The following books are available for purchase. Please make checques/postal-orders
payable to Martin Bryant. Overseas orders
preferred in U.S. dollars cash.
"The Colossus v McCarrick Challenge Match 1992"
The World Computer Draughts/Checkers Champion takes on the Irish Champion in a 20 game
freestyle match, with Colossus emerging victorious by 4-0. This is the official match book
containing the complete game records of all twenty games, fully annotated by the winner.
Also includes a full write-up, some interesting pre-match newspaper cuttings, comments by
the players and some amusing cartoons. (£3.50 [$8 U.S. overseas] inc p&p)
Game 8 : 11/2/92 : 26 moves/hour : Maid of the Mill Black:Colossus
11-15 22-17 8-11 17-13(a) 15-18(b) 23x14 9x18 24-20 10-14 28-24 11-15
26-22 7-10 30-26?(c) 3-7 22-17(d) 7-11 26-23 4-8 31-26 5-9 26-22 12- 16 32-28 16-19!(e)
23x7 2x11 27-23 18x27 24-19 15x24 28x19 8-12 19-15 10x19 17x10 6x15 13x6 1x10 21-17 27-31
25-21 19-24 17-13 24-28 13-9 15-19 9-6 10-15 6-2 19-23 2- 6 15-19 22-18 31-26(f) Black Win
(a) Despite his near loss in game 4 Con once again offers the Mill!
(b) In the 5th UK/USA International Match, Richard Pask playing against Hugh Burton took
9-14 into the Pioneer, stating that "15-18 is not 'strong' if you know nothing about
it, and the other fellow knows a lot!"
(c) Loses. The move order 32-28 5-9 30-26 is correct, but by playing 30-26 first Con
allows 3-7 (which is rather weak if played after 32-28!). He said after the game that he
was just expecting 5-9 32-28 and never suspected the move order would be important here.
(d) Now forced as 32-28 loses to 14-17, but now White just runs out of room.
(e) A lovely pitch which leaves White completely helpless.
(f) White's King cannot catch the stragglers so it's first blood to the computer.
"The Colossus v Bednall Challenge Match 1992"
Colossus takes on its old teacher Frank Bednall (British Postal Draughts Champion) in a
20-game 3-move match (cross-board), with Colossus triumphant by 9-1. A complete record of
all the games, fully annotated. (£3.00 [$7 U.S. overseas] inc p&p)
Game 4 : 6/6/92 Black:Colossus White:Frank Bednall
12-16 22-18 16-20 24-19 8-12(a) 25-22 10-14(b) 29-25?(c) 11-16 19-15
7-10 23-19 16x23 26x19 14x23 27x18 4-8 31-27 3-7 27-24 20x27 32x23 7-11(d) Black Win
(a) Into Paisley lines from 11-16 24-19 8-11 22-18 16-20 same.
(b) The position can now also arise from a Denny by 10-14 22-18 11-16 25-22 16-20 24-19
8-11 same. The text sets a trap for the unwary.
(c) Loses. Frank walks straight into Willie Ryan's "Paisley Pickle Barrel"! (See
his "Tricks, Traps & Shots" book. Also see the April 1991 Lancashire Checker
Newsletter for another amusing game running into this trap, which I had a personal part
in.) Strangely enough, Black's next move, springing the trap, is not noted in Basic
Checkers. However Colossus was well aware of the trap and has been primed with several
transpositions leading to it. 22- 17 is the best move here with a colours reversed Glasgow
(d) At the end of the first session's play, Frank offered his hand in "sincere
congratulations". I believe that only now was Frank beginning to realise just how
much Colossus had improved since it's early days, when he was able to achieve a plus score
against it. Right up to the start of the match he obviously believed that he had a
reasonable chance of beating Colossus. It is of course good to have a positive attitude,
but fatal to underestimate your opponent! He also commented that he knew Colossus wouldn't
beat him 20-nil as he'd resign if it got to 11-nil!
