The Checker Maven

Labor Day 2011

Labor Day is another holiday that we particularly like because, as we note every year, it celebrates the greatness of the common guy and gal, those hard-working not-so-ordinary "ordinary" folk who have made America what it is today.

We're sorry to say that our politicians have in recent times let the common man down, seemingly oblivious to the economic plight faced by so many. We know that the problems of the American economy are tough ones and not easy to solve, but if there's a will there's a way. It's just that we haven't seen much in the way of will from our leaders in Washington.

So The Checker Maven would like to tell these leaders: Millions and millions of Americans want and need something better, and they're willing to work long and hard to make it happen. You need to help them out. The American workforce is nothing less than awesome. Don't let us down any longer!

We always celebrate this holiday with an offering from one of the greatest American problemists, Tom Wiswell, and Mr. Wiswell is certainly someone who never lets us down. Here's one that we know you will enjoy. It isn't easy, but it's elegant and a bit surprising.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W31,29,K15:B14,13,12,9.

White is a man down and will have to truly labor to obtain a draw. A lot of checker insight is needed to visualize the conclusion. We suggest that you put in your hours and work on this one; if you're able to solve it you'll feel amply rewarded. Then be sure to enjoy Labor Day along with us; you've certainly earned it.



Solution

29-25 14-17---A 25-21 17-22 15-18 22-25 31-27 25-30 27-24 12-16---B 24-20 16-19 20-16 19-24 16-11 24-27 11-7 27-31 7-2 30-25 2-7---C 31-26 7-11 26-22 11-15 25-29 18x25 29x22 21-17 Drawn---D.

A---The computer recommends 12-16 instead but it makes no difference to the final result.

B---Mr. Wiswell points out that if 30-26 then 18-22 leads to an immediate draw.

C---Mr. Wiswell notes that if 2-6 then 31-26, 6-10, 25-22, 18-25, 9-14 Black wins.

D---What is Black to do here? 25-22 (or 22-26) actually loses: 22-25 17-14 9x18 15x29 13-17 29-25 17-21 25-22 White Wins; and the only other move, 9-14, is an immediate draw.

You'll surely agree that this problem was a dandy, and we hope you enjoyed it. And now, off to the Labor Day festivities!

09/03/11 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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