We're sure many readers of The Checker Maven will understand the context of the cartoon above. It's a bit of American history, in which a powerful man found himself pushed into a corner with no way out.
We continue our ongoing Checker School series, currently featuring problems and situations taken from Checker Board Strategy, a most unusual and entertaining book by Andrew J. Banks. Here is a "gem" problem composed by famous problemist S. J. Pickering and originally published in Elam's Checker Board.
The title of today's column gives a huge hint and we suggest you take full advantage. Don't get cornered; work out the problem and click on any corner (or even the middle) of Read More to see the solution and notes.
Note that in the following solution, the order of moves can be varied (in particular, White can start with 8-12), and alternative play is possible. You can explore further with your computer. We've presented the original published line as we think it's the most natural and pleasing. Notes A, B, and C are quoted verbatim from the book's text.
22-18---A 7-10 15x6 1x10 8-12 20-24---B 26-31 27-23 18-15 10x19 12-16 24-28 31-27 23x32 16x23 White Wins.
A---Compare Wyllie's Black on 4, 12, 24; king 23: W. 11, 20, 31; king 7--- W. to play and win--- Lyman's Problems. See p. 17, "Familiar Themes."
B---27-31, 26-23, 20-24, 23-27, 24-28---C, 27-32, 31-26, 12-16, 26-31, 16-19, 31-26, 19-24, W. wins--- Several, E.C.B.
C---31-26, 27-20, 26-23, 18-15, 10-19, 12-16, or 20-16, W. wins. Several, E.C.B.
We found this problem to be quite instructive and we hope you did too.
Footnote: Brian Hinkle sent us an alternative solution which is actually shorter.
22-18 7-10 15x6 1x10 26-23(varies from 8-12) 10-14 23-32 14-23 32-28 and the White king on 8 will corner the piece on 23. White wins.