The Checker Maven

Mitchell's Miracle

20140221-mitchells.jpeg

This month we present Mitchell's Miracle, the second part of The Champion's Choice, which we began in last month's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard installment. Please see there for the run-up to Variation 2, which begins from the diagram just below. Willie Ryan is here to tell us more. It can be a little confusing, so if you get lost, just go down to the bottom of this article to see the problem diagram.

BLACK
20140221-mmiracle.png
WHITE
White to Play
W:W32,31,30,29,28,27,24,23,22,21,13:B15,14,12,11,10,9,7,6,5,3,1.

Variation 2


23-19---A 23-14 30-23 20-16 11-7
14-17 9-25 9-14 17-22 31-26
21-14 29-22 23-19 15-11 7-2;
10-26 12-16 15-24 22-26 drawn.
19-10* 24-20 28-19 16-12 Wm. F.
7-14 16-19 1-5---C 26-31 Ryan.
31-22* 32-27 19-15 18-15
11-15 5-9 14-17 9-14
27-23* 27-23 22-18 12-8
14-18 19-26 5-9 3-12

A---The best that white can hope for after this move is a problematical draw---1. If white attempts 31-26 here, then 14-18, 23-14, 9-25, 29-22, 11-16, 24-20, 16-19 will leave black with a winning game. Another plausible try at A is 22-17. Black's strongest reply to this move is 14-18, 23-14, 9-18, which leaves white confronted with the critical situation shown on the diagram. I published play on this position a few years ago, claiming a black win against any defense adopted by white, but a problematical draw was found as follows. (See solution---Ed.)

C---Black can prolong the game by forcing white into a bridge ending like this: 14-17, 22-18, 17-22, 18-14, 22-26, 14-9, 6-10, 9-6, 10-14, 6-2, 14-17, 13-9, 17-21 (to stop the pitch by 9-6 next), 19-15, 26-31, 15-10, 31-26, 2-7, 26-22, 9-6, 22-18, and white having the move, can draw the ending."

1---The computer finds this move to be about as good as 23-18---Ed.

BLACK
20140221-tts119.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,31,30,29,28,27,24,21,17,13:B18,15,12,11,10,7,6,5,3,1.

This one is not easy, though we won't go so far to say that it would be a miracle if you solve it. No doubt some of you will work it out; you're a rather astute group, after all. Do try it and then click on Read More to enjoy the truly miraculous solution.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

"Continue from diagram:

30-26, 18-22, 17-14*---B, 10-17, 21-14, 6-9, 26-17, 9-18, 27-23, 18-27, 32-23, 11-16, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 5-9, 13-6, 1-10, 17-13, 7-11 ,13-9, 11-15, 9-6, 15-24, 23-18, 3-8, 6-2, 8-11, 2-7, 10-15.

After the last move (10-15) I abandoned further play, adjudicating the position as hopeless for white, but Johnnie Mitchell of Cordele, Georgia, a former Cracker State champion, pointed out a surprise draw (after 10-15) by continuing the play 7-3*!, 15-22, 3-8; now, although black is temporarily two pieces ahead, he must relinquish the advantage, white drawing in a few more moves---2.

B---If 26-23 is played, 10-14 will spearhead a win for black. If the move is 27-23, then black will win with: 5-9, 32-27 (23-19,9-14, 26-23, 15-18, also wins for black), 9-14, 24-20, 15-18, 23-19, 11-15. J. T. Bradford."

2---11-15 8-11---3 22-25 29x22 24-27 31x24 16-20 11x18 20x27 Drawn---Ed.

3---Now Black is in a jam and must find a way out!---Ed.

Wasn't that one really something? We have to admit to a certain sadness as we near the end of Willie's incredible book. It's surely one of the best checker books of all time.

03/15/14 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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