The Checker Maven

See Right With Searight

This month's Checker School lesson considers a position published by the great late 19th century player and analyst, J. Searight. It's a problem with a twist, a surprising move that requires keen "checker vision" to find. Now, the glasses worn by the couple in the photo above are not likely to bestow "checker vision" upon them; the result might be more akin to a headache, so we recommend instead that you put on a set of imaginary lenses of the kind that can enable you to solve the problem position shown below.

J. SEARIGHT
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W24,23,19,9:B12,11,10,2.

This is something like last month's Checker School entry, but of course small differences matter, and Black can find a draw here if he views the position through the right lens.

Can you see right through this problem, or do you have trouble focusing? Never mind; after you've eyeballed it for a while, click on Read More for a clear view of the solution, two sample games, and descriptive notes.

Solution

The solution, sample games, and lettered notes are taken as usual in this series from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the Editor, using the KingsRow checker engine.

2-7---A, 9-6, 11-16, 6-2, 7-11, 2-6, 10-15---C, 19-10, 16-20, 24-19, 11-15. Drawn---1.

Game: 11-16, 22-18, 16-20, 18-14, 10-17, 21-14, 9-18, 23-14, 8-11, 25-22. 11-15, 29-25, 6-9, 26-23, 9-18, 23-14, 1-6, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 6-10, 30-26, 10-17, 22-13, 4-8, 25-22, 8-11, 26-23, 7-10, 22-18, 3-7, 13-9, 5-14, 18-9, 11-15. 32-28, 15-24, 28-19, 7-11---D, 27-24, 20-27, 31-24. Forms above position. N. W. Banks vs. W. F. Ryan.

Game: 12-16, 22-17, 16-20, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 9-18, 23-14, 6-9, 26-23, 9-18, 23-14, 1-6, 30-26, 11-15, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 8-11, 25-22, 6-10, 29-25, 10-17, 22-13, 4-8, 25-22, 8-12, 26-23. Same as above game at 28th move. W. F. Ryan.

A---11-15, 9-5, 2-7---B, 5-1, 15-18, 23-14, 10-17, 19-15, 17-22, 24-20, 22-26, 1-5, 26-31,5-9,31-27,15-10. White Wins. Mr. Church (Leo).

B---2-6, 5-1, 6-9, 1-6, 9-14, 24-20, 15-24, 6-15, 24-28, 15-18, 14-17, 23-19, 28-32, 19-15, 32-28, 15-10, 28-24, 10-7, 24-19, 7-3, 17-21, 18-22, 19-15, 3-8. White Wins. Mr. Church.

C---This move corrects Mr. Church who plays 10-14 to a White Win. The draw was first pointed out by F. Allen. See No. 184 Gould's Problem Book, and Appendix.

D---Now No. 184 by Mr. Church (Leo), in Gould's Problem Book, 1884.

1---Simple, elegant, and eminently practical, but we wonder how many players would dare to play 10-15 over the board! Yet, this amazing move is the only way to draw! Try it on your computer--- every other move fails---Ed.

In Horsfall's Problem Book, 1909, we find the above position as No. 547, credited to J. Searight, also No. 149 in Kear's Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition. Searight has shown the above position in the late '90's, while Fred Allen's correction to No. 184, appeared in the 2nd Edition to Gould's Problem Book, 1893.

The above game was the 10th in their first Blindfold Match---2, 1937. Banks lost as in Note A. Also see W. F. Ryan's "Modem Encyclopedia," Page 155.

2---The irony of this--- a blindfold match--- can hardly escape us---Ed.

03/19/11 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version