The Checker Maven

Marvin's New Year's Eve Exhibition

Marvin J. Mavin, the famous captain of the National Checker League's Detroit Doublejumpers, was in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a New Year's Eve exhibition match with the Colorado Springs Cross Stars, a top team in the AAA Pacific Checker League. The match was a benefit fund-raiser for disadvantaged youth and Marvin took great pride in taking part.


Robby "The Rocket" Murry and Marvin J. Mavin

Marvin, playing first board for the Doublejumpers, was pitted against the Cross Star's Captain, Robby "The Rocket" Murry. After a friendly handshake and a short exchange of pleasantries, the game began, and played out as follows.

BlackRobby "The Rocket" Murry
WhiteMarvin J. Mavin
9-1321-17
11-1525-21
8-1117-14
10-1721-14
6-1022-17
13-2226-17
15-1824-20
3-829-25
1-628-24
18-2225-18
11-1620-11
8-2232-28
4-824-20
6-928-24
9-1823-14
8-1127-23
2-623-18
10-1517-13
22-2530-21
15-2224-19
22-2531-26
25-3026-22
30-26
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,14,19,20,21,22:B5,6,7,11,12,K26.

It seems that our hero Marvin has once again managed to get himself into trouble, with The Rocket's king behind Marvin's men and seriously threatening them. The big crowd at the sports arena, though obviously partisans of their home town player, had come to see Marvin play, and was, to say the least, surprised. After all, though The Rocket was a strong AAA player, he wasn't a major league star like Marvin.

There was almost dead silence as Marvin considered his move. Marvin, characteristically, was fidgeting in his chair and muttering to himself. What exactly he was saying couldn't quite be made out by the crowd, although a few of the fans in attendance thought they heard the phrases "some New Year's Eve this is gonna be" and "I need a beer."

What would you play in this position? Match wits with Marvin, and then click on Read More for the rest of the story.

The Checker Maven sends its best New Year's wishes to all of our readers!



Solution

Time was ticking away on Marvin's clock, when suddenly he exclaimed, "AHA!!" in a rather loud voice, and made his move.

...22-18!---A

The Rocket had a crestfallen look on his face; he had really hoped for a win against a top Major League player. The game then played out this way:

6-1013-9
10-1721-14
7-10---B14-7
5-237-3
26-313-8
31-278-15
27-2420-16

Draw agreed.

A---21-17 loses, one way is 21-17 6-10 13-9 26-30 22-18 30-26 9-6 26-22 Black Wins.

B---26-22 19-15 22-17 15-8 17-10 10-19---C 8-3 5-14 3-17 19-15 17-14 12-16 20-11 15-18 14-10 8-11 Drawn.

C---5-14 loses in an instructive endgame: 5-14 15-6 7-11 6-2 11-15 2-7 15-19 7-10 14-17 10-15 19-23 15-18 23-27 8-3 27-31 3-7 17-21 18-22 31-27 7-10 27-23 10-14 23-19 14-18 19-24 18-15 24-28 15-19 28-32 20-16 continuing on to a First Position win for White.

"Good game," said The Rocket as he and Marvin shook hands again, "I thought I had good winning chances back there."

"Yeah," replied Marvin, "you didn't play so bad, but remember you were up against good ole Marvin J. Mavin!"

The Rocket, being a gentleman, held back expressing his thoughts about arrogant superstars and how Marvin had to fight for a draw in a difficult position. Instead, he merely said good night and turned to leave the arena.

"Hey, ain'tcha gonna join ole Marvin for a beer?" Marvin called after him.

"Not tonight, Marvin, it's past my bedtime," came The Rocket's answer as he continued to distance himself from the playing table. "Maybe some other day...."

The big crowd, too, had quickly left the arena; a bit disappointed with a draw, they had neither seen Marvin win nor seen him be upset by their hometown champion. Marvin and The Rocket's teammates, having long since finished their matches, had already hit the showers and were likely well on their way to their homes or hotels. Marvin stood alone in the center of the arena as the event crews were dimming the lights and preparing ready to close up for the evening.

"Just a short beer," Marvin muttered a bit sheepishly, "nobody'll join me for one quick one?"

Marvin waited a moment, but heard no answer. He shrugged his shoulders, and then silently made his way to the locker room to pack his gym bag, and, once again, head out into the night in lonely pursuit of an open bar.

If you are of legal age and choose to drink, The Checker Maven asks you to do so responsibly, and to never, ever, drink and drive.

12/30/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.