The Checker Maven

New Year's Eve Spectacular

As this column is published, it's the last day of the year, New Year's Eve, and a lot of spectacular celebrations will be held throughout the world. Here in Honolulu (which due to its westerly latitude is the last major city on earth to ring in the New Year) parties abound. The photo above shows fireworks above the landmark Aloha Tower, where in 2010 a giant block party took place with seven stages, 20 DJs, and an incredible lineup of entertainment, with tickets available for as little as 15 dollars.

And believe it or not, we've found a checker problem that we think matches last year's Aloha Tower party for spectacularity--- and it won't cost you 15 dollars, or anything at all, to try it. Here's the position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W26,20,12,6,K5:BK31,28,K21,11,3.

When originally published, the proposer stated that it might be difficult to solve without moving the pieces; yet we, like he, recommend that you try it. We'll give you a hint: it's spectacular in a certain subtle way rather than being pure fireworks, but we bet that in any event the solution will surprise you. Clicking on Read More will bring the solution to center stage.



Solution

26-22 31-26 22-18 21-17 6-2! 26-22 5-9 22x15 2-7!---A 3x10 9-14---B 11-16 20-11 15-8 12-3 10-15 14-21 Drawn.

A---White sacrifices not one, but two pieces!

B---No matter how Black plays, White recovers his two men and draws.

Did you like that one? We certainly hope so; and now, off to the party!

12/31/11 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.