The Checker Maven

Goldsboro's Guillotine

Off with their heads! Madame Guillotine was a very busy worker during the time of the French Revolution, and many a poor victim was lead out to encounter her deadly embrace. Fortunately, today's Checker Maven column uses this imagery in a much more peaceful manner, as Willie Ryan, in his book Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, brings us a checker position which fits the metaphor to perfection. You'll see what we mean when you play through the game and solution. Willie is a bit brief about this one, perhaps because it does indeed speak for itself.

"Tailor Tom Goldsboro, one of England's foremost living players, does a nice job on this Dundee shot, which reveals a novel series of exchanges seldom seen in stroke tactics:

12-16 24-15 10-14
24-20 10-19 18-9
8-12 18-15 5-14
28-24 11-18 29-25
3-8 22-15 14-18
23-18 13-22 20-16---A, 1
9-13 25-18 19-23
21-17 7-10 16-11---2, which
16-19 26-22 leads to the

Black to Play and Win


A---Heading for a fall. The following sews up a draw without strain or pain: 30-26, 2-7, 22-17, 12-16, 20-2, 1-5, 2-9, 5-30, 27-23, 18-27, 32-16, 30-23, 15-10, drawn."

1---Play has been textbook perfect to this point, but one slip is all it takes in close and complex positions. The computer now rates the game as favorable for Black but not necessarily a forced win ---Ed.

2---Definitely loses. The computer gives 15-10 as having much better chances, though Black retains a good edge---Ed.

Can you slice and dice this position, or will your efforts be cut off? We certainly hope not, and dropping your mouse on Read More will lead you, not to the guillotine, but to the solution.


"Continue: 6-10, 15-6, 1-10, 22-6, 2-9, 27-18, 8-29, and black wins."

If you play this out on your computer or over the board, you can visualize the Black blade slicing through the White position. A most spectacular finish!

08/21/10 - Category: Books -Printer friendly version-
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