28, 14-9, 5-14, 18-9, 28-32, 23-19, 32-28, 9-6, 28-32, 6-10, 32-28, 10-15, 28-32, 19-24, 32-28, 15-19, 28-32, 24-28, 32-27, 28-32, 27-31, 19-15, 31-26, 15-18, 26-30, 18-22, 30-26, 22-31. White Wins.

Truly impressive, but we find it equally if not more impressive that 60 years ago Mr. Wiswell and Mr. D'Orio came up with a nearly optimum solution to this problem, using no other computer than the human mind!

Game Two

22-18, 13-17, 14-10-A, 17-14-B, 18-15, 14-7, 6-1, 25-22, 1-15, 22-18, 15-11!, 7-23, 32-27, 23-32, 9-6, 2-9, 5-23. White Wins.

A---6-1, 17-10, 18-15, 10-14, 1-5, 25-22, 19-16, 22-26, 16-12, 26-23, 12-8, 23-19, 15-11, 14-10, 8-3, 19-16, 11-8, 10-6. Drawn.
B---25-22, 18-14, 22-18, 9-5, 18-9, 10-7, 2-11, 6-2, 17-14, 2-7, 9-6, 7-16, 6-1, 19-15, 14-9, 15-10, 9-6, 10-7, 6-2, 7-3, 2-6 forms the position for Game One which is won by White.

White sweeps the doubleheader!

09/24/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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