The Checker Maven

V for Victory

History will forever remember Sir Winston Churchill as the man who lead England to victory in the dark days of World War II. Sir Winston was a writer, painter, statesman, and politician; but above all, he was a leader who inspired and encouraged his people to endure, survive, and ultimately triumph. The Checker Maven has long admired the steadfast courage of the British people, and Sir Winston was its mainstay and embodiment.

We were reminded of Sir Winston when we saw the tutorial problem below; Black is to play and win, and Sir Winston's famous "V for Victory" seems to appear when the board is viewed from the White side, as shown below.

However, for the purpose of our study, since the terms specify Black to play, let's look at this the other way round.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play, What Result?

B:W25,24,20,17,16:B10,7,6,3,1.

The terms given are not "Black to Play and Win" but since we are talking about "V for Victory" and Black has a nice V formation, you might make an assumption here. (Of course, you know what they say about assumptions.)

In any case, keep your courage, stay the course, find the way to potential victory, and then click on Read More to see the solution.



Solution

Indeed, victory is at hand for Black, and there are a couple of ways to go about it. Following are the two main lines. The first line leads to an especially elegant finish. The position is eminently practical and shows the often hidden resources that exist on the checkerboard.

10-14 17x10 7x14 25-22 6-9 24-19 9-13 16-11 14-17 22-18 17-22 18-14 22-26 14-10 26-31 11-7 31-26 7-2 26-22 19-16 13-17 2-6 17-21 16-12 21-25 6-2 22-17 2-6 25-30 6-2 30-26 2-7 17-13 7-2 13-9 20-16 26-23 16-11 23-19 11-8 19-16 8-4 16-11 Black Wins.

White is trapped and completely out of safe moves.

10-15 16-12 7-10 20-16 15-18 25-21 18-22 16-11 22-25 11-8 25-30 8-4 30-26 4-8 26-22 17-13 10-15 24-20 15-19 8-11 19-23 21-17 22-18 11-8 23-26 20-16 26-30 8-11 30-25 11-8 25-21 Black Wins.

Black wins the hapless White man on 17.

02/13/10 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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