The Checker Maven

Two Easy Pieces, Fourth Installment

As we continue our electronic republication of Willie Ryan's classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard we wish to thank those readers who pointed out typos in the original book. We also recognize there are some readers (your editor at times among them) who don't think these pieces are all that easy! But we'll let Willie carry on.


White to Play and Draw
'Take a good look at this simple little two-by-two setting. If that white piece on square 14 could speak up, he'd probably lament, "Woe is me. I can't move to the left, and I can't move to the right, and the black monarch (on square 25) is advancing to put me to flight." White's king on square 32 is seemingly too far away to save the endangered piece on 14, but thanks to the old reliable "sideboard seesaw" idea, example 7 has a happy ending. A thorough grounding in simple tactical tidbits, like the "sideboard seesaw," will soon put a novice in the advanced player's class. It's the flair for small details in basic study that makes the proficient player.

Black to Play and Draw
As we have already stressed in previous examples of "ideas at work," the novice should avoid associating any idea with only one or a few situations, because all ideas have a wide range of scientific application, and the seesaw is no exception. Example 8 highlights an early phase of the most common of all seesaw situations, the single corner hold. Black must move 11-16, then 19-15, 16-20; now white crowns the piece on 18, returns to square 6, and then plays 15-10, threatening to win by 10-7 next. All this is part of the general plan, with black, just in the nick of time, imprisoning white in the single corner.'


Example 7 32-27, 25-22, 27-23, 22-17 (if 22-18, then 14-9 gets the draw), 14-9, 6-13, 23-18, 17-21, 18-22, 21-17, 22-18, and white can draw by see-sawing between squares 18 and 22.

Example 8 11-16, 19-15, 16-20, 18-14, 20-24, 14-10, 24-27, 10-6, 27-31, 6-2, 31-27*, 2-6, 27-24*, 15-10, 24-20*, 10-7, 3-10, 6-15, 8-11*, 15-8, 20-16, 8-4, 16-11, 12-8, 11-7, 8-3, 7-11, 3-8, 11-7, 8-12, 7-11, 12-8, 11-7 and black holds a draw by see-sawing between squares 7 and 11.

05/11/05 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.