The Checker Maven

Uncle Ben's Porch: The Checker Maven

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It goes without saying that Uncle Ben and his proteg, Tommy Wagner, were avid readers of the weekly internet checker column, The Checker Maven. So when Uncle Ben saw the recent Checker Maven column called Hobson's Choice, he realized that it related to a game that Tommy played recently in a match in his middle school checker league. Tommy missed a win in that contest and had been kicking himself about it ever since.

Tommy was on Uncle Ben's front porch for his weekly checker lesson from the retired master. Uncle Ben was proud of Tommy's achievements and knew that Tommy had the potential to go on to great things, perhaps even making it one day to a team in the National Checker League.

"Tommy," Uncle Ben said, "I think it's time for you to get past that missed win against Tallahassee a couple of weeks ago."

"I know, Uncle Ben," Tommy said, "but I feel like I let my teammates down. I should have won..."

"The best way to make it up is to study that weakness in your game and eliminate it. The best players make strengths out of weaknesses, and that goes for many things in life. If you have a weak point, work so hard at it that it becomes a strong point instead."

"How can I do that, Uncle Ben?" Tommy asked. "It just seemed to have gotten away from me..."

Uncle Ben smiled. "I've put together a series of positions," he said. "If you work through them, I guarantee that you'll never miss a win on this theme again. It might take a little while, so if you're willing, I'll let your mother know that you'll be home later than usual. I can make us some lunch and we can study until, say, mid-afternoon. What do you say?"

The one thing that Tommy liked as much as Uncle Ben's checker instruction was his lunches. And, of course, his homemade lemonade. "Sure thing, Uncle Ben, if you're willing to spend the time, I'm ready!"

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Uncle Ben knew Tommy well. "Good, then, take a look at this position while I get us some lemonade." He winked at Tommy and went inside to the kitchen.

Here's the situation that faced Tommy, and it looked a lot like that Wednesday afternoon in Tallahassee. Tommy gave an involuntary shudder, but then he shook it off and got to work.

WHITE
20140226-ub16-16.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B9,11,K25:WK17,K19.

Can you earn your lemonade by solving this problem? We think you can, and when you're done, you can click on Read More to see the solution, a sample game, and no less than seventeen examples based on this theme. (You'll have to supply your own lemonade.)20050904-symbol.gif



Solution

Tommy's problem is No. 16 below.

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

BLACK
20140404-ub-16-1.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:B2,12,K22:W10,11,14.

1. R. Martins, No. 6 in Bohn's Handbook, 1850. 14-9, 22-18, 9-5, 18-15, 11-7, 2-11, 5-1. No. 227 Lyman's Book. At an earlier stage it is set up thus: B---2, 12, King 31; W---15, 14, 23. W. draws. No. 236 H. P. Bk. and No. 44 Dunne's Praxis erroneously credited to T. Way.

BLACK
20140402-ub-16-2.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:BK4,K14,K19:W6,15,16.

2. A. Ross, No. 51 A. D. P. and 45 G. P. Bk.: BKings 4, 14, 19; W6, 15, 16; W. D. 15-10, 19-12, 6-2. At times set with 6 on 7.

WHITE
20140226-ub16-3.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B6,11,K29:W24,K1

3. O. H. Richmond, No. 12, A. C. R. Vol. 2. B6, 11. K29. W24. K1. B. W. 6-10, 1-6, 11-15, 6-2, 10-14, 2-7, 29-25, 7-10, 15-19, 24-15, 25-21.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-4.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK8,K22:W16,27,K13.

4. Dr. Purcell, No. 40 H. P. Bk.: BKings 8, 22; W16, 27, King 13; W. W. 27-23, 8-12, 23-19, 22-18, 13-9, 12-8, 9-5, 18-14, 19-15, 8-12, 16-11, 14-18, 15-10, 18-15, 11-8, 15-6, 5-1.

WHITE
20140226-ub16-5.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B6,18,27:WK8,K17.

5. H. D. Lyman, No. 1 Barker's A. C. P. No. 84, L. P. Bk.: B-6, 18, 27; WKings 8, 17; B. W. 6-10, 8-11, 27-32, 11-7, 10-15, 7-10, 15-19, 10-15, 18-22, 15-24, 32-28.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-6.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK18,K26:W6,17,25.

6. Miss Donnan, No. 73 L. P. Bk. B Kings 18, 26; W6, 17, 25; W. W. 6-1, 26-22, 17-14, 22-29, 1-5 as Var. A of Shears No. 45 H. P. Bk.; 42 G. P. Bk.

