The Checker Maven

Happy Holidays 2020

Image courtesy

This column will appear on December 26, 2020, and we hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. Whatever holidays you may (or may not) celebrate, we do hope this time of year will bring you whatever you may wish for, be that time with family and friends or just a chance to have a little break from the usual.

We like to draw from our favorite historical composers at this time of year, and today we turn to a prolific composer of days past, L. J. Vair. Mr. Vair originally lived in Denver and was known as "The Kolorado Kowboy." He also lived in Ohio, and in his latter years in Auburndale, Florida. Here is a problem that is said to be of a type in which Mr. Vair specialized back in the day.

White to Play and Win


This problem is bound to give you holiday cheer, even if you don't live in Colorado, Ohio, or Florida, and even if you're not a "kowboy." Take the time to work it out; it's a real pleaser. When you're ready, click on Read More to see the solution.null


24-19 15x24 20x27 32x23 1-5 9-14---A,B 25-22 18x25 5-9 13x6 2x27 White Wins---C

A---18-22 25-18 23-14 2-6 and White wins two pieces and the game. This branch seems even more pleasing than the main line!

B---The computer, being the computer, gives 13-17 5-21, something no one would ever play over the board, although it presumably makes White play out the win in a much longer 3x2 ending.

C---White has the "move" and finishes the win easily: 25-30 27-23 30-25 23-18 etc.

We hope you enjoyed this fine problem by one of the greats of years gone by. And now, continue to enjoy the best of the season. Happy Holidays to one and all!


12/26/20 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.