The Checker Maven

Short and Neat


In the latter 1940s, back in the heydays of checkers, men's hairstyles were short and neat, and in general, appearances were more dressy than today. Men wore fedoras, and suit with a white shirt and tie was almost a sort of uniform.

The following problem was published anonymously in an old newspaper, which declared it to be "short and neat." We're surprised it didn't appear next to an advertisement for grooming products!

Black to Play and Win


Short and neat? We'll let you decide, but in any case Black, being a piece up, ought to win. Yet as we've often said, showing the win is the hard part. Can you find a short and neat solution? Or even a long and messy one? Give it a try--- more than a short try--- and then neatly click your mouse on Read More to see the solution.null


Bill Salot pointed out the shortest, neatest solution:

4-8 28-24 3-7 10-3 11-15---A Black Wins.

A---20-16 12-28 3-12 etc. is an obvious White loss. 3-7 8-11 7-16 12-28 likewise loses; and finally 19-15 15-24 and now 3-7 8-11 7-16 12-19 or 20-16 12-19 3-12 19-23 etc. also lead to an easy Black win.

The computer solution was good enough but hardly short and neat, and allows for numerous paths and variations.

4-8 10-14 12-16 28-24 3-7 14-18 7-10 18-23 10-15 23-26 16-19 26-22 19x28 22-17 8-12 etc. Black Wins.

Thanks as always to Mr. Salot for his incisive and on-the-mark correspondence.

06/08/19 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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