The Checker Maven

Some Good Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us, but that few of us do enough of it. What is true for the body, of course, is true for the mind, and today we challenge you to do some checker exercise. (We're tempted to call it "checkersize" but perhaps that's just a little over the edge.)

First take a look at the position below; it's one of those odd "White to Play, Black to Win" sort of things.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play, Black to Win

W:W28,26,25,21:B19,13,9.

What do you make of this? The exercise we invite you to try is to think about the possible White moves, Black replies, and ensuing lines of play. What gives White the best chances? How are those chances foiled by Black? Spend a little time on this and stretch your checker muscles; your technique and skill is bound to benefit. Then exercise your mouse finger by clicking on Read More to see our idea of the solution.



Solution

White has a few possibilities here: 25-22, or 26-22; or he might pitch his extra man with 28-24. (Obviously 22-17 is a quick loss.) Let's look at each one.

25-22 9-14 and now White has to pitch: 28-24---A 19x28 26-23 28-32 23-19---B 32-27 19-16 27-23 16-12 23-26 12-8 26x17 Black Wins.

26-22 9-14 and now White again has to pitch, but can choose 22-18 instead of 28-24: 22-18 27-31 18-14 31-27 14-9 27-23 9-5 19-24 28x19 23x16 5-1 16-11 1-6 11-15 6-9 15-18 9-5 18-14 and Black goes on to win by First Position.

28-24 19x28 26-23 28-32 23-19 32-27 19-15 27-23 15-10 9-14 10-6 14-18 6-2 23-26 2-7 26-22 21-17 22x29 Black Wins.

A---Or 26-23 19x26 28-24 26-31 24-19 31-26 19-16 26x17 Black Wins.

B---If 22-18 then 32-27 18x9 27x18 leads to a Black win by First Position.

Isn't it a testimony to the depth of checkers that a "simple" position can give rise to so much variety of play?

We hope you enjoyed your exercise, and invite you to follow it up with the appropriate refreshments.

08/23/08 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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