It's the holiday season, which means family, friends, and feasting. So, we at The Checker Maven thought, why not treat our readers to more coffee and cake?
Our old friend Brian Hinkle sent us a composition of his own that he thought would make a great "coffee and cake" problem, and we heartily agree. It's a 3x3 twin with, as Brian points out, the unique feature that no matter who plays, White wins.
So, in between courses at your holiday dinner, or maybe after dinner with a second helping of coffee and cake, you might want to try this one out. We think it's easier when Black is to play, but you'll have to decide that for yourself.
Can you earn that coffee and cake? We'll give you credit if you make a good effort, after which you can click on Read More to see the solutions.
With Black to Play the solution is relatively straightforward.
12-16 24-20 (not 24-19)16-19 26-22 17x26 30x16 White Wins.
17-22 26x17 13x22 24-19 White Wins.
Or 27-32 6-9 32-27 9-13 27-31 13x22 White Wins.
With White to Play, the solution is longer and the White win requires several star moves at the outset.
But not 23-18.
The Checker Maven wishes you the best of holidays, filled with everything you love, and plenty of checkers, coffee, and cake.