The Checker Maven

Wednesday is 'Anything Can Happen Day'

At the suggestion of our readers, instead of publishing everything on the weekend, we'll be trying out the idea of dividing up our new articles between Wednesday and Saturday. Although we'll likely feature a problem on most Wednesdays, "anything can happen" so stay tuned, and be sure to let us know what you think of our revised publication schedule.

Now, on to this week's Wednesday problem. Originally published over 80 years ago, it was billed as a beginner's problem. And it's surely a case of "anything can happen" in that there were flaws in the original setting, clever though it was, and so we've made a few changes.

We start with this position, as originally published:




White to Play and Draw
The published solution gave 14-17 to a draw, and that is correct; however, computer analysis shows that both 14-10 and 14-9 will also draw. Too many solutions spoil the problem.

But in the diagram above, what is the move that comes to mind at once, and that a beginner in particular would likely choose? It's 14-18, attacking two Black men at once. Yet this move loses! Here's the position, and the challenge for you:

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

Did you get it? Click on Read More for the solution, and decide for yourself, though this is a situation a beginner might encounter, if this is truly a beginner's problem.

By the way, you get bonus points if you can recall where the idea of Wednesday being "Anything Can Happen Day" originally came from.



KingsRow shows that one way is to punish 14-18 is:

23-26 30x23 11-16 18x25 21x30 23-18 16-19 18-15 30-26 15-10 20-24 10-6 26-23 6-2 24-27 2-7 27-31 and Black should win. Our bottom line: a good win for a beginner to learn, but a little tough to figure out. We'll class this problem as intermediate.

"Anything Can Happen Day?" That was the theme of the Wednesday edition of the old 1950s TV show Mickey Mouse Club.

03/30/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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