The Checker Maven

Basil's Bonanza

What we seem to have in our photo above is not Basil's Bonanza but perhaps a Bonanza of Basil --- basil leaves, that is; the wonderfully-flavored herb that pairs so well with tomato; that is a staple of the Mediterranean kitchen; and which features as well in many an Asian dish.

But as usual, we need to remind our sometimes over-enthusiastic Research Department that this is, after all, a checker column; and today we're on to a different case: to wit, Basil Case, who is credited with today's theme in our ongoing series of extracts from Willie Ryan's Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard. Willie himself will tell us more.

"Basil Case, of Russellville, Alabama, has long been one of America's foremost players and analysts. A major prize winner in several national tournaments, and six times Southern States Champion, Case has milled out a considerable quantity of brilliant analysis during his checkered career. The spectacular stroke recorded here is a representative product from his robust bag of tricks.

11-16 22-17 10-17
24-20 6-10 21-14
16-19 29-25 15-18
23-16 8-11 32-27
12-19 25-22 1-5
22-18 14-18 28-24
9-14 27-23---A 2-6
18-9 18-25 24-19
5-14 23-16 6-10
25-22 25-29 See the
10-15 17-14 diagram

White to Play and Draw


A---Introduced by Champion Case as a worthy alternative to the usual 30-25---2."

2---A few minutes of analysis on a fast computer rate 30-25 as a somewhat better move; but after nearly an hour of analysis, the computer validates Mr. Case's 27-23 as being nearly as good. Mr. Case's brain, in about five minutes of thinking time, proved every bit as good as 60 minutes on a modern computer!---Ed.

Will this be your "bonanza" problem and will you solve it forthwith, or will you be entangled in its leaves? Get on the case, and when you're ready, click on Read More to see the solution.


"Continue: 14-9*, 5-14, 19-15, 10-19, 30-25, 29-22, 26-10, 7-14, 16-7, 3-10, 27-23, 19-26, 31-6, 14-17---1; a draw. Mr. Case notes that a player will encounter this type of stroke only once in a lifetime. It is indeed an unusual clearance."

1---Or 14-18, or 4-8; it's a clear draw---Ed.

12/12/09 - Category: Books -Printer friendly version-
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