The Checker Maven

The Long Crooked Trail

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We've published a number of fine compositions by master problem composer Ed Atkinson, and today we have one that Mr. Atkinson calls The Long Crooked Trail.

Ed tells us, "The first part is original then it runs into old published play as credited in the notes. This ending is a study in the opposition and its changes."

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W20,28,K5:B7,12,21.

Ed continues:

"I think of The Long, Crooked Trail as an endgame lesson, rather than as a problem to be solved, except, perhaps, by experts ... However, it seems instructive for a wide range of players."

We certainly agree, although we think it's worthwhile for you to think about the position and see if you have any ideas about the solution, even if you're not yourself an expert player. That will make the actual solution more meaningful when you do look at it later, by trailing your mouse on Read More.null



Solution

The solution and notes are provided by Mr. Atkinson. The solution is long, and Mr. Atkinson's notes are extensive, so you might want to explore the solution on your computer.

5-9 7-10---A 9-13 10-14---B 13-17 14-18 28-24 18-23 17-22 23-27 24-19 27-32 19-15 32-27 15-10 27-23 10-7 23-19 7-3 19-15 3-8---C 15-19---V1 8-11 19-23 11-7---D 23-19 7-10 19-23 10-14 23-19 14-18 19-24 18-15 24-28 15-19 28-32 20-16---E 32-28 16-11 28-32 11-7 32-28 7-3 28-32 3-7 32-28 7-11 28-32 11-16 32-28 16-20 28-32 20-24 32-28 24-27 28-32 19-23---F 32-28 27-32 28-24 32-28---G 24-19---H 23-16 12-19---I 22-18---J 21-25 28-32 19-24 18-15 25-30 15-19 24-28---K 19-23 30-25 23-18 25-21 18-22---L White wins.

A---21-25---1 9-14 25-30 28-24 30-26 14-18 26-31 18-23 7-10 24-19 10-14 19-15 14-17 23-18 31-27 15-10 27-24 10-7 24-19 7-3 17-21 18-22 19-15 3-8 and we have the trunk solution at Note C, a transposition.

1---This is the computer's move---Ed.

B---10-15 28-24 15-18 13-17 makes the same play. If, instead, 21-25 13-17 25-30 17-22 10-15 28-24 White wins.

C---3-7 would allow the 12-16 exchange which changes the opposition and draws. Now we come to a fork in the trail, depending upon which double corner the Black king uses to seek refuge.

D---Avoiding 11-15 23-18 Black wins.

E---White is headed for First Position with extra pieces on 21 and 22 which makes the win a bit easier.

F---Now we are into a variation of a position published by Joshua Sturges, London, 1800. There are several ways to win.

G---Without the pieces on 21 and 22 this move would allow a draw by the 24-19 exchange.

H---24-20 23-27 20-16 28-24 16-11 24-19 11-16 19-15 16-20 15-11 12-16 27-23 White wins.

I---Now Black has the opposition. White can change it.

J---An alternative win is 28-32 19-23 22-18 23-26 32-28 26-31 18-23 21-25 23-27 31-24 28-19 25-30 19-23 White wins.

K---Blocking the piece on 28 changes the opposition without making an exchange.

L---The Long Crooked Trail comes to an end.

V1---15-10-M 8-11 10-14 11-7-N 14-9 7-10 9-5-O 10-14 5-1 14-9 1-5 22-17-P 5-14 17-10 21-25 10-15 25-30 20-16-Q 12-19 15-24 White wins.

M---Now a situation similar to Second Position develops, but the solution is shorter and easier.

N---Avoiding 11-15 14-18 Black wins.

O---This position was published in Spayth's American Draughts Player,New York, 1860. The position is of frequent occurrence and should be known by all aspiring players. Several important games have run into it over the years. The piece on 20 can be on 19 and the winning method is the same, See Brian Hinkle's fine problem, published in The Checker Maven under the title, Holiday Coffee and Cake.

P---This exchange gives Black the opposition.

Q---White regains the opposition and soon corners the Black king.

Our thanks to Ed Atkinson for once again sending us another of his fine studies.

10/27/18 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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