"Hey there, Sweetie!"
The raspy voice cut through the thick Florida air and Tina's arms and face burst out in goose bumps as she involuntarily shuddered. It was that horrible boy Joey again, pestering her as he did nearly every morning. No doubt he would ask her out for lunch ...
"Wanna go for lunch with me, Sweetie?"
Tina kept her head up and her eyes straight ahead as she walked by, refusing to answer. As she passed Joey's position, he blew a lungful of cigarette smoke in her direction. Tina's eyes started to water and she couldn't help but cough.
"Wassa matter, Sweetie, got a cold and lost your voice?" Joey started to chuckle, self-amused.
"Joey, you are a disgusting boy, and if Coach Hovmiller catches you smoking, he'll throw you off the checker team ... and good riddance, too! I just think I'm going to report you this time!"
"Aw, Sweetie, you done that before and it didn't do nothing. It was your word against mine and ole Hovmiller couldn't take no kinda action. Why dontcha just go for lunch with me and kiss and make up?"
"Joey, I'm going to wipe that grin off your face! Just wait and you'll see!" Tina strode along the path as quickly as she could and soon reached the safety of the school building. Inside, breathing hard and on the verge of tears, she balled her fists and proclaimed, "I'm going to fix that boy good!"
Tina knew that Joey had cheated his way on to the checker team, and continued to cheat to keep his place. Coach Hovmiller, although a rather stern leader, had yet to catch on to Joey's tricks.
But the school day passed as it always does, and soon it was three o'clock and time for team practice. Today Coach Hovmiller had scheduled the next round of the team board placement tournament. And, wouldn't you know, Tina was paired up with Joey. Tina sighed when she saw the posting on the wall chart. Why couldn't she be matched with Tommy Wagner, or even that nice boy Kevin? Tina smiled a little when she thought about Kevin...
"Sweetie! Hey, Sweetie! You ready for some action?" Joey snickered as he said the last words.
"Don't you be fresh with me, Joey!" said Tina, "or I'll ... I'll...."
"You'll what?" replied Joey. "Turn me in to the Coach like you said this morning? Oooh, I'm so scared! Hey, let's play our game. Tell ya what, how's about winner gets to ...."
"Oh, you just keep quiet, you awful boy!" said Tina. "Let's play our game and get it over with!" Without further discussion, they sat down at their assigned table and began to play. Tina had the White pieces; Joey lead off with Black.
A weak move; 28-24 is much better.
Black is somewhat better off here.
This gives up the advantage; 15-19 would have kept a comfortable lead for Black.
The tide turns in White's favor. 12-16 would have kept things even.
After the exchanges, White might have a win.
17-13 was more accurate. White lets her lead slip quite a bit.
14-9 would have been better. White has completely dissipated her advantage.
12-16 was correct here.
23-27 would have been better.
Tina's heart leapt. Could it be? Yes... if she just moved here and then after that she'd move there. It looked like it would all work out! Satisified with her plan, she made her move.
If you were Tina, would you be able to teach Joey a much-merited lesson in this position? Don't be intimidated; work out the solution and be sure to click on Read More for the correct answer and the unexpected conclusion to our story.
"There!" said Tina as she placed the checker in its new square.
Joey's usual smug look changed to one of consternation. Suddenly, he stood up, glanced around to room to ensure that the others were concentrating on their games, and, when he was satisfied that no one was looking his way, quickly flipped the board and pieces off the table and onto the floor. As the checker pieces clattered and rolled around the room, Joey shouted "Whadya do that for! You some kinda sore loser or somethin'?"
"Joey ... Joey ... you liar!" cried Tina. "You did that! You were losing and .. and ..."
Everyone was now indeed staring at the two of them. Coach Hovmiller, attracted by the commotion, put down the paperwork he was doing, got up from his desk, and came over to Tina and Joey's table. "What's going on here?" he demanded.
Both Tina and Joey started talking at once, but Joey had the louder voice. "She was losin' and she couldn't take it," said Joey, "and then she threw everything on the floor and blamed me!"
"That.... that's not true and you know it!" cried Tina in despair. "You're the one that...."
"All right," said the Coach, "that's enough from both of you. I'm calling a time out. I want both of you to go home now and I want you to write a report for me on what you think happened here. You know I don't stand for bad sportsmanship. Come back in two days, after you've both cooled off, and we'll discuss this further.
"But Coach," wailed Tina, "it isn't fair! I didn't ...."
"Not another word, Tina," replied Coach Hovmiller. "You have my instructions. If you keep it up I'll suspend you from the team."
Tina was barely able to hold back her tears until she made it to the girl's room. She could still hear Joey's laugh ringing in her ears as she sobbed and sobbed. But one part of her knew that some day, the tables would be turned, and Joey would get what he had coming to him.
Editor's Note: White indeed has a win in the diagrammed position.