# The Checker Maven

### A Familiar Position

The yoga position shown above, we must opine, looks like rather a difficult one, yet the person in the photo seems to have taken it on quite willingly.

In checkers, difficult positions are generally avoided rather than sought. In the diagram below, Black is definitely in such a situation, and may have to go through contortions to find the way to a draw. But, like the yoga position, there is a way to do it.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W30,27,24,23,22,19,5:B21,13,12,11,10,6,1.

Can you make the necessary twists and turns? If you're a knowledgeable "book" player, the position may indeed look familiar, and you'll likely know how to do it. If it's not familiar to you (yet), it is a good one to learn, so either way, give it a try. If you find yourself in knots, you can always click on Read More to see the run-up, solution, and notes. While you're at it, just for a little additional fun, you might also try to name the yoga position in the photo.

Solution

The problem position arises from the 9-14 Double Corner opening.

 1 9-14 22-18 2 5-9 24-19 3 11-15 18-11 4 8-24 28-19 5 4-8 25-22 6 8-11 22-18 7 11-16 29-25 8 7-11 18-15 9 11-18 21-17 10 14-21 23-5 11 16-23 26-19 12 3-7 25-22

End of KingsRow opening book.

 13 7-11 31-26 14 6-9 26-23 15 2-6 27-24 16 9-13 32-27
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W30,27,24,23,22,19,5:B21,13,12,11,10,6,1.

 17 13-17*

Black's options are severely limited. Other moves, even seemingly plausible ones, will lose. If 11-16, then 24-20. If 10-15 then 19-10 6-15 23-19; and on 10-14 there follows 22-18 14-17 (or 6-9) 19-15 11-16 24-20. The only move to draw is the unlikely looking pitch with 13-17.

 17 ... 22-13 18 11-15 30-26

23-18 is a probable loss.

 19 21-25 26-22 20 25-30

25-29 similar.

 20 ... 23-18 21 30-25 18-11 22 25-18 11-7 23 10-15

What's this? Black, a man down, is swapping off?

 23 ... 19-10 24 6-15 7-2 25 15-19 24-15 26 18-11 27-23 27 11- 15

White must give back a man. If 13-9 then 15-10 and the man on 9 is lost. If 2-7 then 15-11 Black wins.

 27 ... 23-19 28 15-24

Draw. Black walked a fine line.

The yoga position? It's called 'halsana' or sometimes 'plow pose'. We imagine it's quite familiar to advanced yoga practitioners, although we must admit that Checker Maven staff definitely don't belong to that category.

09/27/14 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version