The very popular It's Your Turn online play site suffered a serious meltdown on Friday, August 19, 2005. This site, highly rated and highly recommended on our site ratings page, hosts turn-based play, counts among its membership many top-notch players, and offers a number of checker tournaments every month.
Due to a faulty backup strategy, both main files and backups were lost, and the site suffered a 10 day outage before coming back on-line on August 29, 2005. Site operator Patrick Chu spent quite a bit of money to hire a data recovery service, and they did their job well: everything except game moves was fully recovered from the crashed storage devices.
During the crisis, site management provided frequent informational updates. and presented a balanced and forthright viewpoint. They have "confessed" to less-than-stellar business practices vis-a-vis backup and recovery, and have offered to make good on lost membership time due to the site outage.
It's Your Turn has been a great place to play both casual and serious checkers, and members now have a choice: they can castigate Mr. Chu for his faults, and abandon the site; or they can realize that It's Your Turn remains a good place to find a good game.
We ourselves have been critical in the past of the site's unfortunate lack of attention to customer service. We expect that this recent experience may have turned that situation around.
It is our hope, and our recommendation, that if you are a checker-playing member of It's Your Turn, you will stay on as a member and keep playing. There is a real danger of the site losing enough membership to cause serious harm. We would surely not wish to see that happen.
The first three days of August saw unusual action in the gaming rooms of the Four Queens in Las Vegas, Nevada.
No, we're not talking about Blackjack or Texas Hold'Em, though we're sure there was plenty of action of that type elsewhere in the casino.
Nery Cardenas and Ryan Pronk; Tom Jones and John Cardie
We're talking about the 2005 edition of the American Checker Federation 9th District Tournament, organized by California checker stalwart Gerry Lopez. A small but enthusiastic group of players gathered in the City of Entertainment for some serious cross-board action.
Competition took place in two divisions, with these final results:
|1.||Gerry Lopez||CA||10||2005 Cal. and Dist. 9 Champion|
|2.||Alex Lopez||CA||18||first tourney|
|3.||John Cardie||CO||16||first tourney|
|4.||Robert Ferguson||UT||14||first tourney|
|5.||Tom Jones||NV||8||first tourney|
|[Event "9th District 2005 Round 2 Game 1"]|
|[Red "Ryan Pronk"]|
|[White "Bob Murr"]|
|1. 11-16 23-18||2. 7-11 26-23|
|3. 3-7 30-26||4. 16-19 (A) 23x16|
|5. 12x19 24x15||6. 10x19 27-24|
|7. 7-10 24x15||8. 10x19 32-27|
|9. 9-14 18x9||10. 5x14 27-23|
|11. 11-16 22-18||12. 6-9 18-15|
|13. 8-12 (B) 25-22||14. 16-20 23x16|
|15. 12x19 15-11||16. 20-24 22-17|
|17. 14-18 26-22||18. 18x25 29x22|
|19. 19-23 28x19||20. 9-13 17-14|
|21. 23-26 (D) 19-15 (E)||22. 26-30 22-18|
|23. 30-25 14-10||24. 25-22 10-7|
|25. 4-8 11x4||26. 2x11 15x8|
|27. 22x15 8-3 (F)||28. 15-11 31-26|
|29. 1-6 26-22||30. 11-15 4-8|
|31. 15-10 8-11||32. 10-14 3-7|
Division A Game 2
Notes by Ryan Pronk
|[Event "9th District 2005 Round 1 Game 1"]|
|[Red "Ryan Pronk"]|
|[White "Nery Cardenas"]|
|1. 11-16 21-17||2. 9-14 (A) 17-13 (B)|
|3. 16-19 (C) 23x16||4. 12x19 24x15|
|5. 10x19 25-21||6. 8-11 27-23|
|7. 6-10 23x16||8. 11x20 26-23 (D)|
|9. 14-17 (E) 21x14||10. 10x26 31x22|
|11. 4-8 22-18||12. 8-11 29-25|
|13. 7-10 25-22||14. 10-14 18x9|
|15. 5x14 22-18||16. 14-17 23-19|
|17. 17-22 13-9!||18. 1-5 (F) 18-14|
|19. 20-24 19-16||20. 11x20 28x19|
|21. 20-24 19-16||22. 3-7 16-12|
|23. 7-11 12-8||24. 11-15 8-3|
|25. 15-18 3-8||26. 18-23 8-11|
|27. 24-27 11-15||28. 27-31 15-18 (G)|
|29. 22-26 18x27||30. 31x24 30x23|
|31. 24-27 23-18||32. 27-23 18-15|
|33. 23-18 15-11||34. 18-22|
Division B Game 1
|[Event "9th District 2005 Round 6 Game 1"]|
|[Red "Robert Ferguson"]|
|[White "John Cardie"]|
|1. 10-14 22-18||2. 11-15 18x11|
|3. 8x15 24-19||4. 15x24 28x19|
|5. 7-11 25-22 (A)||6. 3-8 (B) 22-18 (C)|
|7. 6-10 19-15||8. 10x19 23x7|