"The 'Colossal' Tournament Games 1990-1992"
This book contains all of the major tournament games played by the 'Colossus' computer
draughts program, during it's first three years of development. They are fully annotated
with diagrams, plus some interesting reports, pictures and newspaper articles. Amongst the
opponents were Pat McCarthy, Bill Edwards, 'Chinook', Con McCarrick, Tom Landry and many
others. Some of the interesting games include :- Pat McCarthy's probable missed win over
Colossus in the 1992 Sammy Cohen which would have given Pat the title instead of Colossus,
Bill Edwards' cross-board correction of an Ayrshire Lassie line in Ryan's Championship
Checkers Simplified, Colossus' win over Chinook in the 1990 Computer Olympiad (the only
game Chinook had lost to another computer), and a 'Colossal' correction of Duffy's Single
Corner. 65 games in all. (£6 [$10 U.S. overseas] inc p&p)
Round 11 : Single Corner
11-15 22-18 15x22 25x18 8-11 29-25 4-8 24-20 10-15 25-22 12-16
21-17*(a) 7-10 17-14 10x17 22x13 15x22 26x17 8-12 28-24?!(b) 3-7 30-25 7-10 25-21?!(c)
10-14!(d) 17x10 6x15 13x6 1x10 21-17?(e) 5-9! 24-19(f) 15x24 23-18 10-15 17-14 15x22 14x5
16-19 5-1 22-26 31x22 24x31 22-18 19-23 18-14 23-26 14-10 11-15 1-5 26-30 5-9 15-18 10-6
18-23 6-1 31-26 1-6 26-22 6-10 22-18 9-5 30-25 5-9 25-21 9-5 18-14 Black Win
(a) Of course Fred avoids the famous 'Goose-Walk' loss of 27-24?
(28-24? similar) 15-19 24x15 16-19 23x16 9-14 18x9 11x25 32-27 5x14 White wins. First
shown by William Payne in 1756.
(b) O.K. readers, time to get the red pens out... 27-24 is best then 6-10 draws. With the
correction at note (e) in mind, the text must surely be considered no more than 'another
draw' for White (despite what Duffy's and other Single Corner texts say).
(c) Although this is pp it leaves White in a desperate position as he is forced to go a
man down just to scrape a draw! Instead 32-28 10-14 (or 2-7) draws. In fact, even
31-26 (transposing into Duffy's Single Corner, variation 22, note D, where it is given as
a loss) seems to draw. 10-14 is now probably best, but Duffy's tries to claim a win after
9-14 25-21 6-9 13x6 2x9 26-22 9-13. No more play is given, but surely after the 23-18
exchange, 10-15 (if 5-9, 32-27 1-5* 27-23 9-14* 18x9 5x14 24-19 11-15* 20x11 15x24 22-18
13x22 18x9 draws with a pretty position) 18-14 16-19* 32-28 19-23* 14-9 5x14 17x10 23-27
10-7 27-31 24-19 15x24 28x19 31-27 22-18 27-23 19-15 draws?
(d) Master Play only gives 10-15? here, answered by 24-19?. However White's best reply is
31-26* leading to a win shown in Duffy's Single Corner.
(e) This loses outright. Duffy's recommends 31-26* but instead of 2-6 or 2-7 as given
there, Black has the immediate 5-9! (delayed a move in Duffy's), then 26-22* is forced
(21-17? loses to 9-14 (or 2-6) 17-13 2-6, while 32-28? loses to 9-13 26-22 10-14) followed
by 2-7 32-28 and White is into Duffy's variation 23, note L, at 6th. Black can then force
the win of a piece by 9-14 22-17 16-19 23x16 12x19 17-13 14-18 13-9 19-23 9-6 23x32.
Duffy's now gives 24-19* to draw (with no play!), but 6-2 losing to 32-27 and some fancy
King manoeuvres. However this line is obviously very uninviting as the recovery of the
piece is not trivial and so without previous knowledge, most players would choose the
text. (Also while you've got your red pen handy, you can change the 'Black Wins' at the
end of variation 23, note P, to correctly read 'White Wins'!)
(f) If 17-13 then 10-14 (or even 2-6 32-28 9-14 24-19 15x24 28x19 14-17 and White has no
reasonable moves) wins. Fred now sees the danger so tries something desperate.
