The Checker Maven

How Bad Can It Get

20150129-howbad.jpg

The famous expression is "The money runs out before the month does." At times, it can get really bad. We've probably all known the feeling.

But can it get even worse? No, we're not trying to drive our Checker Maven readers into depression. There are times, though, when the only thing to do is sit back and have a good laugh.

Here's a checker position in which the idea is to make things as bad as they possibly can get. Not just a little bad, but really bad.

BLACK
20150129-howbad.png
WHITE
White to Play Worst Possible Move

W:W30,28,26,22,18,17,14:B19,16,13,12,6,2,1.

Today's challenge is to pick out the worst possible move on the board. Believe it or not, there's a move here that's so bad ... well, you'll see. (Optimists take note: you can also go ahead and find the best move if you wish.)

Find the worst move and then click on Read More to find out how bad things can be. You're bound to get a laugh, and you're certain to realize that, whatever your own problems may be, they likely have a solution.20050904-symbol.gif

[Read More]
03/28/15 - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with your comments on this article.

Fifth Position

20150227-5pos.jpg

If you're a ballet student of any standing, you've certainly encountered "fifth position," as shown above. It's one of the basics that every aspiring ballet dancer must learn.

Checkers, too, has Fifth Position, and it requires mental effort similar to the physical effort required for ballet's position of the same name. Yes, we've seen Fifth Position in our columns before, but perhaps not to quite the depth of today's lesson in Checker School.

Here's the basic premise.

WHITE
20150223-fp157.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W23,22,21,20,19:B14,13,12,11,6.

Even if you've done it before, it's worth another try. Solve it, then click on Read More to see the solution and the heart of this study: six sample games that lead to Fifth Position.20050904-symbol.gif

[Read More]
03/21/15 - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with your comments on this article.

Capers on the Kelso, Part 4

20150201-capers4.jpg

During your school days, did you ever "cut a caper" like the kids above are doing? They seem to really be enjoying their dance class.

This week continues our equally enjoyable checker series, Capers on the Kelso, taken from Willie Ryan's famous Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard. We're deep into a variation off the main line in which Willie has highlighted an interesting problem-like position.

The uncommented run-up follows below. For complete notes, see the previous columns in this series.


1. 10-15 22-18
2. 15x22 25x18
3. 6-10 29-25
4. 11-15 18x11
5. 8x15 25-22
6. 4-8 21-17
7. 9-13 23-18
8. 7-11 26-23
9. 5-9 24-20
10. 1-5 28-24
11. 9-14 18x9
12. 5x21 23-19
13. 2-6 27-23
14. 3-7
BLACK
20150201-tts131.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,31,30,24,23,22,20,19:B21,15,13,12,11,10,8,7,6.

White is a piece down, but the draw is there, although White will have to make a number of star moves and "toe the line" pretty closely.

Is this too big a caper to pull off, or can you do it? Give it a couple of turns, and then click on Read More to see the solution and notes.20050904-symbol.gif

[Read More]
03/14/15 - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with your comments on this article.

The Slowest Speed Problem

20150202-sp0315.jpg

We thought for a while before declaring today's offering a "speed problem." It's probably the "slowest" speed problem we've published to date, and the proposed solution time of 45 seconds reflects our view of its difficulty.

Now, some of you will undoubtedly see it right away and solve it in just a few seconds. But we think that for most players, a little thought will be necessary.

Click below to display the problem and start the clock.

March Speed Problem (45 seconds, difficult)

When you're done, come back and click on Read More to check your solution.20050904-symbol.gif

[Read More]
03/07/15 - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with your comments on this article.