The Checker Maven

McCulloch's Masterpiece

20120416-mcculloch.jpg

There was a huge ranch recently for sale in McCulloch County, Texas. The sales literature called the 8,000 acre ranch a "masterpiece" and attached the same label to the property's 7500 square foot ranch home. Priced at just over 25 million dollars, we're reminded that this version of "McCulloch's Masterpiece" won't come cheap, though we have little doubt that it's worth every cent.

For better or worse, The Checker Maven doesn't have a budget that supports such high end investments; at times we have enough trouble just paying the bills. So today, we'll bring you a different "McCulloch's Masterpiece," one of the checker variety, and one that won't cost us--- or you--- anything at all. It's the latest entry in our Checker School series, and comes from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers.

McCULLOCH'S MASTERPIECE
WHITE
20120416-fpmc.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W28,12,K2,K1:BK27,K19,K11,3.

Don't bet the bank on this one, just enjoy solving it! When you've found the answer, click on Read More to cash in on the solution, three sample games, and detailed explanatory notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

McCULLOCH'S MASTERPIECE
WHITE
20120416-fpmc.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W28,12,K2,K1:BK27,K19,K11,3.

Solution, sample games, and lettered notes are by Ben Boland. Numbered notes are by the Editor using the KingsRow computer engine and 10-piece endgame database.

27-24---A 1-6, 24-20, 6-1, 19-16---B, 2-6, 11-7, 6-2---C, 16-11, 2-6, 7-2, 6-9, 11-15, 1-6, 20-16, 6-1, 15-10, 1-5---D, 16-19---L, 9-13, 2-7---1, 13-9---E, 19-23, 5-1, 7-2, 1-5, 23-18, 5-1, 10-14, 1-5, 2-7, 28-24---F, 2, 14-10, 9-13---G, 18-23, 13-9, 23-27, 24-20, 27-23, 5-1, 7-2, 1-5, 23-18, 5-1, 10-14, 1-5, 2-7, 9-6---H, 18-15, 20-16---I, 7-2---3, 6-9, 14-10, 5-1, 10-7. Black Wins---4.

Game: 11-15, 22-17, 8-11, 17-14, 9-18, 23-14, 10-17, 21-14, 12-16, 25-22, 4-8, 29-25, 6-10, 24-20, 10-17, 22-13, 8-12---M, 27-24, 15-18, 32-27, 1-6, 26-23, 6-10, 23-14, 10-17, 31-26, 17-21, 27-23, 7-10, 24-19, 3-7, 25-22, 11-15, 20-11, 15-24, 28-19, 7-16, 23-18, 16-23, 26-19, 2-7, 18-15, 12-16, 15-6, 16-23, 6-2, 7-11, 2-7, 11-16, 7-11, 16-20, 11-15, 23-27, 15-19, 27-32, 22-18, 32-28, 18-14, 20-24, 19-23, 28-32, 14-10, 24-27, 10-7, 27-31, 7-3, 31-27, 23-18, 27-31, 3-7, 31-27, 7-10, 32-28, 10-14, 28-24, 13-9, 24-19, 9-6, 19-23, 18-22, 27-31, 6-2, 23-27, 2-6, 27-32. Forms above position, colors reversed. A. Bjerkness, Master Play, Part 5.

Game: 11-15, 21-17, 9-13, 25-21, 8-11, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 15-18, 29-25, 18-22, 25-18, 10-15, 24-20, 15-22, 23-18---N, 2-6, 28-24, 6-9, 27-23, 9-13, 32-28, 4-8, 31-27, 22-26, 23-19, 13-22, 30-23, 22-25, 14-9, 5-14, 18-9, 25-30, 23-18, 30-26, 18-14, 26-22, 9-5, 22-18, 14-9, 12-16, 19-12, 11-15, 9-6, 1-10, 5-1, 10-14, 1-6, 14-17, 6-2, 8-11, 20-16, 11-20, 2-11, 17-21---O. Forms position by J. Hedley, Game 374, the New England Checker Player, June 1879, Vol. 4, also Problem No. 272.

