The Checker Maven

Andy's Annihilator

In our latest installment from Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps and Shots of the Checkerboard, we present what has to be the most stunning and spectacular position thus far--- and that's saying a lot. Without further ado we'll let Willie tell us about it.

"World's Champion Andrew Anderson is generally con­ceded to be the discoverer and early coach of James Wyllie, although there is no evidence on the records to indicate that the 'Herd Laddie' ever acknowledged Anderson as his teacher. The great Anderson played five torrid matches with Wyllie between 1837 and 1847, winning four of them, losing one. This may explain why the caustic Wyllie was reluctant to bestow any credit upon his master. A refined and quiet-mannered gentleman, Anderson was versatile as a player and as an analyst. It has been said that none of the trunk games in his Guide has ever been corrected. Among Anderson's best known analytical sparklers is this instructive sortie on the Souter opening. Proceed with:

9-14 23-19 11-16
22-17 6- 9 17-14
11-15 17-13 16-23*
25-22 2- 6 31-26---F
8-11 22-17 10-17
29-25 14-18 21-14,
4-8---A 26-22---E arriving at
the diagram.

Black to Play and Win


A---In a match game between Robertson and Wyllie, the former used 11-16 at this point, and the following sensational play ensued:

11-16 27-23 11-15 31-27 11-27 26-23
24-20 19-24 19-16 5-9 19-15 19-26
16-19 28-19 7-11 27-24 10-19 30-7---D,
23-16 15-24 16-7 15-18 17-10 resulting
12-19 32-28 2-11 23-19 6-15 in a draw.
17-13---B 8-11 22-17 8-12---C 13- 6
4-8 28-19 3-8 20-16 1-10

B---White dare not attack the piece 27-23, as 5-9, 23-16, 9-13, in reply, ends all organized resistance, and black wins.

C---At this move, one of Wyllie's cronies, Peter Rule, entered the playing room, and after hastily taking inventory of the situation on the board, exclaimed, 'My, Mr. Wyllie, how did you ever get into such a scrape as this?'

'I am a piece ahead,' was the pert reply. Then Wyllie moved 20-16, proceeded to give away six men as fast as Robertson could take them, and acquired a draw amidst loud salutes of general ad­miration.

D---A splendidly played crossboard game, which is worthy of close analytical study by all grades of players.

E---A tricky but untenable move, which requires black to meet it with exacting play. The correct move here is 26-23, as exemplified in Mclndoe's Slingshot (previously published here --Ed.).

F--21-17, at this point, would be crushed by 23-26, 30-23,15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 24-15, 10-19, 22-15, 9-18, 31-26, 7-10, etc., with black winning."

Make no mistake, this one is a real shocker, and a genuine challenge even to a top player. Can you do it? Don't get annihilated; click on Read More to blast your way to the incredible solution.


"Continue: 12-16*---G, 26-12, 6-10, 13-6, 10-26, 30-14, 1-17, 27-23, 17-21, etc., and black wins.

G---A move of this kind does not readily suggest itself even to the most astute player; yet it is the only one to win. It is this incalculable quality of checkers that makes the game ever intriguing and ever new."

04/19/08 - Category: Books -Printer friendly version-
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