# The Checker Maven

### The Great Lewis Stroke

Golfer Stacy Lewis is executing quite a powerful and accurate stroke in the photo above, something that takes skill, strength, and timing.

Today's excerpt from Willie Ryan's Tricks, Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard brings us a similar example from the game of checkers. Attributed to the late Lawrence Lewis, skill, strength, and timing are all part of the picture here too. Now, we doubt that checkerist Lewis and golfer Lewis are in any way related, but we don't know if golfer Lewis plays checkers or for that matter if checkerist Lewis played golf. What we do know is that you'll certainly enjoy today's problem. Let's let Willie tell us more.

 9-13 15-18---A 13-17 22-17 29-25---B, 1 19-15 13-22 6-9 1-6 25-18 24-19 24-20---2 10-15 9-13 12-16---E 18-14 28-24 Now look at the diagram.
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W14,15,20,21,23,25,26,27,30,31,32:B2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,16,17,18.

"White now sweeps the board with one of the best concealed strokes recorded in checker literature. It was first shown by the late Lawrence M. Lewis of Wheeling, West Virginia, who sprang it on me in a match at Flint, Michigan, in 1928, throwing the gallery of spectators into an uproar!

A---Tescheleit's Master Play says this move 'leads to a critical draw for black.' The figures featured in this study should disperse that claim.

B---Very weak, as it permits black to work in 6-9, tying up white's single corner development. Tescheleit prescribes 21-17 as the potent element in white's formation, but black has an equal game against it, as follows: 21-17, 11-15*---C, 29-25, 8-11, 17-13, 11-16*---D, 24-20 (if white adopts 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, then 6-10* puts black on the right track), 16-19, 23-16, 12-19, 27-23, 18-27, 32-16, 15-19* (a one-move redeemer), 16-11 (31-27, 4-8, 27-24, 8-12, 24-15, 12-19, 15-11, 7-16, 20-11, 6-9, ends in a draw), 7-16, 20-11, 3-7, 31-27, 7-16, and white has nothing to play for but a draw.

C---Given to lose by Tescheleit, but it is probably the only move to draw! Tescheleit shows 11-16 to draw, then 29-25, 16-20, 26-22, 12-16, 22-15, 7-10, 14-7, 3-26, 30-23, 5-9; now, instead of 17-14 as given in Master Play, 25-22, 8-12, 23-18. Now black hasn't a leg to stand on, and white wins.

D---Corrects and improves Tescheleit's Master Play, where 4-8 is played, white winning with: 25-21, 6-10, 23-19, 10-17, 21-14, etc. Recommended move seems to promote the draw without any real difficulty, indicating that the 15-18 move at A is no lame duck when properly managed in the structural stage.

E---Fatal. The guileless player would never suspect that a paralyzing coup was in the offing. Neither did I! The correct moves to a draw here are: 6-9, 26-22*, 17-26, 31-22, 12-16---F, 30-26*, 9-13---G, 15-10*, 11-15, 20-11, 7-16, 10-6*, 2-9, 14-10, 9-14, 10-6, 8-12---3, 6-2, 16-20, 2-6, 3-8 (if 12-16 is moved, the shot by 21-17 gains the draw), 6-10, 8-11, 10-19, 11-16, 22-15, 14-18, 23-14, 16-30, 14-10. Wm. F. Ryan.

F---If 9-13 is played, then follow with 23-19 for an easy draw; if 2-6 is played, then 14-10, 7-14, 22-17 will win.

G---Or 16-19, 23-16, 8-12, 15-8, 12-19, 22-15, 4-18, 14-10, 7-14, 27-23, 18-27, 32-16, 14-17, 21-14, 9-18, 16-11, 5-9, 20-16, 9-13, 25-21. Wm. F.Ryan."

1---24-19 was certainly better, though the computer doesn't agree that White has more than a small advantage---Ed.

2---Very poor, probably losing for White; 23-19 would have maintained the balance---Ed.

3---This gives up the Black advantage. Willie missed this Black win: 8-11 6-2 16-20 32-28 4-8 2-6 8-12 6-10 3-8 10x17 12-16 23x14 15-18 22x15 13x29 15-10 8-12 21-17 29-25 17-13 25-30 26-22 16-19 10-6 11-16 and now white has no defense against the coming 19-24. Black Wins---Ed.

You'll have to uncover some pretty spectacular moves to solve this one, but take a swing at it and try to drive to the solution. When you're done, click your mouse on Read More to see strength, power, and timing in action.

Solution

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W14,15,20,21,23,25,26,27,30,31,32:B2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,16,17,18.

"Continue:

 14-10* 21-14* 27-23*---H 31-27 1-6---5. 7-14 11-18 18-27 3-8 White wins. 25-22* 20-11 32-23 27-24 L. M. Lewis, 18-25 8-15 4-8 8-12 1928. 23-18* 26-1 23-19 24-20 14-23 25-29 8-11 2-7

H---Clinches the win. In the actual game, Lewis played 27-24 here, allowing me to get away with a draw---4."

4---27-24 still leaves White with a clear advantage if not an outright win. Willie evidently got lucky---Ed.

5---The original book shows 32-27 here, which has to be a typesetting error---Ed.

05/12/12 - Category: Books -Printer friendly version-