The Checker Maven

Schaefer is the ...

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Was checkerist A. Schaefer in any way connected to the famous, and once family owned and New York based, F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company? It's one of those things that are possible, but doubtful. In any case, Schaefer, like all New York City breweries, left the city many years ago, and is now owned by Pabst, who still operate the brand.

Schaefer used to advertise itself as "the one beer to have when you're having more than one." In all honesty, The Checker Maven doesn't think "having more than one" is always a good idea (we ourselves choose not to drink alcoholic beverages). If you've "had a few" as the saying goes, you're not likely to be able to solve interesting Checker School problems such as the one below.

A. Schaefer
WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W28,27,26,22,20,14:B19,15,13,7,5,3.

Black actually looks like he could lose if he's not careful. How is he supposed to win? But there is a way, and it's subtle and pleasing with a key move at a key moment. You won't need "more than one" checker problem today, as this one is very satisifying. Give it a try and then click your mouse --- just once --- on Read More to see the solution, sample games, and detailed notes.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

Solution, lettered notes and sample games are from Ben Boland's marvelous Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor, using the KingsRow computer engine and 10-piece endgame database.

7-10---1, 14-7, 3-10, 27-23---A, 19-24, 28-19, 15-24, 22-18, 24-27, 18-15---2, 10-19, 23-16, 27-31, 26-22, 31-26, 22-18, 26-23, 18-14, 13-17*---3, 16-12---4, 23-18, 14-10, 18-15, 10-7, 15-11---5. Black Wins.

Game: 10-15, 23-18, 9-13, 26-23, 6-10, 30-26, 1-6, 24-20, 15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 27-23, 8-12, 23-16, 12-19, l8-14---B, 10-17, 21-14, 4-8, 32-27 (If 25-21, then 6-9 and Black Wins), 8-12, 27-23, 6-10---C, 23-16, 12-19, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 2-6, 29-25---D, 6-10, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 11-15, 31-27---E. Forms above position. I. B. Hanson vs. Farmer, Portland, Oregon, 1907. Also W. F. Ryan's "The Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers."

Game: 9-13, 23-18, 12-16, 18-14, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 24-20, 10-17, 25-21, 1-6, 21-14, 6-10, 29-25, 10-17, 25-21, 16-19, 21-14, 11-15, 27-23, 8-12, 23-16, 12-19, 32-27, 4-8, 30-25, 2-6, 25-21, 6-10, 27-23, 10-17, 21-14, 8-12, 23-16, 12-19, 31-27. Forms above position. Dr. A. Schaefer vs. H. Lieberman, from Game No. 42, Third American Tourney Book.

A---20-16, 10-14, 27-23, 13-17, 22-13, 15-18. Black Wins.

B---18-15, 11-18, 22-15, 13-17, 21-14, 10-17, 25-21, 6-9, 21-14, 9-18, 32-27, 4-8, 29-25, 5-9, 26-23, 19-26, 31-22, 9-13, 28-24, 2-6, 24-19, 7-10, 20-16, 10-14, 16-12, 14-17, 27-24, 17-26, 15-11, 8-15, 19-1. Drawn. E. F. Hunt vs. H. B. Reynolds.

C---Best, though 3-8, 23-16, 12-19, 25-21, 6-10, 22-18, 10-17, 21-14, 8-12, 26-22, 2-6, 31-27, 6-10, also draws.

D---22-18 is drawable.

E---22-17 will still draw for White.

1---The only way. 7-11 is an immediate loss to 27-23, and 3-8 followed by 8-12 is a draw.

2---White has no play for the man on 10, and now needs the flee the soon to be crowned Black king.

3---Very subtle. As often happens in checkers, timing is everything and this waiting move wins. Consider the alternative: 23-18 14-10 18-15 10-7 15-19 16-11 and on to a draw. Black needs to instead force the man on 16 to move to 12.

4---Now if 16-11 then 23-18 14-10 18-15 Black Wins. Or if 14-10 then 23-19 and White has to play 16-12 (if 16-11 18-15), leading to a Black win as in the main line.

5---Black has achieved a "one holds two" situation. White will get a king but it won't be able to aid its unfortunate colleagues, and when Black crowns his remaining man, his two kings will hunt down the single White king.

We hope you liked this problem, and if you indeed want "more than one" we invite you to consult one of the hundreds of past Checker Maven columns.

04/22/17 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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