The Checker Maven

Martins' Masterpiece

We'd likely be correct if we were to claim that when we say the word "masterpiece" an image such as the painting above, Da Vinci's incomparable Mona Lisa, would come to mind. Certainly it's something that will be recognized for all time as a great work of art.

Of course, great artistry exists in many fields of human endeavor. Much as there are renowned painters, there are sculptors, poets, composers, and more. There is an artistry to our game of checkers too, as most experienced practitioners are surely aware. Now, we won't say checker artistry quite reaches the level of Mona Lisa, but it can still be quite amazing.

One of checker's greatest artists had to have been Willie Ryan, and in his book Trips Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, he collected more than a few checker masterpieces. Today, he'll tell us about one that he calls Martins' Masterpiece.

"Here is how the redoubtable Robert Martins vanquished an unwary adversary with a blaze of sudden fireworks on the ending of a Whilter game. This stroke is considered by many authorities to be the best concealed sweep recorded in checker literature.


11-15 8-11 10-17
23-19 31-26 21-14
9-14 16-20 11-15
22-17 19-16 18-11
7-11 12-19 9-18
25-22 23-16 30-21
11-16 14-18 18-22
26-23 26-23 24-19
5- 9 18-22 22-26
17-13 25-18 28-24
3- 7 15-22 26-30
29-25 23-18 21-17
1- 5 22-25 30-26---A, 2
22-17 17-14 This takes you
to the diagram.
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W11,13,16,17,19,24,27,32:B2,4,5,6,7,K26,20.

A---This is where Martins lowered the boom. Bringing out the king 30-25 lands a draw easily with the following play: 30-25, 17-14, 6-10, 14-9, 5-14, 13-9, 14-18, 9-6, 2-9, 11-2, etc."

2---The game was played perfectly by both sides up to this point, but a single mistake is more than enough to end the game---Ed.

Demonstrate your own checker artistry by finding the win. We have to agree that it's a masterpiece in its own right. To see the solution, brush your mouse on Read More.



Solution

"Continue: 27-23!, 20-27, 16-12, 7-16, 12-8, 4-11, 19-12, 26-19, 32-7, 2-11, 17-14, 11-16, 12-8, 16-19, 8-3, 19-23, 3-8---1, 23-27, 8-11, 27-31, 11-15, 31-27, 14-10, and white wins."

1---You might think a hasty 3-7 is just as good, but checkers is a subtle game and 3-7 only draws after 3-7? 6-10 etc.---Ed.

03/20/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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