Paraskevidekatriaphobia. It's what fear of Friday the 13th is called in scientific language (actually, it derives primarily from Greek), and many people won't even go out of doors on that date. There are many ideas as to its origin, but it's a fear not universally held. In fact, in Cantonese speaking areas such as Hong Kong, 13 is considered a lucky, not unlucky, number--- so presumably Friday the 13th would be a lucky day.
Friday the 13th is coming up in the week following initial publication of this column; how will you greet the day?
Unsurprisingly, we suggest greeting it with a thematically relevant checker problem such as the one below, composed by grandmaster problemist Ed Atkinson.
Will you be lucky or unlucky, or do you believe it's all a matter of skill? Try your luck, and then luck out by clicking on Read More to see the incredible solution.
17-14 10x17 11-7 20x11 5-9 3x10 2-7 11x2 19-24 28x19 9-13 2x9 13x13 White Wins.
It's just amazing. On the 13th ply (half-move) White wins by jumping 13-13. A real tour-de-force by Mr. Atkinson.
Ed points out that a variation of this problem appeared in one of Bill Salot's excellent problem composition contests (see here; they're not to be missed), and another variation in the Missouri newsletter. Our ongoing thanks to Ed for allowing us to publish his work in the columns of The Checker Maven.