The Checker Maven

There's More Than One Way To Do It


There's a sort of a sport played by computer nerds called Vim Golf. Now, bear with us for a moment.

Vim is a famous and venerable text editor used mostly on Unix systems but on many other systems as well. It is unique and has its faithful adherents. It's fast and is famous for being able to accomplish tasks with a minimum of keystrokes. Enter Vim golf.

In Vim golf, players solve an often challenging editing problem, using nothing more than a stock version of the Vim editor. There's more than one way to do it, but the challenge is to solve the problem--- put the ball in the hole, if you will--- with a minimum number of (key)strokes. Just like golf, only very techie. It's a lot of fun--- if that's your sort of thing.

In checkers, too, there is often more than one way to play a position. So we introduce draughts golf with a problem sent along by regular contributors Lloyd and Josh Gordon of Toronto. The position below has several ways for Black to win, but there is a best way.

Black to Play and Win


Black is a piece up and absent any mitigating factors should of course win. But can you win quickly? Can you find the shortest win? Can you find all of them? Maybe you can't get a hole in one, but can you make par? Take a "shot" and then club Read More to see the solution.null


All of the following moves win for Black: 10-14; 12-16; 15-19; 23-26.

Here's the best way, four moves to an easy two to one win. "On the green" so to speak.

1. 12-16 20x11 2. 10-14 17x10 3. 18-22 25x18 4. 23x16
10-14 also wins in four moves with a transposition of jumps.

1. 10-14 17x10 2. 12-16 20x11 3. 18-22 25x18 4. 23x16

15-19 and 23-26 both lead to much longer conventional piece-up wins.

Yes, for you golfers and Vim golfers out there, we know the golf analogy and even the Vim Golf analogy isn't perfect. But we thought it might be fun.


03/05/22 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.