The Checker Maven

The Varsity Team

Tommy was, as usual for a Saturday morning, visiting with Uncle Ben on Uncle Ben's porch. Southern Florida winters are mild, and there were few Saturdays that Tommy and Uncle Ben didn't meet on the porch for Tommy's weekly checker lesson, and a glass or two of Uncle Ben's world famous lemonade--- or at least, Tommy thought it was good enough to be world famous.

Tommy was in great spirits and had just shared some fantastic news with Uncle Ben: a place had opened on the varsity checker team, and Coach Hovmiller had chosen Tommy to fill the position!

"Well, Tommy," Uncle Ben said, "you've worked long and hard for this. I know you were disappointed last year when you didn't quite make varsity, but you did very well as captain of the junior varsity, and I'm sure your coach felt you were ready for the 'big time.' Congratulations, young man!"

Tommy was all smiles--- who would not be? "Thank you, sir," he replied.

"Of course, Tommy, now you'll face some very tough competition. Middle-school varsity checkers in Florida is no piece of cake, no indeed. There are some very strong teams and some very good players, and you'll have to be at the top of your game. Now, you're already a fine player, but you will surely meet up with other boys and girls who are top notch as well. So, each week, we're going to work on problems and positions that are a little harder each time. How do you feel about that?" Of course, Uncle Ben always gave Tommy a little wink when he asked him difficult questions.

"I'm so pleased to have you helping me," Tommy said. "Not everyone is so fortunate as to get private lessons from a famous checker author! So, whatever you say, Uncle Ben, and I'll do my best!" (Ben, naturally, wasn't really Tommy's uncle, but all the young checkerists called him that, just out of courtesy and respect.)

"Then shall we begin?" asked Uncle Ben. "I have a very practical situation set up on the board here ... and of course, there's some lemonade as an aid to thinking!" So saying, he poured out two glasses and handed one to Tommy.

"Thank you Uncle Ben," Tommy said, but his voice drifted as he started to concentrate on the following position.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK14,K19,21:B12,13,K22.

Several minutes passed and Tommy had gotten through most of his glass of lemonade before he finally said, "Wow, Uncle Ben, that's a tricky one! But here's how I think White can win it ..."

Can you keep up with the newest member of the varsity team? When you've worked out the solution, click on Read More for the solution, a sample game, and numerous additional examples of the winning theme.



Solution

Today's solution is No. 1 below.

Game---11-15, 22-17, 15-19, 23-16, 12-19, 24-15, 10-19, 25-22, 9-13, 17-14, 8-11, 22-18, 3-8, 27-23, 8-12, 23-16, 12-19, 32-27, 6-9, 27-24, 11-15, 18-11, 7-16, 24-15, 9-18, 15-11, 1-6, 29-25, 6-10, 31-27. 10-15, 26-23, 18-22, 25-18, 15-22, 30-26, 22-31, 23-18, 31-24, 28-12, 5-9, 12-8, 2-6, 8-3, 6-10, 3-7, 10-15, 18-14, 9-18, 7-10, 18-22, 10-19, 22-26, 11-7, 4-8---A, 7-3, 8-12, 3-7, 26-30, 7-10, 30-26, 10-14, 26-22---Forms No. 1. A---J. Cowden shows a draw at this point to avoid the theme: 26-30, 7-3, 30-26, 3-7, 26-22, 19-15, 4-8, 7-10, 8-12, 10-14, 12-16, 14-18, 22-25, 18-23, 25-22, 23-27, 16-20, 27-32, 22-26, 15-18, 20-24. Drawn. J. Davis, No. 107, H. P. Bk. has like idea.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:WK14,K19,21:B12,13,K22.

1. R. Raw, No. 78, The Drs. Brd., 1870; No. 107, L. P. Bk. 21-17. 22-25---A, 19-23, 13-22, 14-17. W. W. A---12-16, 19-12, 22-25, 12-16, 13-22, 16-19. W. W.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B12,K18,K19:W20,25,K11.

