A little january teaser

Discussion and analysis about certain positions.

A little january teaser

Postby MostFamousDane on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:56 pm

White to move and ?
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby George Hay on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:22 am

Hi Sune, at first glance it looks like a White win, with a king and a full complement of men still on the king's
row! However, Black has 9 checkers to White's 8. Could there be a narrow draw for Black? I played the position against Simplech (on instant) and it froze! I've never seen Simplech freeze before! Ratcheting up to
KingsRow (on 5 minutes, exact) it is a long draw, and I'm not sure that it is the solution! KingsRow vs KingsRow
plays it 8 12, 6-10, 12 8, 19-24, 8 12, 16-20, 31 26, 24-27, 26x19, 15x24, 32x23...to a draw.
--George Hay
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby MostFamousDane on Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:53 am

Hi George

Your moves are correct but the conclusion isn't :).

8 12, 6-10, 12 8, 19-24, 8 12, 16-20, 31 26, 24-27, 26x19, 15x24, 32x23 as you mention leads to this position:



From here continue

12-16 20-24 16-19 27-31 23-18 31-27 25-22 27-31 and we arrive at this:



This is the key position ... look at this for a while and see if you can solve it!

Kingsrow continues something like this to a draw (unless given ALOT of time):

21-17 31-27 18-14 10-15 19-10 27-23 14-9 24-27 9-5 27-31 5-1 31-26 10-7 4-8 11-4 2-11 4-8 11-16 8-12 16-20 1-6 20-24 6-10 28-32 12-16 24-27 16-11 27-31 30-25 26-30 11-7 30-14 10-17

But the position wins for white like this:

18-15 24-27 15-6 2-9 21-17 27-32 22-18 13-22 18-14 9-18 19-23 18-27 30-26

Ending up with this position:


White wins - 3 pieces down - pretty sweet isn't it :)


George Hay wrote:Hi Sune, at first glance it looks like a White win, with a king and a full complement of men still on the king's
row! However, Black has 9 checkers to White's 8. Could there be a narrow draw for Black? I played the position against Simplech (on instant) and it froze! I've never seen Simplech freeze before! Ratcheting up to
KingsRow (on 5 minutes, exact) it is a long draw, and I'm not sure that it is the solution! KingsRow vs KingsRow
plays it 8 12, 6-10, 12 8, 19-24, 8 12, 16-20, 31 26, 24-27, 26x19, 15x24, 32x23...to a draw.
--George Hay
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby Bill Salot on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:08 am

Sune,
How do you think this would have fared in a problem composing contest?
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby MostFamousDane on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:14 am

Bill Salot wrote:Sune,
How do you think this would have fared in a problem composing contest?


Hi Bill

The situations shown in my teaser series belong to a different class - I don't expect any humans (dead or alive) to be able to solve these without a computer since they are difficult enough to solve WITH a computer!

Also they don't meet the requirement of having no dual solution
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby George Hay on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:31 am

Sune, the ending is sweet indeed! I did catch the double corner cramp theme after about 5 minutes, but this ending is still unexpected! I can only add Black's sixth move of 24-27 between the first and second diagrams.
This and little december show the limitations of computers, little january even more so! We are up to KingsRow missing a win with 300 seconds per move!
--George Hay
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby MostFamousDane on Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:39 am

George Hay wrote:Sune, the ending is sweet indeed! I did catch the double corner cramp theme after about 5 minutes, but this ending is still unexpected! I can only add Black's sixth move of 24-27 between the first and second diagrams.
This and little december show the limitations of computers, little january even more so! We are up to KingsRow missing a win with 300 seconds per move!
--George Hay

Here is the complete move sequence without diagrams - I have pasted them from my program so they should be legal :).

8-12 6-10 12-8 19-24 8-12 16-20 31-26 24-27 26-19 15-24 32-23 24-27 12-16 20-24 16-19 27-31 23-18 31-27 25-22 27-31 18-15 24-27 15-6 2-9 21-17 27-32 22-18 13-22 18-14 9-18 19-23 18-27 30-26
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby Bill Salot on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Hi Sune,

You said:

"The situations shown in my teaser series belong to a different class - I don't expect any humans (dead or alive) to be able to solve these without a computer since they are difficult enough to solve WITH a computer!

Also they don't meet the requirement of having no dual solution"

Could we explore this a bit further?

