The Checker Maven

A Grand Rapids Speedster

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Today's problem has quite a history. It's credited to an American, a Mr. O. H. Richmond of Grand Rapids, Michigan, but it was actually published in Glasgow, Scotland, some time in the 1880s. Grand Rapids in the 1880s was a town of less than 60,000, mostly known for its production of fine furniture. In the world of checkers as well, it apparently had international reach.

And now, something like 125 years later, we too can enjoy this excellent problem. We're presenting it as a speed problem (what else would we do with a problem from Grand "Rapids"), but we must say that it pushes the limit for speed solving. For this reason, we'll allow 30 seconds for the solution. Our guess is that you'll either see it right away, or you won't. We rate the problem as medium to hard in difficulty; medium if you take your time, and hard if you try to stay within the 30 second time limit.

When you're ready, click on the link below to show the problem and start the clock. When you're finished, come back and click on Read More to see the startling solution.

June Speed Problem (medium to hard, 30 seconds)

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Solution

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W27,14,K3:BK32,K5,1.

27-23 32-27--A 23-18 27-23 14-9! 23-14---B 3-7 14-18 (14-17 same) 9-6 1-10 7-23 drawn.

A---1-6 23-18 6-9 3-7 32-27 14-10 18-15 9-13 7-11 5-9 11-16 23-18 16-11 9-14 10-7 etc. to a draw.

B---5-14 18-9 drawn.

The Checker Maven would like to thank the Grand Rapids Historical Society and the Grand Rapids Public Library for their assistance in researching this article.

06/02/12 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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