The Checker Maven



We came across this personalized postcard evidently made for checker great Tommie Wiswell. Mr. Wiswell is playing a simultaneous exhibition, as he often did. Note that the postcard lists what was apparently his home address, 355 45th Street in Brooklyn, a building that is still standing. Our research tells us it's in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, was built in 1910 (interestingly, the year Mr. Wiswell was born); it's listed as a multiple family dwelling; the size is about 2,500 square feet on a 2,000 square foot lot; and it's valued at around $800,000 or so.

We'll use any excuse to feature a Tommie Wiswell problem, of course. This one is based on a Louis Ginsberg game played at an unspecified club in New York City. Mr. Ginsberg was also a Brooklynite, and hence comes the title of the problem.

White to Play and Draw


The problem isn't all that easy in that there are some nice ways to get it wrong. It would be a lot of fun to work on it at a nearby Brooklyn park, but in this internet age, you can solve it from just about anywhere in the world. Give it a try and then click on Read More to see the solution, notes, and an interesting photo.20050904-symbol.gif


30-26 9-13 26-23 14-17 22-18 6-9---A 11-15---B 17-22---C5. 15-10 22-26---D 23-19---E 26-31---F 10-15---G 13-17---H 18-14 9x18 15x13 31-27 etc. Drawn.

A---Mr. Wiswell notes that this is the only move to save this man, as White threatens 18-14.

B---The point of this subtle move will soon be seen.

C---17-21 23-19 and White gets a 2 for 1 and draws; or 12-16 15-10 17-21 10-14 drawn.

D---22-25 same idea.

E---14-10 26-31 14-5 31-26 23-19 26-23 Black Wins. Did you see this or did you play 14-10 too quickly?

F---26-30 similar.

G---10-14 still loses. Mr. Wiswell leaves the position here as a draw.

H---Anything else actually allows a White win; try it!

Recent photo of 355 45th Street

$800,000 is a middle of the road price for this part of Brooklyn, but as Honolulu residents, that amount of money for 2,500 square feet seems quite inexpensive to us. Location, location, location!

07/30/16 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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