A bit of a holiday season tradition at The Checker Maven has been the presentation of a "coffee and cake" problem. This is the sort of problem that you show to your checker friends and bet them coffee and cake that they can't solve it.
We think this year we have one that will put you in the winner's circle and garner you a nice Saturday afternoon treat at your local café or coffee shop. Let's have a look.
You might initially ask, what's the difficulty? Are those Checker Maven people asking me to just give away some coffee and cake? But when you take a closer look, you'll see that White is mighty short of options. Maybe your friends won't get their coffee and cake so easily after all.
Now, it's only fair for you to try to solve this one first, before you spring it on your unsuspecting friends, don't you agree? So give it your all, and then click on Read More to see the solution.
12-8 13-17 8-3 17-21 16-12---A 21-25 12-8 25-30 11-7! 4x11 7-2 30-25---C 2x9 11-16 9-13 etc., to a draw.
A---Here's where it starts to get tricky. For instance, 3-8 loses this way: 3-8 21-25 8-3 25-30 16-12 30-26 12-8 26-22 etc., and White can't protect the man on 14.
B---Now what? White seems to be out of moves!
C---Black shouldn't be too hasty lest he fall into this simple shot: 6-9 3-8 9x18 8x22 White Wins.
Now, let's go somewhere nice for that coffee and cake!