It was Opening Day for the National Checker League as the 2019-2020 season was about to begin, and Marvin J. Mavin, Captain of the defending champion Detroit Doublejumpers, was ready.
August training camp had been rough, with lots of physical and mental training. But Marvin had to admit it felt good to be in top shape, even though he thought the coaches had been pretty tough on him. No beer for a whole month, and running laps constantly.
This afternoon, the Doublejumpers were facing the Seattle Single Corners at Starbugs Stadium in Seattle. A sellout crowd of over 50,000 was on hand to see what promised to be an exciting contest.
Marvin, on first board, was paired up against the Seattle captain, a short, squat fellow that just went by the name Sluggo. In high school and college, Sluggo was a champion weight lifter and wrestler, but he was so good at checkers that he decided to take a pro contract. Still, one look at him told you that he had definitely kept up the physical training.
Word had gotten around the League about Marvin's experiences in training camp this year, and Sluggo started to ride Marvin as soon as they took their places across the checkerboard.
"Heard you had to run some laps," Sluggo said. "Must a been tough for a wimp like you." Sluggo laughed, a deep, nasty sound that had intimidated many an opponent both over the board and in the ring.
"Yeah, well, unlike you I got a brain," Marvin said.
"Not very original," Sluggo replied, "and anyhow you won't have one yourself after I bust up your head."
"Hey! Are you threatening me? You can't do that!"
Sluggo looked Marvin right in the eye. "Really? Whatcha gonna do about it?" Sluggo raised his clenched fists to chest level.
Marvin involuntarily took a step back, but just then the referee's whistle blew and the call "Play checkers!" resounded across the field.
Sluggo stuck out his hand for a handshake, but Marvin didn't take it. He was afraid Sluggo would break his fingers. That got another low laugh from Sluggo. "Have it your way, little boy," he said. "I'll beat you on the board, over the board, and into the board."
The game proceeded as follows. Marvin had Black and Sluggo had White.
Loses. 25-22 was correct.
Marvin chuckled. "Hey, you did pretty well up to now--- for a lamebrain. But that last move is gonna cost you the game."
"Oh yeah?" replied Sluggo. "Sez who?"
"Sez me, Marvin J. Mavin."
"You're dead meat. Nobody beats Sluggo."
Marvin chuckled again. "We'll see about that," he said, and made his move.
Can you beat Sluggo? No, not on a wrestling mat, but over the board? See if you can find the win and then slam your mouse on Read More to see the solution and the conclusion of our story.
Solution and Conclusion
Sluggo frowned. "Did Sluggo lose a piece?" he said.
"Aw, just resign the game already," Marvin replied. "You ain't got a chance."
But Sluggo sat staring at the board for some while, and then continued to play.
"Seriously?" Marvin said. "You're two men down and you won't resign?"
The game clock buzzed. Sluggo's time was up, and it was an automatic loss.
Marvin didn't see the look on Sluggo's face when Marvin said, '"You sure are a poor sport, pal."
Sluggo's fist slammed into the board, sending the pieces flying everywhere. That was just before Sluggo overturned the table and started toward Marvin with murder in his eyes.
But now all of Marvin's pre-season physical training paid off. He ran as fast as he could toward the clubhouse and Sluggo was unable to catch up with him before Sluggo's teammates pulled him back.
Marvin, out of breath but safe, did something he had never expected he would do: he silently thanked his coach for making him run all those laps around the lake in training camp.
Game Source: Unattributed on-line publication.