The Checker Maven

Believe It Or Don't

You probably recognize the device shown above; it's called a Tesla Coil. It delivers a very high voltage but an extremely low current and so is a relatively safe gadget, and was used back in the day to do all sorts of "shocking" and "unbelievable" tricks such as making a woman's hair stand up and other stunts of a similar ilk. Of course, shining the light of scientific explanation on these parlor tricks demonstrated clearly how it was done and provided a modicum of education as well as amusement.

So, we weren't sure whether to call this column "Shocking" instead of "Believe It Or Don't" because today's problem contains an element of both sharp surprise and incredulity; and it's entertaining as well as didactic. Let's go straight to the diagram.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W18,14,12,K4:B9,5,3,K2.

Although you may not believe it at first glance, Black has an easy win in this position! As with many such "unbelievable" things, a little deeper look usually reveals the truth of the matter. Still and all, Black seems to be in as much of a jam as White; how can he pull off what might be seen as a rather shocking quick win? As they say, believe it and make it so.

When you've come up with your answer, click on Read More for the electrifying and completely believable solution.



Solution

2-6 4-8 3-7 8-3---A 7-10! 14x7 6-2!---B Black Wins.

A---8-4 6-10 Black Wins.

B---Every move now loses for White. 12-8, 3-8, and 18-15 all lose two men at once while 18-14 loses a man right away and two more next move. Truly a shocking example of the dominance of tactics and the need to look for all possible resources in a position.

06/12/10 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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