The Checker Maven

Saving the Bacon

In this month's lesson in our Checker School series, we look at two positions in which White is about to fry Black's bacon ... yet Black is expected to save it. In both instances, Black is a man down and the fat is in the fire. Let's have a look at the diagrams below, attributed respectively to A. Sheean and F. O'Melay, and the famous Dr. T. J. Brown.

A. SHEEAN--F. O'MELAY
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W32,30,21,K18,11:BK25,23,22,13,3.

T. J. BROWN
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:WK29,K28,26,K4:BK27,K19,K16.

Can you save the bacon in these two cases? We must warn you the first problem is at the higher end of the difficulty spectrum, and while the second is a bit easier, it's all relative. In any case, grease your thinking cap and don't get fried; you can always click on Read More for the tasty solutions, which are served up with detailed notes and a sample game.



Solutions

Solutions, sample game, and lettered notes are taken from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the Editor. The KingsRow checker engine, with 10-piece endgame database---2 was used in the analysis.

Diagram No. 1: 23-26, 30-23, 25-29, 18-25, 29-22, 32-28---A, 22-26, 23-19, 26-23, 19-16, 23-18, 16-12, 18-14, 11-8, 13-17, 8-4, 17-22, 4-8, 22-26, 8-11, 26-31, 11-16, 31-26, 28-24, 26-23, 24-19, 23-18, 16-20, 18-23, 19-15, 23-19, 15-11, 19-15, 11-8, 15-1L, 8-4, 11-15, 4-8,. 15-18, 8-11, 18-22, 11-15, 22-26, 20-24, 26-22, 24-27, 22-26, 27-31, 26-22, 15-19, 14-10, 19-23, 10-14, 23-26, 22-25, 31-27, 14-10,27-23, 10-14---F. Drawn.

Diagram No. 2: 27-31, 26-22, 31-26, 22-17, 26-22, 17-13, 16-11, 13-9, 19-23, 28-24, 23-18, 24-19, 18-14, 9-5, 14-9, 5-1, 9-5. Drawn---1.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 9-13, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 15-18, 29-25, 1-6, 19-15, 4-8, 26-22, 12-16, 24-20, 16-19, 31-26---B, 6-10, 15-6, 2-9, 22-15, 9-18, 26-22*, 19-23, 28-24, 5-9, 24-19, 9-14, 25-21---C, 18-25, 27-9, 11-18, 9-6, 18-23*, 6-2, 8-11, 2-6, 11-15, 19-10, 7-14, 6-9, 14-18, 9-14, 25-29, 20-16, 29-25, 16-11, 25-29, 14-10, 22-25, 10-15, 18-22, 15-18. Forms Diagram No. 1. J. P. Reed, Game No. 83, American Checker Review, Vol. 1, Nov. 1888.

A---32-27, 22-26, 23-19, 26-31, 27-24, 31-27, 24-20, 27-23, 19-16, 23-18, 16-12, 13-17 (or 18-14), 21-14, 18-9, 11-8, 9-14, 8-4, 14-18, 4-8, 18-15. Drawn.

B---J. Drummond here played; 30-26, 6-10, 15-6, 2-9, 22-15, 11-18 (9-18 loses), 26-22, 7-11, 22-15, 11-18, 14-10. White Wins. Instead of 7-11 (at 8th move), J. P. Reed has shown 18-23* to draw.

C---J. Sweeney, suggested the following to win; 15-10, 14-17---D, 22-15, 11-18, 10-6, 7-10, 6-2, 10-14, 2-6, 17-22, 25-21, 22-26, 19-15, 26-31, 15-10, 31-24, 10-7,3-10,6-22. White Wins.

D---11-15, 19-16, 8-11, 16-12, 14-17---E, 10-6, 17-26, 20-16, 11-20, 25-22, 18-25, 27-2. White Wins.

E---13-17, 22-13, 14-17, 10-6, 17-22, 27-24, 22-29, 6-2. White Wins.

F---An exceedingly neat and instructive draw. The inability of White to force an attack or relieve the piece on square 21, and being compelled thereby to allow the weaker forces a draw, reminds us of a similar problem by the celebrated composer, T. J. Brown (see above), which astonished the problematical Draughts World a few years ago. J. P. fteed. The above position by Sheean and O'Melay, was given as prize position, in the American Checker Review, by the Games Editor, James P. Reed.

1---Two of White's kings are trapped in the single corners; one free king cannot break through the long diagonal to assist the others; and the last White king can can only wander uselessly on the other side. This position, and the one before it, really highlight the amazing possibilities of our game of checkers---Ed.

2---Ed Gilbert generously donated a copy of the 10-piece endgame database for use by The Checker Maven.

Dr. T. J. Brown's position first appeared as No. 30 in the Draught Players' Weekly Magazine, April 11, 1885. Frank Dunne said, "The above unique
position (by Dr. Brown) is the most truly original one that I have seen for years, and fully sustains the reputation of its talented author."

Editor's Note: The bacon may not be kosher, but the solutions definitely are!

11/20/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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