The Checker Maven

Canadian Nights

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Josh and Lloyd Gordon of Toronto have been regular contributors to The Checker Maven, and we're most grateful for it. The Gordons spend many of those long Canadian winter nights playing checkers at home, and we've noticed that over time their checkerboard skills have been growing steadily.

So we weren't all too surprised when the Gordons sent us an interesting problem position with a very clever and very pleasing solution. Better still, the position arose in the course of over the board play.

The initial position was this.

BLACK
20150926-winternight1.png
WHITE
White to Play
W:W31,30,28,27,26,25,23,21,19,18,15,13:B24,20,14,12,11,10,9,8,6,5,3,2.

The next few moves are pretty clear: 25-22 (there's nothing else) 22-17 (likewise) 22-17 (certainly not 19-16) 11-16 which now gives us the situation diagrammed below.

BLACK
20150926-winternight2.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw
W:W31,30,28,27,26,23,21,19,18,17,15,13:B24,20,16,14,12,10,9,8,7,6,5,3.

Things really don't look so great for White, yet there's a star move that draws, although both sides will have to play quite carefully until the position is settled.

This is not an easy problem by any means, but it's a great challenge, whether or not many months of long, cold winter nights lay ahead for you. Don't freeze up; give it your best, then thaw out the solution by clicking on Read More.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

15-11!---A,B 8-22 19-15 10-19 17-1 9-14!---C 26-10 19-26 (not 7-10) 28-19 (the other jumps draw too) 16-32 31-22 7-14 1-6 3-7 22-17---D 14-18 13-9 5-14 17-3 and White finally regains equality and the draw.

A---26-22 7-11 30-25 3-7 and now white only can play 31-26, and loses.

B---30-25 leads to same play.

C---Black now has to return the piece in the right way. 22-25 loses, for instance 22-25 13-6 7-10 6-2 10-14 2-6 25-29 6-10 etc.

D---One last trap: the breeches with 6-10 loses for White. Black plays 14-18, eliminating his only vulnerability and remaining a man up.

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Contributors Josh and Lloyd Gordon in the midst of a deep computer analysis
10/24/15 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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