"The Colossus v Fortman Postal Challenge Match 1992-1993"
Colossus takes on the World Postal Draughts Champion in a 12-game 3-move postal match,
with Colossus emerging victorious by 1-0. All the games fully annotated. Also includes a
full write-up and all the letters exchanged between the players during the nine month
match. (£6 [$10 U.S. overseas] inc p&p)
Black:Richard Fortman White:Colossus
12-16 21-17 9-14(a) 24-19(b) 14x21 19x12 11-15 22-17 5-9 28-24 8-11
25-22!?(c) 9-13!(d) 23-18*(e) 6-9!(f) 26-23 11-16 18x11 16-20* 23-18 7x16 32-28 9-14(g)
18x9 1-5 9-6 2x9 27-23 20x27 31x24 16-20 24-19 20-24 23-18 9-14* 18x9 5x14 19-16 24-27
16-11 27-32 28-24 32-27 24-20 27-24 11-7 14-18(h) 22x6 3x10 17-14 10x17 20-16 17-22 Draw
(a) The aptly named 'Minotaur'! This 'monstrous' opening had been my
own choice in the 1992 British Masters, with which I scored 8 wins and 6 draws!! It has
great scope for wins on both sides, with many tactical nasties. An obvious choice again
(b) More of a fighting move than 17-13.
(c) Varying from Basic Checkers' 24-20 4-8 25-22 9-13 23-18 in its note (D).
(d) Best! I was trying to get 4-8?! then 17-13 (not 24-20 back into the above line) 9-14
into Basic Checkers' note (E), where Colossus had a heavyweight cook waiting! i.e. 22-17!!
(instead of 22-18) to a probable White win. The text initiates a cramp on the White single
corner but it never amounts to anything.
(e) Not 24-20? as in a Tinsley v Long practice game in 1955. It was thought sound until
Oldbury pointed out that 6-9 now wins for Black! See his Square World p.305. Now White
must walk a narrow line to draw, but considering that the move at (c) produced wins
against G.Miller, J.McSheffery and D.John in the 1992 Masters, it is well worth the
(f) If Black plays 4-8? hoping for 24-20 back into the note (c) line, he will be unhappy
to see 24-19! in reply to a White win.
(g) 2-6 is probably a better attack, as used by Frank Bastiman in the 1992 British
Masters, but also only a draw. After the text, White is at least equal again.
(h) Wisely releasing the cramp on White's single corner, as if Black allows 7-2, White
"The Colossal Canadian Checker Caper - Colossus v Chinook 1993"
The worlds strongest computer programs sweat silicon in this marathon 54 game 3-move
friendly match, with Chinook triumphant by 9-2 and 43 draws. All the games fully
annotated. (Download here in MS
Word 2000 format.)
Game 43 : 31/7/93
10-15 22-17 15-19(a) 24x15 11x18 23x14 9x18 17-13 5-9 21-17 8-11 25-21
9-14 17x10 7x14 26-23 11-15 30-26 4-8 28-24 8-11 29-25 3-7 26-22 11-16 22-17 6-10 24-20!
16-19?(b) 23x16 12x19 20-16 7-11 16x7 2x11 27-23 19x26 31x22 11-16 13-9 16-19 9-6 19-23
6-2 23-27 32x23 18x27 2-6 27-32 6-9??(c) 15-19 9x18 19-23 18x27 32x23 17-13 10-15*(d) Draw
(a) The 'Skullcracker', a nasty piece of work for Black. As we were now
into the last two days of the match, Dr. Schaeffer allowed me to choose any opening I
liked, even if I predicted Chinook would be caught by some nasty prepared trap. He stated
that he would much rather lose a game to Colossus in a friendly match than a game against
Tinsley in a future rematch.
(b) Gotcha! I was 99% certain that Chinook would fall into this trap. It first came to my
attention whilst checking out the BC play for cooks. On reaching this position, Colossus
also wanted to play 16-19 and thought the position strong for Black! Of course it soon
becomes apparent to a human that the Black pieces are hopelessly vulnerable. However the
actual loss of a piece does not occur for dozens of moves, well beyond any computers
lookahead. Also the 8-piece databases cannot help much, if most of the play still has 10
or 12 pieces on the board. I was also convinced that Chinook would fall for it after
studying its game 34 against Tinsley in their 1992 match. This transposed into the above
line, but Chinook, as White, played a 'nothing' move (23-19) instead of 24-20. As it
obtained no real advantage by 23-19 it must therefore have been avoiding 24-20 because it
thought it was bad for White! So given the Black side, how could it resist 16-19!! This
loss was also played by Landry against Bruch in the 4th International match.
(c) Allowing a man down draw!! Instead waiting another move with 17-13*, and then chasing,
wins. Chinook's 7-piece databases now started chanting 'Draw, draw, draw'. Boy was I
(d) "Well we dodged a bullet there!" - J.Schaeffer. During this game, Jonathon
made the observation that without the 8-piece databases the programs would probably be