The Checker Maven

Always Drink Water

The primary offices of The Checker Maven are, as we've noted from time to time, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the American Southwest. Santa Fe can be described as "high desert" as it lies over 7,000 feet above sea level and the climate is rather dry. It's a place where the altitude and the dryness combine to make dehydration a real issue. Tourists often complain of headaches, not realizing that they need to drink a lot of water to replace water loss silently taking place at a rate to which they are not accustomed.

Today, in our monthly Checker School column, we are asking you to "drink water" in a different manner. The topic of our lesson is Drinkwater's Draw, attributed unsurprisingly to old-time checkerist F. W. Drinkwater. It's another of those eminently practical maneuvers that will save you many a game--- if you know how. Here's the basic position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W14,16,28:B4,K18,21.

Black is clearly in the lead here, having a King and two men to White's three men, and one of the White men is under attack. Would you be able to save this one?

Give it a try, but if it's too much to swallow, click on Read More to drink in the solution, a sample game, and copious notes.



Solution

The solution, sample game, notes, and historical note are all taken from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Additional computer analysis is by Ed Gilbert's KingsRow and 10-piece endgame database.

14-9, 18-14, 9-5, 14-10, 5-1, 21-25, 28-24, 25-30, 24-20, 30-26, 1-5, 26-23, 5-9, 23-19, 16-12, 19-15, 9-5*, 10-7, 5-9, 15-10---A, 9-5, 10-6---B, 5-1*, 7-10---C, 1-5*, 6-1, 5-9, 1-5, 9-13, 10-7, 20-16---J, 5-1, 13-17---D, 1-6, 17-14, 6-2, 14-18---E, 7-3, 18-15---F, 2-7, 15-19, 4-8, 19-24*, 7-10, 24-19, 10-14, 19-24*, 14-18, 24-19. Drawn---1.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 9-14, 22-17, 7-11, 17-13, 11-16, 26-23, 8-11, 25-22, 3-7, 31-26, 16-20, 19-16, 12-19, 23-16, 14-17, 21-14, 10-17, 29-25, 17-21, 26-23, 7-10, 16-7, 2-11, 23-19, 10-14, 19-10, 6-15, 22-17---K, 14-18, 25-22, 18-25, 13-9, 5-14, 17-10, 25-29, 10-7, 29-25---L, 30-26, 25-30, 26-23, 30-26, 23-19, 15-18, 7-3, 18-22, 3-7, 26-31, 7-16, 22-26, 19-15, 26-30, 15-11, 30-26, 16-19, 26-22, 19-23, 21-25, 11-7, 25-30, 7-2, 30-25, 23-19, 25-21, 19-23, 21-17, 23-19, 22-18, 19-23, 18-22, 23-19, 22-18, 19-23, 17-14, 2-7, 1-5, 7-11---M, 14-9, 23-14, 9-18, 11-16, 5-9, 16-19---Q, 9-14, 19-23, 18-22, 23-19, 14-17---N, 19-15, 17-21, 24-19, 31-24, 19-16, 24-19, 15-24, 20-27, 32-23---O, 22-26, 23-18, 26-23, 18-14, 23-18---P. Forms diagrammed position. F. W. Drinkwater, from Game No. 80, Sept. 1878, the English Draughts Player, Vol. 1.

A---7-3, 9-6, 15-19---G, 6-10, 4-8, 20-16, 3-7*. Drawn.

B---7-2---H, 5-9, 2-7, 9-5, 7-3, 5-9, 4-8, 20-16, 10-7, 9-6*, 7-2, 6-10, 3-7, 10-3, 8-11, or 2-6. Drawn.

C---6-2, 1-5, 7-3, 5-9, 4-8, 20-16. Drawn.

D---If 13-9, then 4-8, 12-3, 1-5. Black Wins.

E---14-9, 7-10, 9-5, 2-7, 5-9, 10-15, 9-14 (9-6 also loses), 15-19---R, 14-18, 19-24, 18-15, 24-20, 15-11, 7-3. Black Wins.

