The Checker Maven

Three by Three


Everyone's heard of a two by four (2x4), and there are other familiar sizes, such as 1x4 and the larger 4x4. But have you ever heard of a three by three (3x3)? There is such a thing, and in the strange world of "dimensional lumber" a 3x3 is in reality 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Fortunately, there's no such thing as "dimensional checkers." A 2x2 or a 4x4 ending is just what the label implies. (We're not really sure where half a checker piece would fit in the scheme of things!) Today, we'll look at the 3x3 ending that's diagrammed below. It's from a game played over the board many years ago at a club in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.

White to Play and Win


Don't get cut down to size; sharpen your wits, not your saw, and see if you can solve the problem. When you have the answer, buzz your mouse on Read More to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif


The solution to this one appears long. Though it isn't as hard as it looks, solving it over the board requires substantial visualization skill.

2-7 10-14 7-10 14-17 10-14 17-21 14-17 22-25 17-22 25-30 31-27 8-11 28-24---A 11-16 24-20 16-19 20-16---B 21-25 22x29 30-26 29-25 26-31---C 27-23 19x26 25-30---D 31-27 30x32 White Wins.

A---23-27 is just a draw after 11-16.

B---This is the point. All the black pieces are now left without safe moves.

C---A last-ditch attempt to regain the lost man.

D---A nice tactical trick that arises more often than you might think in practical play.

09/29/12 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.