The Checker Maven

A Ferrie Ride

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The iconic Staten Island Ferry is something that attracts commuters and tourists alike, and it's one of the few real transportation bargains in New York City. For many years, the cost was just five cents. It rose to 25 cents in 1975 and then to 50 cents in 1990--- still a good deal for a five mile boat ride--- but in 1997 the ferry became free. You can now ride it for the same amount it costs to read The Checker Maven--- nothing!

You may not be paying for today's Checker School problem, but there is certainly a payoff. It's a practical situation attributed to olden-day checker champion James Ferrie.

J. FERRIE
WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W23,22,20,19,18,17:B13,12,11,10,9,5.

Pay your way by solving the problem, and then put paid to all doubt by clicking your mouse on Read More to see the solution, numerous sample games, and some explanatory notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

Solution, sample games, and lettered notes come 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, generously donated by author Ed Gilbert.

9-14, 18-9, 5-21, 23-18, 11-15---1, 18-11, 10-14, 11-7, 21-25, 7-2, 25-30, 2-6, 30-25. Black Wins---2.

1---21-25 18-15 11-18 22-6 leaves Black with only a draw. The most natural looking move is far from best!

2---The key point: The White man on 22 is lost and a counterattack won't work. If 6-9 25-18 and White can't capture, and 6-10 is only an exchange after 6-10 25-18 10-17 13-22. Black wins.

Game: 10-15, 23-19, 6-10, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 11-15, 18-11, 8-15, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 8-11, 27-23, 9-13, 24-20, 15-24, 28-19, 5-9, 22-18, 2-6, 26-22, 10-15, 19-10, 6-15, 31-27---A, 15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 21-17---B, 3-8, 27-23, 19-26, 30-23, 7-10, 23-19, 8-12, 32-27, 1-5, 27-23. Forms above position. J. Ferrie.

Game: 11-15, 23-18, 8-11, 18-14, 9-18, 24-19, 15-24, 22-8, 4-11, 27-20, 5-9, 21-17, 9-13, 28-24, 13-22, 25-18, 10-15, 26-22, 6-9, 31-26, 9-13, 18-14, 1-5, 32-28, 2-6, 29-25, 6-10---C, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 7-10, 14-7, 3-10, 30-25, 5-9, 26-23, 9-14, 25-21, 12-16. Forms position, colors reversed. H. B. Reynolds vs. A. J. Heffner.

Game: 10-15, 23-18, 7-10, 27-23, 9-13, 23-19, 6-9, 26-23, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 22-17, 13-22, 25-9, 1-5, 9-6, 2-9, 29-25, 9-13, 25-22, 11-16, 23-18, 16-23, 18-11, 8-15, 31-27, 3-8, 27-11, 8-15, 30-26, 4-8, 26-23, 8-11, 24-20, 5-9, 28-24, 9-14, 32-28, 12-16. Forms position, colors reversed. F. Oldridge vs. G. Phillips.

Game: 9-13, 23-18, 5-9, 24-20, 10-14, 18-15, 11-18, 22-15, 7-11, 26-22, 11-18, 22-15, 3-7, 25-22, 1-5, 30-25, 8-11, 15-8, 4-11, 27-23, 14-17, 21-14, 9-27, 32-23, 6-10, 31-27, 10-14, 25-21, 7-10, 27-24, 2-7, 22-18, 10-15, 18-9, 5-14, 29-25, 7-10, 25-22, 12-16. Forms position, colors reversed. G. Phillips.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 9-14, 22-17, 8-11, 17-13, 11-16, 26-23, 3-8, 25-22, 14-18, 23-14, 16-23, 27-11, 10-26, 30-23, 8-15, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 7-10, 23-19, 5-9, 32-27, 9-14, 27-23, 6-9, 13-6, 2-9, 24-20, 15-24, 28-19, 8-11, 22-18, 1-5, 31-26, 12-16, 19-12, 10-15, 26-22, 9-13, 18-9, 5-14. Forms position, colors reversed at 4th move. H. Hearn vs. G. Phillips.

The above games were compiled by R. Sallaway, Draughts Review, Nov. 1926, Vol. 2.

A—Loses; 31-26 draws. Also 21-17.

B—27-23, 19-26, 30-23, 7-10, etc., Black Wins.

C—Loses; 7-10 draws. A. J. Heffner. Also see Page 5, "Familiar Themes."

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