The Checker Maven

Coming: A New Look

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Over the next several months we hope to roll out a bit of a "new look" for The Checker Maven.

The idea isn't to change our layout just for the sake of change. But we want to introduce a move animation feature, and our current page arrangement simply isn't suitable.

Please bear with us as we incorporate dynamic new content and design into what we hope is your favorite weekly checker webzine.20050904-symbol.gif

04/29/13 - Printer friendly version
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Beginner's Corner

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Now, we're not saying beginners at the great game of checkers should stay in the corner, be put in the corner, or for that matter, be cornered. But after a spate of some pretty difficult problems and positions, we decided we should run a few easier ones, of the kind that our newer players can both solve and benefit from. More experienced players can solve these as speed problems, so it's our hope that there's something here for everyone.

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W30,27,26,17,11:B19,15,9,6,3.

This problem embodies two tactical motifs, which we'll explain in the solution. Try to solve the position from the diagram, without setting up or moving the pieces. Then click on Read More to corner the market on the answer.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/27/13 - Printer friendly version
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This Way or That Way

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Sometimes you have to choose, and the choice isn't always an easy one. This way or that way?

A checker choice that often occurs is "jump this way" or "jump that way" and sometimes the game hangs in the balance. Let's look at the following run-up.

10-14 24-19 11-16 28-24 7-10 22-17 9-13 25-22 5-9 30-25---A 16-20---B 32-28 2-7---C 19-15 10x19 17x10 7x14 (see diagram).

A---Very weak; 24-20 is better.

B---In the original annotations, this move was flagged as the probable losing move; in fact, it's potentially a winning move! However, it takes pretty deep computer analysis to show this.

C---This gives the advantage over to White, while 8-11 would have kept a strong Black lead.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play, What Result?

W:W31,29,28,27,26,25,24,23,22,21:B20,19,14,13,12,9,8,6,4,3,1.

White has a choice of jumps. Which is best--- if indeed one is better than the other--- and what result can be expected?

We are obligated to warn our readers that this one is as interesting as it is difficult, and the full solution will probably only be found by top players. But the rest of us can benefit from trying our hand at it. Such practical situations come up all the time.

Make your decision and then click on Read More for the solution and additional analysis.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/20/13 - Printer friendly version
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Anonymous

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Ah, that celebrated, most famous author of all time: Anonymous, who sometimes goes under the pseudonym "Author Unknown." With so many stories and poems and yes, even checker problems to this author's credit, Anonymous must have been (and still is) tremendously prolific, not to mention exceptionally long-lived, nigh on to immortal.

The famous Mr. (or is it Mrs. or Miss?) Anonymous, using the aforementioned pen-name of "Author Unknown," is credited with today's problem position in our ongoing Checker School series.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,27,20,18:B12,11,10,9.

Don't be a checker unknown; try to solve the problem. But if the solution remains unknown, you can always click on Read More to reveal the position's identity, so to speak.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/13/13 - Printer friendly version
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Readers in Oklahoma City

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If you're in the Oklahoma City area, and you have an afternoon to spare, we can use your help. It's a purely volunteer assignment, of course, but you would be able to assist The Checker Maven in bringing more content to its readership.

If you're interested and can help out just write oklahomacity@checkermaven.com. Thanks!20050904-symbol.gif

04/08/13 - Printer friendly version
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April Speedster

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Did winter speed by, and are we speeding into spring? Does time race by as fast as those cars race around the track?

Time certainly seems to subjectively pass faster as we get older; many studies have proven that assertion. On the checkerboard, too, time can speed by, especially when the clock is running.

You'll see what we mean when you try this month's speed problem. We're allowing 60 seconds--- a full minute--- because the problem is quite a bit harder than most of our speed problems.

April Speed Problem 60 seconds; relatively difficult

When you've sped through to a solution, click on Read More to verify your answer.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/06/13 - Printer friendly version
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