The Checker Maven

Reid's Rocker

This week we return again to Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, a checker classic if there ever was one, and arguably one of the Bronx Comet's best works. Here's one that Willie calls "basic" from the Laird and Lady. We're not sure just how basic it really is, but let's let Mr. Ryan tell us all about it.

"The ancient and intricate Laird and Lady opening is chock-full of mid-game pitfalls, some of which defy detection by the sharpest eye. Featured here is one of the basic snares encountered on this opening, which has claimed numberless victims of varying skill. The trap is generally credited to William Reid, but it was probably known to Andrew Anderson, who was first to probe the opening extensively.

11-15 23-19
8-11 22-17
9-13 17-14
10-17 21-14---A
15-18 19-15
4-8 24-19
6-10---B 15-6
1-17 25-22
18-25 30-14
2-6 29-25
13-17---C 25-21
11-16---D.

See the diagram.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W14,19,21,26,27,28,31,32:B3,5,6,7,8,12,16,17.

A---Forms the Laird and Lady opening, so named by Andrew Anderson, of Edinburgh, Scotland, first Champion of the World, who did much to develop and popularize this complicated debut.

B---Considered the easiest line for black to handle. Of course, 11-16 would be suicide since with 26-22, 16-23, 15-10, 6-15, 25-21, 18-25, 27-4, white would win.

C---Certainly a very natural move, but it's a dead duck. The correct moves are: 11-16, 26-23, 6-10, 28-24* (25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 7-10 wins for black), 10-17, 24-20; at this position, 8-11, 19-15 results in a draw, but 7-11 loses to white, who proceeds to win with 25-21, 17-22, 19-15, 11-18, 20-4.

D---Into the whirlpool, but black's predicament is hopeless. Black cannot take the shot via 5-9, 14-5, 11-16, 21-14, 16-30, as now the boomerang by 14-10, 6-15, 31-26 ends all. Again at D, if black tries 6-10, white nails the win with 27-23, 11-16---E, 28-24, 16-20, 32-28, 20-27, 31-24, 8-11, 24-20, 11-15, 19-16, 12-19, 23-16, 15-18, 16-11, 7-16, 14-7, 3-10, 21-7, and black is through.

E---Or 11-15, 28-24, 8-11, 32-28, 3-8, 24-20, 15-24, 28-19, 11-15, 19-16, and black is doomed."

We'd certainly call this a harder than average problem, but don't let it rock your socks. Clicking on Read More will ease your ride by bringing you Willie's solution.



Solution

Continue: 14-10*, 16-30, 21-14, 6-15, 31-26, 30-23, 27-2, 8-11, 2-6, 12-16, 28-24, 3-8, 24-20, 16-19, 14-10, 11-15, 10-7, 15-18, 6-10, 18-22, 10-15, 19-24, 7-3, 8-12, 15-19, 24-28, 19-23, 5-9, 23-18, 22-26, 18-22, 26-31, 3-7, 9-13, 7-10, and white wins.

05/26/07 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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