The Checker Maven

Thanksgiving 2015


This is Thanksgiving weekend, definitely our favorite time of year, when the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in the United States. It's a great family time, with food--- lots of it--- and festivity and reflection on the many things for which we all can be grateful.

On such occasions we like to feature a Tom Wiswell problem. Mr. Wiswell, a great checker champion, checker writer, and American patriot, represents for us the spirit of America and the spirit of the American holidays.

This year we've picked out a problem that is a real dandy.

White to Play and Win


White is a piece up, but Black has a king and the White win is yet to be demonstrated. It's a practical problem but not necessarily an easy one.

So, see how you can do. Take your time; it's a holiday weekend and some leisurely checker enjoyment is most appropriate. When you're done, click on Read More to see the solution. Then, do as we invite you to do every year at this time--- help yourself to another slice of pumpkin pie.20050904-symbol.gif


We start with the computer solution (KingsRow with 10-piece endgame database). It's quite precise, but please read on.

30-26 24-28---1 26-23 28-24---2 25-21---3 24-28 23-18---4 28-24 10-7---5 2x11 15x8 24-19 8-3 19-16 3-7 16-19 18-14---6 1-5 7-2 White Wins.

1---Not 24-19 when 26-23 trades off Black's king.

2---Other variations possible.

3---White has to be careful; 23-19 looks nice but only draws while 23-18 actually loses!

4---23-19 still only draws.

5---White forces a trade.

6---Not 7-2 1-5!

Mr. Wiswell gives a much different solution, one that we find most pleasing and, unsurprisingly, more natural. The notes are by Mr. Wiswell.

30-26---A 24-27---B 31x24 20x27 26-22 27-31 22-18 31-26 10-7 2x11 15x8 26-22 18-14 22x29 8-3 29-25 3-7 6-10---C 13-9 10x17 9-6 1x10 7x30 White Wins.

A---Preventing 24-19 and thereby limiting Black's attack. The exchange is now about all Black has as 24-28 would just be a waste of time.

B---Going after one of the White men in the middle of the board.


Did you find one of these solutions? Whether you did or not, it's time for a traditional Thanksgiving treat.


11/28/15 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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