The Checker Maven

Uncle Ben's Porch: Cookies and Checkers

I had missed a Saturday morning on Uncle Ben's porch, as last weekend he hadn't been feeling very well and told me he needed his rest. It wasn't very often that he canceled our lessons, and I was worried about his health, to tell the truth about it.

So, when I got home from school yesterday, you can imagine how pleased I was to hear that Uncle Ben had called and left word with Mom that he'd be delighted to have me make my regular Saturday visit this week. Of course, Mom fussed and bothered, saying that I shouldn't annoy the kindly gentleman when he was just getting to feeling a bit better, but she relented when I said that he might be a bit disappointed if I didn't show up. Still, she insisted that I take a plate of home-baked chocolate chip cookies along with me, and warned me not to be eating them on the way over!

I skipped down the sidewalk as fast as I could, given the heaping plate of cookies I was carrying, and soon arrived at the old familiar porch. There was Uncle Ben, looking chipper and pleased, with his trademark pitcher of lemonade looking icy and inviting. The checker board was ready, too. We exchanged good-mornings and how-are-yous, and I sat down in my usual place.

"I've got some good ones for you today," Uncle Ben declared, "but don't you think we ought to have some cookies and lemonade first, to get our brains working?"

I pointed out that Mom had told me quite clearly not to eat the cookies and that they were to be saved for Uncle Ben, but Uncle Ben just winked at me and said, "You just tell your Mom that I insisted!" That was good enough for me, and we each had several cookies and a tall glass of lemonade, quietly enjoying the calm Florida morning.

"All right then, to work!" exclaimed Uncle Ben. "How would you go about winning this one?" He indicated the position on the checkerboard with a wave of his cookie-laden hand, and then he gave me that smile--- the one that always told me that this wasn't going to be easy, but that I could get the answer if I tried hard enough.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,17,18,31,32:B6,9,10,16,20.

Uncle Ben's Porch is a fanciful and fictional characterization of the retirement years of the great checker author Ben Boland, with positions drawn from his classic Familiar Themes in the Game of Checkers. You're going to have to come up with your own cookies and lemonade, but clicking on Read More will give you the solution to this problem, a complete sample game demonstrating the theme, and a round dozen diagrammed positions and solutions based on the same motif.



Solution

Game---12-16, 22-17, 16-19, 24-15, 10-19, 23-16, 11-20, 25-22, 8-11, 22-18, 9-14, 18-9, 6-22, 26-17, 11-15, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22, 5-9, 27-23, 7-10, 23-18, 8-11, 30-26, 9-13, 32-27, 2-7, 28-24, 1-5, 18-14, 11-16, 26-23, 7-11, 14-7, 3-10, 17-14, 10-26, 31-22, 5-9, 21-17---Forms No. 12.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,17,18,31,32:B6,9,10,16,20.

1. A. Sinclair—No. 692, Gould's Prob. Book. 32-27, 16-19, 27-23, 19-26, 31-22, 20-24, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 24-27, 17-14.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,17,18,K20,22:B6,9,10,11,23.

2. Z. Nicholas—No. 794 Gould's Prob. Book. 20-16, 11-20, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 23-26, 17-14, 26-30, 14-5, 30-26, 18-14, 26-22, 5-1. Drawn.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W13,17,18,23,28:B6,9,10,12,20.

3. J. Wyllie, No. 58 D. W. Vol. 1. 23-19, 20-24, 19-15, 10-19, 17-14, 24-27, 14-5, 27-31.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,17,18,22,24,28:B6,9,10,11,15,19.

4. J. Chapman, No. 696, L. P. Bk. 24-20, 19-24, 28-19, 15-24, 20-16, 11-20, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 24-27, 17-14, 27-31, 14-5, 31-26, 18-14, 26-22, 5-1.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,20,21,22,28,32:B6,8,9,10,11,15.

5. J. Burns, No. 514 D. W. Vol. 10. 32-27, 15-19, 21-17, 19-23A, 27-18, 8-12, 28-24, 12-16, 24-19, 16-23, 20-16, 11-20, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, A—If 9-14, then 13-9 draws.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,17,18,19,23,28:B6,7,9,10,12,24.

6. Chas. Hefter, Nos. 24 and 86, A. C. R. Vol. 4. 19-15, 10-26, 28-19, 7-10, 19-15, 10-19, 17-14. This was an ending with Mr. Orcott.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W27,24,23,22,17:B20,16,15,13,11,10.

7. J. Kirk, Bristol-Cross, Lees' Guide, Pg. 27. 10-14A, 17-10, 13-17, 22-13, 15-18, 23-14, 11-15, etc. A—But 15-18, 22-8, 13-22, 23-18, 22-26, 8-3, etc., is given to draw in Heffner's A. C. P. May 15, 1900, the game is No. 70 and the Pos. No. 51. It was erroneously credited to W. G. Hill then rectified.

The same game and position arises in the 18th game of the A. Jordan-M. E. Pomeroy Match Bk. 1914.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,18,20,21,31,32:B6,9,10,11,12,23.

8. P. J. Lee, No. 160 His Prob. Bk. 21-17, 23-26---A, 31-22, 12-16, 32-27, 16-19, 27-24---B, 19-28, 20-16, 11-20, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18.

A---12-16, 18-15 Dr.

B---Author misses Idea and plays: 17-14, 10-26, 27-23, 19-24, 23-19, 26-31, 19-16 Drawn.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W13,17,18,19,23,32:B6,9,10,11,12,24.

9. H. E. Barrows. No. 1544 Winnipeg Free Press: No. 5550, R. C. 3-11-37. 32-28, 11-16, 19-15, 10-26, 28-19, 16-23, 17-14.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W17,18,21,31:B3,6,8,9.

10. J. Mackintosh, No. 1 Pg. 156 D. R. R. Atwell in his Vol. 6. Also No. 301 by Scient. Drs. 17-13, 3-7, 21-17, 7-10, 31-26, 8-11, 26-22, 11-16, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 19-23, 17-14.

I came across same Pos. in No. 17 Brewster Stand. 1937, showing No. 23 by Mackintosh in the Drs. Brd. Apr. 1871, also No. 677 G. P. Bk. has a dual.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W27,25,24,23,21:B20,18,16,15,14,10.

11. C. Hefter, No. 376 N. E. C. P., Dec. 1879. 18-22, 25-11, 10-15, 11-7, 14-18, 23-14, 16-19. Left as a White win in Dexter Smith's Monthly, Game No. 2.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W27,24,23,22,17:B20,16,15,13,11,9.

12. H. Lieberman vs. J. Dougherty. 9-14, same as No. 7. See 5th American Tourney Book.

For a fine compilation of games leading to this theme, see R. Sallaway, Draughts Review, Vol. 4, page 14, Jan. 1928. Also see "Lee's Guide," Pg. 27 and "It's Your Move," Page 101, also see D. Review, Vol. 6, page 156.

Editor's Note: This is a very ambitious project, and errors are bound to creep in. We'd much appreciate you letting us know if you find misprints or mistakes. Just write webmaster@checkermaven.com. Thank you!

03/31/07 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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