The Checker Maven

Happy Holidays 2015

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We hope that your holiday season is going well, and that it is filled with everything you might wish for. Our holidays definitely include time for checkers, and today we'd like to turn to someone who was without doubt one of the greatest American players of his day, Samuel Gonotsky.

Mr. Gonotsky suffered from poor health made worse by his reputed lack of interest in taking care of himself, and a perennial lack of money. Had he lived beyond his twenties, who knows what checker mountains he might have climbed?

Today, let's look at one of his relatively few problem positions.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W27,25,17,13:B19,18,12,10.

This one will require some thought, so maybe it's one to try to solve with that cup of coffee after dinner or a slice of leftover mince pie. It's up to you how to go about it, but the main thing is to enjoy. When you're ready, click on Read More to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/26/15 - Printer friendly version
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Star Wars

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(Editor's Note: The next installment of The Lindyville Checker Club serial will be delayed until January 9 so that we may accommodate today's special column.)

This week the release of the seventh film in the immortal Star Wars saga is big news. Star Wars promotions and features are everywhere, and The Checker Maven is joining in with our own entry.

In checkers a star move is the only move possible in a given situation to obtain a win or a draw, as the case may be. In today's problem, Black can get a draw only by making five consecutive "star" moves. Star Wars indeed!

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:WK23,K1:BK21,9.

Black has a tough position, but the force is with him and if he navigates the "star" wars he can obtain a draw.

Is the force with you? Can you "force" a draw by solving the "star" wars? "Do. Or do not. There is no 'try'"--- Jedi Master Yoda.

When you're ready, force your mouse onto Read More to try out the solution.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/19/15 - Printer friendly version
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More Wyllieness

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A couple of Checker School installments back, we presented a position attributed to the great champion James Wyllie, "the Herd Laddie." Unsurprisingly, many other positions and studies are ascribed to this great master of days gone by.

Today's entry differs greatly from the previous presentation. Whereas that solution tended toward the subtle, this one leans more to the spectacular. Mr. Wyllie, obviously, was expert in every facet of the game, from the most delicate wins to the most bombastic strokes.

We've given you enough of a hint already, and you'll probably find this problem to be somewhat on the easier side.

J. WYLLIE
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W30,22,20,K7,5:BK27,21,14,13,12.

Show your wiles and be Wyllie by finding the solution and then clicking on Read More to see the solution, sample games, and explanatory notes.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/12/15 - Printer friendly version
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A CCCP Speed Problem

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We meant "CCCP" to stand for "Clever Canadian Checker Problem" since we found today's speed problem in the pages of an old edition of Canadian Checker Player. But our art department came up with a bilingual pun, and we thought it was pretty good. (Extra credit if you can explain it on your own.)

The problem really isn't so hard. But the holiday season is approaching, and we're feeling extra-generous, so we're giving you 15 seconds to solve it. When you're ready, click on the link below, then come back and click on Read More to check your solution.

December 2015 Speed Problem

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12/05/15 - Printer friendly version
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11th Anniversary

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This week marks the eleventh anniversary of non-stop, no-fail weekly publication of The Checker Maven. Many thanks to all our loyal readers. We hope you'll find enough here of interest that you'll want to stay with us in the weeks and years to come.20050904-symbol.gif

12/05/15 - Printer friendly version
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