Contest 70: Pawns Beat Kings

Although we have never been much for checker variants, there is an entertaining game called "Fox and Hounds." It can be played on a checkerboard. The fox has to escape the hounds and the hounds have to trap the fox. This is, in turn a variant of the old "Fox and Geese" game with similar rules but played on a board similar to that of Nine Men's Morris.

What does this have to do with us? Well, in the 70th iteration of Bill Salot's amazing Checker Problem Composing contests, the theme is "Pawns Beat Kings" and is in many way reminiscent of Fox and Hounds. Can the uncrowned men (hounds) defeat the powerful King (fox)?

There are three great problems on the contest page. Please try them out and then be sure to cast your vote for the one you like best. Meanwhile, here's an example of the theme. It's called Optical Illusion No. 81 and the composer is none other than Bill Salot himself--- at the age of 16! It was published in Elam's Checker Board on January 21, 1946.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W8,17,19,23:BK5,K25,K29,K31

You don't need to defeat the mighty King; a draw will do. But can you manage it? Don't be a goose; try to outfox the opposition! When you're done, click on Read More to see the solution. Then, head on over to the contest page.

Solution

*19 15, 31-27---A, *23 18, 27-23, *18 14, 23-18, *15 10, 18-9, *17 13, 9-14, *13 9, 14-7, *8 3, 5-14, 3 17, Draw (original solution).

A---25-22, *17 13, 31-27, *23 18---B, 22-17---C, *15 11---D, 5-1---E, *11 7---F, 27-23, *18 15, 17-14, *15 10, Draw (computer variation discovered 77 years later).

B (off A)---Not 23 19, *27-24 BW, but 27-23 only draws.

C (off A)---If 27-24, *18 14 (all other moves lose), 22-18, *15 10, 18-9, 13-6, draws. If 5-1 (29-25, *18 14, 5-1, same), *18 14, 29-25, *14 10 draws, but all other moves lose.

D (off A)---Not 15 10, *17-14, BW.

E (off A)---If 27-23, *18 15, 17-14, *11 7, 5-1, *15 10, Draw, same as A.

F (off A)---Not 18 15, *17-14, BW. Not 8 3, *27-23, 18 15, *17 14, BW.

On to the contest page!

09/16/23 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-