It's A Trap


There are all sorts of traps in life. You can get trapped into smoking (that's apparently what the photo above is all about, although it's hardly obvious). You can get trapped in a dead-end job. You can get trapped in a bad relationship or social situation.

As we well know, there are traps in checkers, too. Can you get trapped into becoming a checkers addict, if there is such a thing? Maybe. That's beyond our realm of knowledge. But over the board traps? They're legion.

In today's Checker School column, we'll have a look at what John T. Denvir, an older-day checker writer who is either famous or infamous depending on the account you read, calls Trap No. 36 in his book, John T. Denvir's Traps and Shots, published in 1894.

Black to Play and Win


This is quite an interesting one and we hope you'll give it a good try. Will you be trapped into spending a lot of time looking for the solution? We can't really say; all we know for sure is that clicking on Read More will take you to the solution, and not lead you into a trap.20050904-symbol.gif


15-18 22x15 3-7 27x18 12-16 19x3 10x28 3x10 6x31 to a Black Win.

An interesting stroke problem. But where's the trap? It's actually in the run-up.

1. 9-14 22-18
2. 5-9 24-19
3. 11-15 18x11
4. 8x24 28x19
5. 7-11 25-22
6. 11-15 27-24
7. 4-8 23-18

Several other moves such as 22-17 would have held the draw, but the text loses.

8. 14x23 31-27

Thinking to recover the man but falling into the trap with an immediate loss. 22-17 would still have been better although White is still lost. This brings us at last to the diagrammed problem position.

We hope you enjoyed this little exercise in visualization. If only avoiding life's traps were this easy!

Addendum: Brian Hinkle wrote to say that KingsRow shows a secondary solution. It's not the preferred or fastest route but it's nevertheless a Black win.

8-11 27x18 9-14 18x9 6x13---1 26-23 2-6 29-25 6-9 23-18 1-5 30-26 to a Black win---2.

1---KingsRow sees this as a probable Black win. The continuation shown is one of several possibilities.

2---White doesn't really have a good move, and in fact KingsRow suggests the 18-14 pitch to prolong the game. White's men on 19 and 24 are quite weak and there are several other problems with White's position.

12/10/22 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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