The Checker Maven

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

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Today's Checker School entry is a fascinating position we call "Burning the Candle at Both Ends," because the terms could just as well have been "White to Play and Draw." To be sure, this isn't in keeping with the traditional meaning of the phrase, but to us it seemed rather apt. See if you agree: First White must find the right move to save the draw. But then Black has the same task and must hew to the correct path. It's a double-ended problem with both ends burning.

E. M. HARDEN
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play, Black Draws

W:W31,27,25,21,20,19:B14,13,12,11,10,5.

Can you work out both sides of this very interesting endgame? We hope you won't have to burn your own candle at both ends in so doing, and rather than stay up all night, you can always click on Read More to see the solution, a sample game, and detailed notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

Lettered notes and other commentary are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the Editor, using the KingsRow computer engine and 10-piece endgame database.

20-16---1, 11-20, 25-22, 12-16---A,2, 19-12, 20-24---B, 27-20, 10-15, 12-8, 14-18---C. Drawn.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 4-8, 25-22, 15-18, 22-15, 11-18, 17-13, 9-14, 29-25, 10-15, 19-10, 6-15, 26-23, 8-11---D, 23-19 (30-26, 11-16, etc. Draws), 7-10, 30-26, 2-6---E, 24-20, 15-24, 28-19, 11-15, 13-9, 6-13, 26-22, 15-24, 22-6, 1-10, 32-28, 3-7, 28-19, 7-11. Forms above position. American Draughts Player, End Game No. 10, E. M. Harden corrects first edition.

A--10-15, 19-10, 12-16, 10-6, 16-19, 6-2, 19-24, 2-6, 24-28, 27-23, etc. White Wins.

B---W. Stuart, Game 1446, Draughts World, Oct. 1902, Plays: 10-15, 27-23, 20-24, 12-8, 24-28, 8-3, 28-32, 3-7, 32-28, 7-11, 15-19, 23-16. White Wins. See Note D.

C---A probable continuation: 8-3, 18-25, 3-7, 25-30, 7-10, 15-18, 10-15, 18-22, 15-18, 30-25, 18-23, 5-9, etc. Drawn.

D---Another Route: 7-11 (Losing Move), 30-26, 2-6, 26-22, 3-7, 23-19, 7-10, 13-9, 6-13, 24-20, 15-24, 22-6, 1-10, 28-19, 11-15, 32-28, 15-24, 28-19, 8-11. Forms above position. W. Stuart.

E---In Janvier's corrections to A. D. P., F. G. Fisk wins with 5-9.

1---Believe it or not, anything else loses. This is worth a little more investigation.

21-17 is an obvious blunder.

19-15 offers nothing after 10-19.

19-16 12-19 also offers nothing.

25-22 11-15 27-24 14-18 Black Wins.

31-26 11-15 27-24 15-18 26-22 (20-16 10-15) 18-23 20-16 10-15 19x10 12x28 Black Wins.

27-23 11-15 Black Wins.

27-24 14-18 31-26 18-23 26-22 10-14 19-15 11x18 22x15 23-27 15-10 14-18 24-19 27-31 10-6 31-26 20-16 26-23 6-1 23-26 16-11 26-22 Black Wins.

2---5-9 31-26 White Wins.

Note the resemblance to Wyllie's Position, Page 161.

06/13/15 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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