The Checker Maven

Uncle Ben's Porch: Tommy Goes to Brooklyn

It was a hot Saturday morning in June, hot and humid the way only Florida can be. Tommy and Uncle Ben were, as usual for a Saturday morning, sitting on Uncle Ben's porch with a checkerboard and a pitcher of Uncle Ben's incomparable lemonade.

"So, Tommy," began Uncle Ben, "I take it you've never been to Brooklyn before?"

"No, sir," replied Tommy, "but I'm really looking forward to it." Tommy's grade school checker team had done really well the past year in the Southeastern Checker District, and had been invited to play in the Eastern U.S. Regionals, to take place in July in Brooklyn, New York. Tommy, as Captain of the Junior Varsity Team, would be going along as a substitute.

"You know, Tommy, that I spent much of my life in Brooklyn, prior to my retirement. I wrote most of my books while I was there. I think you're going to enjoy your visit, and I hope you'll have time to do a little touring."

"Yes, Uncle Ben, Coach Hovmiller has given us an extra day at the end of the tournament to see the sights, and he's even arranged for a bus to take us to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building!" Tommy paused for a moment. "But most of all, I'd like to get a chance to play, and maybe do well enough to make the Varsity Team next year."

"I was thinking about that," said Uncle Ben, "and today I'd like to give you some practice in visualization that could come in very handy. We're going to take a look at, of all things, something called 'The Brooklyn Stroke.' Quite appropriate, don't you think?"

And with that, Uncle Ben set up the following position on the checkerboard.

BLACK

WHITE
Either to Play and Win

W:W14,17,18,22,23,26,28,31:B2,5,7,10,11,15,16,19.

"It's rather unique, Tommy," he said, "in that whoever plays first will win! Can you show me how? Start with White, and then try it with Black."

But Tommy was already deep in thought. It took a little time, and half a glass of lemonade, before he spoke. "Here you go, Uncle Ben!" he said excitedly, and began to move the pieces.

How will you do with this problem? Will half a glass of lemonade do the job, or is it a bit harder than that? When you've solved it--- from both sides, mind you--- click on Read More for the solution, a sample game, and over a dozen additional examples of this theme.



Solution

"Good work, Tommy!" exclaimed Uncle Ben when Tommy had finished demonstrating the solutions. "You're well on your way to success in Brooklyn!"

Tommy was all smiles as he thanked Uncle Ben for the lesson and skipped his way down the sidewalk toward home.

(Today's solutions can be found under #11 below; for a complete understanding of the theme, we recommend that you study this problem first.)

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

1 (Off Trunk). 6-10 also 7-11 draws; but 6-9 is another form of the theme. 6-9, 15-10, 7-11. 10-7, 9-13, 7-3, 13-17, 3-7, 2-6, 18-15, 11-18, 14-10. W. W.óJ. Bertie.

2 (Off Trunk). 8-11, 29-25, 4-8, 25-22---4, 12-16, 24-19, 16-20, 19-15---3, 10-19, 23-16, 6-10, 16-12, 11-16, 22-17, 1-6, 17-13, 8-11, 26-22, 10-15, 27-23, 7-10, 32-27, 15-19---A, 30-26, 10-15, 22-17, 15-22, 17-14. W. W. Chas. Whelen.

A---9-14 is shown to draw by L. J. Vair, Duffy's Single Cor.

3 (Off 2). 19-16, 8-12, 30-25, 12-19, 23-16, 10-15, 28-24, 6-10, 26-23, 1-6, 24-19, 15-24, 32-28, 9-14, 28-19, 5-9, 18-15, 11-18, 22-15, 9-13, 22-25, 3-8, 22-18---A, 8-12, 18-9, 20-24, 27-20, 13-17. B. wins. J. P. Reed.

A---22-17, 13-22, 16-12, 7-11, 12-3, 11-18, 21-17. Drawn. J. Labadie.

4 (Off 2). 24-20, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 25-22, 10-15, 22-17, 6-10---A, 28-24, 15-18, 17-13, 11-15, 13-9, 1-5, 9-6, 2-9, 24-19, 15-24, 20-16 W. W. R. D. Yates.

