The Checker Maven

A Fantasy

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We found A Fantasy in an old checker publication, without any attribution. A Fantasy postulates a game between an Egyptian and the Wizard of Oz, played in the year 2,000 B.C.E.

Well, The Wizard of Oz wasn't published until 1900, but we're willing to suspend disbelief and overlook this nearly 4,000 year time gap, and we won't even get into the fact that our current form of checkers wasn't quite on the scene yet, either. We'll just start with the run-up to the problem position.


1. 9-13 22-17
2. 13x22 25x18
3. 11-16 29-25
4. 5-9 18-14
5. 9x18 23x14
6. 10x17 21x14
7. 8-11 24-19
8. 16x23 26x19
9. 11-16 28-24
10. 16x23 27x18
11. 7-11 30-26
12. 2-7 25-21
13. 6-10 24-19
14. 10x17 21x14
15. 11-16 26-23
16. 7-11 ...

Loses. An easy mistake to have made, but 7-10 would have drawn. We suspect Black didn't like the looks of 7-10 14x7 3x10 32-27 1-6 18-15 4-8 but Black is safe: ... 27-24 (31-26 10-14 26-22 14-18! 23-14 16-32 Black Wins) 16-20 31-27 12-16 19x3 10x26 to a draw.


16. ... 14-10
17. 16-20 31-27
18. 11-16 18-15
19. 4-8 ...
A Fantasy
Played 2,000 Years B.C.E.
BLACK (An Egyptian)
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WHITE (The Wizard of Oz)
White to Play and Win

W:W10,15,19,23,27,32:B1,3,8,12,16,20.

Up until move 16, both our Egyptian friend and the Wizard played without error. But now the Wizard has a chance to win, and, being a Wizard, will naturally do just that.

Can you do as well as the Wizard of Oz, or is that thought just a fantasy? Stay in the realm of reality by solving the problem and then clicking on Read More to see the solution.null

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01/26/19 - Printer friendly version
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Logical Checkers 2: Freestyle Expert

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Today we're pleased to announce the release of the second volume in Grandmaster Richard Pask's projected five-volume Logical Checkers series. Volume 2 is entitled Freestyle Expert.

Following on the heels of the highly successful first volume, Checkers for the Novice, the new book delves deeply into tactics, endgames and mid-game formations as well as landings and various freestyle (go-as-you-please) openings.

You can get the new book in its first electronic edition from the Richard Pask page as linked in the right column, or directly here. Through Mr. Pask's generosity the book is provided completely free of charge. The book runs to about 180 pages with over 150 diagrams and numerous illustrative games.

To demonstrate one small part of the content of this wonderful new book, here's the run-up to a sample tactics situation.

11-16 24-19 7-11 22-18 3-7 25-22; 10-14??---A 22-17 7-10 17-13 16-20---B, to the diagram.

A---Mr. Pask here quotes Richard Fortman: "This radical departure might be classified as a 'coffee-house' move, but impractical against a former world champion!

B---2-7 29-25 16-20 25-22 14-17 21x14 10x17 19-15 12-16 28-24 17-21 24-19 8-12 15x8 4x11 19-15 7-10 15x8 White Wins---Ed., with KingsRow.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,18,19,21,23,26,27,28,29,30,31,32:B1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,14,20.

To see the solution, simply download the new book and turn to page 123. Our thanks as always to Mr. Pask for according us the privilege of editing and publishing his work.null

01/19/19 - Printer friendly version
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For the Love of Thee

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Fred C. Shardlow, born in New York around 1874 and subsequently a resident of the Marshall, Minnesota area, was a song composer, and is credited with the song, For the Love of Thee for voice and violin.

Mr. Shardlow was also a checker problem composer, and we feature one of his "Gem" problems in today's Checker School entry. Unfortunately we don't have further information about his checker career, although we did locate some other problems of his published in the American Checker Monthly and the Winnipeg Free Press.

So, for the Love of Checkers, take a look at the following position.

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:WK12,15,23,28:B21,K22,K31.

We know you would love to solve it, so please do! And when you're done, you'll love to click your mouse on Read More to verify your solution.null

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01/12/19 - Printer friendly version
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New Year Action

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Who wants to start off the New Year in a dull and boring manner? The waterfall jumper above is certainly looking to make this day anything but routine.

And while we can't recommend waterfall jumping for everyone, the same principle applies to checkers. How about we start off 2019 with a real bang, courtesy of regular contributors Lloyd and Josh Gordon of Toronto?

WHITE
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BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W18,19,21,23,26,27,28,29,32:B3,9,10,11,12,14,16,17,20.

Black seems to have only one mobile piece. Can he truly pull out a draw?

This may be just a little past the 30 second "speed problem" category, but it's not terribly difficult and it certainly is loaded with action.

Kick off your checker year with some real thrills. Solve the problem and then jump your mouse onto Read More to check your solution.null

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01/05/19 - Printer friendly version
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