The Checker Maven

Heffner's Hurricane

There's nothing like a hurricane to show the incredible power of nature, and if you've ever experienced one in person, you'll know exactly what we mean. The howling wind, the lashing rain, and if you're near the ocean, the roaring surf, combine in an incredible and fearsome cacaphony. In fact, this might be something better not experienced in person.

Hurricanes can take place on the checkerboard as well, and while they're destructive and fearsome in their own way, thankfully the only thing damaged is perhaps a player's ego, and even that not for long. Willie Ryan, in his fine book Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, tells us today about a storm originated in the play of checkerist A. J. Heffner, and quite a tempest it is. Here's Willie to tells us more.


9-14 3-7 11-16
24-20 24-19 18-15
10-15 11-16 14-18
22-18 20-11 15-6
15-22 8-24 18-25
25-9 28-19 26-22
5-14 4-8 25-29
29-25 22-18 21-17
7-10 8-11 9-13
25-22 26-22 19-15---B
6-9 1-5 2-9
27-24 31-26---A 32-27---1
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W30,27,23,22,17,15:BK29,16,13,12,9,7,5.

A---"If 32-28 is played, then a draw is established with: 11-15, 18-11, 7-16, 22-17, 9-13, 28-24, 13-22, 24-20, 14-18, 23-27, 2-11, 19-15, 11-18, 20-11, 18-23, 11-7, 12-16, 7-2, 16-20, 2-6, 23-27, 31-24, 20-27, 6-10, 5-9.

B---Appears to win, but loses. The correct play is: 6-1, 7-10, 32-28, 5-9, 1-6, 9-14, 6-15, 14-21, 22-18, 29-25, 18-14, 25-22, 14-10; at this point 13-17* is drawable, but 22-26 allows the hidden win by white with: 28-24*!, 16-20, 30-25*!, 21-30, 23-18, 20-27, 19-16, 12-19, 15-22. I missed this pulverizer against Tom Wiswell in the 1940 New York State Championship Tourney."

1---23-18 appears to be better here, but still loses. As the proverbial exercise for the reader, you might wish to work out this alternative line of play, perhaps with the help of your computer---Ed.

Don't be blown away by this one; find your way through the storm and reach the solution. When you're finished, click on Read More to clear the air.



Solution

"Continue from diagram: 16-19*, 23-16, 12-19, 30-25---2, 7-11 *!, 15-8, 9-14, 17-10, 19-23!, 27-18, 13-17, 22-13, 29-6, and black wins---3. This brilliant climax was first shown by A. J. Heffner many years ago."

2---Other moves are no better---Ed.

3---Black has the move: 8-3 6-10 3-8 10-15 and the end is near. Now that was a hurricane!---Ed.

02/12/11 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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