The Checker Maven

New Year's Eve 2016

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Are you thinking checkers or partying today? We realize that this column will appear on New Year's Eve, and you may not have a lot of time for checkers today (sad as that might be). So we'll give you something quite a bit easier than usual this week, and we won't even annoy you with our Javascript clock.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W26,19,16,15,11:BK30,K24,14,12.

Easier? Did we say easier? Actually, it is, and it won't take time away from your celebrations. So work it out, check your solution by clicking on Read More, and then have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.

Happy New Year from The Checker Maven!20050904-symbol.gif

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12/31/16 - Printer friendly version
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Happy Holidays 2016

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The Checker Maven wishes all of our readers the happiest of holiday seasons. Regardless what holiday you might celebrate or how you might celebrate it, we hope this time of year brings you happiness and contentment.

During the holidays perhaps you have a little more free time, but even if you're busier than can be, one can always make time for some checkers. Today we present a study by that renowned player and author, the late Ken Grover; it's quite interesting and should give you plenty of holiday checker enjoyment.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W30,28,27,26,22,21,20,18:B16,15,13,11,10,9,7,5.

Can you find a winning line of play? We'll be fair about it: Mr. Grover published one win and the computer found another that was similar but not quite the same. See if you can work it out and then click on Read More to see the solutions.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/24/16 - Printer friendly version
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Coffee and Cake, 2016

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A bit of a holiday season tradition at The Checker Maven has been the presentation of a "coffee and cake" problem. This is the sort of problem that you show to your checker friends and bet them coffee and cake that they can't solve it.

We think this year we have one that will put you in the winner's circle and garner you a nice Saturday afternoon treat at your local café or coffee shop. Let's have a look.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W16,14,12,11:B13,6,5,4.

You might initially ask, what's the difficulty? Are those Checker Maven people asking me to just give away some coffee and cake? But when you take a closer look, you'll see that White is mighty short of options. Maybe your friends won't get their coffee and cake so easily after all.

Now, it's only fair for you to try to solve this one first, before you spring it on your unsuspecting friends, don't you agree? So give it your all, and then click on Read More to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/17/16 - Printer friendly version
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Does Cress Make You Well?

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All over the internet and in the foodie and gourmet magazines, you can read about the many and wondrous benefits of watercress. Whether you put it in your salad or use it as a garnish, you're promised untold health benefits, with the idea that cress can indeed make you well.

Of course that leads us to a horrible pun, as we present a position that arose in a game between classic checkerists E. E. Cresswell and J. Wyllie. The problem dates back around 80 years and is our current Checker School entry.

E. E. CRESSWELL - J. WYLLIE
BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W32,28,25,18,17,13:B20,16,10,6,2,1

There's no doubt that Black has the initiative and will try for a win, but White can find a narrow draw. It's not easy, but it's worth your time, as the play is quite instructive. When you've gotten as far as you can, click on Read More to see the solution, a sample game, and copious notes.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/10/16 - Printer friendly version
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12 Years

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Today The Checker Maven completes a dozen years of no-fail weekly publication, something we modestly believe is a significant accomplishment. We hope we've being doing our share in promoting the great game of checkers, and we do hope to be able to continue publishing for at least a few more years.

Someone who has contributed immensely to our game is Richard Pask, and to celebrate the "12" theme, we're taking a position that arises from Ballot 12 in his upcoming book, Complete Checkers. (It will be published by us most likely in spring 2017.)

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W12,19,20,24,29,30,31,32:B3,4,6,8,9,11,13,17.

Black has just blundered with 2-6 instead of the "star" move given in the Complete Checkers text, 17-22. How does White bring home the win? We suppose you ought to get 12 minutes to solve it, or 12 attempts, or something of the sort, but just do the best you can. Then, you can click on Read More once (not 12 times) to see the solution.20050904-symbol.gif

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12/03/16 - Printer friendly version
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