The Checker Maven

Pretty as a Picture (Frame)

A pretty picture deserves a pretty frame. In our experience very often the frame, if it is one of quality, is more costly than the picture itself.

There's a picture frame in checkers, too, or more precisely, a picture frame position, and it's the subject of this month's Checker School column. Here's the pretty as a picture position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,31,30,28,21,13,K4:BK29,20,12,5,3,2,1.

As you'll see in the solution notes, it was once thought that this was a win for whoever played first, but actually, it's a draw either way. It's somewhat complex, and in fact we've corrected a couple of errors in Ben Boland's published solution. But, you get the picture.

In fact, we invite you to stay in the picture and try to solve the problem. And picture this: clicking on Read More will show you the solution, sample games, and comments and corrections.

Solution

Lettered notes and unattributed commentary 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.

4-8, 29-25, 31-26, 2-6---A, 8-11, 12-16, 32-27, 25-29, 27-23, 29-25, 23-18, 6-10, 18-14, 10-17, 21-14, 25-21, 14-10, 16-19, 11-16, 21-17, 16-23, 17-14, 10-7---E, 3-10---3, 23-19, 14-17, 19-16---4, 17-14---5, 16-11, 1-6, 26-22---6, 5-9, 11-7, 10-15, 30-26, 15-19, 7-11, 14-17, 22-18, 20-24---B, 18-15---C, 24-27, 11-7---D, 17-14, 15-10, 6-15, 13-6, 14-18, 26-22, 18-23. Drawn.

Game: 11-16, 22-18, 10-14, 25-22, 8-11, 29-25, 4-8, 18-15, 11-18, 22-15, 16-20, 26-22, 14-18---1, 23-14, 9-18, 24-19, 7-11, 21-17, 11-16, 17-13---2, 16-23, 15-10, 6-15, 25-21, 18-25, 27-4, 25-29. Forms above position. W. I. Spettigue vs. W. J. Weafer, Game 383, New England Checker Player, Vol. 4, June 1879.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 9-14, 17-13, 14-18, 21-17, 18-23, 27-18, 15-22, 25-18, 10-14, 17-10, 6-22, 26-17, 11-15, 19-10, 7-21, 24-20---F. Forms a picture-frame position. Played between two Irvington, New Jersey, players.

A---25-29---G, 21-17, 2-7, 26-22, 1-6, 22-18, 6-10, 28-24, 20-27, 32-23, 5-9, 13-6, 7-11, 8-15, 10-26, 30-23, 29-25, 17-14, 25-22, 14-10, 22-15, 6-1, 15-6, 1-10, 12-16, 10-15, 16-20, 15-19, 3-7, 15-10. White Wins. Purcell.

B---Corrects No. 81 by George Dick, American Checker Player, (Phelan) Dec. 1875, Vol. 1. 17-14, 18-15, 14-18, 15-10. White Wins.

C---11-16, 17-14, 16-23, 24-27. Drawn. Purcell.

D---11-16, 19-23, 16-19, 27-31, 19-26, 31-22, 15-11, 9-14, 11-7, etc. Drawn.

E---J. MacFarlane in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement, April 16, 1880, also claimed to correct Dick, who favored a White Win; 10-6, 1-10, 23-19, 14-18, 26-22, 18-25, 30-21, 3-7, 19-16, 10-15. Drawn.

F---Continue: 12-16, 20-11, 3-8, 29-25, 8-15, 30-26, 21-30, 31-27, etc. Drawn.

G---Purcell in Game 433, Dec. 1879, N. E. C. P., corrects Truax in Game 403, who played 2-7 to a White Win; trying to correct Game 383, Spettigue vs. Weater.

1---Inferior to 7-10.

3---Now a database draw.

4---26-22 is better.

5---An outright loss! Amazing what a difference one king move makes. The following is one way to draw: 17-21 16-11 10-14 26-22 5-9 13x6 1x10 11-16 10-15 22-17 14-18 17-13 21-17 16-11 17-14 11-7 15-19 etc., to a draw.

6---Throws away the win! White could have done something like this: 11-16 14-9 30-25 9-14 16-19 14-18 26-22 18-15 25-21 15x24 28x19 5-9 22-18 10-14 18-15 14-18 15-11 20-24 11-8 24-27 8-3 27-31 19-15 31-27 3-7 27-24 7-10 24-19 10x1 19x10 13x6 White Wins.

The above diagrammed position was first published by George Dick, No. 81, Phelan's American Checker Player, Dec. 1875, Vol. 1, No. 9, with the terms either to play and win. (Editor's note: the position is a draw from either side.)

It later occurred in a game (see above) between Spettigue and Weafer. Then in a later issue of the New England Checker Play (see Note F), Dr. Truax tried for a correction. Finally Doctor W. M. Purcell in Game 433 and Position No. 364 in Dec. 1879, N. E. C. Player showed the draw.

A picture frame position may be found on Page 200 of the British Draughts Player. Also Master Play, Part 3, Page 217, F. Dunne, and Jensen's Forced Checkers, Page 199.

A compilation on this position was given by "Bo'sun" Draughts Review, Oct. 1928, Page 187. Also by Will H. Tyson, in the "Canadian Checker Player," July - Aug. 1909.

11/18/17 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version