The Checker Maven

Just a Little Bit of Difference

Sometimes, just a little bit of difference is all it takes... and that's the subject of today's installment in our continuing series of lessons in Checker School.

Here's the first situation we'd like to have you consider:

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,K19,21:B10,18,K32.

Forces are even, but the Black man on 10 is decidedly exposed, and we'd have to give the edge to White.

But now, take a look at this one:

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W21,K19,9:BK32,18,10.

Not much difference, is there? It's as if White had played 13-9 in the first diagram, not at all an illogical move on the face of it, and thereby changed a win into a draw!

Checkers is indeed a subtle game, where little differences can mean a lot. Make a difference for yourself by solving these two problems, and then clicking on Read More to see the solutions, with detailed notes and a sample game.



Solutions

These settings are attributed to R. Hoffman, and were republished by Ben Boland in Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. What follows are Ben's solutions and notes.

Diagram No. 1: 21-17-A, 18-22, 19-23, 22-25, 13-9, 25-30, 9-6, 30-25, 23-18, 32-27, 6-2, 27-31, 2-7, 31-26, 7-14, 26-22, 18-15, 22-13, 15-18. White Wins.

Diagram No. 2: 10-14, 9-6-B, 32-27, 19-15-C, 18-22, 15-19, 22-26, 6-2, 26-31, 19-15, 31-26, 2-6, 26-22, 6-9, 14-18. Drawn.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 9-14, 27-23, 8-11, 22-18, 15-22, 25-9, 5-14, 29-25, 11-15, 24-20 15-24, 28-19, 4-8, 25-22, 8-11, 22-17, 11-15, 32-28, 15-24, 28-19, 7-11, 19-16, 12-19, 23-7, 2-11, 26-23, 3-8, 30-26, 8-12, 31-27, 6-9, 17-13, 1-6, 26-22-E, 11-15, 22-17, 15-19-D, 23-16, 12-19, 20-16, 19-23, 27-18, 14-23, 16-11, 10-15 11-7, 15-19, 7-2, 23-26, 2-7, 26-31, 7-11, 19-24, 11-15, 31-27, 15-18, 24-28, 17-14, 27-23, 18-27, 9-18, 27-24, 6-10, 24-19, 28-32. Forms Diagram No. 1. W E. Truax, Game 494, the New England Checker Player, Vol. 5, April 1880.

A—Corrects W. E. Traux, who continued; 13-9 (Diagram No. 2), 18-22 (10-14 draws), 19-23, 22-25, 9-6, 25-30, 6-2, 30-25, 2-6. White Wins; this also corrects Game 1702 in the Turf. Mr. Moore played 21-17 and only drew.

B—19-15, 18-22, 15-10, 14-18, 10-14, 18-23. Drawn.

C—6-2, 27-31, 19-15, 18-22, 2-6, 14-18, 6-9. Drawn.

D—15-18 loses also. Traux.

E—27-24, 11-15, 23-19, 14-18, 20-16, 18-23, 26-22, 23-27, 16-11, 27-31, 11-7. Drawn. Anderson.

The above positions by R. Hoffman may be found as No. 444 and No. 445, in the New England Checker Player, May 1880. It is also No. 639 and No. 640 in Gould's Problem Book.

04/29/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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