Game: 11-15, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 12-16, 29-25, 10-14, 25-22, 16-20, 24-19, 8-11, 19-16, 4-8, 28-24, 6-10, 22-17, 9-13, 18-9, 5-14, 16-12, 13-22, 26-17, 11-15, 31-26, 8-11, 26-22, 14-18, 23-14, 1-5, 30-26, 11-16, 26-23, 15-19, 24-6, 2-25, 17-13, 25-30, 13-9, 5-14, 23-19, 16-23, 27-9, 30-26, 9-6, 26-22, 6-2, 7-11, 2-6, 20-24, 6-10---P, 22-26, 32-28, 24-27, 21-17, 27-31, 17-13, 31-27, 13-9, 26-23, 9-6, 23-19, 6-2, 11-15, 10-6, 19-16, 6-9, 15-19, etc. Forms above position. James A. Finn, Draughts World, Game 2696, Vol. 41.

A---Best although 27-23 wins too.

B---The route with the move against Black.

C---1-5, 16-11, 5-9, 7-2, 6-10, 20-16, 10-6, 11-15, same as trunk.

D---9-13, 2-6, 1-5, 10-14, 5-1, 6-10, 1-5, 10-15, 5-1---J, 16-11, 1-5, 15-18, 5-1---K, 11-15, 1-6, 14-17. Black Wins.

E---5-9, 19-24, 28-19, 10-15. Black Wins.

F---9-6, 18-15, 28-24 (Forced), 7-2, 6-9, 15-18, 9-13, 18-23, 13-9, 14-10, 9-13, 23-27, 24-20, 27-23, 5-9, 2-7, 13-17, 23-18, 17-13, 10-14, 9-5, 7-11, 5-1, 11-15, 20-16, 14-17. Black Wins.

G---5-1, 18-14, 9-18, 10-6. Black Wins.

H---9-13, 18-15 (or 7-11), 5-1, 15-10, 1-5, 10-6, 5-1, 14-18. Black Wins.

I---6-2, 14-18, and if 6-9, 7-11. Black Wins.

J---13-9, 16-11. Black Wins.

K---28-24, 11-16, 24-20, 16-11, 13-9, 18-15. Black Wins.

L---Bugbee's play ceases here, he continued 10-6, etc.

M---16-19 was shown to draw by J. Maize.

N---Hedley said, "Bowen is right, it would be much easier to draw the back tooth of a mule than to draw the game after this move."

O---Continue: 27-23, 18-27, 11-18, 21-25, 24-19, 27-24, 19-15, 24-19, 15-10, 20-24. 18-22, 25-30, 10-6, 24-27, 6-2, 27-31, 22-18, *30-25---Q, 2-6, 31-27, 18-14, 25-22, 14-10, 19-16, 6-2, 22-18, 10-6, 18-15, 6-1, 27-23, 1-6, 23-19, 6-1, 15-11, 1-6, 16-20. Forms above position at 3rd move. If 17-22 at O, 27-23, 18-27, 11-25, 27-23, 24-19, 23-16, 25-22, 20-24. Black Wins. J. Hedley.

P---6-9, 11-15, 9-14, 15-19, 14-9, 19-23, 32-28, 24-27, 28-24, 27-31, 24-20, 31-27, 9-13, etc. Drawn.

Q---Here Hedley and Bowen play 31-27 (and 31-26), 18-22, 19-15, 2-6, 15-11, 6-10, 27-23, 28-24, 11-16, 10-6, 23-27, 24-20, 16-11, 22-18, 30-26, 18-14, 26-23, 6-2, 23-19, 14-10, 11-15, 10-6, 15-11, 6-1. Drawn by Bowen's Twins.

1---Several moves are possible here.

2---The White piece must come forward, setting up the eventual Black win.

3---Black must not be hasty: If 15-11 then 10-6. Drawn.

4---White now has no defense against 15-11.

The above position arose when B. G. Bugbee, in the Boston Globe and Leed's Mercury, played 30-25 (at Q), instead of Hedley's 31-27, and won for Black. But his play was found to be faulty by Messrs. J. McFarlane and Menzies. The problem was then admitted by the experts to be an absolute draw and it was allowed to rest as such for some years. In the Sept. 1893, "Draughts Players Quarterly Review," the position was again attacked and "A Masterpiece from Glasgow" was given. In this Robert McCulloch, author of "McCulloch's Guide" varies from Bugbee's play, and by avoiding the faulty part upholds the win. McCulloch said, "The mistake Bugbee, MacFar-lane and J. Lees made was trying to play the piece on 3."
Compare to "Bowen's Twins," Page 97.

07/21/12 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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