The Checker Maven

Fifty Years of Composing

Melyvn Green, of Salford, England, next year will celebrate 50 years of composing original stroke problems. Mr. Green has composed hundreds of these teasers in the course of a long creative career that started in 1957.

Draughts stroke problems, as we've noted here before, are not everyone's cup of tea, much as composed chess problems are not to every chess player's taste. But, fan or not (and we confess to being unabashed fans), stroke problems have their own ineffable charm and appeal, with their often complex layouts and devilishly concealed key moves. Melvyn calls them, "hidden beauty on a draughtsboard," and has published a book with that exact title, collecting together 138 of his best puzzlers, enough to keep even the most dedicated solver busy for months.

Here's one of Melvyn's newer efforts, composed this past spring (2006). He categorizes it as "easy." You may or may not agree. Give it your best effort and then click on Read More for the solution.


White to Play and Win


To commemorate his 50th year of problem composition, Mr. Green is offering copies of his book for only US $5.00 postpaid. This price is so low that it barely covers international postage. The offer is good until the end of calendar year 2007. Don't miss this opportunity. The book is a true gem.

Mr. Green is a man of many interests, and has asked us to pass along the fascinating fact that he is also offering for sale a substantial part of his collection of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror movie magazines! He has, over the years, amassed a large number of these publications from the US, the UK, and other points abroad. If your own interests extend beyond draughts and into this area, you might wish to contact Melvyn.

Mr. Green can be reached by email at, and by traditional postal mail at 8 Castlefield Avenue, Salford M7 4GQ, United Kingdom.


1-6 30x21 6-2 18x25 9x27 31x24 13-17 21x14 15-10 14x7 2x27 White Wins (25-30 27-23 30-25 23-18 25-21 18-22).

A clever problem indeed, and one that tests and expands your ability to visualize positions on the checkerboard. Our thanks to Melyvn Green for sending this one our way.

08/19/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
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