# The Checker Maven

### Great Men Like Checkers

There's no doubt that many a great man was a checkerist, and you'll see why we've chosen the title Great Men Like Checkers for today's Checker School column when you read through the solution section.

The definition of a great man can vary. Some think of great national leaders, others think of religious figures, and still others might vote for sports heroes. There is room for all of these, and more. Our photo above shows a great baseball player from the olden days, Christy Mathewson, who besides being a baseball Hall of Famer, was also a master checker player.

On the other hand, few people remember checkerist Fred Allen; and thought he might not be a member of the Hall of Fame, he is credited with a very fine and instructive checker position, which forms the subject of our column today. In our opinion, it's more than enough to secure Mr. Allen's place in checker history.

F. ALLEN
WHITE

BLACK
Black to Play and Win

B:W17,13,K9:B18,K15,12,10.

It's an intriguing layout: the near-symmetry of the three per side on the right offset by the lone extra Black man on square 12. Is it enough for a Black win? According to Mr. Allen, it is indeed, but it's all in knowing how. Can you demonstrate your own checker greatness by showing how it's done? Solving the problem likely won't make you into a Hall of Famer, but work it through and then click on Read More to see the solution, no less than five sample games (this is indeed a practical exercise), and explanatory notes.

Solution

The solution, sample games, and lettered notes are from Ben Boland's Famous Positions in the Game of Checkers. Numbered notes are from computer analysis with the KingsRow engine.

15-11---A, 9-14, 12-16---2, 14-23, 11-15, 23-26, 15-18---1, 26-30, 18-14. Black Wins.

Game: 11-15, 23-18, 8-11, 18-14, 9-18, 24-19, 15-24, 22-8, 4-11, 28-19, 11-15. 27-24, 5-9, 21-17, 7-11, 25-21, 9-14, 29-25," 6-9, 17-13, 11-16, 13-6, 16-23, 26-19, 2-9, 30-26, 1-6, 26-23, 3-7, 25-22, 9-13, 31-27, 13-17, 22-13, 7-11, 32-28, 11-16, 24-20, 15-31, 20-11, 10-15, 23-19---B, 15-24, 28-19, 6-10, 11-7, 31-27, 7-2, 27-24, 2-6, 24-15, 6-9, 14-18, 21-17. Forms above position. J. Mitchell vs. Hutchison, in the British Draughts Player and also Lees' Guide.

Game: 11-15, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 8-11, 22-18, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 25-22, 11-15, 29-25---C, 15-24, 27-20, 4-8, 22-18, 8-11, 18-9, 6-13, 25-22, 1-5, 32-28, 5-9, 22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 9-14, 30-26, 11-15, 17-13, 2-6, 26-22, 14-18, 23-14, 10-26, 31-22, 15-19, 22-18, 19-23, 18-14, 7-10, 14-7, 3-10, 28-24, 23-27, 24-19, 27-31, 20-16, 10-14, 16-11, 6-10, 11-7, 31-27, 7-2, 27-24, 2-6, 24-15, 6-9, 14-18, 21-17. Forms above position. J. Ferguson, from Game 393, the Draughts World, Vol. 5.

Game: 10-15, 22-17, 11-16, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 9-14, 17-10, 6-24, 27-11, 8-15, 23-18, 15-22, 25-18, 12-16, 29-25, 16-19, 18-14, 7-11, 25-22, 11-15, 21-17, 4-8, 30-25, 8-12, 25-21, 12-16, 17-13, 16-20, 32-28, 3-8, 22-17, 8-12, 31-27, 15-18, 14-9, 5-14, 17-10, 1-5---D, 10-6, 2-9, 13-6, 5-9, 6-1, 9-13, 1-6, 18-22, 26-17, 13-22, 6-10, 22-26, 10-15, 19-24, 28-19, 26-31, 27-23, 31-27, 15-18, 27-24, 19-15, 12-16. Forms above position, colors reversed. J. Alexander, and others. Dunne's Praxis.

