The Checker Maven

Ryan's Bell Ringer

The words "bell ringer" may evoke all sorts of images, from the classic sculpture above, to the chiming of the Liberty Bell, to the exquisite sound of handbells in a church choir. In its simplest form, though, a "bell ringer" is some sort of spectacular or noteworthy positive happening. Bell ringers abound on the checkerboard, and surely one of the most knowledgeable on this topic had to have been Willie Ryan. Today, in an excerpt from his book Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, Willie shows and tells about a "bell ringer" that is definitely worth our time. Willie tells us about it below, modestly referring to his study as "better than average"!

"Among my collection of checker papers, I came across the better than average example on the Ayrshire Lassie, played out on the next page, which is good enough to inveigle even champion players, as the trap occurs on a line of play favored by the heavyweights.


11-15 5-9 14-18---A, 3
24-20 17-13 32-27
8-11 11-16 9-14---B
28-24 20-11 26-22
3-8 7-23 4-8---C
23-19 27-11 31-26
9-14 8-15 15-19---D
22-17 24-20 forming
the diagram
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,20,21,22,25,26,27,29,30:B1,2,6,8,10,12,14,18,19.

A---A weak move. The following play will earn a draw easily: 4-8, 25-22, 15-18, 22-15, 10-19, 29-25, 1-5, 25-22, 14-17, 21-14, 9-25, 30-21, 8-11, 26-22. Wm. F. Ryan.

B---Forced, as 10-14 loses to 26-23, while 1-5 goes down to 20-16, 12-19, 26-23, 19-26, 30-7, 2-11, 21-17, etc., with white winning. Wm. F. Ryan.

C---All that's left. 2-7 allows white to clean up with: 13-9, 6-13, 22-17,13-22, 27-23,18-27, 25-2. Again at C, if 1-5 is played, white rings the bell with this bright play: 1-5, 31-26, 2-7, 26-23, 4-8, 13-9, 6-13, 22-17, 13-22, 21-17, 14-21, 23-14, 10-17, 25-2, 8-11, 29-25, 11-15, 27-23, 5-9, 2-6, 9-14, 6-10, 15-18, 10-15*, 18-27, 20-16, 12-19, 15-31, 14-18, 31-26. Wm. F. Ryan.

D---A promising move that collapses. Black's only line of play for a draw is 2-7*---4, 26-23, 15-19*, 23-16, 12-19, 22-15, 7-11*, 30-26, 11-18, 20-16, 8-12, 16-11, 12-16. Wm. F. Ryan."

3---The computer however thinks this move is a likely draw, although computers don't distinguish the between the practical reality of an easy draw vs. a hard draw---Ed.

4---The computer prefers an alternative drawing line in which Black goes a man down for a little while: 8-11 27-24 18-23 26x19 14-18 22-17 18-23 17-14 10x17 21x14 23-27 19x10 6x15 25-22 27-32 14-10 32-28 10-7 28x19 7-3 19-23 3-8 etc. to a draw. This is a line of play that a human player would be most unlikely to select in the presence of a more straightforward option---Ed.

Can you ring the bell and solve the problem, or will you just hang around ringing the chimes? Let your mouse sound the Read More note to see Willie's solution.



Solution

"Continue: 22-15, 19-24---1, 26-22*---2, 24-31, 22-17, 10-19, 17-10, 6-15, 30-26, 31-22, 25-4, and white wins. Wm. F. Ryan."

1---1-5 has better chances here but still loses, for instance 1-5 26-22 14-18 20-16 19-23 16-11 10x19 11x4 23x32 22x15 and White, being a clear man up, will win---Ed.

2---Actually 25-22 will win here also in a very similar manner: 25-22 10x19 30-25 24x31 22-17 31x22 17x10 6x15 25x4 White Wins---Ed.

01/16/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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