The Checker Maven

Always Read the Fine Print

Preparing articles for our ongoing Checker School series is something we find fascinating, if a bit time-consuming; the hours rush by almost unnoticed. We first find an interesting classic position, usually, as is the case today, from Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Then we work through the position, games, and notes, knowing that if we ourselves can understand the play, the average checkerist will easily do so as well. Finally we check the solutions with the computer--- interesting discoveries are often made that way--- and add our own explanatory notes, amplifying on those things which Mr. Boland found obvious but we, with our far lesser skills, did not.

The offering below is one of those in which you really must read "the fine print" to benefit fully. Mr. Boland's notes were a bit less complete than usual, and there is much worthwhile play and answers to puzzling questions in the variants and branches. Let's look at the problem:

E. McMILLAN
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W29,14,K2:B8,5,1.

White clearly has the upper hand, but how to stop the Black man on 8 from crowning and evening things up--- without releasing the men in the double corner? Finesses abound in this position and it takes precise play to gain the win.

Solve it yourself, and then be sure to read the fine print, easily accessible by clicking on Read More.



Solution

We hope you'll stay with us through all the twists and turns of Ben Boland's solution, notes, and game, as well as our own additional notes and comments.

29-25---A, 8-12, 14-10---B, 12-16---C, 2-7, 16-19, 7-11, 19-23, 11-15, 23-26---D, 15-18, 26-30, 25-21, 30-25, 10-7, 1-6, 18-15, 25-22, 7-3, 22-25, 3-7, 25-22, 7-11, 22-25, 21-17, 25-21---E, 17-13, 21-17, 15-18, 17-21, 18-14, 21-25, 14-10, 6-15, 11-18, 25-21, 18-14, 21-25, 13-9, 25-30, 9-6. White Wins.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 9-13, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 15-18, 19-15, 4-8, 24-19, 6-9, 28-24, 11-16, 15-11, 8-15, 19-10, 16-20, 24-19, 2-6---K, 19-16, 12-19, 26-22, 6-15, 22-17, 13-22, 27-23, 19-26, 30-23, 18-27, 25-2, 9-18, 31-24, 20-27, 32-14, 3-8. Forms above position. Dr. Bowers vs. Dr. G. W. Hanson, Game No. 95, American Checker Review, Vol. 5, 1893.

A---To correct a position by Eley Clark, No. 46 Liverpool Weekly Mercury, July 11, 1891, an ending with a player of the "Open-Air Club," also No. 87 Horsfall's Problem Book. Clark played: 2-7, 1-6, 29-25, 6-9, 14-10, 9-14, 10-6, 5-9---i, 6-2, 8-12, 2-6, 9-13, 6-9, 14-18, 7-11, 18-23, 25-22, 23-26, 9-14, 26-30, 14-18, 30-26, 22-17. White Wins. Later Donaghy and Sheen showed that 2-7 for the First Move allows Black to Draw, No. 3707 the "Weekly Times" (Melbourne, Aus.), Aug. 31, 1935---ii.

B---25-22, 12-16, 14-10---F, 16-19, 10-7*, 19-23, 7-3, 23-26, 3-7, 26-30, 7-10, 5-9---G, 2-7, 30-25, 22-18, 9-13, 10-14, 25-21, 7-11, 13-17, 11-16, 17-22, 16-19, 22-25, 19-23, 1-5---H, 23-26, 25-29, 18-15, 21-25, 26-30, 25-21, 15-11---I, 29-25, 30-26, , 25-29, 11-7, 29-25, 7-2, 25-29, 2-7, 29-25, 7-11, 25-29, 11-15, 29-25, 15-19---J, 25-29, 26-30, 29-25, 14-18, 5-9, 19-23, 9-13, 23-26, 13-17, 26-31, 17-22, 18-14, 25-29, 30-26. White Wins. A. K. Hanson, July 13, 1939, Roseville Citizen.

C---5-9, 2-6, 9-13, 25-22, 12-16, 6-9, 16-19, 10-7, 19-23, 7-3, 23-26, 3-7, 26-31, 9-14, 31-27, 22-18, 1-6, 7-3, 27-23, 18-15. White Wins. E. McM.

D---23-27, 15-18, 27-32, 18-23, 5-9, 10-7, 9-14, 25-21, 1-6, 7-2, 6-10, 2-6, 10-15, 6-9, 15-18, 23-19. White Wins. E. McM.

E---25-22, 15-10, 22-18, 10-1, 13-9, is No. 756 in Gould's Problem Book, by D. Cusin, with terms, White to Play and Win; correcting Game 1465, Glasgow Weekly Herald, E. McM.

F---To correct McMillan who played 22-18 to a draw.

G---30-25 or 30-26 loses. A. K. Hanson.

H---25-29, 14-17. White Wins. A. K. H.

I---15-10, 29-25, 30-26, 5-9. Drawn. A. K. H.

J---15-18, 5-9. Drawn. A. K. H.

K---Losing Move. G. W. Hanson.

E. McMillan's play may be found in the Weekly Times (Melbourne, Aus.), Oct. 12, 1935, also as Problem No. 5494, Roseville Citizen, Nov. 12, 1936.

i---5-9 loses in this line. Either 14-17 or 14-18 is good for a draw.

ii---Mr. Boland surprisingly didn't give the drawing line, so we will. Here is one way: 2-7 1-6 29-25 6-9 14-10 9-14 25-22 5-9 10-6 9-13 6-1 14-17 22-18 17-22 18-15 8-12 7-11 22-26 15-10 13-17 1-6 26-30 10-7 17-21 7-2 21-25 6-10 25-29 10-15 30-26 15-19 29-25 2-7 25-22 7-10 26-31 10-14 31-27 11-15 27-32 14-18 22-26 18-23. Drawn, KingsRow.

02/17/07 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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