BLACK
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WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK12,K24:W7,11,19.

7. C. D. Moore, No. 450 N. E. C. P. May 1880, Browning, No. 202 W. P. Bk., also F. Green, No. 190 G. P. Bk.: BKings 12, 24; W7, 11, 19; W. W. 19-15, 24-19, 15-10, 19-15, 11-8, 12-3, 7-2. No. 3 Nat. Ck. Jrnl.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-8.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B2,14,K15:W5,9,10.

8. C. M. Wilder, No. 156 Stearns Port. Vol. 2: B2, 14, King 15; W5, 9, 10; W. W. 9-6, 2-9, 5-1, 15-6, 1-17.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-9.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:B3,4,27,K24:W11,19,K9,K17.

9. J. A. Kear, No. 318 L. P. Bk. B3, 4, 27, King 24; W11, 19, Kings 9, 17; W. D. 19-15, 24-19, 15-10, 19-15, 10-7, 15-8, 9-14, etc.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-10.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK16,K32:W15,23,K21.

10. A. H. Heddle, No. 26 H. P. Bk. B Kings 16, 32; W15, 23, King 21; W. W. 21-17, 32-27, 23-18, 27-23, 18-14, 23-18, 15-11, 18-9, 17-13.

WHITE
20140409-ub-16-11.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B23,28,K10,K26:W32,K2,K27.

11. C. Shirra, No. 27 Prob.. Guide. B23, 28, Kings 10, 26; W32, Kings 2, 27; B. W. 26-30, 27-18, 30-26, 32-27, 28-32, 27-23, 26-19, 18-15, 10-7, 15-24, 32-28.

BLACK
20140409-ub-16-12.png
WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:B13,K2,K30:W21,22,K9.

12. J. A. Kear, Jr., No. 148 H. P. Bk.: B13, Kings 2, 30; W21, 22, King 9; W. D. 22-18, 30-26, 18-15, 2-7, 9-14, 26-22, 14-17, 22-18, 15-10, 13-22, 10-3.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-13.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK3,K6:W15,27,K4.

13. F. Allen, No. 19 H. P. Bk. BKings 3, 6; W15, 27, King 4; W. W. 27-23, 3-7, 4-8, 7-11, 15-10, 6-15, 23-18.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-14.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:BK9,K11:W17,19,K1.

14. R. Holding, No. 29 H. P. Bk.: B Kings 9, 11; W17, 19, King 1; W. W. 1-5, 9-13, 19-15, 11-18, 17-14.

BLACK
20140226-ub16-15.png
WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:B2,K15:W10,19,32.

15. Unknown, No. 49 G. P. Bk.: B2, King 15; W10, 19, 32; W. W. 10-7, 15-24, 32-28.

WHITE
20140226-ub16-16.png
BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:B9,11,K25:WK17,K19.

16. J. O. Rhodes, pg. 237 Bank's Checkerist; B9, 11, King 25; WKings 17, 19; B. W. 25-21, 17-13 (or 17-22), 11-15---A, 19-10, 9-14. Corrects O. H. Richmond.

A---In our story, Tommy played 9-14 here and only got a draw---Ed.

WHITE
20140402-ub-16-17.png
BLACK
Black to Play, White Draws

B:B10,11,12,15,26:W5,17,21,23,28.

17. T. Wiswell, No. 346 A. C. M., Sept. 1937: B10, 11, 12, 15, 26; W5, 17, 21, 23, 28; B. plays. W. D. 26-31, 5-1, 31-27, 23-19, 15-24, 28-19, 27-24, 17-14, 10-17, 21-14, 24-15, 14-10.

GERM

WHITE
20140402-ub-16-g.png
BLACK
Black to Play, White Wins

B:BK6,K27:WK7,K14,K19.

J. Sturges, No. 19 His Crit. Sit. 1808. B K6, 27. WK7, 14, 19. B. plays, W. W. 6-10, 19-23. A Var. of Payne's 3 Kings vs. 2.

Uncle Ben's Porch is a completely fictious account of the retirement years of the great checker writer Ben Boland. Checker situations are based on Mr. Boland's book Familiar Themes in the Game of Checkers

This is an ambitious project and errors do creep in. Please help out by letting us know if you find anything. Email unclebensporch@checkermaven.com. Mahalo! Many thanks to checker friend Pal Bucker for sending corrections to the diagrams.

03/22/14 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
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