The Checker Maven

How Fast Can You Win It?


"Fast Win" is, it seems, a computer shop on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. We can't explain how the name came about, and frankly it would seem to apply more to checkers or some other game than to computers. We have seen so-called "fast win" computerized slot machines, but we suspect that the fast winner there would be the operating venue.

Now, every once in a while we publish an "oddball" problem. This one is original, although it is inspired by something published long ago. The idea is to find a "fast win."

White to Play and Win


Well, sure, it's completely obvious that White wins, but what's the fastest way to win, given an effort by Black to hold out as long as possible?

It's not all that difficult, and we'll give you a large hint: we found a 5-move win. Can you go us one better?

Give it a try, and see if you can either make Black hold out longer or White win more quickly. You can see our own solution by clicking on Read More.null


1. 22-18 7-2

If Black doesn't retreat White wins quickly with 18-15.

2. 18-15 2-6

If 2-7 15-11 7x16 23-19 White Wins, also in 5 moves.

3. 15-10 6x15
4. 24-19 15x24
5. 28x19

White Wins.

Did you find a way for Black to hold out longer, or for White to win more quickly? Please let us know if you did. Write to

By the way, the original problem was of the "losing checkers" variety; it was White to play and force Black to win. That's a lot more challenging than today's terms, and perhaps we'll revisit the original some time in the future.

12/09/17 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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