# The Checker Maven

### Three by Three

Everyone's heard of a two by four (2x4), and there are other familiar sizes, such as 1x4 and the larger 4x4. But have you ever heard of a three by three (3x3)? There is such a thing, and in the strange world of "dimensional lumber" a 3x3 is in reality 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches.

Fortunately, there's no such thing as "dimensional checkers." A 2x2 or a 4x4 ending is just what the label implies. (We're not really sure where half a checker piece would fit in the scheme of things!) Today, we'll look at the 3x3 ending that's diagrammed below. It's from a game played over the board many years ago at a club in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W31,28,K2:B22,10,8.

Don't get cut down to size; sharpen your wits, not your saw, and see if you can solve the problem. When you have the answer, buzz your mouse on Read More to see the solution.

09/29/12 - Printer friendly version

### Accurate Judgment

Accurate judgment is a necessary skill for success in the financial markets. If you're able to assess complex information such as that shown in the chart above, and then make the appropriate transactions, you've very likely got what it takes.

In the world of checkers, accurate judgment in endgames is also a critical element in expert play. The position below, from a Samuel Gonotsky game shown years ago by Willie Ryan, requires the keenest of judgment to find the draw.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:W30,23,19,K2:B22,21,17,14,12.

How good is your checker judgment? With White in a tough situation, this one is anything but easy and will definitely test your skill. When you've judged your line of play to be correct, click on Read More to see the solution.

09/22/12 - Printer friendly version

### Are You Dunne, Yoeman?

There are various definitions of the word yeoman. The most well-known dates to the Middle Ages and refers to an independent landowner, usually of a small parcel, who farmed the land for a living. But yeoman is a naval rank in both the British and American armed forces, and of course yeoman is also a rank in the celebrated Star Trek television series. And then there are the Yeoman of the Guard.

Our picture above, however, is closer to home; it shows surfer Nathan Yeoman skilfully riding one of the heavies at the Banzai Pipeline on the famed North Shore of O`ahu.

There is a checker yeoman, too, or more correctly, Yoemans. He's partnered in with Frank Dunne in the pair of positions below, which form this month's Checker School offering.

F. DUNNE
BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Draw

W:WK32,30,K15:BK27,23,21,K6.

J. R. YOEMANS
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W19,15,11,K1:BK14,13,3.

You may not be a Yeoman of the Guard, and it's unlikely (though certainly possible) that you've surfed the Pipeline, but we know you play checkers, and you can be a "Yeoman of Checkers" if you solve these problems. Give it your best and when you've caught the wave, click on Read More for the solutions, a sample game, and detailed notes.

09/15/12 - Printer friendly version

### 21st Century Checkers Volume 3

We're pleased and honored to present Volume 3 of Richard Pask's 21st Century Checkers series, on the 10-14s. Running well over 100 pages, this is sure to become the definitive modern reference. You can download the book in PDF format here.

As is the case with the first two volumes, the book makes extensive use of color, and if you desire a hard copy we recommend that you use a color printer loaded with plenty of paper and fresh ink cartridges. You can also send the PDF to a commercial printing service for professional printing and binding, though that will not be inexpensive.

Here's a "teaser" from the book.

WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Draw

B:W32,30,25,18,14,K3:BK31,23,12,11,2,1.

This is, obviously, at the expert level (or above!) but you should nevertheless give it a try and see what you can make of it. The solution is found on page 55 of Mr. Pask's new book.

We thank Mr. Pask for the privilege of presenting his work to the world-wide checker-playing community.

09/08/12 - Printer friendly version

### Hurry Back to School

School is back in session, and the kids had better hurry and catch the bus so as not to be late--- we suppose we should say "tardy"--- for class. A little extra speed might avoid having to bring home a note from the teacher.

A little extra hustle is also called for in this month's speed problem, which looks more complex than it really is. Keen eyes and good checker sense will solve this one, but there's not a moment to lose, as we're only allowing 30 seconds to solve it.

Don't miss the bus; click on the link below, find the answer, and then ride back and click on Read More to check your moves.

September Speed Problem (moderate difficulty; 30 second time limit)