The Checker Maven

The Twelve Move Sack

We continue to electronically reprint Willie Ryan's unmatched classic, Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, in tantalizing monthly installments. This month, we feature a twelve move debacle and a thrilling triple action shot. Willie himself explains.

A Twelve-Move Sack

It takes only one bad move to make a total wreck out of a good healthy position, as the reader will note from a cursory examination of this well-known 12-move mop-up. White's play up to A is sound enough; but with 21-17, black cuts loose with a withering blast of fireworks. Proceed:

10-14 24-19 11-16 28-24 16-20 19-15 9-13 23-19 7-10 32-28 14-18 21-17---A, forming the diagram.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win


B:W15,17,19,22,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31:B1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,12,13,18,20.

A---This is where white misses the boat. The following is correct to draw: 26-23, 2-7, 23-14, 10-26, 30-23, 8-11, 15-8, 4-11, 31-26, 6-10, 19-16, 12-19, 24-6, 1-10, 26-22, 10-14, 22-17, 13-22, 25-9, 5-14, 29-25, 11-15, 25-22, 7-10, 22-17, 15-18, 17-13, 18-22, 13-9, 22-26, 9-6, 10-15, 6-2, 15-18. Wm. F. Ryan.

An Old Familiar

The following catch is well-known to all expert players, and is particularly useful in crossboard play, because it arises from several openings. In this example, a triple action shot does the trick, white executing three separate double jumps in succession.

9-13 23-19 6-9 27-23 9-14 22-18 11-15 18-11 8-15 23-18 14-23---A. See the diagram.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W19,21,24,25,26,28,29,30,31,32:B1,2,3,4,5,7,10,12,13,15,23.

A---The wrong jump. The correct play is: 15-22, 25-9, 5-14, 19-16, 12-19, 24-6, 1-10, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 8-11, 28-24, 11-15, 32-27, 7-11, 26-23, 3-8, 30-26, 14-18, 23-7, 15-19, 24-15, 11-25, ending in a draw.

Don't get sacked yourself; clicking on Read More will bring you solutions and commentary.null

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08/26/06 - Printer friendly version
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Fifty Years of Composing

Melyvn Green, of Salford, England, next year will celebrate 50 years of composing original stroke problems. Mr. Green has composed hundreds of these teasers in the course of a long creative career that started in 1957.

Draughts stroke problems, as we've noted here before, are not everyone's cup of tea, much as composed chess problems are not to every chess player's taste. But, fan or not (and we confess to being unabashed fans), stroke problems have their own ineffable charm and appeal, with their often complex layouts and devilishly concealed key moves. Melvyn calls them, "hidden beauty on a draughtsboard," and has published a book with that exact title, collecting together 138 of his best puzzlers, enough to keep even the most dedicated solver busy for months.

Here's one of Melvyn's newer efforts, composed this past spring (2006). He categorizes it as "easy." You may or may not agree. Give it your best effort and then click on Read More for the solution.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK1,K9,K13,15,22,25:B14,16,18,23,K30,K31.

To commemorate his 50th year of problem composition, Mr. Green is offering copies of his book for only US $5.00 postpaid. This price is so low that it barely covers international postage. The offer is good until the end of calendar year 2007. Don't miss this opportunity. The book is a true gem.

Mr. Green is a man of many interests, and has asked us to pass along the fascinating fact that he is also offering for sale a substantial part of his collection of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror movie magazines! He has, over the years, amassed a large number of these publications from the US, the UK, and other points abroad. If your own interests extend beyond draughts and into this area, you might wish to contact Melvyn.

Mr. Green can be reached by email at melcar@amserve.com, and by traditional postal mail at 8 Castlefield Avenue, Salford M7 4GQ, United Kingdom.

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08/19/06 - Printer friendly version
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Tupper-Ware

Checker School for this month presents a position and problem that a review of checker literature has shown to have been first published by C. W. Tupper rather than others who reprinted it later. Our own independent research efforts were unable to determine, however, if Mr. Tupper was in any way related to Earl S. Tupper (the son of Earnest and Lulu Tupper), the eventual inventor of Tupper-Ware. We have no reason at all to make such a connection other than pure speculation, of course, but the known dates and locations make this at least an interesting possibility. Is there such a thing as Tupper-Ware checkers? Perhaps this is a new marketing opportunity, and perhaps Marvin J. Mavin himself might endorse such a product.

C. W. TUPPER
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W8,K14,19:B3,12,K16.

Forces are even, but White will very soon be down a man. Can you store away a draw for the White forces, or will Black put a lid on things? When you've worked out your answers, click on Read More to uncover the solution.

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08/12/06 - Printer friendly version
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In Times to Come at The Checker Maven

We've been busy working on ideas for Checker Maven columns, and we'd like to share with you a few of the things that will be happening here in times to come.

As always, your comments and suggestions are our guide, and we'd love to hear from you at webmaster@checkermaven.com.

08/12/06 - Printer friendly version
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Dog Days of Summer

Our canine friend seems to have found a cool, wet place to seek relief from the heat of an August midafternoon. But if you wish to beat our relentless clock on this month's speed problems, you won't be able to rest on your haunches; you'll have to brave the heat and show some hustle.

August Speed Problem 1 (very easy to easy). We're allowing you all of 30 seconds for this one.

August Speed Problem 2 (easy to moderate). For this one, you get two minutes, though you may not need it.

But don't sweat; clicking on Read More will bring you cool comfort by showing you our solutions.

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08/05/06 - Printer friendly version
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