A---15-19 also 7-10. Draws. J. M. Duffy.

WHITE

BLACK
5. Black to Play and Win

B:W31,30,23,21,20,19,18,15:B14,13,12,10,8,6,3,2.

5. J. Drummond, Defiance, S. D. P. 3rd Ed. 1861. Black wins by 3-7, 18-9, 13-17, 21-14, 6-13. Lees' Guide, Pg. 37.

BLACK

WHITE
6. White to Play and Win

W:W14,17,20,23,24,25,26,27,31,32:B1,3,5,7,8,9,10,12,15,18.

6. J. Wyllie, Switcher, 972 Lyman's Prob. Bk. White wins by 24-19, 15-24, 20-16.

WHITE

BLACK
7. Black to Play and Draw

B:W32,31,30,27,25,22,21,17,13,K7:B23,20,18,15,14,10,9,6,3,1.

7. R. Martins, Centre. B. D. Player. Pg. 331, Var. 13. Black draws by 15-19, 22-15, 19-24.

WHITE

BLACK
8. Black to Play and Win

B:W31,30,28,27,25,24,21,20,19,14,13:B17,15,12,11,10,7,6,5,3,1.

8. Ayrshire Lassie Ketchem's "How To Win," Page 38. Black wins by 6-9, 13-6, 17-22.

BLACK

WHITE
9. White to Play and Win

W:W14,18,22,23,26,27,28,31:B5,6,7,9,11,12,15,16,19.

9. H. Spayth, 889 Lyman's Prob. Book. White wins by 22-17, 15-22, 17-13, 9-18, 26-17.

WHITE

BLACK
10. Black to Play and Win

B:W32,31,28,27,25,21,17,16,13:B23,19,18,14,12,10,9,8,6,1.

10. W. Strickland. 750 Gould's Prob. Book. Black wins by 23-26, 31-15, 19-23.

BLACK

WHITE
11. Either to Play and Win

W:W14,17,18,22,23,26,28,31:B2,5,7,10,11,15,16,19.

11. J. Smith, 584 Gould's Prob. Book. Either to move and win. White---17-13, 10-17, 13-9, 22-13, 15-22, 26-3 W. W. Black---16-20, 23-16, 20-24, 28-19, 11-20, 18-11, 7-30 B. W.

BLACK

WHITE
12. White to Play and Win

W:W15,18,19,20,21,22,23,26,30,32:B2,3,5,6,8,9,10,11,13,14.

12. J. Moxon, 569 Gould's Prob. Book, Will-O-The-Wisp. Ending. White wins. 20-16 then 19-16.

BLACK

WHITE
13. White to Play and Win

W:W9,13,20,21,23,26,27,31:B1,2,3,5,12,14,18,24.

13. J. Moxon, 568 Gould's Prob. Book. White wins by 9-6 then 20-16.

BLACK

WHITE
14. White to Play and Win

W:W14,15,19,23,24,25,27,32:B1,6,8,11,12,16,17,20.

14. F. Tescheleit, Master Play D. C. Page 125, Var. E. White wins by 25-21, 11-18, 14-10. Black's last move was 7-11 (To form Pos.) instead 17-21, 15-11, 8-15. Dr. F. T.

BLACK

WHITE
15. White to Play and Win

W:W14,17,18,22,23,26,28,31:B2,5,7,10,11,15,16,19.

15. J. Drummond. S. D. P. 4th Ed. 1866. 18-14, 11-18, 14-10. W. W.

For compilations of games leading to "The Brooklyn" see Gould's Match Book, page 268, Stearns' Book of Portraits, Vol. 2, page 18, and Denvir's "Traps and Shots."

Uncle Ben's Porch, an ambitious project based on the works of famed checker author Ben Boland, is a purely imaginary depiction of his retirement years. Proofreading and typesetting errors are inevitable and we'd appreciate you bringing them to our attention by email at unclebensporch@checkermaven.com. Thanks in advance.

06/27/09 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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