The Checker Maven

A Crowd Scene

We must admit that we're not all that fond of crowds (leaving aside baseball games, of course), preferring the tranquil solitude of the prairie, the desert, or the open sea. But at times, it's just impossible to avoid jostling with massed humanity as we go about our business in one urban environment or another.

Today's problem presents us with a crowd scene of a different sort, as we view a checkerboard situation where the White forces are a full three men up on the Black side, yet a win seems elusive. This unexpected turn of events is due to some severe single-corner crowding, where a lone Black king is holding three White pieces completely at bay.

Here's the position:

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK4,8,K12,13,22:BK3,K14.

White doesn't seem to have a single decent move, yet the game can still be won, though it's every bit as difficult as making your way along Kalakaua Avenue on a Saturday evening.

Try to solve the problem, but if your thoughts become overcrowded, relieve the congestion by clicking on Read More to see the solution.



Solution

22-17 14-21 13-9 21-17 9-6 17-14 6-2 14-10 2-7 10-6 7-11 6-10---A 12-16 3-19 11-15 White Wins.

A---If instead 6-2 then 11-16 2-6---B 16-19 6-10 12-16 3-12 but now the jam is cleared, and White easily wins the resulting man-up ending.

B---If 2-7 here, then 16-11 7-16 12-19 3-12 clears the board to a quick two-to-one win for White.

We're certain you won't be surprised to learn that this problem is due to master composer Tom Wiswell.

08/11/07 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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