The Checker Maven

The Dodger

At the time that this article achieves publication, it will be near the end of the 2005 baseball season. But, since quite a few of our pieces are written well in advance, we don't know at the moment who the pennant contenders might be.

The Dodgers, of course, were in the running for many a year. We're referring, naturally, to the immortal Brooklyn Dodgers, the "Brooklyn Bums" beloved of many a checker player, including Willie Ryan and, we're certain, Tommie Wiswell.

In fact, today's feature problem is called "The Dodger" though it doesn't have any sort of baseball theme that we can readily discern. Here's the situation:

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win
There's what appears to be a fairly obvious solution staring right at you, but there is a "dodge" for Black to avoid the loss and another "dodge" for White to win it nonetheless.

"Dodge" erroneous play, win the pennant for White, and check your answer by clicking on Read More.



Solution

Tom Wiswell's originally published solution is given below, with our own comments in italics.

11-15, 16-12, 15-18, 23-26, 18-22-AA, 17-14-A, 22-31, 14-10, 32-27-B, 10-15, 27-23-C, 15-11, 23-19, 12-8-D, 20-16-E, 11-20, 19-24, 20-27, 31-24, 8-11, 24-19-F. White wins.

AA---We were able to solve it this far ourselves and, as White is about to go a man up, we claimed victory. But in a Wiswell problem, things are seldom so simple, and this case is no exception. Victory is still to be won as Black attempts a "dodge."
A---Black hopes to gain square 11 and avoid defeat via "Payne's Draw"; the irony of it is that he gets to square 11--but still loses.
B---White's strategy is worth noting as this position is from actual play and may well win a game for you in the future.
C---Not 27-24, 12-8, etc., drawn.
D---Black would seem to be free--but wait a minute!
E---An old "dodge": it prevents "Payne's Draw" by getting "the move" on the remaining King. If 19-16, 11-7, draws, and if 31-27, 8-3, draws.
F---From the finals of a New York Knockout Tourney won by Tom Wiswell on December 3, 1968.

10/01/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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