The Checker Maven

Head's Redeemer

It seems that Mr. Lucius S. Head (whose visage, by the way, is certainly not shown in the picture above) is better known to us than to Mr. Ryan, as we know that he (Mr. Head) was once a resident of Chicago and played many games with old-time Windy City checker expert and somewhat controversial author John T. Denvir. Mr. Head also resided at one time in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was Minnesota state champion. But such details notwithstanding, in this month's installment from Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, we see an interesting and practical situation which Mr. Ryan attributes to Mr. Head. Here's Willie to tell us more.

"L. S. Head, of Albany, New York, American member of the 1905 International Checker Team, was a modest soul whose name rarely appeared in checker periodicals of his day. Yet he was a distinguished and widely respected player, as well as an accomplished analyst. Among the few notable items credited to his name is the practical position treated here, known as "Head's Draw," which keeps popping up in play every now and then.


10-15 6-10 1-5*---1
23-18 25-22 22-17
11-16 9-14 5-9*---2
18-11 18-9 17-13
8-15 5-14 15-18*
22-18 27-23 13-6
15-22 8-11 2-9
25-18 19-16 30-25
16-20 12-19 9-13
29-25 23-16 26-22---A
4-8 11-15 10-15
24-19 32-27 28-24
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W31,27,25,24,22,21,16:B20,18,15,14,13,7,3.

A---If 26-23, 10-15 are played, 23-19 insures a draw; but if 28-24 is used, black shoots the works with: 15-19, 24-15, 20-24, 27-20, 18-27, 31-24, 7-11, and black wins by capturing the piece on 25."

1---Despite the star here, KingsRow gives 1-6 to draw as well---Ed.

2---Again despite the star, KingsRow gives 15-18 to draw also---Ed.

Can you use your head and solve this one? Noodle on it for a while then head over to the solution by clicking on Read More.



Solution

"Continue from diagram: 14-17*---3, 21-14, 13-17*, 22-13, 7-11, 16-7, 3-17, 25-21, 17-22, 13-9, 22-26, 31-22, 18-25, 9-6, 25-30, 6-2, 30-26, 2-7, 15-18, 7-10, 26-23; a draw---4."

3---The moves 14-17 and 13-17 can be played in either order---Ed.

4---10-14 23x32 14x23 20x27 Drawn----Ed.

02/28/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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