The Checker Maven

Back to School, 2009

Yes, it's that time of year again, when to the general dismay of young folks everywhere, school opens again for another seemingly endless academic year. We counsel students to take courage and persevere--- it isn't really all that bad, and you will be repaid many times over in the years to come.

Our continuing Checker School lessons also offer much reward, and the effort involved is most enjoyable. This month, as we continue with studies drawn from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers, we look at three positions that seem unlike each other, but have a definite relationship that you'll understand as you study the solutions and notes.

In Mr. Wardell's study, Black has even material but a position that looks hard to defend, yet somehow must manage to draw

M. H. C. WARDELL
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W28,24,21,20,K2:BK27,19,15,11,7.

In the second study, by Mr. Grey, Black is a piece down and seems to need a miracle.

W. GREY
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W20,16,K2:BK25,K10

In the final study, by Mr. Hennigan, Black has even material but a rather tough-looking position, yet the draw is there.

J. T. HENNIGAN
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W30,29,K24:B27,23,22.

Spend some time on these; after all, good lessons require effort! When you're ready, click on Read More for the solutions, sample games, and detailed study notes.



Solutions

Solutions, games, and lettered notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are from computer analysis with the KingsRow engine.

Wardell: 27-23, 2-6, 23-18, 21-17---A, 19-23, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 18-22, 17-13, 23-26, 6-2, 26-30, 19-16, 30-25, 16-12-B, 22-17, 12-8, 25-21, 8-3, 7-10, 2-6, 11-15, 3-7, 10-14, 7-11, 1-18, 6-10, 15-19. Drawn.

Grey: 25-22, 16-12, 22-18, 20-16, 18-23, 16-11, 23-19, 11-8, 19-16, 8-4, 16-11, 12-8, 10-15 (10-7, 8-3, 7-10 Drawn), 8-3, 15-10, 3-8. Drawn.

Hennigan: 27-31, 24-19, 23-27, 19-23---C, 31-26*, 23-32, 26-23, 32-28, 23-27, 30-25, 22-26, 25-22, 27-23, 28-24, 26-30, 22-17, 23-18, 24-19, 30-26, 17-13, 18-14, 19-15, 26-22, 15-11, 22-18, 11-7, 18-15, 7-2, 15-10, 29-25, 10-15, 2-6, 15-18, 6-1, 14-17, 25-21, 17-14, 1-5, 18-15. Drawn.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 841, 22-17, 4-8, 25-22, 9-14, 17-13, 14-18, 29-25, 11-16, 21-17, 16-23, 26-19, 7-11, 31-26, 5-9, 17-14, 10-17, 19-10, 6-15, 13-6, 2-9, 22-6, 1-10, 25-21, 10-14, 26-23, 11-16, 30-26, 8-11, 24-20, 3-7, 27-24, 18-27, 32-23, 16-19, 23-16, 12-19, 26-22, 14-18, 22-17, 18-22, 17-14, 22-26, 14-9, 26-31, 9-6, 31-27, 6-2. Forms above position by M. H. C. Wardell. Old 14th, Var. 5, Lyman's Problem Book.

Game: 11-15, 23-18, 8-11,-27-23, 4-8, 23-19, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 22-17, 15-18, 26-22, 11-15, 17-13, 7-11, 22-17, 6-9---D, 13-6, 2-9, 24-20---E, 15-24, 28-19, 9-13---H, 19-15, 13-22, 15-6, 1-10, 30-26, 3-7, 26-17, 18-23, 25-22, 11-15, 32-28, 8-11, 29-25, 23-27---F, 31-24, 12-16, 17-13, 14-17, 21-14, 10-26, 13-9, 26-31, 9-6, 31-27, 6-2, 16-19, 25-21. Forms above position by M. H. C. Wardell. Game No. 137, American Checker Review, Vol. 2, 1889, J. T. Hennigan.

A---The position at this stage is given in Gould's Problem Book as Problem No. 832, credited to W. Grey, South Hetton, England; 6-9, 19-23, 21-17, 23-26, 17-14, 26-30, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 30-26, 9-5, 18-9, 5-14, 26-23, 19-16, 11-15, 16-12, 15-19, 12-8,7-11, 14-10, 11-15,8-3,23-27,3-7. Drawn.

B---13-9, 11-15, 2-18, 22-15, 9-6, 25-22, 6-2, 15-10. Forms above position by W, Grey, after first move.

