Four-In-A-Row, sometimes called "Connect Four" is a strategy board game that is actually quite good. Shown above is a large outdoor game set that you can buy for your backyard for only ... um ... $300.00 plus shipping.
At The Checker Maven, though, our game is checkers, and nothing will cost you $300.00 (or anything at all, as our content is completely free). However, our theme for this column is indeed "Four In A Row."
A top player won't require more than a minute or two, which includes time to read the problem terms and look at the diagrams. Those of us with lesser skills will require more time, of course, and perhaps quite a bit more.
But no matter; do the best you can. Are you ready?
When you're done, click the "back" button on your browser and then Read More to check your solutions, all in a row.
20-16 11x20 27-32! 20x27 32x23 8-11 23-19 White Wins.
This is an example of the "long pitch" tactic. Okay, that wasn't so hard.
9-14 3-7 14-18 7x16 18-23 21-17 23-18 16-11 5-9 17-13 18-23 13x6 23x7 Drawn.
Credited to C. A. Woodward. This one was a little harder but quite neat.
14-10 5-9 10-6 9-13 6-10 21-17 22-18 17-21 18-22 etc. Drawn.
This one was the equivalent of perpetual check in chess. The see-saw tactic is a common one.
22-25---A 9x18---B 10-15 21x30 15x22 20-16 11x20 12-8 20-16 8-3 16-11 Black Wins.
A---Caution! 14-18 9-14 10x17 21x23 White Wins!
B---21x30 10-15 9x18 15x22 Black Wins as above.
A nice little tactical problem that depends on getting the perhaps unexpected first move correct.
How did you do on these? Whether you got all of them or none of them, we hope you found this set of problems entertaining.