The Checker Maven

Happy New Year 2016


This column will appear on January 2, 2016. You've had Friday off from work, most likely, and you've hopefully shaken off any New Year's Eve excesses, had your fill of football games, and are ready to settle down to a little checkers to get the new year rolling.

Today we present a full game based on the Single Corner opening. It comes from master play from an earlier day. There are two parts to our checker problem. First, here's the whole game, without commentary.

11-15 22-18 15x22 25x18 12-16 29-25 9-13 25-22 16-20 24-19 8-11 19-16 4-8 16-12 11-16 18-14 10x17 21x14 6-10 22-17 13x22 26x17 8-11 30-25 11-15 23-19 15x24 28x19 16x23 27x18 1-6 25-21 10-15 18x11 7x16 31-27 16-19 32-28 2-7

White to Play, Black Wins


When originally published, this was correctly left as a Black win (with White to play). Now, the first part of our problem is to demonstrate the win. If you're any sort of advanced player, you'll be able to do this easily enough. If you're a non-expert, it's an excellent exercise in winning a won game.

The second part of the problem is much harder. Can you go back into the game and find out where White went wrong? Again, experts will realize quickly that this line in the Single Corner is not so common. But there's one move that can definitely be said to lose. Can you correct the play?

You'll need to get out your board for this one; we recommend that instead of a computer, as we don't want you to be tempted to simply look at computer analysis.

Will this start the year off right? Only you can say. See how you do and then click on Read More to see the solutions.20050904-symbol.gif


The win requires a little work. Continue from the diagram:

17-13---A 7-10 14x7 3x10 12-8 10-14 8-3 14-18 3-8 19-23 27-24 20x27---B 8-11 18-22 11-15 27-32---Black Wins, C

A---There isn't anything else for White to play.

B---Black is now a piece up, but must protect his men from the White king.

C---If 15-18 then 22-25 18-27 32-23 and the win is all but complete.

But where did White go wrong? That's a little harder. Let's look at the early moves of the game.

11-15 22-18 15x22 25x18 12-16 29-25 9-13 25-22 16-20 24-19 8-11 19-16---D 4-8 16-12---E 8. 11-16 18-14---F

D---Out of the KingsRow book, as 30-25 is better. Black now has an advantage, though short of a win.

E---28-24 better. White is in an inferior line of play, though we still hesitate to call it a loss.

F---White should play 30-25 to have a chance of staying in the game. This move and the following series of exchanges definitely loses; go back to the previous section for the rest of the game.

How did you do? The main thing is to have enjoyed and learned a little something from this problem. May your New Year be the best ever for you and yours!

01/02/16 - Category: Games -Printer friendly version-
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.