The Checker Maven

A Little Mischief


We owe today's problem to a certain L. L. Granger, who published it as Prize Problem No. 4 in The Canadian Checker Player nearly a century ago. He called the problem "A Little Mischief" but it turned out to be rather a lot of mischief.

White to Play, What Result?


Black has a mobile, centralized position. Is it enough to win, or can White draw? That's the real question here. These "What result?" problems are a breed of mischief all their own.

How much mischief are you up to? The problem isn't easy; prize problems seldom are. Give it a try, and then click on Read More to see the original solution and modern computer analysis.20050904-symbol.gif


Here follows the originally published solution and notes.

"32-27---1 14-17 *25-21 17-22 *11-7 22-26---A *7-10 26-30---B 10-14---D 18-22 14-18---E 22-25---C *18-22 25-29 *21-17 30-25 *22-26 25-22 27-33. Drawn.

A---19-15 27-24 draws easily.

B---18-22 27-23. Drawn.

C---22-26 18-23. Drawn.

D---10-6 also draws.

E---14-10 also draws.

Mr. Granger has not found a sound win against 32-28---2 for first move and thinks there may be also a draw for it although he had held the opinion that 32-27 is a star move."

1---See computer analysis below.

2---32-28 is indeed a draw; use your computer to check it. It turns out that 32-27 is not at all a "star" move, there being at least two alternative moves to draw.

Mischief indeed!

The computer finds an interesting and relatively rapid draw, starting with a move that Mr. Granger undoubtedly wouldn't have considered, as it looks unnatural. Such is the way of the computer.

11-8 18-23 25-22 19-15 8-11 15-8 22-18 23-27 18-9 27-31 to a draw, as Black cannot get First Position.

The original article further notes that, while Mr. Granger did award the prize (a six-month subscription to The Canadian Checker Player) to one respondent, he didn't think that anyone had completely "solved" the problem. Small wonder!

03/29/14 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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