The Checker Maven

Fix Me


It looks like some fixing is in order here. This could be among the worst home repair jobs possible. What a mess!

Some checker games need to be fixed, too, and "fixing" will be the point of today's Checker School column.

We came across a game played in the 1920 Pennsylvania State Championship Tournament which could, well, use some work. It's not that the players were unskilled. In fact, most of the game is well played. But there were three significant errors, all of which could have been fixed. Let's have a look.

Black: O. Zanger

White: H. B. Reynolds

1. 10-14 23-19
2. 6-10 22-17
3. 9-13 27-23
4. 13x22 25x9
5. 5x14 29-25
6. 11-15 25-22
7. 8-11 32-27
8. 4-8 22-17
9. 2-6 17-13
Diagram 1
Black to Play and Draw


10. 14-17 ...

This moves loses. In Diagram 1 above, fix me!

10. ... 21x14
11. 10x17 19x10
12. 7x14 ...
Diagram 2
White to Play and Win


12. ... 24-20

This move gives up the win and only draws. In Diagram 2 above, fix me!

Diagram 3
Black to Play and Draw


13. 3-7 ...

This move loses. In Diagram 3 above, fix me!

13. ... 23-19
14. 17-21 27-23
15. 14-17 23-18
16. 6-10 26-22
17. 17x26 31x22
18. 1-5 ...

The players left the game here as a White win.

18. ... 22-17

The White win is clear. Black is going to have to give up a lot of men.

Can you "fix" the three unfortunate moves above? Resolving actual over-the-board situations such as these is a great way to improve your own play. Don't fixate on this; just do the best you can, and then fix your mouse on Read More to see the correct moves.

And stay safe and well, checker fans, wherever you are.null


We haven't given extended play here. You can work that out yourself or on your computer.

Diagram 1: 15-18 will draw.

Diagram 2: 23-19 holds the win.

Diagram 3: 12-16 would have drawn.

Were you a good fixer? No matter how well you did, we hope you enjoyed this type of challenge. If it gets a good reception, we might make it a regular feature. We think that working out best play in actual games can be very useful in improving your own play.

Drop us a line at and let us know what you think.

06/13/20 - Category: Games -Printer friendly version-
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