The Checker Maven

Breaking Even: A Taxing Problem

Sometimes, breaking even is the best you can do.

That is never more the case than when dealing with the United States Internal Revenue Service. And the publication date of this article, April 15, 2006, is the traditional American tax day, on which income tax returns --- and final payments --- fall due.

Keeping that theme in mind --- of doing everything you can to just break even --- take a look at today's feature problem.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W28,26,24,K3:B19,15,14,2.

Forces are even, but White has a king and Black is going to have to struggle just for a draw.

Tax your brain, then file your solution before paying up by clicking on Read More to see how it's done.



Solution

Here's the solution, as proposed by Willard E. Davis long ago.

14-18---A 3-8 2-7 8-12 18-23* 26-22 23-26* 12-16 19-23 16-19 7-10 19-16 10-14* 16-11 15-19! 24-15 23-27 11-16---B 26-30 16-19 27-31 19-23 31-26 Drawn.

A---14-17 3-8 2-7 8-13 7-11 12-8 11-16 8-12 16-20 12-16 20-27 16-32 White Wins.

B---11-7 26-30 7-10 30-25 Drawn.

Today, computer solutions show seemingly less aggressive play on White's part to prolong the game a bit, but Mr. Davis' solution, proposed in an era without computers (or income tax, for that matter) is, we think, the most exciting, and is completely valid.

But enough with checkers.... you'd better go file your taxes!

04/15/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.