The Checker Maven

Total Insanity

This month we bring you what is possibly the most insane stroke problem ever conceived. It's a completely artificial situation and has no practical play value, but as a test of visualization it is unrivaled.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

Try this problem without (1) using your computer, and (2) getting out an extra checker set so you can move the men around on your board. In other words, be crazy and sight-solve it!

When you have the answer, or have completely gone off your rocker, click on Read More for the solution.



Solution

20-16 11-20 1-6 2-11 1-16 12-19 10-7 11-2 15-11 22-15 11-7 2-11 14-10 5-14 31-27 24-31 26-22 17-26 6-1 15-6 1-17 13-22 8-24 20-27 4-8 White Wins.

If you were able to do this problem all in your head, you have superb visualization skills. If you're like most of us, though, you got lost halfway through, so click here for an animation, and save yourself the trouble of digging around for an extra set of checkers.

Oh... did you cheat a little and try to solve this with your computer?

That may or may not have helped, as not all computer programs can find their way through to the solution. The idea of giving away all but your last piece in order to obtain a block simply doesn't occur to many checker playing engines; a number of them will incorrectly select 7-3 as White's first move.

11/19/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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