The Checker Maven

A Small Problem

In the winter scene depicted above, it seems that the owner of the car has "a small problem" to deal with. And, while the solution to such a problem is straightforward, the amount of effort involved looks to be considerable.

Checker problems, though, follow different definitions. "Small" checker problems generally deal with relatively few pieces; in today's offering, drawn from our Checker School series, there are but three pieces per side. The solution to "small" checker problems is not always, or even often, straightforward; and the amount of effort needed to find the solution is at times substantial.

Here's the situation we ask you to consider.

D.G. McElvie
Black

White
White to Play and Win

W:WK27,28,30:B7,19,21.

White is certainly better off, but is it enough to win? That's your little problem! Dig your way out and then click on Read More to see the solution, notes, and a sample game.



Solution

The solution, sample game, and most notes and comments are taken from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers.

27-24---D, 4, 19-23, 24-19, 23-27, 19-16---E, 27-32---1, 28-24, 32-27---2, 24-19, 27-24, 19-15, 24-27, 15-11,7-10, 16-19, 10-14, 19-15, 14-17, 15-18, 27-24, 11-7. White Wins---3.

Game: 11-15, 21-17, 9-13, 25-21, 5-9, 29-25, 9-14, 23-18, 14-23, 27-11, 8-15, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 12-16, 24-20, 16-19, 32-27, 4-8, 27-24, 8-12, 25-21, 12-16, 20-11, 7-16, 24-20, 3-7, 20-11, 7-16, 31-27, 1-5, 14-10, 6-9, 10-6---A, 9-14---B, 21-17, 14-21, 6-1, 5-9---C, 1-5, 9-14, 22-17, 13-31, 5-9, 31-24, 9-27, 2-7. Forms above position. D. G. McKelvie, Glasgow Weekly Herald, June 20, 1925.

A---All the leading players overlook this most beautiful idea (Jordan and Barker in World Championship Match, etc., etc.), and move 27-23, which permits an easy draw. D. G. McK.

B---16-20 here is O.K.

C---Losing move; 16-20 draws.

D---27-32, 7-11, 32-27, 11-15, 27-32, 15-18, 32-27, 18-22. Drawn.

E---If 19-15, 27-32, 28-24, 32-27, 24-20, 27-24, 20-16, 24-20, 15-11, 7-10, 16-12, 20-24, 12-8, 24-27, 8-3, 27-23, 3-7, 10-14, 11-15, 14-17. Drawn.

1---27-31 loses as well--Ed.

2---Ditto for 32-28--Ed.

3---The man on 17 can't be saved, for instance: 24-27 7-3 27-24 3-7 24-27 7-10 27-24 10-14 24-27 30-26 27-24 18-22 and the win is certain--Ed.

4---The piece on 19 is safer than it looks. If White tries 30-26 then after 21-25 and either 27-23 or 27-24, 25-30 secures a draw--Ed.

The above is Game No. 110, Draughts Review, July 1925, Vol. 1. The D. R. Editor said, "Mr. McKelvie's play apparently improves, without actually correcting, a line which was played in the Barker vs. Jordan Match, as well as on other occasions (see Encyclopedia, Page 390, Var. 2, or Shearer's Handbook, Page 145)."

McKelvie said (in the Draughts Review), "I have had this 'up my sleeve' for quite 17 years, and I consider it one of the finest things ever seen on a Draughts Board."

08/09/08 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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