The Checker Maven

The Little Fooler

The feature problem for February is entitled The Little Fooler and is credited to Tom Wiswell and Jimmy Ricca. No less an authority than Ben Boland himself called this "a fine original problem." Skilled solver Brian Hinkle took almost a month to crack it.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win
There are only two pieces per side but there is no ease in simplicity here. In fact, long ago W. T. Call published a book of "Midget Problems" with just two per side, and they are widely regarded as real challengers.

Give this gem a really good try; your efforts will be well rewarded. After you've tried it, vote on how hard you thought it was, and click on Read More for the elegant solution.



Certainly not an easy one. Here's the solution as written by Tom Wiswell:

22-17! A 3-7 B 17-14 7-11 14-10 11-16 (5-9 30-26) 10-15 5-9 C 20-26 9-14 26-22 14-18 15-11 D 18-25 (16-7 22-15) 11-20 25-30 20-24 30-26 24-27 E White Wins.

A If 22-18 5-9 18-15 3-8 15-10 (30-26 9-14) 9-13 10-15 8-12 15-11 13-17 11-15 12-16 15-18 16-20 drawn. White can play otherwise but Black draws against all lines of this variation.

B If 5-9 17-13 9-14 13-9 14-17 9-14 17-21 14-10 White Wins.

C It's "now or never."

D The coup de grace! Note that this exchange does not change "the move," because neither capturing piece is removed from the board.**

E Termed "a fine original problem" by the celebrated Ben Boland, Dean of Problem Editors.

** Editor's Note: This statement is misleading; "the move" can actually change when neither capturing piece is removed from the board, but in this case, since jumps are made in the same "system" there is no change in "the move" - a topic that is used, abused, and generally misunderstood.

02/04/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.