2. J. D. Janvier, No. 267 Leed's Mercury, Feb. 17, 1883. Black to win. 18-14. 25-21, 12-16. No. 931 G. P. Bk.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B13,K4,K25:W21,K14,K23.

3. J. Wylie, Prob. 551, Draughts World. White to win. 21-17, 13-22, 14-17, 25-21*, 17-26.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B9,K12,K25:W22,K18,K23.

4. J. A. Larson, No. 79, A. C. R- Vol. 3, 1891. White to win. 22-17, 9-13, 18-14, 13-22, 14-17. No. 14, World's Prob. Bk.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B21,25,K4:W20,K15,K17.

5. F. Dalumi, No. 11, Wood's Study 3 (Vancouver Province). White to win. 17-22, 25-29, 20-16, 4-8, 16-11, 8-12, 22-26, 21-25, 11-8, 12-3, 26-30, 3-7, 30-21.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:BK3,K9,K27:W10,K12,K30.

6. Chas. J. Renner, No. 16, "It's Your Move." Black to win. 27-23, 12-16, 3-8, 30-25, 23-18, 25-21, 8-11, 16-7, 18-15.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B12,18,K9:W29,K19,K20.

7. C. J. Greensword, No. 1207, D. R. Vol. 6. White to win. 29-25---A, 9-13, 20-24, 13-17, 19-15, 18-23, 25-22, 17-26, 15-18, 26-30. 18-27, 30-25, 24-19. W. W. A---20-24, here only draws.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B21,K4,K29:W20,K15,K22.

8. B. Greenfield, Prob. 117, New Checker-gram. White to win. Same as No. 5 at 2nd move.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B9,K11,K29:W21,K8,K15,K27.

9. A. Hipkins, Prob. 5374, R. C. White to win. 15-18, 11-4, 27-23, 29-25. 21-17. 9-13, 18-14, 13-22, 14-17.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B11,K12,K13,K17:W14,22,K2,K19,K27.

10. A. Hipkins, No. 5202 R. C. 11-28-35. White to win. 14-9. 17-26, 27-24. 13-6, ?2-9?, 11-16---A, 9-14, 16-23, 14-18. A---26-22, 9-14, 11-16, 14-18. 16-23---B, 18-25. W. W. B---22-15, 19-10, 12-8, 10-15, 16-20, 24-19, 8-12, 15-11. W. W.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play, Black to Win

W:B12,22,K28:W20,30,31.

11. F. W. Drinkwater, No. 214 L. P. Bk. W. plays, B. W. Arises from Single Corner, Var. 22, above work. Pos. given as a draw. In G. P. Bk. No. 124 Janvier gives it as a win (as No. 1) in appendix Belden avoids idea (as by Raw). But A. J. Richardson, N. A. C. B., Vol. 8. No. 4. page 54 shows the win. Also see A. C. R.. Vol. 2. No. 156. And Game No. 2222 D. W., Sept. 1908, Vol. 32.

AVOIDING IDEA

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play, White to Draw

B:B12,23,K14:W15,20,21.

R. Raw, No. 21 "The Drs. Board," 1869. B. plays. W. D. 23-26. 15-11. 26-31. 11-8, 31-26, 8-3, 26-23, *3-8, 23-18, 8-11, 14-9, 11-8, 18-15, *21-17, 9-6, 17-13, 15-10, 8-3, 8-1, 3-8, 10-15, *8-3, 15-11. Drawn.

Uncle Ben's Porch is a purely fictional representation of the retirement days of legendary checker writer Ben Boland. Material for the column is taken from Mr. Boland's classic work, Familiar Themes in the Scientific Game of Checkers. This is a very ambitious project and typesetting errors are bound to occur. Please help by sending us your corrections. You can email unclebensporch@checkermaven.com. Thank you!

01/09/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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