This article originally appeared in the August 2000 issue of GammOnLine.
Thank you to Kit Woolsey for his kind permission to reproduce it here.

A Position from Jemimah's Past

By Stein Kulseth
It is always such an anticlimax to call the last game of the evening only to have it end in a quick cube turn after just a few rolls. So I looked hard at Jemimah's undersized board, yet couldn't seem to find a take anywhere, so I replaced the cube, and was about to pick up the checkers when Jemimah interrupted me.

"Wait a second, take one more look at this position."

I looked again, and it had not improved:







"You have escaped and made a 5-prime, while I have had one extra man sent back. You're somewhat inflexible, and I have the better board, still it must be correct to drop, nothing remarkable about it," I said.

"Yet, it is remarkable. The very first time I played backgammon with my husband, we encountered this same position. Only that time we got here after just three moves each. Now, if you're smart you should be able to figure out how that happened."

I took another long look at the board, and asked:

"... husband?"

"Ex-husband," she said "that was some time ago."

I looked at the board again. Sure, I could figure it out. I mean, I really am smart. Probably smarter than her husband, her ex-husband.

How did the game go?

As far as I know, no solution to this puzzle was ever published.

This puzzle has been updated, as the first version was flawed, having alternate solutions. The original puzzle can be found here.

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