# The Checker Maven

### A Single Corner Singe

The Single Corner opening with 11-15, 22-18 is very popular and full of interesting play, but sometimes a seemingly reasonable and natural looking move will singe a player's fingers, so to speak. We'll look at one such situation in today's original study.

To set the scene, here's the run-up, without commentary.

 1 11-15 22-18 2 15x22 25x18 3 9-14 18x9 4 5x14 29-25 5 8-11 25-22 6 10-15 22-17 7 4-8 17x10 8 7x14 23-18 9 15x22 26x10 10 6x15 24-19 11 15x24 28x19 12 2-6 32-28 13 11-15 19x10 14 6x15 21-17 15 12-16 28-24

Here's the position as it now stands.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W31,30,27,24,17:B16,15,8,3,1.

White should have played 17-14 but didn't, and it's a win for Black, but how? Could you have drawn with White had you played 17-14? Black still would have an edge and the draw is not easy.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play, White to Draw

B:W31,30,28,27,14:B16,15,8,3,1.

So we've burned the candle at both ends, and left you with two problems. Show the Black win after White's 28-24, and show how White could have made a draw with 17-14.

Too much? Burned out? Set your mouse aflame on Read More to see the solution and explanatory notes.

Solution

First we'll look into Black's winning line after 28-24.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W31,30,27,24,17:B16,15,8,3,1.

 16 16-19 24-20

Forced.

 17 19-24 27-23

Attempting to remove a target.

 18. 24-28 30-26 19. 28-32 26-22 20. 8-11 23-18

17-14 may be better here, but this move looks natural enough.

 21. 15-19 18-14 22. 3-7 17-13 23. 32-28

The king swings into action.

 23. ... 13-9 24. 19-23 22-17

9-5 is the computer move but we show instead a less artificial conclusion.

 25. 23-27 31x24 26. 28x19 9-5 27. 11-15 14-9 28. 15-18 17-14 29. 19-15 20-16 30. 18-22 16-12 31. 15-11

Black wins. White is out of safe moves.

And now, let's look at the situation had 17-14 been played instead of 28-24.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play, White to Draw

B:W31,30,28,27,14:B16,15,8,3,1.

 16 3-7 28-24

Now this move is okay. What a difference an interim move makes!

 17. 16-19 24-20 18. 8-11

Best at this point, to hold the white man on 16.

 18. ... 30-26 19. 19-24 26-23 20. 24-28 14-9 21. 28-32 27-24 22. 7-10 9-5 23. 10-14 23-19 24. 32-28

Best.

 24. ... 19x10 25. 28x19 10-7 26. 14-17 7-3 27. 11-15 3-7 28. 15-18 7-10 29. 18-22 10-14 30. 17-21 14-17

Drawn. Black, with the narrowest of advantages, really can't win.

Computer analysis for this study was done with Ed Gilbert's KingsRow engine and the companion 10-piece end-game database.

02/20/16 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version