The Checker Maven

The Big Squeeze

There's nothing so good as fresh-squeezed juice as a morning pick-me-up; it just can't compare with cardboard cartons, concentrates, or powders. However, we do recommend a somewhat different squeezing method than that shown in the photo above; at the very least, you might wish to squeeze your juice into a cup or glass instead of onto your hands or onto the table.

There are squeezes in checkers, too, and although they don't directly produce juice, they just might produce a nice victory. Willie Ryan, in his classic work Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, has a page or two on squeeze plays, and he's here in print to explain to us just how it works.

"One of the most unusual games I ever won was the strange coup I sprung on the renowned John T. Bradford of Philadelphia, a member of the American International Checker Team of 1927, in the American Championship Tourney of 1937; and I believe it is the only win of its kind on the published record. The game leading up to this peculiar situation is reproduced on the next page, exactly as we played it.

10-149-14---A 15-24
23-18 18-11 28-19
14-23 7-16 2-7
27-18 26-23 31-26
12-16 4-8 1-6
32-27 22-17 22-18
16-20 8-12 14-17
26-23 25-22 21-14
6-10 3-7 10-17
30-26 24-19 25-21
11-15 7-11 6-10
18-11 17-13 21-14
8-15 11-15 10-17
23-18 29-25 19-15---B

Black to Play and Win


A---First introduced by me at the 1937 American Championship Tourney, departing from the usual line by 7-11.

B---The wrong one. A draw is gained easily with: 18-14*, 7-11, 13-9, 17-21, 9-6, 21-25, 6-2, 25-30, 2-7, 11-15, 19-10, 16-19. After 19-15, black starts the biggest squeeze play on record, going all the way from square 7 to square 22 before regaining the sacrificed piece."

Willie certainly gives a giant hint in his second note, but we still believe you'll have to give this one a little thought to squeeze out the solution. Find the Black win and then squeeze the mouse button over Read More to see the answer.


"Continue: 5-9*!, 13-6, 7-10, 15-11, 10-15, 18-14, 15-18*, 14-9, 18-22, 23-18---1, 22-31, 27-23, 31-26, and black wins."

1---9-5 or 6-1 are hopeless; after 22-31 the man on 27 is lost. This very pleasing game illustrates the principle that while strategy is important, tactics can triumph.Ed.

04/17/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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