The banks of the Jordan River are fabled, from the days of biblical history right down to the present. The connection with checkers? Well, none, really, except that whenever we hear "banks of the Jordan" we think of the famous Jordan-Banks championship match, which although of biblical proportions, took place during the relatively modern days of November, 1914.
Played in Kansas City, Missouri for the then-fabulous prize of $1,000, the games were memorable and indeed commemorated in a fine match book. Let's take a look at the very first game, which was played after suitable fanfare and ceremony.
Banks had Black and Jordan had White. The 2-move ballot was 10-14 24-20.
The game continued from here and went on to an eventual draw, as might be expected. But what if White had played 5. ... 28-24 instead? Would that have been a mistake, or just one of several alternatives?
5. ... 28-24 would have led to the following position.
Would Banks have been able to bank on a win in this case? Of course, Mr. Banks never had to cross that particular Jordan, but it would certainly have been interesting. See what you make of it and then cross your mouse over to Read More to see the solution.
This turns out to be a Black win. We'll show one possible winning path. Many variations are possible depending on White's play. Use your computer to explore further.
Black Wins. An interesting example of a common checker phenomenon: A seemingly innocent move leads to sure loss, but it isn't obvious for quite a few moves. We hope you enjoyed this little walk through alternative history.