The Checker Maven

Monty's King-Pinch

In the English language, the word "pinch" has a couple of different meanings. The young lady above is demonstrating the most common meaning, pinching her cheeks in a manner that we're sure she finds amusing. But today, we're going to consider another meaning of the word, namely, "to steal."

In our continuing series of excerpts from Willie Ryan's famous book, Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, Willie talks about Monte Schleifer's clever way of stealing, or pinching, a king, via a most interesting stratagem. Willie tells us more below.

"When I was a schoolboy of 13, I learned that the City College of New York had organized a checker club for students, and were holding weekly meetings every Friday afternoon. On my initial visit to this club, I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time Monte Schleifer of Brooklyn and Jack Cox of the Bronx. Today, they rank high among the nation's leading player-analysts. As a special contribution to this book, Monty offers this attractive morsel of brilliant play, showing a clever drawing idea. For the diagram, move:


11-15 10-14---A 4-11
24-19 27-24 24-19
15-24 16-20 6-10
28-19 31-27 29-25
8-11 7-11 12-16
22-18 19-15 19-12
11-16 2-1---B 10-15.
25-22 15-8
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,30,27,26,25,23,22,21,18,12:B20,15,14,11,9,7,5,3,1.

A---The following unusual shot came up in a mail game between Joseph Viera of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Fred Butterworth of Passaic, New Jersey: 4-8, 22-17, 8-11, 17-13, 16-20, 26-22, 11-16, 29-25, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 22-18, 14-17, 21-14, 10-17, 31-26, 7-10, 18-15, 3-8, 23-18, 16-23, 26-19, 17-22, 25-21, 10-14, 18-9, 1-5, 15-11 (what's going on here?), 8-31, 30-26, 5-14, 26-1; a draw. A well-played crossboard game.

B---Strongest, but 4-8, 29-25, 2-7, 24-19, 7-10, 32-28, 12-16, etc., also seal the draw."

Can you figure out how Monty pinches a king? When you've worked out your solution, click on Read More to let Willie show you how it's done.



Solution

"Continue: 12-8*---1, 3-12, 22-17, 15-31, 17-3, 31-24, 32-28 (the pinch that saves all) 1-6---2, 3, 28-19, 6-10, 30-26, 20-24---4, 3-8, 10-14, 8-15, 14-17, 21-14, 9-27, concluding a draw."

1---In fact, computer analysis with KingsRow suggests another possible drawing move, 21-17, with this most intriguing possible line of play: 21-17 14x21 18-14 9x18 23x14 15-19 27-23 19-24 23-19 1-6 22-18 11-16 19-15 7-10 14x7 3x19 12-8 6-10 8-3 5-9 18-15 10-14 3-7 14-18 7-10 18-23 32-28 9-13 10-14 13-17 14-18 23-27 25-22 . 27-31 22x13 31x22 18x25 24-27 25-22 27-31 15-10 20-24 13-9 24-27 10-6 27-32 9-5 etc. Drawn.

2---Not 24-27? 3-8 Black Wins.

3---KingsRow finds 11-16 to be preferable to Willie's 1-6 but the draw is maintained either way.

4---The original printed text of the book lists 13-9 here, which is impossible and must be a misprint. 20-24 seems like the right move so we've given that instead.

08/22/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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