Saturday the 21st of November the final column “De damkunst” by Arne van Mourik has been published. Linked to this is his tournament problem, entitled Gecko. The only limitation is the edge of the board, for the rest, the artist has the freedom to enjoy himself.
White has a lot more material, but on every ‘normal’ reaction black will combine, thanks to his four kings. How can white still win?
Geckos are known for their ability to stick to all kinds of surfaces, even vertically and upside down on glass. In this composition the kings jump to the left wall like geckos.
Here is the solution.
Harm Jetten’s widely known Dam2.2 can’t find it. For Kingsrow a picosecond will do. He finds exactly the solution given by Arne van Mourik:
44-40 (13×49) 41-37 (35×22) 11-7 (19×41) [the first gekko to the wall] 7×27 (49×21) [the second] 46×37 (48×31) [the third] 26×17 (50×11) [the fourth] 16×7 (2×11*) 36×27 (11-17 of?) 15-10 (14×5) 20-14 (9×20) 25×14 (3-8) 14-9 (8-13 or?) 9×18 (17-22) 18-12 (22×31) 12-7 (1×12) 6-1 (31-36) 1×23 and black may choose if a white king finally ends high or low.
Well, of course Kingsrow prefers 12-17 as black’s last move, instead of 31-36. Kingsrow ain’t no problemist.