We never get tired of saying that we love the 4th of July, America's birthday. We are proud and unapologetic American patriots.
For our 4th of July column, we always turn to an American checkerist. Often it's Tom Wiswell but today we'd like to feature another of America's all-time greats, Willie Ryan, with a game and problem from his aptly titled American Checkerist publication. Let's start with the run-up.
Ryan calls this a probable loss but today we know that although perhaps not the best choice, it doesn't lose.
Once thought to win, but only draws with correct play by Black.
The losing move. Correct would have been 4-8 or 6-10. it's easy for Black to go wrong in this line.
The winning line is quite long, and not all that easy to discover. However, it's very instructive and this problem is well worth your time. See how far you can go, and then click on Read More to see the solution.
 Tragically, today to some the concept of patriotism is viewed as politically incorrect at best and racist at worst. We strongly disagree, and prefer the statement put forth by Gaines Foster of Louisiana State University: " ... you're an American because you believe in democracy, you believe in equality, you believe in opportunity."
Obviously, variations are possible below and you can use your computer to study them.
21-14 only draws.
30-26 looks natural but only draws.
The computer move here is 3-7 but it makes little difference.
Not 24. 3-7 20-16 25. 12-19 18-15 26. 11-18 2-4 and Black will soon be completely without safe moves, for instance 27. 18-23 4-8 28. 29-25 8-11 29. 25-29 11-15 30. 29-25 15x24 31. 25-29 24-19 and Black is eaten alive.
Another quick ending would be had on 26. 12-16 18-15 27. 11-18 2-4 WW.
As we said, this one wasn't the easiest, and to solve it would require as much forward vision as our Founding Fathers had when they brought America into being.
A happy 4th of July to one and all!