F---18-14, 2-7, 14-9---I, 7-10, 9-5, 10-15 (10-14, 5-1, 4-8, 1-5, 14-9. Black Wins), 5-9, 15-19, 9-6, 3-7, 6-9, 19-24. Black Wins.

G---4-8, 6-2*, 15-10 (8-11, 2-6, 15-19, 6-10. Drawn), 2-7 (20-16 8-11 16-7 10-15, 12-8, 3-10. Black Wins), 10-14, 20-16, 3-10, 12-3, 10-15,'3-8*,'14-10. Drawn.

H---7-3, 5-9, 4-8, 20-16, 10-7, 9-6, 7-2, 6-10, 2-7, 10-6 (Here 10-15 loses by 7-10, 15-6, 8-11. Black Wins), 7-11, 16-7, 3-1, 12-3. Drawn. J. K. Lyons and T. L. Gunn.

I---14-18, 4-8, 18-15, 7-10, 15-6. Black Wins.

J---13-17, 5-9, 20-16, 9-6, 17-14, 6-2, 14-18, 7-10, 18-23, 2-7, 23-19. Drawn. Lyons and Gunn.

K---Losing move; 27-23 is shown to draw in No. 31, Drinkwater and Whitney, June 1878, English Draughts Player, Vol. 1.

L---11-16 would make a shorter win. Drinkwater.

M---In the above game Wm. Bell played 23-19 and Black won. Drinkwater.

N---Drinkwater said this move allows White to Draw.

O---This now forms No. 57, White to play and draw.

P---But 23-19 forces 16-12 and Black Wins. J. Robertson pointed this out in No. 400 Sunderland Echo, then No. 171 Gould's Problem Book. Also noted by Dr. Purcell in 1884, Turf, Field and Farm, corrections to H. D. Lyman's Problem Book, where it is No. 128.

Q---24-19, 31-15, 28-24. Draws N. H. Clark.

R---15-11, 14-10, 11-20, 10-3, 4-8, 3-7, 8-11. Black Wins. N. H. Clark. See No. 5, Page 24, "Familiar Themes." Compare the above to "Sixth Position."

1---Computer analysis shows that there are many possible move orders in this position. For instance, the KingsRow 10-piece database gives the following line to draw: 14-10 4-8 10-6 21-25 10-6 18-23 6-2 21-25 2-7 8-11 16-12 11-16 7-10 25-30 10-7 16-20 12-8 20-24 28x19 23x16 7-3 16-20 8-4 20-24 3-8 24-28 8-3 28-24 etc. Drawn. However, we find Mr. Boland's published solution to be made up of more natural and intuitive moves, as is very often the case when comparing computer analysis with expert human analysis---Ed.

The above position may be found as No. 126 Gould's Problem Book. Notes H and J were shown by Lyons and Gunn in Gem No. 886, Draughts World, Vol. 39, June 1912, from No. 189 in Liverpool Weekly Mercury.

Ancient History---Seville, Spain, it has been said somewhere in print, was the place where the first expert checker players came from, some 300 years ago. The historic city is to-day noted for its grand old Cathedral and the Giralda Tower. The Spaniards were the first to print books on the game, the earlier works being by: Anton Torquemado, in 1547; Pedro Roderigo Montero, 1590; Lorenzo Vails, 1597; Juan Garcia Canalejas, Saragossa, 1610; Juan Garcia Canalejas, 1650; Joseph Carlos Garces, Madrid, 1684; and Rica Paola Cecina Rica, Madrid, in 1759. For the past 60 years the game has been referred to as "the Scotch Game."

Literary and mental people naturally taking a liking to it, and developing it with their Anderson and Wyllies until now it has grown from a babe in its cradle in Seville to the stature of a giant of the William Wallace type. ---The Draughts World.

12/13/08 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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