The Checker Maven

Better Than First

Take careful note of our fisherman in the picture above. In a tranquil setting, he has a calm, relaxed mind, and he has focused his attention completely on the seemingly simple task of fishing.

But these supposedly easy things can, in their idyllic appearance, mask a great deal of depth and the often unexpected need for substantial skill and experience. Such is the case with today's feature problem, a miniature that will require focus, skill, and calmness of mind to solve.

And, you'll understand the title of our article, Better Than First, when you've found the solution.


Black to Play and Win


Were you able to solve it? Just click on Read More for the answer, and an explanation of the theme.


4-8, 19-15, 8-12, 31-26, 12-16, 26-22, 2-7, 15-11, 7-10, 11-7, 10-14, 7-2, 16-19 Black Wins.

This problem is attributed to R. Holding, and Dr. T. J. Brown had the following to say: "The phrase, 'better than first' is commonly applied to situations that resemble some stage of first position, but may be solved in a more direct way. There are about twenty reputable problems of this class. Some of them produce only commonplace tactics. The succeeding problems may be termed neat."

Reputable and neat--- that certainly describes our fisherman, and we think as well that it's a fine description for this little study.

02/25/06 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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