The Checker Maven

Brilliant

In one of Tom Wiswell's many fine books, Mr. Wiswell published a number of situations which he referred to as "checker brilliancies." We have to agree with him, as in these settings, the winning player invariably comes up with a move or a sequence that is, well, brilliant, both in concept and execution.

Today, we challenge you to match wits with James P. Reed, in a game played back in 1889 against Charles F. Barker. The move Mr. Wiswell calls "Barker's Blunder" allowed Mr. Reed to find an astounding win. Here's the run-up and the game position:

Black: Charles F. Barker
White: James P. Reed
10-14 22-17
7-10 17-13
3-7 25-22---A
14-17 21-14
9-25 29-22
10-14---B 24-19
6-10 22-18
14-17 27-24
1-6 19-15
10-19 24-15
12-16---C

A---24-20 can be played here.
B---This move doesn't lose, but it could be argued that 11-15 or even 10-15 is better.
C---This is the "blunder" that loses.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,15,18,23,26,28,30,31,32:B2,4,5,6,7,8,11,16,17.

Can you match Mr. Reed for brilliance and find the winning move? We'll warn you, it's really something and takes a truly skilled player to find. How about correcting Mr. Barker's "blunder" and instead demonstrating a draw?

Work it out and then click on Read More to see if your play really shines.



Solutions

.... 15-10---D
6-22---E 13-9
5-14 23-18
14-23 26-3
7-10 3-7

White Wins

D---A truly amazing move. If you didn't see it, don't feel bad about it!
E---The alternative jump also loses: 7-14 18-9 6-14 23-18 14-23 26-3 White Wins.

Instead of 12-16 (the "Blunder") Willie Ryan (a brilliant player in his own right) demonstrated that Black should have played 6-9, leading to the following draw:

... 6-9
13-6 2-9
23-19 9-13
26-23 17-22
28-24 13-17
24-20 5-9
30-26 9-13
32-28 22-25
15-10 7-14
18-9 11-16
20-11 8-24
28-19 25-30
9-6 4-8
19-15 12-16
23-19

Drawn

09/23/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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