# The Checker Maven

### Scott's Scorcher

The expression "hot stuff" has a number of different meanings and uses, and our photo above is a real scorcher in its own right. Scorchers exist as well in our game of checkers, and who else is as uniquely qualified as Willie Ryan to discuss them? Mr. Ryan, who was "hot stuff" of the checker sort in his own day, calls the following play "Scott's Scorcher" in his book Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard. Let's let Willie tell us more.

"We found the Dyke game and stroke, described here, hidden in an old tome, credited to W. Scott, and it is altogether too good to pass by unnoticed. In this example, the winning clearance is effected by employing one of those peculiar in-and-out devices so widely used in stroke strategy.

 11-15 27-23 9-14 22-17 4- 8 23-19 15-19 23-16 11-15 24-15 11-20 19-16---3 10-19 29-25 15-19---4 23-16 7-10 31-27---A 12-19 17-13 3-8 25-22 8-11 16-12---B 8-11 26-23 See the diagram.
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W32,30,28,27,25,22,21,13,12:B20,19,14,10,8,6,5,2,1.

A---White dares not play 16-11, as black will force white into this crushing coup: 16-11, 10-15, 31-27---5, 14-17*!, 21-14, 19-23, 27-18, 6-9, 13-6, 1-26, 30-23, 15-29. A very unusual 'double-take.'

B---The beginning of the end. However, white still can pull out with a draw, by: 30-26*---6, 10-15, 13-9*, 6-13, 16-12, 8-11, 27-24, 20-27, 32-7, 2-11, 26-23, 11-16, 28-24, 16-20, 23-19, 20-27, 19-10, 27-31, 10-7, 31-26, 7-2, 26-17, 2-7, 1-6, 12-8, 5-9, 7-11, 17-22, 25-18, 14-23, 11-15, 23-26, 8-3, 26-30, 3-7, 9-14, 7-2, 6-9, 2-6, 30-26, 15-10. Wm. F. Ryan."

3---This move may actually lose. 32-27 is much to be preferred here---Ed.

4---Gives back the edge; 20-24 would have retained the substantial advantage for Black---Ed.

5---White would do better here with 22-17, although the game may still be lost---Ed.

6---In a line of play that probably only a computer would find, KingsRow shows that the surprising move 13-9 will also draw here as White pulls off a stroke of his own: 13-9 6x13 16-12 8-11 27-24 20x27 32x7 2x11 etc. Drawn---Ed.

Are you "hot stuff" yourself? (Remember, we're talking checkers here.) Demonstrate your elevated temperature by solving the problem; but if you get overheated, clicking on Read More will take you straight to the solution.

Solution

"Continue: 2-7*---1, 12-3, 14-18, 22-15, 19-23, 27-18, 10-19, 3-10, 6-29, and black wins---2."

1---Although Willie "stars" this move, 14-18 wins as well, transposing back to the main solution: 14-18 22-15 2-7 12-3 19-23 27-18 10-19 3-10 6-29 and Black Wins as above---Ed.

2---For instance 21-17 19-23 17-14 1-6 and White has no move that does not lose a man---Ed.

02/20/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version