The Checker Maven

Basic Checkers, 2010 Edition

We're giving over much of this week's column to unabashed advertising, but when you read the rest, you'll surely support our efforts, and will be confident we haven't abandoned our non-commercial policies.

For years, Richard Fortman's Basic Checkers has been the veritable bible for 3-move checker players. Certainly, new works such as Solid Checkers, The Golden Dozen, and others, have come on the scene to correct, supplement, and expand upon Mr. Fortman's original work, going beyond the 137 opening ballots in use 30 years ago. But every serious checkerist is likely to have studied Basic Checkers at some point, and may even have a copy of the original seven self-published, typewritten, spiral-bound booklets.

The Checker Maven is proud to announce that a newly typeset, professionally bound and printed edition of Basic Checkers is now available. Your editor, in conjunction with Jim Loy, John Acker, and artist Louisa Gilani have combined forces to produce this new 2010 edition, with all seven volumes in one 6x9, 504 page trade paperback, which is being sold at a price that nearly anyone can afford. Completely reformatted and set in clear, readable type, it is our hope that this work, which is now hard to find and expensive even if found, will once again be placed in the hands of checker players everywhere.

100% of net income will go to the American Checker Federation Youth Fund in honor of Mr. Fortman.

The book will be sold at the Nationals this August for just $25.00. If you can't be at the Nationals, you can get a copy online through CreateSpace. Additionally, the book will be available in a few weeks directly from Amazon or by special order in bookstores, for $30.00 plus shipping.

And now, let's look at a problem position taken from the book. It stems from the 9-13, 24-19, 6-9 opening.

Game: 9-13, 24-19, 6-9, 22-18, 11-15, 18-11, 8-24, 28-19, 4-8, 25-22,8-11, 22-18, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 29-25, 11-15---A, 19-16, 12-19, 23-16, 1-6---B, 27-23, 7-11,16-7, 2-11, 25-22, 3-8, 32-27---C, 8-12,27-24, 11-16, 24-20, 16-19, 23-16, 12-19,22-17, 13-22, 26-17, 14-18, 20-16, 18-23,16-11, *6-9, 17-13, 9-14, 11-8, 23-27, 31-24, 19-28, 8-3, 15-19, 3-7, 10-15, 7-11,14-18, 30-26---D.



Black to Play and Draw


Notes A to D below are excerpted from Basic Checkers with minor editing.

A---Instead of 1-6.

B---Instead of 1-6, Freyer v. Zuber in the 1981 Florida Open played 14-18, into Banks-Hellman, 2nd National Checkers Association Tournament.

C---Here 31-27 is usual, then 8-12, 27-24, 11-16, 24-19, 15-24, 23-19, 16-23, 26-19, 13-17, 22-13, 14-18, 30-26, etc., drawn. Credited to Denvir and Bradford. The text would seem to be a fine vary, used by the late Colorado master on mail play.

D---Forms a fine problem to arise in play--- Black to move and draw.

Basic Checkers, despite the title, is a rather advanced work, but the problem above isn't as difficult as you might think. Solve it and then click on Read More for the snappy solution ... and then order your copy of the book!


Solution and notes by the Editor with the KingsRow computer engine.

28-32 13-9---1, 2 18-23! 11x27 32x30 drawn.

1---21-17 leads to the same result after 18-23 11x27 32x30 drawn.

2---11-16 or 11-7 avoid the 2x2 shot but give up all hope of a White win, for instance 11-7 32-27 7-10 18-23 26-22 etc. drawn. There are many interesting byways in this solution and we urge you to explore the position further.

06/26/10 - Category: Books -Printer friendly version-
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