In the world of American crossword puzzles, each week renowned cruciverbalist Stanley Newman publishes the "Saturday Stumper." It's a very hard puzzle, often substantially harder than the one in the Saturday New York Times, which is in itself a real challenge.
Checker problemist Brian Hinkle has come up with a "stumper" of his own, and has kindly shared it with us. Let's have a look.
As is typical with Brian's compositions, finding the first move is the real key, although even then you've still got to demonstrate the draw. But "Stumper" actually has two solutions. You may not necessarily be stumped in finding the first solution, but finding the second solution is truly a "Saturday Stumper" of our own.
Will you be stumped, not just on Saturday but in the ensuing days? Consider yourself a good solver if you find the first solution, and an amazing one if you find the second. Clicking on Read More, of course, will show you everything.[Read More]
Tough steak? Bit off more than she can chew? The steak might possibly have been a little less tough, and more appealing, if it was tenderized and ... cooked.
Tough in checkers, of course, means something different (and so does "cooked" but that's a story for another day). It seems like we've published quite a number of tough problems lately, but hopefully they've been interesting and instructive. With that out of the way, we're going to publish one more. It's a good one, and although we've lost track of the source, it's nonetheless pleasing--- and tough.
Yes, Black can win this position with skillful play and quite a bit of patience. That's by way of saying that the solution is rather long and requires careful application of technique. Are you tough enough to stick it out and gain the win? But when you're ready, it won't be very tough at all to click on Read More to see the solution.[Read More]
No, not like that! Computers can be frustrating sometimes, but the suggestion to 'hammer it out' shouldn't be taken literally.
Sometimes checker games can be frustrating, and you've got to hammer out a solution. In today's Checker School entry, continuing our series of 'gem' problems, we have something composed, appropriately, by Wm. M. Hammer.
If you're Black, you might be frustrated at the difficulty of hammering out a win. If you're White, and a man down but with a centralized position, you might be frustrated at the difficulty of hammering out a draw. Yet a draw is there. Work it out and then pound your mouse on Read More to see the solution.[Read More]
Leap Year won't come until next year, so February remains a short month. It's always seemed a bit unfair to us. Even though there are only 28 days, the rent or the mortgage or the condo fees remain at their full amount, as do the cell phone bill, the cable bill ...
We're certainly not going to solve that problem here, so maybe we'd best concentrate on a checker problem. It's a short stroke for a short month, and we think you'll find it to be on the easy side.
Can you solve this one in a short time? Figure it out and then make a short leap with your mouse onto Read More to verify your solution.[Read More]
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.
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.
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.[Read More]
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.
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.
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.
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.[Read More]
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?
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.[Read More]
This column will appear a few days before the New Year of 2019, and no doubt you're busy with all sorts of preparations. Are you going dancing? Taking a dinner cruise? Watching fireworks at a nearby location? Or just staying home for a celebration with friends, or even a quiet evening?
There are as many ways to celebrate as there are people, and given how busy most of us seem to be, today we have a "midget" checker problem that won't take up a lot of your time, while still being worth a little effort.
Finish off your checker year by finding the solution, and then get back to your celebrations. There will be plenty more checkers in 2019! When you've finished, click on Read More to check your moves.[Read More]
The story of the Three Kings is a central part of Christian celebration of the holiday of Christmas. Also known as the Three Magi or the Three Wise Men, and sometimes identified as Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India, they traveled to Bethlehem with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, each of which is said to have a symbolic meaning. And whether you celebrate Christmas or some other holiday, the Three Kings make for a fascinating and meaningful story.
We hope you'll have a little time for checkers during the busy holiday season, and in our archives we found a "Three Kings" checker problem. We lost track of the author's name, but nevertheless the problem is very fitting--- and a bit on the difficult side.
Were you able to solve it? The first move, as is often the case, is the key. We hope you gave it a good try; whenever you wish, you can click on Read More to see the solution.[Read More]