The Checker Maven

Hopper: A Speed Problem


It's quite early for the Easter Bunny (Easter 2023 is on April 9) and somewhat late for Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit (January 22). So let's look at a little math problem instead:

"Chris is training Hoppity, her pet rabbit, to climb stairs. It will hop up one or two stairs at a time. If a flight of stairs has ten steps, in how many ways can Hoppity hop up the this flight of stairs?"

Oh, wait, this is a checker column. Well, in fact regular contributors Lloyd and Josh Gordon have sent along a "speed" problem they call "Hopper" so it seemed like something about a rabbit would be an appropriate lead-in. And no, the problem has nothing to do with the late GAYP master Millard Hopper.

The problem itself is a lot of fun, and of course the layout of the pieces, not to mention the problem's title, give a huge hint. It's certainly not a hard problem and can be quickly solved with just a bit of visualization. As we're fond of saying, top players will see it at once while the rest of us may require a few more seconds, or maybe even a minute or so.

Black to Play and Win


It doesn't matter what category you may fall in, whether top flight professional or enthusiastic novice. See how fast you solve it and then hop your mouse to Read More to jump to the solution.20050904-symbol.gif


6-10 15x6 7-11---A 16x7 14-17 21x14 22-26 30x23 27x11---B Black Wins.

A---Or 14-17 21-14 7-11 same.

B---12-8 11-4 20-16 4-8 or 20-16 11-20 12-8 20-16. Either way both remaining White men fall.

We hope you enjoyed this one. Our thanks to Lloyd and Josh as always.

The math problem? It's not all that easy and if you're interested, we refer you here for the solution.

03/04/23 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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