|9. 2x11 27-23 (D)||10. 1-6 (E) 29-25 (F)|
|11. 6-10 (G) 25-22||12. 12-16 22-17|
|13. 9-13 18x9||14. 5x14 23-18|
|15. 13x22 18x9||16. 22-25 9-6|
|17. 25-29 21-17||18. 8-12 6-2|
|19. 10-15 17-14||20. 15-19 2-6|
|21. 4-8 14-10||22. 19-23 26x19|
|23. 16x23 10-7||24. 12-16 7-3|
|25. 8-12 3-8||26. 11-15 8-11|
The Checker Maven congratulates Gerry Lopez for not only having organized this event, but taking home the District 9 and California championships!
Our thanks to Bob Murr for photos and games, Ryan Pronk for additional games, and Gerry Lopez for permission to publish.
When you either have the solution, or have had enough, click on Read More to learn the winning way.[Read More]
Also, our on-line publication calendar has gotten out-of-date. Look for us to get that fixed up within the next week or so.
Thank you for helping to make The Checker Maven one of the world's most-read checker publications.
The Checker Maven is pleased to note that, following a period of controversy (see our previous editorial on this topic), eminent checker grandmaster Leo Levitt will be playing for the USA in the upcoming 100th Anniversary International Match with Great Britain.
Congratulations and thanks are due all around to those who in the end upheld the best principles of our game. We recall Dr. Martin Luther King's famed expression, "It's always the right time to do the right thing" and we are proud that our ACF leaders did exactly that.... the right thing.
Toe up to the starting line and click below to display the problems and start the clock. Good luck! You can check your solutions by clicking on Read More. Afterwards, click here to cast your vote for the type of speed problems you prefer.
(This article has been edited subsequent to original publication due to valuable reader input. As a result you have three problems instead of two!)
Problem One (very hard for a timed problem)
Problem Two (medium difficulty, original erroneous diagram corrected)
Problem Three (quite hard, as originally published)[Read More]
So, in order to maintain consistency and predictability year-round, and to help manage our publication workload while still providing quality content, we're going to a permanent Saturday-morning schedule. We're dropping our Wednesday editions in favor of providing more on Saturdays.
This means that during summer and holiday periods, you'll still see a weekly Saturday article. During the regular parts of the year, you'll see at least one article and possibly two or three, as our time, energies, and backlog allow.
We hope this small change will prove pleasing, and invite your comments.
Along with the Grand Old Game, there is little that is as wonderful as Grand Opera, performed by a truly world class company such as we are privileged to have here in Santa Fe.
Just a word of caution: today's problem is "grand" in terms of difficulty as well as content. If you solve it, congratulations --- you might wish to reward yourself with a front row seat at the Santa Fe Opera![Read More]
Now, we know that up-to-the-minute tournament results and standings are generally posted on the Checker Solutions BBS (see link at left), or on specific websites. We're not looking to compete or "double up" in this area, and we're not looking to publish games, play, or analysis without proper permissions and clearances. We know that in a number of cases, game scores are kept in reserve for contributors.
However, having said all that, if you're in a position to provide us with timely news, play, or commentary from checker events, and doing so wouldn't be in conflict with what we've stated above, your contributions would be heartily welcomed. Full credit would be given, and in return you can have any share you want of our subscription fees. (Let's see, we learned in school that any number times zero is ....)
We hope to hear from you!
Let's get started with a delicate endgame of a very practical nature. Class is in session!
Click on Read More for the solution, a runup to the position, and additional notes and quotes from Famous Positions.
(Editor's Note: the color diagrams will return as soon as we work through our article backlog.)[Read More]