C---19-15---G, 27-32, 30-26, 22-25, 29-22, 32-27, 15-18, 27-24, 18-14, 24-19. Drawn.

A similar ending may arise from No. 33 in Lees' Guide, by W. D. Benstead.

Note if the move were different, we would have a position by M. H. C. Wardell, No. 8 in Barker's American Checker Player, 1880, and No. 886 in Gould's Problem Book: Black---1, 7, 11, and White---9, King 2. Black to Play and Win; 1-6*-L, 9-5, 6-10, 5-1, 10-15, 1-6, 15-19, 6-9, 19-24, 9-14, 24-28, 14-17, 28-32, 17-22, 32-27, 22-26, 27-24, 26-23, 7-10, 23-18, 10-15, 18-23, 11-16, 2-7, 24-28, 7-10, 15-19, 23-26, 16-20, 10-14, 20-24, 26-31, 19-23, 14-18, 23-27, 31-26, 27-32, 18-23, 24-27, 26-31, 28-24, 31-26, 27-31, 26-22, 24-27, 23-26, 32-28, 26-30, 27-23, 22-17, 31-26, 30-25, 23-18, 25-21, 18-22, 17-13, 28-24, 13-9, 26-23, 9-13, 23-18, 21-17, 24-19, 17-26, 18-14. Black Wins.

D---By F. Wolf, Turf Game No. 1622.

E---The best play here; in fact I am not sure that Black can draw after 6-9---1. The above is the best attempt I see at present. W. Reid.

F---23-26, 17-13, 26-30, 13-9, 14-18, 22-17, 18-22, 25-18, 15-22, 9-6, 30-25, 31-27, 22-26, 6-2, 10-15, 2-6, 25-22, 17-14, 15-19, 14-9, 19-23, 27-18, 22-15, 9-5, 7-10, 5-1, 26-31, 21-17, 31-26, 28-24, 12-16, 6-2, 16-19, 2-7, 19-28, 7-14, 11-16. Drawn. W. Reid, Game No. 1952 of the Turf, Game No. 137 in the American Checker Review, Vol. 2, 1889.

G---30-26, 22-25, 29-22, 27-32, 26-23, 32-27, 23-18, 31-26, 22-17, 27-23. Drawn.

H---18-22---2, 25-18, 14-23, 31-27, 9-13, 27-18, 13-22, 21-17---K, 1-5, 17-13, 10-14, 18-9, 5-14, 13-9, 14-18, 32-27, 3-7, 9-6, 7-10, 6-2, 11-15, 27-24---I, 8-11, 20-16*, 11-27, 2-7, 15-24, 7-32, 12-16*, 32-28, 16-19*, 28-32, 19-23*, 32-28, 24-27---J, 28-24. Forms above position by J. T. Hennigan.

I---2-7---3 would win. J. T. Hennigan.

J---22-26, 28-19, 26-31, 19-26, 31-22, 30-25, 22-17. Drawn.

K---32-27, 1-6, 21-17, 6-9, 27-23, 9-13, 18-14, 3-7, 23-18, 22-26, 30-23, 13-22, 14-9, 22-26, 9-6, 26-31, 6-2, 31-26, 20-16, 11-20, 2-4, 26-22. Drawn. G. Childs.

L---1-5, 9-6, 5-9, 6-1, 9-14, 1-6, 14-18, 6-9, 18-23, 9-14, 23-27, 2-6, 11-16, 6-10, 16-20, 10-3. Drawn.

1---24-20 is, in fact, a computer book move. However, the computer had no problem with Black's earlier 6-9, in fact rating it as its best book choice---Ed.

2---Definitely an inferior move---Ed.

3---2-7 does indeed win but the computer gives the following spectacular winning line instead: 19-16! 12-19 30-26! 22-31 2-7 31-24 7-16 15-18 16-12 8-11 12-16 11-15 16-19 White Wins. KingsRow has found a coup worthy of Willie Ryan himself!---Ed.

M. H. C. Wardell's Position is No. 517 in Lyman's Problem Book. At Note A, the position is credited to W. Grey, No. 832 in Gould's Problem Book.

W. Grey's (or Gray) Position may be found as No. 765 in Gould's Problem Book.

J. T. Hennigan's Position is No. 185 in the American Checker Review, Vol. 2, Dec. 26, 1889.

08/29/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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