The Checker Maven

Welcoming the New Year

Of course, we're welcoming the New Year on the Jewish calendar --- the year 5769, to be precise, an event celebrated by eating apples dipped in honey and hearing the blowing of the ram's horn, known as the "shofar" and pictured above.

The Checker Maven celebrates by bringing you an interesting (and not very difficult) checker problem in which all is not as it seems, and the obvious may not be obvious at all. Here's our position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W28,27,26,24,18,17,15,13:B20,19,12,10,9,6,5.

White is a man up, so why are we blowing our horn over this one, you may ask. Well, although the New Year has come quickly upon us as it always seems to do, haste is not advised in making your move here.

See if you can find the win--- as we said, it's not very difficult--- and also demonstrate what's wrong with the "obvious" move. Blow your own horn and then click on Read More for the complete solution. And have a good and a sweet year!



Solution

Here the "obvious" and natural move, 15-11, is not good enough:

15-11 10-15 26-22 19-23 11-8 23x32 18x11 20x27

and Black has gained material equality and a drawn endgame.

Instead, White should first play 17-14! temporarily giving back the extra piece:

17-14 10-17 15-11

and no matter how Black plays, he again goes a piece down and into a definite loss. One possible finish is

17-22 (12-16 may be objectively better but this move looks natural over the board) 24x15 22x31 11-8 31x24 28x19 20-24 8-3 24-27 3-7 27-32 7-10

and White wins handily.

10/04/08 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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