Game: 9-14, 22-17, 11-16, 25-22, 16-19, 24-15, 10-19, 23-16, 12-19, 17-10, 6-15, 21-17, 5-9, 17-13---S, 1-6, 29-25, 8-12, 25-21, 7-10, 27-24, 4-8, 22-18, 15-22, 24-15, 10-19, 26-17, 8-11, 32-27, 11-15, 31-26---E, 2-7, 17-14, 9-18, 26-23, 19-26, 30-14, 7-10, 14-7, 3-10, 27-24, 15-18, 24-19, 18-23, 28-24, 23-26, 24-20, 26-31, 20-16, 10-14, 16-11, 6-10, 11-7, 31-27, 7-2, 27-24, 2-6, 24-15, 6-9, 14-18, 21-17. Forms above position. W. E. Earle vs. J. H. Lloyd, Master Play.

Game: (Off above game at S) 27-24, 2-6, 17-13, 7-10, 29-25, 8-12, 25-21, 4-8, 22-18---F, 15-22, 24-15, 10-19, 26-17, 8-11, 32-27, 11-15, 31-26, 3-7, 17-14, 9-18, 26-23, 19-26, 30-14, 1-5, 28-24, 15-18, 24-19, 18-22, 27-24, 22-26, 19-15, 26-30, 24-20, 30-26, 15-11, 7-16, 20-11, 26-23, 11-7, 23-18, 14-9, 5-14, 7-2, 6-10, 2-6, 18-15, 6-9, 14-18, 21-17. Forms above position. R. Duncan vs. J. Utchell, Game No. 186, Wood's Checker Player.

A---12-16, 9-14, 15-11, same as solution at Third Move.

B---11-7, 6-10, 7-2, 31-26, 2-7, 26-19, 7-11, 14-18, 11-7. Drawn. W. Strickland.

C---22-18 (also 32-28), 15-24 (or 15-22), 27-20, 4-8, 18-9, 6-13, 23-18*, 8-11, 18-14. Drawn.

D---In Dunne's Praxis, Hynd vs. Ward played 12-16 and White won; 2-6*, 10-7, 1-5, 7-3, 6-10, 3-7, 10-15, 7-2, 18-22, 26-17, 15-18. Drawn. J. Alexander.

E---27-23 draws. W. Veal and J. B. Hanson.

F---Shearer published play on both 22-17 and 32-27 to draw.

1---16-19 wins here as well.

2---To win, Black gives back his extra man. This will prevent White from playing 13-9 and 17-13 by providing a "tempo" for the Black king to go to 15. And when the Black king reaches 15, White is out of luck because 13-9 then loses at once to 10-14. When the Black king reaches 18, 13-9 loses to the simple press 18-14.

The above position by Fred Allen may be found as No. 223, in Gould's Problem Book, thus: Black---6, 10, 12, King 31, and White---13, 15, 19, 21. Black to Play and Win: 10-14*, 15-11, 6-10, 11-7, 31-27, 7-2, 27-24, 2-6, 24-15, 6-9, 14-18, 21-17, now same as above position.

The above position may also be found as No. 41, in "It's Your Move," colors reversed, credited to W. D. Benstead.

GREAT MEN LIKE CHECKERS

Many famous men were fond of checkers which was introduced into Europe from Egypt about the beginning of the Sixteenth Century.

From monumental inscriptions it appears that the game was familiar to the Egyptians as early as the year 200 B. C.

Its antiquity is attested by Homer in the Odyssey, where reference is made to games in the palace of Ulysses in Ithica; and by Plato who in his dialogues makes frequent mention of it by way of illustration.

The oldest known works on Draughts (Checkers) was published at Valencia, Spain in 1547 by Antonia Torguemado.

Famous checker players have been Cicero and many Roman emperors; Napoleon; the Duke of Wellington, Frederick, the Great, Pierre Mallet, engineer ordinary to Louis XIV; Edgar Allen Poe, American poet; J. P. Dodd, L.L.D.; General U. S. Grant, who ascribed much of his military success to the mental sharpening derived from checkers, and whose ability to mop up the boys at West Point, is recorded; Garibaldi, the savior of Italy! John Paterson, the great mathematician; Andrew Carnegie, late Steel magnate; Bob Fitzsimmons, who once met all comers at McGinnity's Tavern, Newark, N. J.; Joseph J. Lannin, once owner of Boston Red Socks, and Roosevelt Field.

Hundreds of celebrities living are lovers of the game, such as Frederick W. Mansfield, Boston mayor; Jack Dempsey, Joel McRae and Gene Lockhart,. movie stars and hundreds of doctors, lawyers, and members of the learned professions. ---Roseville Citizen

03/26/10 - Category: Books - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.