## World's Greatest Checkers Puzzle?

You may print this and show it to others. But, this article will eventually be part of a book that I am writing. So, please do not distribute it widely.

If you need help reading checkers notation, please print out the numbered board.

Here are three problems from The World's Biggest Puzzle Book by Charles B. Townsend. These are actually decent puzzles, but I object to the labels, World's Greatest "Checkers" Puzzle and World's Trickiest "Checkers" Puzzle. These problems are lame by those standards.

1. The World's Biggest Puzzle Book by Charles B. Townsend (several of Mr. Townsend's books are combined into this one book), is not the world's biggest puzzle book (it's fairly large). And, if we go by the following rather simple checkers puzzle (which this book calls World's Greatest "Checkers" Puzzle, without naming the composer), this is not much of a puzzle book at all.

Red to win: 27-24 28-19 26-23 RW.

The Curious Book of Mind-Boggling Teasers, Tricks, Puzzles and Games also by Charles B. Townsend also has this puzzle, but without calling it the greatest checkers puzzle. This book contains several excellent checkers puzzles, but gives no names of the composers.

2. As we are about to see, The World's Trickiest Puzzles by Charles B. Townsend, are not the world's trickiest puzzles. At least, the first puzzle in the book (which it calls World's Trickiest "Checkers" Puzzle) is not very tricky at all:

Red to win: 7-10 15-6 4-8 RW.

This puzzle is a simple reminder of the rule that being stalemated is a loss.

3. This puzzle is called the World's Hardest "Checkerboard" Puzzle, and is more interesting than the above puzzles. Unfortunately, this problem is flawed, having three solutions (either move by the piece on 15 wins, as white is a piece ahead (29-25 26-22 25-29 22-15 14-18 is a trade)). I wonder why there is a White piece on 15, as that causes all the confusion, and has nothing to do with the intended solution. It may be a typo (perhaps I copied the diagram incorrectly). Remove the piece from 15 and solve the problem.

White wins: 26-22 18-25 21-17 (or 19-16 first) 14-21 19-16 12-26 27-31 WW, another stalemate.

The first two problems are in Robert Pike's fine book, 101 Checker Puzzles, which also does not give sources (some of his problems are definitely not original). Mr. Townsend's books were written earlier, and contain puzzles from the distant past. Who knows who composed these problems?