First Problem composition

Discussion and analysis about certain positions.

First Problem composition

Postby liam stephens on Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:28 pm

First ever Draughts Problem ?

Juan Timoneda 1635

Single Corner Block

Red
Image
White
Red to play - White wins

The original Timoneda problem in Spanish Draughts (long Kings) was as follows:

Red
Image
White

White to play and win

17-14, 32-9, 22-18, 9-32, 26-23, 32-29, 21-17, 13-22, 30-25, 22-26, 31-22 W. W.
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby George Hay on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:52 am

Liam, it appears that the first draught problem was probably in the Torquemada book in 1547, generally considered the first checkers book, as mentioned in the ACF Origin of Checkers page.
This book is mysterious, but it appears to have problems in it as a mid-sixteenth century book published in Valencia, Spain is referenced to have at least one problem. The reference is from a 1591 book on draughts by Pedro Ruiz Montero. Dr. Govert Westerveld's site has an essay on the 1635 Timoneda book. That book is in Spanish, but published in Toulouse, France. Adding to the mystery is Timoneda died in 1583! Dr Arie van der Stoep's site has a draught problem from a 1595 Spanish draughts book by Alonso Guerra. The problem is in the Evolution of the Game page, Step 5. The problem you presented may or may not be the first draught problem; it is just the first draught problem predates 1635 by decades....The two draught historians cited may be conveniently visited from the FMJD history page. http://www.fmjd.org/?p=genhist
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby liam stephens on Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:08 am

Hi George,

Thanks for all that information and references. Very interesting indeed.

I found that Timoneda problem on a Spanish website, where it is claimed as the first problem in "Damas".
See the site below:

http://www.terra.es/personal2/jlgsanz/c ... nglish.htm

The point that I found of particular interest is that at the end of the solution (my first diagram) an unusual single corner block is reached which theoretically could arise in Checkers/Draughts though I doubt it would ever arise in play.

I believe there are no copies extant of Torquemada's 1547 book.
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby George Hay on Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:49 pm

"I believe there are no copies extant of Torquemada's 1547 book."

Liam, I believe you are right, and there is only one extant copy of Timoneda's 1635 book, but that book is missing! The problem you present is instructive, and at the end works for Anglo-American Checkers. Even back then a total blocade of checkers (can't move) was a loss. --George Hay
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:26 pm

My Russian friend, checkers books collector, has this book: goat leather bind if I am not mistaken. I can check with him about title, but he said his raritet dated 16 century and published in Spane ... which seems to be the same you are talking.

His name is David Nudelman and he reside today in USA, CT.

Alex
I am playing checkers, not chess.
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby liam stephens on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:54 pm

Hi Alex,

It is Mr Nudleman who was the authority for stating that Torquemada's book has not survived.

"This book was written by Antonio Torquemada. The book is mentioned in the Spanish bibliography of books on checkers. The book has not survived - the only known copy was destroyed during the fire in which the entire Alexander Library vanished."

Quoted by David Nudelman in his Introduction to the English translation of A. D. Petrov's book.

Postscript:

In a subsequent email message to John Reade, Mr Nudleman pointed out that reference to the Alexander Library was an error.

"I made an error due to the fact that did not check the history and period of Alexandria Library existed.
Actually, the book existed in Spain in the Biblioteca de Valencia and the only common event- it also burned.
Therefore, my statement in the Introductory to Petrov's book needs to be corrected."

David Nudelman, March 2004.
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby George Hay on Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Petrov's Triangle must be one of the earliest draught problems; it predates Petrov and goes back to the early Spanish draught books. Petrov's Triangle is very ingenious, like first position or three kings vs two kings in Anglo-American Checkers. Petrov's Triangle is for long king (chess-bishop like king) checkers on an 8x8 board. It is three kings against one king for the win, even then one of the three kings must command the long diagonal! Petrov's Triangle does not work for 10x10, thus one reason for a high number of draws in International Draughts. Petrov's Triangle has relevance in Anglo-American Checkers as I found out from playing Cake. It is a formation to consider, as it controls a lot of board space! --George Hay
http://www.setupgroup.com/xo/king3king.php
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby George Hay on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:21 pm

http://www.lelio.com.br/ Lelio Sarcedo of Brazil has printed instructions on Petrov's Triangle as well as a YouTube video. He doesn't call it Petrov's Triangle, but rather "A Forcada," or in English, "A Forced,"or "The Forced." He credits Torquemada in 1540 with this problem. From Google Translate: The Force was discovered in Spain in 1540 by Anton Torquemada. His site in general will automatically translate by Google, but not the page on "A Forced." Still, the diagrams are very good, and the YouTube in Portuguese is easy to follow. He reminds me of Checkercycle. The page on "A Forced" and the YouTube "The Forced" may be found by scrolling down, both are currently on the left hand side of the home page below the recent 10x10 World Championship results. --George Hay
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby john reade on Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:44 am

Petrov's Triangle is known as 'The Special' in American Pool Checkers circles.
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Re: First Problem composition

Postby George Hay on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:19 pm

John, I did not know that! If we combine the above names we get "The Special Forced Petrov's Triangle," and indeed it is! --George Hay
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