The Checker Maven

Introducing Priscilla K. Snelson (conclusion)

We last left our hero, Marvin J. Mavin, in somewhat dire straits. Recall that in Part One of the story (click here to read it again) Marvin and his girlfriend Priscilla were at a fancy champagne party. Marvin got into an argument with Russian Draughts master Dmitri Tovarischky and a challenge game, with a thousand dollars riding on the outcome, was in progress. We pick up the story with Marvin a man down in the game and not a beer in sight.

BLACK (Dmitri)

WHITE (Marvin)
White to Play


Marvin continued to fidget in his chair and mutter under his breath. Then, suddenly, he leaped to his feet, grinning widely, and played:

... 13-17

"Why Checkers Boy is laughing?" asked Dmitri, obviously annoyed with Marvin's antics. "You think chasing my man is smart move. Watch, Dmitri is only getting another king!"

The game continued:

22-25 17-22
25-29 4-8

Suddenly Dmitri's expression changed from a satisfied scowl to a concerned and puzzled look. "Pieces on 29, 21, and 2 cannot move," he said quietly. "Why is situation so difficult now for great Russian champion?"

Marvin had settled in his chair, no longer moving about. A sly smile was all that could be seen on his face. The watching crowd, too, was silent. They were no longer even sipping their champagne. Play went on:

19-16 10-14
2-6 ...

Dmitri let out a long breath. "Ha, Checkers Boy! You see! Man is moving now and Russian Champion will win game!"

... 14-18

But now Dmitri was scowling again. "Da, da, da, man goes to 9 and gets lost when King moves 22 to 17 and then to 13. Checkers Boy is thinking he is clever boy...."

20-24 18-14
24-19 22-17
19-24 17-22
24-27 14-17
6-10 22-18

Marvin lifted his head and spoke in a manner that was, at least for him, uncharacteristically quiet. "You ain't going nowhere, are ya, Pinko!"

29-25---A ...

"OK big Checkers Boy! Now king is moving from corner!" gloated Dimitri.

... 17-13

"Nyet, nyet, nyet! Dmitri will not put king back in corner!"

27-24 ?---B...

Marvin sat up straight and exclaimed, "Losing patience, are ya now! Well take this!"

... 18-14!
10x17 13x29


A---Accomplishes nothing, but neither does anything else. 27-24 might be a little better.
B---25-29 doesn't allow the quick wrapup, but still only draws, as Black can make no progress.

Marvin jumped up, raised his arms, leaped and clicked his heels in mid-air. "Did you see that! Did YOU see that! Yeah, ya fat Russkie, you were gonna beat old Marvin, were ya! Well I showed ya didn't I!"

Marvin's girlfriend Priscilla, who up to this point had kept a bit of a distance from the playing table, was starting to get a very unpleasant tight and white look. " only got a draw and you really ought to be a little nicer..." she began to say, in a voice that was a little too calm. But Marvin could not be stopped, as he turned his attention to the watching crowd.

"And all a youse!" he said, "Hangin' around waitin' for poor ole Marvin to lose so Russkie here can buy ya all some expensive vodka! Yer all a bunch a put-ons! Ya oughta drink beer like real people!"

"MARVIN, YOU CAN FIND YOUR OWN RIDE HOME!" shouted Priscilla in a most unladylike manner. She turned on her heels and strode to the exit, letting the door slam behind her.

"Uh.... honey?" said Marvin, taken with surprise. But it was too late.

The crowd dispersed quickly, the party mood of the evening ended. Dmitri was no longer anywhere to be seen, having silently slipped away at the end of the game. Somewhat sullenly, Marvin packed up his checkers and board, and went out alone into the night, hoping to find a bar still open where he could at least get a beer.

If you are of legal age and choose to drink, The Checker Maven asks that you do so in a responsible manner. Drinking and driving is a serious and dangerous crime; please don't ever do it.

05/27/06 - Category: Problems -Printer friendly version-
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