The Checker Maven

A Tricky One


The magician above is indeed full of all sorts of tricks and we might well call her a "tricky one" although likely she would rather be known by the more formal designation of prestidigitator.

Often in the early part of each month we present a "speed" problem--- something for you to solve as quickly as you can. Such problems generally fall into the "easy" category. Today, though, we have a "tricky one" sent along (with analysis) by regular contributors Lloyd and "Gosh Josh" Gordon of Toronto. Is it as full of tricks as the magician above? You'll have to decide for yourself.

White to Play and Draw


Although the problem terms are for White to find the draw, see if you can also hold the draw for Black. Unless you're an upper-level player you may not solve this one speedily, but some effort will be well rewarded. When you're ready to see the solution, though, there's no trick; just click on Read More.20050904-symbol.gif


We've shown some interesting variations in the play. More are possible; use your computer program to explore the position further if you wish.

1. ... 18-15
2. 9x27 ...

11-27 of course loses.

2. ... 15x8

32-23 loses.

3. 7-11* ...

27-31 loses.

3. ... 32x23
4. 19x26 30x23
5. 6-9* ...

Anything else appears to lose.

5. ... 8-3

23-18, protecting the elbow for now, also draws here: 23-18 16-19 8-3 9-14 18x9 5x14 3-8 11-15 8-11 14-18 11-7 19-23 7x14 (Black temporarily goes a man down) 15-19 22x15 13x29. The point. A database draw. This line is at least as interesting as the main line.

6. 11-15* 20x11
7. 15-19 23x16
8. 12x19 3-8
9. 10-15 11-7

Alternatively and interestingly: 17-14 9x18 11-7 5-9 7-2 19-23 8-11 23-26 2-6 26-30 6-1 9-14 1-6 14-17 21x14 30x21 6-9 18x25 11x18 21-17 14-10 17-14 18-22 14x5 22x29 Drawn.

10. 15-18 ...

Attacking the vulnerable elbow; this was the point of the pitches.

10. ... 22x15
11. 13x29 ...

A database draw. Indeed, not really a speed problem, but an interesting and instructive one with many twists and turns, a "tricky one" indeed.


06/03/23 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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