The Checker Maven

Farmer Sneed, Ned, and Mr. Hatley


Not being television fans, your editors were until now unfamiliar with Sneed's Feed and Seed in the television program The Simpsons.

In this month's Checker School column, we meet a different Farmer Sneed, another character named Ned, and Ned's father, Mr. Hatley. Taken from the curious and fascinating Checker Board Strategy, by Andrew J. Banks, the good farmer is taught a thing or two about book learning. The Banks' character Farmer Sneed predates Sneed's Feed & Seed by about half a century.


Under the sweet scented apple blossoms, Nedís face twitched nervously as he eyed Farmer Sneedís beehives. He could hear the wind pushing through the apple blos- soms, the bleating of lambs, and the cackling of chickens. The old farmer liked to take Ned near the bees. Pucker- ing his weather beaten face, he chuckled, "Letís move this hive a little." However, Sneed quickly jerked back his thick muscular hand when a bee stung it. He muttered a little sheepishly, "Oh, thatís nothing--- itís good for my rheumatism. Come on, letís play checkers on the porch; I like to trim you book players."

"Why Uncle Sneed," protested Ned, "the students of book play win all the national championships; take Asa Long, for example."

"Never heard of him," snorted Sneed, "I could probably lick him too. I believe what old Ben Franklin said, 'Care- lessness does more harm than want of knowledge'."

By this time Mr. Hatley had arrived; he met them at the well. "Sneed, you have the best water that I have tasted anywhere," Hatley. said politely, after quenching his thirst and taking a deep breath of the fresh country air.

"None better," Sneed agreed, as he rubbed the hand that the bee had stung. He was not anxious to play Nedís father, but he did so; and Sneed lost five games in a row. Later Ned inquired, "Father, how can you beat Farmer Sneed so easily?"

"I know hundreds of problems," was the reply. "I use those ideas against Sneed."

Here's one of the problems that Mr. Hatley put to use. It's attributed to H. Lieberman.

White to Play and Win


Do you know hundreds of problems, like Mr. Hatley? You'll only need to know one to solve this position. Don't get stung; solve it and then click on Read More to see the surprisingly simple solution.null


14-9, 23-16, 15-10, 6-15, 8-12---A, 13-6, 12-1, White Wins.

A---Mr. Banks says that this illustrates a neat "spare move." It's a common idea, taking advantage of an upcoming forced jump to slip behind another piece and set up a stroke.

Well, that's one down and a few hundred to go, if we're to follow the example of Mr. Hatley!

07/11/20 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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