The Checker Maven

The Spring Chicken

Emma Janvier Smith was a turn-of-the-20th-century vaudeville performer who starred in productions that were famous for that era, including The Moth and the Flame and Miss Innocence; she also took on unique roles such as Girdle in The Spring Chicken. But our research, sadly, turned up no specific evidence that Ms. Janvier Smith played checkers, although we can well imagine her playing a game or two on a night when the theater was dark.

We also don't think she was related to checkerists J.D. Janvier or F. A. Smith, as Janvier was a stage name borrowed from her uncle--- her real surname was Spicer--- and Smith was her husband's name. However, she was certainly a contemporary of both Janvier and Smith. so anything is possible.

But in any case, today's Checker School lesson is about checkers, not vaudeville, though it can surely be argued that at times vaudeville-like situations arise on the checkerboard. Whether that adjective applies to either of the situations below is up to you to decide.

In the first situation, forces are even but White has one man in the "dog hole" on square 28, and the other man definitely lacks mobility.

J. D. JANVIER
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK3,5,K7,13:B1,K17,K21,23.

The second situation is quite similar to the first, except that it's Black's move, and he has a third king instead of a second man; as we know, in checkers little things can loom large.

F. A. SMITH
BLACK

WHITE
Black to Play and Win

B:W5,K7,K8,9:B1,K17,K21,K23.

Can you solve these problems, or will you be the subject of comical failure? Either way, it's no joke that clicking your mouse on Read More will reveal the solutions, detailed notes, no less than four sample games and a supplementary problem.



Solutions

As usual, solutions, sample games and lettered notes are taken from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are by the editor with the assistance of the KingsRow computer engine.

Diagram No. 1: 13-9, 23-26, 3-8, 26-31, 8-3, 31-26---A, 3-8, 26-23---B, 8-11, 17-14---C, 11-15, 21-17, 7-3---1. Drawn.

Diagram No. 2: 17-14, 8-11, 23-18---D, 7-3, 21-17, 3-7, 17-22, 7-3, 22-26, 3-7, 26-23, 7-3---E, 23-19, 3-7, 19-15, 11-8, 18-23, 8-3, 23-19, 7-2, 19-16-Z, 2-7, 15-10---F, 9-6, 14-9,7-14, 1-17. Black Wins.

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

Game: 11-15, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 9-14, 22-18, 5-9, 26-22, 7-11, 21-17, 14-21, 18-15, 11-18, 23-5, 8-11, 22-18, 3-8, 25-22, 11-16, 27-23, 8-11, 29-25, 4-8, 31-27, 16-20, 18-15, 11-18, 23-7, 2-11, 22-18, 11-16, 19-15, 16-19, 25-22, 6-9, 15-11, 8-15, 18-11, 19-24, 27-23, 24-27, 23-19, 27-31, 11-7, 21-25, 30-21, 31-26, 7-2, 26-17, 21-14, 9-18, 2-7, 18-23, 7-11, 20-24, 11-15, 23-26, 15-18, 26-31, 18-22, 24-28, 22-18, 31-26, 19-15, 12-16, 15-11, 16-20, 18-15, 20-24, 15-19, 1-6, 5-1, 6-10, 1-6, 10-14, 6-10, 14-18, 10-15, 18-22, etc. Diagram No. 1, Game 2569 Draughts World, Vol. 39, 1912. J. B. Smith vs. A. B. Smith, ending by G. W. Dent.

Game: 9-14, 22-18, 5-9, 25-22, 11-16, 24-20, 16-19, 23-16, 12-19---I, 18-15, 9-13, 29-25, 14-18, 20-16, 10-14, 27-24, 18-23, 16-12, 14-18, 21-17 7-10, 31-27, 2-7, 24-20, 7-11, 17-14, 10-17, 15-10, 6-15, 28-24, 19-28, 26-10, 17-26, 30-14, 11-16, 20-11, 18-15, 25-22, 4-8, 14-9, 8-11, 9-6, 11-16, 6-2, 16-20, 2-6, 3-7, 10-3, 1-10, 3-7, 10-14, 7-11, 14-17, 11-18, 17-26, 18-22, 26-31, 27-23, 31-27, 22-18, 27-31, 23-19, 31-26, 12-8, 13-17, 18-23, 26-31, 8-3, 17-21, 3-8, 21-25, 8-11, 25-30, 19-16, 31-27, 23-19, 27-31, 11-15, 30-26, 16-11, 26-30, 11-7, 31-26, 15-18, 26-31, 7-2, 30-26, 18-15, 26-30, 2-6, 31-26, 15-18, 30-25, 6-9, 25-30, 9-13, 30-25, 13-17, 20-24*---J. Forms Janvier's position at end, colors reversed. F. Tescheleit, "Master Play," Part 2, Page 123, Var. L.

