The Checker Maven

The Hand of D.E.O.


Someone who wishes to be known only as "A Checker Friend from Michigan" sent us a PDN file with all the positions from Derek E. Oldbury's 1947 book of problems, The Hand of D.E.O.. To say the least, this book is hard to find nowadays and if you haven't got a copy, go to the PDN link in the right column and download the file.

Mr. Oldbury's problems are interesting and practical. They aren't necessarily easy, of course, but we're sure you didn't expect a simple walk in the park. This is the man who famously said that he would "take the chances to make the chances" and never backed away from the challenge of pursuing of a win.

Here's an sample problem for you to try.

White to Play and Win


Take your chances and make your chances, then click on Read More to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif


21-17 9-13 17-14 13-9 14-10 8-11---A 5-1 9-14 10-6 14-10 6-2---B 11-16 2-6 10-7---C 1-5 7-11 6-10 16-20---D 24-19 11-15 19-16---E 15x6 5-1 20x11 1x10 White Wins---F.

A---9-14 transposes to the main line on the next move.

B---White is now a clear piece to the good, having crowned two men. But Black still has more mobility.

C---10-14 isn't really any better.

D---16-12 doesn't avert the loss either.

E---Tricky play! White allows "the breeches" and pitches a piece to cement the win.

F---White has "the move" and a quick finish.

The over-the-board utility of this problem is noteworthy. White is a piece up and "ought" to win, except that he's got three single men vs. two mobile Black kings. Does this ever happen in actual play? All the time! Knowing how to bring the win home is what this problem is all about.

09/21/13 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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