The Checker Maven

The Joker


It's been a while since we featured a Chris Nelson problem. Mr. Nelson was a checker analyst and composer who lived in that one-time hotbed of checkers, Brooklyn, New York.

Today's problem gets its name from Tom Wiswell, who says it has fooled many an expert with a "joker" or false solution. Mr. Wiswell continues, "We doubt that you will get it the first time."

White to Play and Win


Don't let the joke be on you. When you think you've got it, check twice and see if you've really solved it. Then click on Read More to see that it really wasn't that hard after all.

Or was it?20050904-symbol.gif

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04/25/15 - Printer friendly version
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Capers on the Kelso, Part 5


Now that's quite a caper!

Today we feature the fifth in an ongoing series on capers in the Kelso opening, taken from Willie Ryan's classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard. There's a lot of action in this one and we think it's as good as the dance caper shown above.

Here's the runup, without commentary. (Annotations are presented in previous columns in this series.)

1. 10-15 22-18
2. 15-22 25-18
3. 6-10 29-25
4. 11-15 18-11
5. 8-15 25-22
6. 4-8 21-17
7. 9-13 23-18
8. 7-11 26-23
9. 5-9 30-25
Black to Play and Draw


Black has a loose double corner, but there's definitely a draw here, though it's not so easy to get it. Can you find the right move and then correctly play out the rest of the sequence? Willie found one drawing move, but there are actually two--- not that that helps very much.

Don't dance around; jump right in and find the solution, then leap to Read More to see Willie's answer and commentary.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/18/15 - Printer friendly version
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Researching Macindoe


The Macindoe Research Facility is a state of the art establishment focusing on digital literacy. It's part of the Presbyterian Ladies' College in Croydon, New South Wales, Australia. We don't know which Macindoe the facility is named for, but by all accounts this is a leading research center not just in Australia but in the world.

Would there be any relationship to checkerist J. B. Macindoe, who lived something like a century and a half ago in Montreal, Canada? It's possible, we suppose. Do they study checkers and draughts at the Macindoe Research Facility? While we'd like to think so, we're not sure it's part of their mission, but we can always hope.

Today's Checker School entry, certainly, is worthy of serious study by serious students. Here's the position.

Black to Play and Draw


A textbook ending? Indeed it is. Do your own research--- mentally, of course--- and see if you can solve it. Then, click on Read More for the customary detailed notes, solution, and sample games.20050904-symbol.gif

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04/11/15 - Printer friendly version
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The Fastest Speedster Ever


The fastest speedster in the world is supposedly the Hennessey Venom GT, which reached a measured speed of 270.49 miles per hour in 2014, although there's one little hitch. It didn't go into the record books because the run was made in only one direction; apparently, an official record for a production car requires the averaging of two runs in opposite directions. You can buy one of these, by the way, for around a million dollars.

Today we present what is probably the easiest problem we've ever published in the more than ten year history of The Checker Maven. Naturally, we're offering it as a speed problem, and here too there's one little hitch.

We're giving you just three seconds to solve it. But at least it won't cost you anything.

If you're an expert player, you'll get it in a fraction of a second. The rest of us might need a couple of seconds. And even if you don't get it in three seconds, you'll get it before long.

Click on the link below when you're ready, and keep your eyes wide open! Come back and click on Read More to verify your solution.

April Speed Problem (Very easy, three seconds)


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04/04/15 - Printer friendly version
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