Sinclair's Sacrifice

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Sinclair gasoline stations are common in the western United States, with some in the Great Plains and just a handful on the East Coast--- but not a single one in Hawai`i. We can only guess that Sinclair Oil decided to sacrifice participation in the admittedly small and difficult to supply Hawaiian market, in favor of more profitable ventures. We can hardly blame them.

But our subject today is a study attributed to checkerist A. Sinclair, a gentleman who we are almost certain is in no way an antecedent of today's Sinclair Oil. The study is taken from Ben Boland's marvelous classic, Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers.

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W27,24,23,22,17:B20,16,15,13,11,9.

Black is a man up, but with no safe moves, that advantage is highly temporary. How can he get the draw here? We think you'll find the solution nothing short of amazing, and the title of this column gives you a big hint. Does that oil the skids enough to lead you to a solution? Step on the gas and work it out, then motor your mouse over to Read More to see the amazing drawing method, explanatory notes, several sample games, and two supplementary positions.20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

As always, solution, sample games, and lettered notes and commentary are by Ben Boland. Numbered notes are by the Editor, using the KingsRow computer engine.

9-14---A, 17-10---3, 13-17, 22-13, 15-18, 23-14, 11-15, 10-6, 16-19, 6-1, 19-28, 27-23, 28-32, 1-6, 32-27---4. Drawn.

Game: 12-16, 22-17, 16-19, 24-15, 10-19, 23-16, 11-20, 25-22, 8-11, 22-18, 9-14, 18-9, 6-22, 26-17, 11-15, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 5-9, 27-23, 7-10, 23-18, 8-11, 30-26, 9-13---1, 32-27, 2-7, 28-24, 1-5, 18-14, 11-16, 26-23, 7-11, 14-7, 3-10, 17-14, 10-26, 31-22, 5-9, 21-17---2. Forms above position. J. Dougherty vs. H. Lieberman.

Game: 10-15, 22-18, 15-22, 25-18, 11-15, 18-11, 8-15, 21-17, 4-8, 17-13, 8-11, 29-25, 9-14, 25-22, 6-10, 24-20, 1-6, 28-24, 5-9, 23-18, 14-23, 27-18, 12-16. 31-27, 3-8, 27-23, 15-19, 24-15, 10-19, 22-17, 7-10, 32-28, 8-12, 26-22, 19-26, 30-23, 16-19, 23-7, 2-11, 28-24, 12-16. Forms position, colors reversed. A. J. Heffner.

Game: 10-15, 24-20, 15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 27-24, 7-10, 24-15, 10-19, 32-27, 9-14, 27-23, 2-7, 23-16, 8-12, 22-18, 14-23, 26-19, 11-15, 19-10, 12-19, 30-26, 6-15, 25-22, 5-9, 21-17, 4-8, 17-13, 1-6, 22-18, 15-22, 26-17, 7-10, 29-25, 8-11, 31-27, 3-8, 25-22, 19-23, (if 9-14, 13-9), 27-18, 8-12, 28-24, 12-16. Forms position, colors reversed. J. A. Kear, Senr.

Game: 11-16, 23-18, 8-11, 18-14, 9-18, 22-8, 4-11,126-23, 5-9, 25-22, 16-20, 24-19, 11-15, 30-26, 15-24, 28-19, 9-13, 29-25, 10-14, 22-18, 1-5, 18-9, 5-14, 19-15, 12-16, 15-11, 6-10, 26-22, 14-17, 21-14, 10-26, 31-22, 7-10, 32-28, 10-15, 28-24, 3-7, 25-21, 7-10, 11-7, 2-11, 21-17. Forms above position with man on 10 instead of 9, but the draw is obtained by the same method. J. Kirk.

A---In this position 15-18 will also draw: 15-18, 23-5, 11-15, 17-14, 13-17, 22-13, 16-19, 5-1, 19-28, 27-23, 28-32, 1-6, 32-27. Drawn. Published Play. The above game by J. Kirk was given as a White Win in the appendix to J. Lees’ "Guide," 3rd Edition. In a subsequent edition Kirk showed the draw.

1---Finally the game goes out of the KingsRow opening book.

2---Both sides played virtually flawlessly to this point.

3---Now what? Black still doesn't have a safe move! But watch what happens.

4---Now White must move the man on 14 and so can't go after the Black piece on 15.

The above idea may be found thus: A. Sinclair, Black---6, 7, 9, 10, 2.0. And White---13, 17, 18, 23, 28. Black Plays. White Wins. This was shown in the “Draught Board,” Page 53, 1871, taken as the outstanding position in the "Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette."

Sinclair's Position may be found in Gould's Problem Book as No. 692: Black---6, 9, 10, 16, 20 and White---13, 17, 18, 31, 32. White to Play and Win: 32-27, 16-19, 27-23, 19-26, 31-22, 20-24, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 24-27, 17-14, etc. White Wins.

"Sinclair's Sacrifice" was named so by "Carlovian" in the June 1903 Guide Post, where it was reviewed. It was also shown by R. Sallaway, "Similarity of Endings," the Draughts Review, Vol. 4, 1928, Page 14. There Mr. Sallaway said, "Sinclair has shown this ending some eighty odd years ago."

Also see "Familiar Themes" Page 6.

01/21/17 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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