The Checker Maven

Checker Poetry

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The Checker Maven has, we believe, has written and published more original checker fiction than anyone else has ever done. But we've produced very little checker poetry.

Checker poetry used to grace checker books and checker columns, and some of it was very good indeed. The poems often cleverly incorporated problem situations in their verses.

The poem below, kindly provided by Liam Stephens and John Reade, and originally penned by one William Brogan, has been edited slightly to remove an inappropriate ethnic reference and to correct an obvious printer's error.

LAZY JAKE
by Wm. Brogan

There used to live a player
In the town where I was born
Who studied checkers late at night
And early every morn.

This chap was never known
To do a tap of work,
And the neighbours all described him
As a useless lazy jerk.

But opportunity they say
Knocks once at every door.
And Jake was soon to have a chance
To put some gold in store.

A stranger with great riches
Came to this little town,
And he claimed to be a player
Of considerable renown.

He had a roll of greenbacks
That looked like a load of hay,
Said he “This roll I’ll gamble
‘Gainst Jake if he will play.”

Then the town folks they got busy
And they mortgaged home and land,
And they covered every dollar
That the stranger had in hand.

Then the old town hall was hired,
And they called on Lazy Jake.
Saying “ Come and beat the stranger
And we’ll give you half the stake.”

The mayor of the little town
Declared a holiday,
So all the interested ones
Could come and see the play.

The game was quickly started,
Deep silence ruled the place,
And a look of stern defiance
Hovered o’er each player’s face.

The stranger moved quite rapidly
As though he knew his stuff,
While Jake was playing slowly
For he found the going tough.

The following position
Came up and all was done.
So if you are a checkerist
Then show how Jake has won.

BLACK (Stranger)
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WHITE (Jake)
White to Play and Win

W:W30,25,13,6:BK31,24,17,15.

(Originally published in Wood’s Checker Player, Vol 6, No 3, October 1942.)

We're sure that you can solve it
And two points White will score
So when you are all finished
Below click on Read More.

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Solution

25-21 17-22 30-26 22-25 13-9 31x22 21-17 22x13 6-1 13x6 1x28 25-30 28-24 30-25 24-19 25-22 19-23 White Wins.

If you tried our checker problem
No matter wrong or right,
You deserve a little treat
To have at home tonight.

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09/13/14 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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