Game: 11-15, 21-17, 9-13, 25-21, 8-11, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 6-10, 22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 15-18, 29-25, 18-22, 25-18, 10-15, 24-19, 15-22, 27-24, 4-8, 32-27, 5-9, 14-5, 11-15, 19-10, 7-21, 24-20, 8-11, 28-24, 3-7, 24-19, 7-10, 23-18, 2-6, 27-23, 22-25, 18-14, 10-17, 23-18, 25-29, 19-15, 29-25, 15-8, 25-22, 18-15, 22-18, 15-11, 18-14, 8-3, 17-22, 11-7, 22-25, 7-2---K, 14-9, 31-26, 25-29, 26-23, 29-25, 23-19, 6-10, 3-7, 25-22, 7-14, 9-18, 2-7---L, 22-17, 7-3, 17-13, 3-7, 13-9, 7-11, 9-14, 19-15, 12-16, 15-10, 14-7, 11-2, 16-19, 2-7, 18-15, 30-26, 21-25, 26-22, 25-30, 22-17, 15-18, 17-13, 18-14, 20-16, 30-26, 16-11, 26-22, 11-8, 22-18, 8-3, 18-15, 13-9. Forms Janvier's position at end. A. Fyfe. "Master Play," Switcher, Part'5, Page 340, Var. C.

A---If 31-27, 3-8, 27-24, 8-11, 24-20, 11-8, 20-16, 8-11, 16-12, 11-15, 12-8, 7-3. Drawn.

B---26-22, 8-3, 17-14, 3-8. Drawn.

C---23-19, 9-6, 1-10, 7-14, 17-10, 11-15. Drawn.

D---23-19, allows a draw by 9-6, etc.

E---9-6, 1-10, 5-1, 10-15, 1-6, 23-19---G, 6-10, 14-17, 7-2, 17-21, 2-6, 21-25, 11-8, 18-22. Black Wins.

F---Smith set the position for J. Ferrie, and when this point was reached, Ferrie played 16-12 which allows this neat draw; 16-12, 7-2, 15-11---H, 9-6, 1-10, 2-6, 11-15, 3-7, 12-16, 5-1, 16-20, 1-5, 20-24, 6-9, 15-18, 5-1, 14-5, etc. Drawn. F. A. Smith.

G---14-17 allows a draw by 7-10, 23-19, 6-1, 17-13, 1-5, 13-17, 5-1, 17-21, 1-5, 21-25, 10-14. Drawn. C. Triggs.

H---If 12-16 the position is same as Trunk at "Z."

I---14-23 is shown to draw by R. Walker.

J---26-31, 17-21, 25-30, 18-22, 30-26, 19-16. White Wins.

K---3-8, 25-29, 8-11, 29-25, 31-26, 14-17, 7-3. Drawn. J. Wyllie.

L---To here by J. Robertson.

1---Black has nothing better than 14-10, resulting in a clear draw. 17-13 fails at once to 15-18!, drawn---Ed.

Janvier's Position was first published in the Glasgow Herald as No. 312, in 1876. It may be found in Lyman's Problem Book also Horsfall's Problem Book. W. Veal arrives at Janvier's Position, No. 4107 in the Melbourne Weekly Times, March 19, 1938, given to correct Game 1170 "Reynolds," London, Jan. 16, 1938.

Smith's Position may be found as No. 50, the International Draughts Magazine, July, 1888, Vol. 1, taken from the "People's Journal" Draughts Column.

With men on 1 and 5 Kings, the position is given as a draw: Joe Barber, No. 972, Sun Checkers Column, March 26, 1938. Black---24, Kings 26, 28, 30. White---Kings 11, 18, 19, 32. Black to Play and Draw; 26-31, 11-15, 31-26, 15-10, 26-31, 10-14. Drawn.

06/18/11 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.