A May Day Problem

May Day, the first of May, has its presumable roots in the ancient fires of Beltane, but is today celebrated in a number of different ways. In England, May Day is a substantial civic celebration, with traditions such as the Maypole, the May Queen, and much more.

In France, it's customary to give a lilly-of-the-valley to your lady of choice.


In Germany, Walpurgisnacht is celebrated on May Day Eve (Faust, anyone?).

May Day is also a Roman Catholic holiday. And finally, May Day is celebrated by the international labor movement as a day of the worker, and in some countries, military parades are held.

While we don't in any way accord with the philosophies of these aforesaid countries, most of whom repressed and exploited the worker while pretending to act in his interests, we think a checker problem that Tom Wiswell originally called "Victory" is appropriate. On May Day, the ancient traditions celebrated the victory of light over darkness, with the advent of spring and the coming of longer days. And we note that in the end, when the Communist system collapsed some years ago, the worker really was the victor---1.

So here's our celebratory problem, and as usual for a Tom Wiswell piece, it's a dandy. It's anything but easy, but it's worth the effort.


White to Play and Win


1---The Checker Maven makes no apologies for its pro-democracy position.

March on to victory, but if it rains on your parade, click Read More to see the delightful solution.


Here's Mr. Wiswell's solution. Lettered notes are by Mr. Wiswell while numbered notes are by the Editor. Variant moves and move orders are of course possible.

25-22 10-15 17-14 15-19 14-10 23-26 30x23 19x26 10-7 26-30 7-3 16-19 22-18 30-26 32-28 5-9 3-8 11-16 20x11 26-23 18-15 19-24 28x19 23x7 8-12---2 White Wins.

A---3-8 or 3-7 would allow Black to draw via a two for two after 9-24 and then 24-27.

B---If 3-7 then Black draws with another shot: 19-24 7-16 26-22 28-19 22-24.

2---White has the "move" or opposition on both the Black king and the Black man: 9-14 12-16 14-17 16-19---3 17-21 19-23 21-25 17. 23-18 25-30 18-22 and it's all over.

3---A neophyte might blunder here with 15-11, allowing the Black king to escape.

A nice victory for White, who avoided several clever traps along the way.

05/02/09 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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