The Checker Maven

Jacob's Jinx

Things don't always go right; our soccer players in the photo above are finding that out, it seems. Sometimes when things go wrong over and over in the same situation, we speak of a "jinx." In today's episode from Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, some skilled checkerists seem to encounter a bit of a jinx of their own. We'll let Willie tell us the story.

"It was in 1905 that two very distinguished Englishmen of the draughts world, Harry Jacob and J. H. Strudwick, of London, produced a fine work on the Kelso opening, showing play on all white replies to 10-15 as an opening move. When the authors arrived at the position diagrammed on the next page, they pulled one of the most glaring boners in checker literature by overlooking the shattering shot revealed at the point of illustration.

The diagrammed position is reached by:


10-158-119-14
21-1729-2524-19
11-164- 815-24
17-1322-1728-19
16-207-1011-16---A
25-2125-22
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,17,19,21,22,23,26,27,30,31,32:B1,2,3,5,6,8,10,12,14,16,20.

A---Recommended by Jacob and Strudwick for a draw, but it loses. The following, however, will gain a draw easily: 11-15---1, 19-16, 12-19, 23-16, 2-7, 16-12, 7-11, 26-23,15-18, 22-15, 10-26,17-10, 6-15, 30-23, 11-16, 21-17, 8-11, 17-14, 15-19, 23-18, 1-6, 18-15, 11-18, 27-23, 19-26, 31-15, 3-7, 15-11, 6-10, etc. Wm. F. Ryan."

1---Deep computer analysis supports this line of play. Willie, of course, did it all on his own---Ed.

Can you find the win that Jacob and Strudwick missed, or will you be jinxed as well? Try your luck and then click on Read More to see the action-packed solution.



Solution

"Continue: 19-15, 10-19, 17-10, 6-15, 13-9, 5-14, 23-18, 14-23, 27-4, 19-23---2, 26-19, 16-23, 31-27, 12-16, 27-18, 16-19, 30-26, and white wins---3."

2---19-24 gives Black more play but still loses after 4-8 24-28 8-11 16-19 26-23 19x26 30x23 1-6 23-19 6-10 22-18 10-15 19x10 12-16 10-7 3x10 18-14 10x17 21x14 2-6 11-15 20-24 15-11 16-20 14-10 6x15 11x18 and Black is tied in knots; White Wins---Ed.

3---It takes a little time but it's a clear win. KingsRow shows an interesting variation in which White gives up his extra man only to get it back much later, and then completely trap the Black forces: 20-24 4-8 3x12 18-15 1-5 15-11 5-9 11-8 9-14 8-3 24-28 3-8 12-16 8-11 16-20 11-16 19-24 16-19 2-7 26-23 7-11 22-18 24-27 18x9 27-31 9-6 20-24 6-2 24-27 19-24 11-16 2-7 16-20 21-17 White Wins---Ed.

05/23/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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