The Checker Maven

Mauro's Seesaw Stroke

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Who wasn't fond of the see-saw or teeter-totter as a child? Of course, there were always those kids on the other end who would slam you down as hard as possible or try to throw you off, but by and large we all had a great deal of fun on these simple but entertaining playground toys.

Today's selection from Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard may definitely throw you off and even possibly slam you, but it's one of the best in his book, and that's saying a lot. Let's tune in to Willie as he tells us what it's all about.


11-15 21-14 24-20---2
21-17 6-10 4-8---3
9-13 22-17 29-25
25-21 13-22 11-15
8-11 26-17 30-26
17-14---1 15-18 8-11---A
10-17
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W32,31,28,27,26,25,23,20,17,14:B18,15,12,11,10,7,5,3,2,1.

A---"Though this move loses, I can find no published play showing how to beat it. In view of the very delicate nature of the win after 8-11 is played, it appears that the possibilities of the gambit have been overlooked. Oliver J. Mauro. At this point, the correct play for black is: 15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 27-23, 18-27, 32-16, 8-12, 16-11*, 7-16, 20-11, 2-7, 11-2, 1-6, 2-9, 12-16, 14-7, 5-30, 28-24*, 30-23, 24-20, 3-10, 20-11. Sweeney vs. Truax.

Another choice at A is 2-6, but white wins against this move with: 26-22, 6-9, 23-19, 15-24, 22-6, 1-10, 28-19, 9-18, 19-16, 12-19, 27-23, 19-26, 31-6. James Wyllie."

1---While it certainly can't be said that this move loses, it's surely inferior. 30-25 or 24-19 is best here---Ed..

2---White makes his situation worse and ends up with a definitely inferior position. 23-19 is better---Ed..

3---With this move Black dissipates all his advantage. 1-6 would keep a clear edge and 2-6 is almost as good---Ed.

There isn't any doubt that this one is tough, perhaps unfairly so, and we think it may be within the capabilities of only the top players. Still, it's really, really good and definitely worth your time, even if you end up looking at the solution before very long. Make use of your computer to explore various alternative lines and enjoy this fascinating position. You'll understand Willie's title of "Seesaw" when you see the various lines of play in the solution.

So don't be swayed by the apparent difficulty; take a few swings and bear with the inevitable ups and downs. Then click on Read More to see the solution and detailed notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution


26-22* 25-21*--E 2-6*---G
12-16 8-12 25-18
28-24*---4 27-24* 6-2---G
5-9---B 12-16 13-22
14-5 23-18 20-16
2-6 16-19 11-27
23-14 18-14 32-14
16-19 19-23 10-17
31-26*---C 14-9 2-25.
19-28 23-26 White
30-26 9-6 wins.
3-8 26-30 Oliver
14-9*---D 6-2 Mauro
6-13 30-25---F

"B---This is where the beautiful play starts. Black perceives white's threat to win by 24-19. In desperation, black initiates a startling gambit, playing two men short, and comes within a hair's breadth of getting away with it.

C---Despite the fact that white is two pieces ahead, this is the only move to win---5.

D---Still the only move to win, white being compelled to return both pieces sacrificed by black at B. If 23-18, 8-12 are played, 14-9, 6-13, 27-24, develop into the trunk win; but if 20-16 is played (instead of 14-9), black will pick up an easy draw with: 12-19, 27-24, 19-23, 24-20, 15-19, 18-15, 11-18, 22-15, 6-9.

E---Preferable to 23-18, which can be weakened by 15-19; and superior to 27-24, which lends itself to a draw by: 15-18, 23-14, 10-15.

F---Black is forced to take the man on 22, because if he chooses 30-26---6, white wins with 2-6, 26-23, 22-18*!, 13-22, 6-9, 23-14, 9-25, 15-18 (10-14, 25-22, 7-10, 22-17, white also wins), 24-19, 18-23 or 11-15, and then 19-16. Oliver J. Mauro.

G---White now terminates the struggle with a triple-action compound stroke, via a seesaw tempo. White has forced the issue all the way from 8-11 at Note A, a remarkably long-winded combination, climaxed by a spectacular stroke."

4---27-24 also wins---Ed..

5---Actually 32-28 wins also and is substantially better, one line of play being 32-28 6-9 17-13 9-18 13-9 10-14 9-6 1-10 5-1 and Black is in a real bind; for instance 19-23 24-19 23-32 1-6 15-24 22-8 3-12 28-19 14-17 6-15 White Wins---Ed.

6---According to the computer, 30-26 is very much better, but still leaves Black in a loss as Willie demonstrates---Ed.

12/08/12 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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