The Checker Maven

Pretty Tough

As we've noted a number of times, The Checker Maven tries to provide a variety of problems: some easy, some hard, some in-between. Today's problem, a study by celebrated problemist L. T. de Bearn, is, like the cut of meat shown above, definitely on the "tough" side. While obviously appealing to the skilled player looking for a challenge, intermediate players and even ambitious beginning players can benefit by doing some analysis and carefully playing through the solution.

So, without further ado, here's the position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,17,26,27,K31:B6,9,K15,19,22.

Forces are even but White has a pretty serious mobility issue, and in checkers that can spell doom. But there is a way to a draw. Are you tough enough to find it, or will this problem chew you up? Get your teeth into this one, and then bite your mouse down on Read More to see the solution.

Solution

27-23* 19-24 23-18* 15-10---D 26-23* 24-28---E 31-27* 28-32* 27-24* 22-26---F 18-14!---A 9x27 24x22 10-15 17-14---B 15-19 22-18 32-27 18-22 etc. Drawn---C.

A---White frees up his position once and for all with this spectacular 2x2 exchange.

B---The tables have turned in that the Black man on 6 is vulnerable, but the White king can easily be held off and no White win is possible given best play by Black.

C---The position has become mostly static with neither side being able to make any progress.

D---15-19 would actually lose.

E---22-25 would lose. Both sides tread a thin line.

F---Finally a move that is not forced. 32-28 or 22-25 now also lead to draws.

01/28/12 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version