Just about everyone enjoys this most festive season of the year, and you don't have to belong to any particular group to participate in the good times. If the holidays are part of your personal traditions, you're surely already in the mood; and if the holidays aren't part of your traditions, there's no reason not to share in the celebrations of friends. In short, there's something here for everyone!
For today's Checker Maven column, we took that idea of "something for everyone" and picked out a checker problem that every checkerist will find challenging and useful. We're sure that, in the midst of your holiday schedule, you'll want half an hour out for a little checkers, and the problem below is just the thing.
Forces are even in a 3-per-side endgame. Often in such a situation the player with "the move" has a potential advantage. But White doesn't have "the move" (or, as it might be best expressed, "the opposition"). Yet White can win with careful and precise play.
Earn yourself an extra slice of holiday pie or cake by solving this one. Can you make the moves even without "the move"? Give it the old holiday try and then click on Read More to check your solution.
25-22 9-14---A 28-24---B 1-6---C 24-19 6-10---D 22-17 14-18 30-26 21-25---E 26-22 18-23 22-18 25-30 18-14 White Wins---F.
A---1-6 also loses as play reverts to the main line after 28-24 9-14.
B---A hasty 22-17 here would let Black off with a draw after 14-18 17-13 18-23 etc.
C---If Black tries 1-5 the win is instructive: 1-5 24-19 5-9 19-16 9-13 16-11 14-17 22-18 17-22 11-7 22-25 7-2 25-29 18-14 29-25 2-6 25-22 6-9 22-17 14-10 17-22 9-14 22-17 14-18 White Wins.
D---The man that goes to 10 here eventually is lost. But if Black tries 6-9 instead he loses just as in note C above.
E---18-22 leads to the same loss.
F---White played against the trapped man on 10 in a demonstration of the incredible hidden resources to be found on the checkerboard by those who look hard enough.
We hope you enjoyed today's special holiday problem, and we're sure you're ready now for that extra slice of holiday pie.