The Checker Maven

In Need of a Spare


Uh-oh. Someone is going to have to get out that spare tire, and no matter how many times you've changed a tire on the road, it's never much fun.

There are other kinds of spares, of course. There is spare time (a rather rare commodity in the Checker Maven offices). You can be "spared" something unpleasant, like a visit to the dentist. A spacious home has "room to spare" --- and so on.

In today's Checker School column, we present a very old position attributed to William Payne. "Spare" also has a meaning in checkers, as you'll see.

White to Play and Win


Of course, the problem is extremely easy and will be solved in a couple of seconds by players with even a moderate level of experience. But after you solve it, use a spare couple of minutes to click on Read More to see what point Andrew J. Banks, author of Checker Board Strategy, was trying to make.null


22-25 21x30 6-2 30x23 2x27 White Wins.

Easy. So the point is ... what?

Mr. Banks notes of this in-and-out stroke, "To gain a spare move, you force Black to jump twice in succession." The "spare move" is used to slip in behind the Black king on 7 and set up the triple jump.

Later on, Mr. Banks elaborates on this theme.

"Quite often you require a spare move. There follow six methods of obtaining it: (1) If the opponent has pressed a piece, you will have a spare move after his jump; (2) The rebound idea gives you a move after the opponent's last jump; (3) The push-away gives you another move.

"By causing the opposition to jump twice in succession, you may obtain a spare move. Methods of making him jump twice are: (4) Giving him choice of jumps; (5) Taking out or pushing way the props or support; (6) Giving him the in-and-out jump."

Mr. Banks, in his book, illustrates some but not all of these. He further mentions what he calls "the 'Quisling' idea" without further comment or example. We're unfamiliar with this and would be happy to hear from any reader who can inform us further. We can only assume that a player's piece somehow turns traitor. But we'll spare you the gallows humor.

Vidkun Quisling

10/16/21 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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