# The Checker Maven

### Three by Three

Everyone's heard of a two by four (2x4), and there are other familiar sizes, such as 1x4 and the larger 4x4. But have you ever heard of a three by three (3x3)? There is such a thing, and in the strange world of "dimensional lumber" a 3x3 is in reality 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Fortunately, there's no such thing as "dimensional checkers." A 2x2 or a 4x4 ending is just what the label implies. (We're not really sure where half a checker piece would fit in the scheme of things!) Today, we'll look at the 3x3 ending that's diagrammed below. It's from a game played over the board many years ago at a club in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W31,28,K2:B22,10,8.

Don't get cut down to size; sharpen your wits, not your saw, and see if you can solve the problem. When you have the answer, buzz your mouse on Read More to see the solution.

Solution

The solution to this one appears long. Though it isn't as hard as it looks, solving it over the board requires substantial visualization skill.

2-7 10-14 7-10 14-17 10-14 17-21 14-17 22-25 17-22 25-30 31-27 8-11 28-24---A 11-16 24-20 16-19 20-16---B 21-25 22x29 30-26 29-25 26-31---C 27-23 19x26 25-30---D 31-27 30x32 White Wins.

A---23-27 is just a draw after 11-16.

B---This is the point. All the black pieces are now left without safe moves.

C---A last-ditch attempt to regain the lost man.

D---A nice tactical trick that arises more often than you might think in practical play.

09/29/12 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version