The Checker Maven

A Graham Cracker

Undoubtedly your school lunch (whether that applies to the current era or to yesteryear) at times contains (or did contain) some Graham crackers. This popular snack was originally invented in New Jersey something like 180 years ago by a Reverend Sylvester Graham, who thought that white flour lead to all sorts of evils not suitable for mention in a family-oriented publication, and that his graham-flour based preparation would save many a wayward soul. But today, sad to say, many so-called Graham crackers don't even contain graham flour! Such is the way of the world.

Today's continuation of our on-going Checker School series, though, is the real thing: a position attributed to a different Graham, old-time checkerist R. Graham, that's a cracker of a problem. While far from being trivial, it's less difficult than most of the problems in this series; and as usual, it's eminently practical.

R. GRAHAM
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK23,28,30:B14,16,21.

White certainly has the better position here, including the "move" or opposition. Can you crack this one and bring the White side through to a win, or will you slip up and fall into a crack? Clicking on Read More will show you the solution, a sample game, and the customary explanatory notes.



Solution

Solution and notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers.

28-24, 16-20, 23-27---A, 14-17---1, 30-26 (24-19 wins by 2nd position---2), 21-25, 26-22, 17-26, 27-32, 20-27, 32-21. White Wins.

Game: 11-15, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 8-11, 29-25, 4-8, 24-20, 10-15, 25-22, 12-16, 21-17---B. 8-12, 17-14, 16-19, 23-16, 12-19, 27-23, 9-13, 23-16, 6-10, 32-27, 10-17, 18-14, 1-6, 27-23, 6-10, 31-27, 17-21, 28-24, 10-17, 23-19, 15-18, 22-8, 3-12, 26-23, 7-10, 23-18, 17-22, 16-11, 22-25, 11-8, 25-29, 18-15, 29-25, 15-6, 2-9, 8-3, 25-22, 19-15, 22-18, 15-11, 13-17, 11-7, 17-22, 7-2, 22-25, 24-19, 25-29, 20-16, 29-25, 16-11, 25-22, 27-24, 18-23---C, 2-6*, 23-7, 3-10, 9-13---D, 6-9, 5-14, 10-26, 12-16, 26-23, 16-20, 23-27, 13-17. Forms above position, at 4th move. W. Beattie vs. R. Martins, in Lees' Guide.

A---24-19 can win too, by stealing the man on 14.

B---27-24 (or 28-24) here loses, and forms what is known as the "Goose Walk." It can be found in Spanish and Italian works published in the Seventeenth Century; 27-24, 15-19, 24-15, 16-19, 23-16, 9-14, 18-9, 11-25, 32-27, 5-14, etc. Black Wins.

C---9-14, 24-20, 22-26. Drawn. Lees' Guide.

D---If 22-18, White Wins by 6-13, 18-23, 24-20, 23-19, 13-17, 19-24, 10-14, 24-19, 14-9, 5-14, 17-10, 19-24, 10-15, 24-28, 15-19, 28-32, 20-16, 32-28, .16-11, 28-32, 11-7, 32-27, 7-2, 27-32, 2-6, etc. White Wins by First Position---2. S. Pearson.

1---If 14-18? 27-32 White Wins---Ed.

2---First and Second Positions have been covered in previous Checker Maven editions---Ed.

The above position by R. Graham may be found as No. 768 Gould's Problem Book.

Whether you've solved this one or not, hard work calls for a treat. Open up that lunch box and have a Graham cracker or two!

06/13/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.