It's a rare occurrence for The Checker Maven: we're publishing a column on February 29, or Leap Year Day. It's something that will happen only once every 28 years.
Leap Year is an interesting and rather brilliant concept. You can read about it online, so we'll only say that it's the way our calendar, the Gregorian calendar, keeps in amazingly close synchronization with the solar calendar (we'll perhaps discuss the concept of 'leap seconds', which deal with the gradual slowing of the earth's rotation, at another time).
What has this got to do with our game of checkers? Well, we think Leap Year Day is a great occasion for a checker problem with a lot of leaping--- namely, a stroke problem! So, without further ado, here's today's position.
We'd have to rate this one as quite high on the difficulty scale, especially if you try to sight solve without moving the pieces. But the solution is very pleasing--- if you can find it. And yes, there's lots and lots of leaping.
So take a leap of faith (in your powers of analysis) and jump right into this problem. Later on, when you've either solved it or become hopping mad with frustration, pounce on Read More to see the solution.
15-11 7x16 17-22 18x25 23-18 16x23 14-17 21x14 18x9 5x14 27x9 20x27 32x21 White Wins---A
A---The win from here actually isn't simple. There are a number of ways to go about it. One of them ends up in First Position, but we especially like this one, sent to us by correspondent and frequent contributor Brian Hinkle.
15-11 7x16 17-22 18x25 23-18 16x23 14-17 21x14 18x9 5x14 27x9 20x27 32x21 1-5 9-6 5-9 6-2 9-14 2-7 14-18 21-17 18-23 17-22 23-27 7-11 27-32 11-8 32-28 8-3 28-24 3-7 24-28 7-10 28-24 10-15 24-28 15-19 28-32 11-15 32-27 15-18 27-32 18-23 32-28 23-27 28-32 19-23 4-8 27-24 32-28 23-19 28-32 19-16 8-12 16-19; wins by Bowen’s Triplet’s #2 colors reversed in Ben Boland's Famous Positions p. 73 (see this Checker Maven article).
Really quite something, isn't it?
This problem was first published nearly 130 years ago with credit given only to the pseudonym "America."