# The Checker Maven

### Up The Creek Without A Paddle

The guy in the photo above has got a real problem: he's literally up the creek without a paddle. We really don't know how he's going to get back to shore. Maybe he can paddle with his hands, or swim if it isn't too far. Otherwise, he'd better have a cell phone and hope--- very hard--- that it works.

In today's Checker School lesson, life and limb may not be at risk, but the outcome of the game certainly is. In the first diagram below, attributed to our old checker friend from last month, A. Sheehan, White seems to be in the same predicament as our hapless hero above. In the second diagram, credited to Charles Hefter, things look a little better but White is still not out of the water, so to speak.

A. SHEEAN
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK8,K18,31:BK9,28,K30,K32.

C. HEFTER
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK12,24:BK10,K32.

The solution to the first problem is anything but easy, so we'll give you a hint: solve the second problem first, then see if you can work out play from the first diagram to end up at the position of the second. And if you're still up the creek, paddle your mouse to Read More to see the solutions, detailed notes, sample games, and a bonus feature.

Solutions

Solutions and lettered notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor, using the KingsRow checker engine with 10-piece endgame database.

Sheean: 8-11---1, 30-25, 11-7, 9-6, 18-15, 25-22, 7-11, 6-9, 11-16, 9-14, 16-19, 14-18. 15-11, 22-17, 11-16, 17-14, 16-11, 14-10, 19-16, 10-15, 11-8, 18-23,8-12,23-18. 12-8, 18-14, 8-3, 14-10---A, 16-11, 15-8, 3-12, 32-27, 31-24, 28-32. Forms C. Hefter's Position.

Hefter: 24-20*---B, 32-27---C, 12-8---D, 10-15---E, 20-16---F, 27-23---G, 16-12---H, 15-10. 8-11,23-18, 12-8. Drawn.

Game: 11-15, 23-19, 8-11, 22-17, 3-8, 17-13, 11-16, 25-22, 16-23, 27-11, 8-15. 29-25, 4-8, 22-17, 7-11, 26-23, 11-16, 24-20, 8-11, 25-22, 15-19, 30-26, 10-14. 17-10, 6-15, 13-6, 1-10, 21-17, 5-9, 17-13, 2-6, 32-27, 19-24, 28-19, 15-24, 22-18. 24-28, 18-15, 10-19, 27-24, 11-15, 20-11, 28-32, 23-16, 12-28, 26-23, 9-14, 11-7, 6-10, 7-2, 14-17, 2-7, 10-14, 7-10, 15-18, 23-19, 18-22, 13-9, 22-25, 9-6, 25-30. 19-16, 30-25, 6-2, 25-21, 2-7, 14-18, 7-11, 17-22, 10-15, 18-23, 16-12, 22-25. 12-8, 25-30, 8-3, 30-25, 3-8, 21-17, 8-12, 17-13, 12-8, 13-9, 8-12, 25-22, 12-8,, 23-26, 15-18, 22-15, 11-18, 26-30. Forms above position, by A. Sheean. Game No. 79, American Checker Review, Oct. 1888, Vol. 1.

Game: 9-13, 22-18, 12-16, 24-20, 8-12, 28-24, 4-8, 24-19, 10-15, 19-10, 6-22. 25-18, 16-19, 23-16, 12-19, 29-25, 7-10, 25-22, 3-7, 18-14, 10-17, 21-14, 1-6. 30-25, 6-10, 25-21, 10-17, 21-14, 11-15, 27-23, 8-12, 23-16, 12-19, 32-27, 19-24---P, 26-23, 24-28, 27-24, 15-18, 22-15, 7-10, 14-7, 2-27, 24-19, 27-32, 19-15, 13-17, 15-10, 17-22, 10-6, 22-25, 6-2, 5-9, 2-6, 9-13, 6-10, 13-17, 10-15, 17-22, 20-16, 25-30, 16-11, 22-25, 11-8, 25-29, 8-3, 29-25, 15-18, 25-21, 3-8, 21-17, 8-11, 17-13, 11-8, 13-9. Forms above position, by A. Sheean. R. D. Banks, from Game No. 3085, in the Mt. Sterling (Ky.) Advocate, July 16, 1940.

A---Sheean continued 15-10, 3-8. Drawn; 14-10 was given by R. McCulloch.

B---Corrects McCulloch, who continued 12-8, 32-27, 24-20. Black Wins; 12-16---I, 32-27,24-20,10-15. Black Wins.

C---10-7---J, 12-8*, 7-3, 8-11, 32-27, 11-15. Drawn.

D---If 12-16, then 10-15, 16-12, 27-23 wins. If 20-16, 27-23, 12-8, 23-19. Wins.

E---If 27-23, or 27-24, then 8-11*. Draws.

F---8-12, 27-23, 12-16, 15-19, 16-12, 23-18, 20-16, 18-14, 16-11, 14-10. Black Wins.

G---If 27-24, 16-12 draws, but 16-11 loses.

H---16-11---K, 15-10, 8-3, 23-19, 11-8, 19-16, 8-4, 16-12, 4-8, 10-15, 8-4. Black Wins.

I---24-19---L, 32-27, 19-16, 27-24, 16-12, 24-19. Black Wins.

J---32-28---M, 12-8*, 10-15, 20-16*, 28-24, 16-12*. Drawn.

K---8-12, 15-10, 16-11,23-19, 11-8, 10-7,8-4,7-3. Black Wins.

L---12-8, 10-15*---N, 24-20 (If 8-12, then. 32-27 wins), 15-19*, 8-12, 32-27, 20-16, 27-23, 16-11, 19-15---O, 11-8 (12-8, then 15-10 wins, and if 11-7, then 23-19 wins) 15-11*, 8-4, 11-7*, 12-8, 7-3*, 8-12, 23-19, 4-8, 19-15. Black Wins.

M---10-15, 20-16, 15-10, 12-8, 10-15, 16-12. Drawn.

N---If 23-27, then 24-20* draws. 1132-28, then 24-20* draws.

O---23-18, 11-8*, 18-15, 8-4*, 15-10, 12-8*, 10-7, 8-3*, 7-10, 3-8*, 19-16, 8-12*. Drawn.

P---In Game No. 3085, G. W. Bass vs. R. D. Banks, continued; 2-6, 14-9, 5-14, 27-23. Drawn.

1---Many variations on the solution are possible and can be checked with a strong computer program---Ed.

Charles Hefter's Position was published as No. 211, in the American 'Checker Review, Jan. 15, 1889, Vol. 1. He gave it as a prize problem. It was won by the late M. E. Pomeroy.

The foregoing attracted widespread interest among players of England, Scotland and America.

SIMULTANEOUS PLAY

Twenty-eight games simultaneously and blindfolded in seven hours' time means four games an hour, or one every 15 minutes. Sixty moves to a game, which is less than average length of. average game, means four moves a minute, or one every fifteen seconds, and it was Willie Gardner's task to specialize in his think tank one board out of the ruck of 28 other boards and, after scanning the chances for both sides of the game on 32 separate squares, make his move and call up another game all in the short space of 15 seconds. Just fancy! When all of the games were about ten moves deep the opening or familiar stage was past, and it was the task of the lone player to keep in mind the location of about six hundred discs of contrasting colors, arranged in all kinds of odd groups and mixtures on 896 different squares, and keep informed as to the relation of the various unoccupied squares to the occupied squares--- 1,500 items to keep track of, call up, examine and dismiss in a total average time of 15 seconds! Wonderful, stupendous and almost past the belief of those who have not seen! And at that, the lone player was a sick man, suffering from a quinsy!--- (Selected).

12/18/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version