The Checker Maven

Capers on the Kelso, Part 7

20150517-kelsobw.jpg

The racehorse Kelso was without question one of the greatest of all time, winning five "Horse of the Year" titles and setting nine track records in an eight-season career. Kelso retired after suffering an injury in March, 1966, with total winnings just shy of two million dollars, an amount that wasn't surpassed for many years.

We're not aware of anyone winning anything like two million dollars in checkers, but the Kelso opening has its share of fame, too, and has produced both winners and losers. Today, we continue our extended series on the Kelso, drawn from Willie Ryan's classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard.

Here's the run-up to today's position. For comments, see previous columns in this series.


1. 10-15 22-18
2. 15x22 25x18
3. 11-15 18x11
4. 8x15 21-17
5. 4-8 17-13
6. 9-14 29-25
7. 6-10 24-20
8. 1-6 28-24
9. 8-11

Much inferior to 15-19.


9. ... 32-28
10. 3-8---C

The best move in this position, though white retains an advantage. Willie's recommended 14-17 is a probable loss. Note C will be found with the solution.

BLACK
20150517-tts-kelso7.png
WHITE
White to play, what result?

W:W31,30,28,27,26,25,24,23,20,13:B15,14,12,11,10,8,7,6,5,2.



Here's what Willie says:

C---"3-8 also gains a draw, but it is more difficult than with 14-17. After 3-8, the play should be 24-19---D, 15-24, 28-19, 11-15, 19-16---E, 12-19, 23-16, and at this point, 15-19* produces the draw---1; but in a world's title match between C. F. Barker and Clarence Freeman, the former played 7-11 (a losing play) and Freeman (white) won with: 16-7, 2-11, 27-23*!, 14-17, 25-22*, 8-12, 31-27*, 12-16, 27-24, 17-21, 23-19, etc. After Freeman defeated Barker with this "catch," the latter used it on J. P. Reed with the desired result!

D---23-19, 15-18*, 26-23, 5-9*, 25-21, 18-22, 30-26, 11-15, 26-17, 8-11, 31-26, 11-16, 20-11, 7-16, 24-20*, 15-31, 20-11, 31-22, 23-19, will end in a draw. W. L. Taylor.

E---Another road to a draw is: 20-16,15-24, 27-20,12-19, 23-16, 7-11, 16-7, 2-11, 26-23, 8-12, 25-21, 10-15, 31-26, 12-16, 26-22, 6-10*!, 13-9, 15-19, 9-6, 19-26, 30-23, 11-15*, 20-11, 15-18. Oliver J. Mauro vs. Wm. F. Ryan."

1---Willie claims a draw here but doesn't show it, and in fact White wins. See the computer analysis below.

Here's what the computer says:


10. ... 24-19
11. 15x24 28x19
12. 11-15 19-16
13. 12x19 23x16
14. 15-19 16-12
15. 8-11 12-8
16. 19-24 8-3
17. 24-28 27-24
18. 28-32 31-27

The key point: Black cannot keep his new king.


19. 32x23 26x19

Black is lost.


20. 14-17 19-16
21. 5-9 16-12
22. 9-14 12-8
23. 17-21 25-22
24. 11-16 20x11
25. 7x16 22-17
26. 2-7 30-25!
27. 21x30 24-20
28. 14x21 20x2
29. 6-9 13x6

White Wins.

What's wrong with all of Willie's analysis? We think it goes back to 9. 8-11 which, if not an outright loss, puts Black in quite a bad place. Willie took this move as an acceptable drawing move, and developed analysis to support that assumption. Without powerful computers, it's easy enough to do, and if Willie didn't find all the play discovered by modern technology, he can certainly be excused.

06/20/15 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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