First, where did the setting come from (a computer correction of published play a la Jim Loy; an unpublished game with computer involvement; a composition with computer input but no game run-up; or did you just sprinkle checkers on the board at random)?

Second, do you think a composing contest devoted to original, unpublished, sound, and dual-free teaser class problems would be well received?

Third, would you participate in such a contest?

Fourth, do you think we could find any judges patient enough to evaluate a group of such problems?

Fifth, I don't see a dual solution to this problem; could you show us one?

I'll stop there, but my curiosity runeth over.

In my view, it is a great problem.
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby MostFamousDane on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:04 pm

Bill Salot wrote:<snip>

First, where did the setting come from (a computer correction of published play a la Jim Loy; an unpublished game with computer involvement; a composition with computer input but no game run-up; or did you just sprinkle checkers on the board at random)?


I went on an expedition to the dessert and my spirit guide facilitated a communion with the earth and I suddenly saw the patterns of life, the number 42 suddenly appeared in the sand and I heard the voice of Marion Tinsley speaking to me. He was dictating the FEN strings to the positions which I naturally transcribed and posted here :D

No seriously I composed these myself - my inspiration is some computer matches between my own program (with 10 piece db) and kingsrow (with 10 piece db) I save all loses and wins and go over them to find the losing move. Typically the position don't come up directly in the match but "around the match" as possible moves that wasn't taken but that I had to analyse in order to find the losing move of the match.

Bill Salot wrote:
Second, do you think a composing contest devoted to original, unpublished, sound, and dual-free teaser class problems would be well received?

Third, would you participate in such a contest?

Fourth, do you think we could find any judges patient enough to evaluate a group of such problems?


There doesn't seem to be much interest in these positions that I have posted - very few people have responded. So far no one has given a correct solution to any of them so it could simply be the case that people find them interesting but are too chicken to try and post a solution :D.

Well I guess the problem would be to find anybody else (I guess we would need other composers to hold a contest) to try and construct these kinds of problems as they are really rare and takes a lot of work and technical know how to dig out. The point of these problems are that the are hard to solve even with a computer.

I would be very interested to see somebody else contribute a hard computer problem if that is the case I guess they can post one in this forum and you can arrange a competition and I will see if I can dig out another one.

Bill Salot wrote:Fifth, I don't see a dual solution to this problem; could you show us one?


Well I guess at the position in the last diagram could actually be counted as regular problem as there doesn't seem to be any dual solutions and I could have considered entering it into your regular contest. I feel that is still a bit too difficult though my guess is that very few people would be able to solve it even at that advanced stage.

Bill Salot wrote:I'll stop there, but my curiosity runeth over.

In my view, it is a great problem.


Yes I agree - extremely pretty.
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Re: A little january teaser

Postby Bill Salot on Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:05 pm

Sune,

Thanks for the detailed reply.

Although your consultation with Dr. Tinsley across the great divide may have given you an unfair advantage, I am impressed with the personal problem composing prowess that you demonstrated with your January Teaser.

You said, "There doesn't seem to be much interest in these positions - very few people have responded." I think the same can be said about most problems today.

The fans of the game are fewer than they used to be. Of those, the majority just want to enjoy the game, preferably by winning one now and then. But they are easily discouraged.

A relative few will venture into problems with the objective of solving one now and then. But they are easily discouraged too.

And most of the top notch players are focused elsewhere.

That leaves precious few of us who really enjoy problems. I don't know about you, but my objectives, as a problemist, are twofold: first to find an audience; and then to impress them with the brilliance of my compositions. I believe the composing contests are a way of reaching that audience (the brilliant part hasn't worked out yet). I invite you to provide some of your brilliance in a future contest.

We'll try to challenge your entry with some extra difficult problems. For example, Louis Cowie has a reputation for creating such problems (and he does it without access to a computer). His "Lucky Rabbit" won Contest #8. It took my Checkerboard-Cake program 130 seconds to find the best attack (his 6-1) at the first Red move, and then it took 70 more seconds to initiate the proper escape (his *8 3) at the third White move. You will find it in the archives listed at the top of the contest page.

The judges are often unpredictable and never unanimous, but their valuable consensus opinions keep the composers active and the contests afloat.

If you want to discuss this further off the Forum, e-mail me at wjsalot@comcast.net

Best wishes,
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