The Checker Maven

Surprise, Surprise

The fellow in the photo above is obviously studying checkers and has just come across the problem that forms the subject of today's Checker School column. The solution to the problem is one that we too found surprising, and we'll bet you'll feel the same way.

Here's the position:

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK30,22,16,K2:B21,14,13,K10.

In a game in which White had and lost the advantage several times, we've arrived at a position where White has one last chance to bring it home. Can you find the surprise move that leads to White victory, or will you be surprised that your solution wasn't the correct one? Try the problem, and then get one last surprise by clicking the mouse on Read More to see the solution, a sample game, and detailed notes.

Solution

Lettered notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers and are attributed to the great Alfred Jordan. Numbered notes are by the Editor with the use of the KingsRow checker engine and 10-piece endgame database, provided courtesy of Ed Gilbert.

2-7!, 10-3, 16-11, 14-17, 30-26, 21-25, 26-23. White Wins---1.

Game: 12-16, 23-18, 16-20, 26-23, 8-12, 24-19, 10-14, 22-17, 7-10, 28-24, 9-13---A, 18-9, 5-14---B, 32-28, 13-22, 25-9, 6-13, 23-18, 11-16, 19-15, 10-19, 24-15, 16-19, 30-26, 4-8---2, 29-25, 12-16, 15-10, 8-12, 27-24, 20-27, 31-15, 16-19, 15-11---3, 12-16, 25-22, 16-20, 21-17, 20-24, 18-14, 24-27, 10-7, 3-10, 14-7, 27-31, 7-3, 2-6---4, 3-8, 6-9, 8-12, 31-27, 12-16, 27-23, 11-7, 23-30, 16-23, 30-25, 23-18, 25-21, 17-14, 1-5, 7-2---C, 21-17, 28-24, 17-10, 18-23, 9-14, 24-19, 14-17, 23-26, 17-21, 26-30, 5-9, 19-16---D, 9-14---E. Forms above position. N. W. Banks vs. A. Jordan, Game 5, in their Match Book, played at Cedar Point, Ohio, Aug. 1911.

Annotated by Alfred Jordan

A---Not often played. 4-8 is regular play.

B---Very weak. 13-22 is much stronger.

C---It is probable that 7-3 here would have forced the win---5.

D---30-26 here may be stronger, but a forced win is difficult to find---6.

E---Loses. 10-15 Draws.

F---13-17, 22-13, 14-17, 13-9, 17-22, 9-6. White Wins.

1---17-26 23-21 and it's all over---Ed.

2---3-8 would have been a little better. Black seems just about lost here---Ed.

3---White gives up all the advantage. 25-22 would have held the win---Ed.

4---A huge blunder and a clear loss. 31-27 would have held the draw----Ed.

5---The computer shows that either 7-2 or 7-3 will win---Ed.

6---30-26 is in fact the winning move. The text move, 19-16, gives up the win---Ed.

The above position may be found as Gem No. 858, Draughts World, Nov. 1911, Vol. 38.

A similar ending may be found; J. Wyllie and Alnwick Player, No. 466 Gould's Problem Book, Black on 6, 17, 21, King 7, and White on 13, 15, 22, King 30. White to Play and Win, 13-9, 6-13, 30-26, 7-2, 15-10, 21-25, 26-23. White wins.

02/18/12 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version