The Checker Maven

The Draughtsberg Project

The Checker Maven is announcing what we call The Draughtsberg Project, modeled a bit after the Gutenberg Project, which is an ambitious attempt to create an electronic library of all the classic works of literature.

Our project, already begun, is an effort to bring back checker books in electronic form. The sad situation today is that at most there are a dozen or so books about Anglo-American checkers in print; everything else has to be obtained hit-or-miss on the used book market, at whatever may be the cost. Public libraries generally have very little in their collections. It is a difficult situation for an up-and-coming checker player, or for anyone with any interest at all in checker literature.

We propose, over a rather extended period of time, to issue newly typeset electronic editions of important checker works that have passed into the public domain, as well as others still under copyright for which proper permissions can be obtained.

We have set ourselves the lofty goal of providing a high-quality, no-cost checker library that can be used for generations to come.

For more detail, including a proposed list of essential books and an invitation to participate, please click on Read More.

More About the 'Draughtsberg Project'

Our project has already begun with reissues of Checkers Made Easy as well as some Richard Pask items. Additional books are in progress, including Willie Ryan and Ben Boland titles. Others have independently reissued some material, with Jim Loy and the English Draughts Federation leading the way with online publication of important works on openings such as Lees' Guide and Basic Checkers.

Our goal is to bring back dozens of the most important works. We have in mind a complete library which will provide the basis for serious, progressive study, which will provide graded study material as a player moves from beginner on to expert. The following works, among others, form the basis for such a 'complete course' in checkers.

Reisman, Checkers Made Easy.
Ryan, Tricks, Traps, & Shots of the Checkerboard.
Boland, Familiar Themes.
Pask, Key Themes.
Boland, Famous Positions.
Pask, Key Landings.
Boland, Bridges.
Pask, Key Openings.

Obviously, there are many more

Such a project will take a number of years, lasting perhaps even beyond the projected lifetime of The Checker Maven. We welcome participants in this venture, to share the considerable work and to provide advice and counsel.

Our preference is to produce searchable PDF books, to maximize value in terms of universality of access, ease of finding material via computerized search, and compatibility with print media--- many of us like to print out our books and peruse them when and where we wish, independent of our computers.

A second choice is HTML, but PDF is preferred due to compatibility among media types, as just mentioned. Closed, proprietary formats such as Word are of much less interest. Also of somewhat less interest are pure graphical scans, which are not searchable.

Some items can be scanned, run through OCR software, and edited from that point. Other items do not scan and OCR very well and will have to be retyped from scratch (this is actually easier than trying to fix up a bad scan).

We very much prefer typesetting with LaTeX. It is arcane but produces unquestionably superior results. However, few others will likely be conversant with LaTeX, so other systems can be considered as long as the final typography is of high quality. It might also be possible to divide up work such that someone else produces text which we recast as LaTeX.

One of our first priorities is assembling an editorial board.

If you have comments, suggestions, or ideas, or if in any way, no matter how small, are willing to participate, please write to

01/14/06 - Category: General - Printer friendly version
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