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Jim Loy's comment: I have retyped this 1950 newspaper, corrected some errors, and rearranged each page:
17TH U. S. CHECKER TOURNEY
JUNE 12th AT PAXTON
|Champs to Battle for Crack at World Title|
Rudy Munzinger, left, President of the American Checker Federation, and J. Dale Heath, National Match Director of the ACF, have shown that team work gets results by bringing the 1950 tournament to Paxton. Munzinger, a resident of Alton, Illinois, has been a driving force in Illinois checkers for many years and has given liberally to the promotion of the game as a national pastime. This year he said: "Let's have it in Illinois!"
J. Dale Heath has been the guiding influence for the raising of funds to conduct the various national programs of the ACF. See "He Delivered" on page seven.
Cooperation is one thing, but a hearty welcome is another. The community of Paxton, Illinois has certainly demonstrated that it intends to be a good host to the checker enthusiasts of America for the 1950 National Checker Tournament starting June 12, 1950. For a community of 3,700 population a $500.00 venue bid, an amount raised by the merchants and citizens of Paxton, is quite a sum of money considering that bids from larger cities were smaller in size. This feeling of gratitude to a little town which is intending its hospitality to checker fans is what started the ball rolling on this newspaper, TRIBUTE TO PAXTON, months ago. (See story on page 2).
Of all the letters and bits of information received the story of Paxton is best told by Mr. Bud Larson, Business Manager of the Paxton Record: "...When you checker enthusiasts first heard that Paxton, Illinois was to be the site of the 1950 National Checker Tournament, undoubtedly your first question was, 'and just where is Paxton?' Not, of course, if you're an Illinoisan, for the state checker tournament was been held in Paxton for the past four years ... primarily through the interest of a local checker club headed by R. M. Mason and secondarily because of the fine playing site and central location in the state."
"To pin-point our town for you let's settle for a definition which places Paxton 100 miles straight south of Chicago at the intersection of the Illinois Central and Nickel Plate Railroads and of US routs 45 and 9."
"Now with true native pride bare with us while we launch into a variance of reasons why Paxton is distinctive and certainly worth your time and trouble to visit this June."
"Call it the town of bridges. Everyone does, for eight bridges link the two halves of the town. Don't worry about spring floods it's the I. C. Railroad the bridges are over."
" Headquarters for district offices of the Central Illinois Public Service Company and the Allied Gas Company. It also is headquarters for the Eastern Illinois Power Cooperative (REA) and the Ford County PMA (formerly AAA), The France Broom Factory, 50 employees, and Bear Brand Hosiery Mill, 60 employees, are the principal small industries. A thriving, growing mid-west town, it is the rural trading center for Ford County and made so by the rich farming area here where 'corn is corn'."
"Education fine schools? We have them. Also nine churches, all of which makes this town a poor place for a trial lawyer."
"County seat of Ford County, Paxton (population 3700) was the first settled nearly 100 years ago by a number of Swedish immigrants which explains the preponderance of Johnsons, Andersons, Petersons, and Swansons to be found in the phone book. You won't need a linguist, however, we're well acclimated now, thanks."
"Key rural city in the state Legion Community Betterment program backed by the State Legion Department."
"Easy driving distance to Chanute Air Force base, ten miles away at Rantoul. A permanent air corps base of approximately 10,000 soldiers and civilian workers, many of them reside in Paxton. The University of Illinois is only 25 miles to the south at Urbana."
"Recreation includes a nine-hole golf course, softball park, bowling alley and movie. We have two hotels, the Middlecoff and Paxton. The former has a large dining room and cocktail lounge and is a 50 room structure."
"Site of the 1950 National Checker Tournament, something which we of Paxton consider a distinct honor. Welcome to all enthusiasts. We hope you like our town."
The Honorable Tracy A. Pitzen, Mayor of the City of Paxton extends this greeting to the Players of America:
"The citizens of Paxton wish to welcome you to our community. We have had the pleasure of being hosts to the Illinois State Checker Tournament on numerous occasions and are more than pleased to act in that capacity to the National Tournament."
"You will find the merchants of Paxton more than anxious to serve you, the hotels and cafes will give you the best of service and the people will welcome you into their homes."
"The City of Paxton considers it an honor to be selected as the meeting place for your National Tournament and wish to extend to you every courtesy and a hearty welcome."
The genial President of the Paxton Chamber of Commerce, L. B. Cornelison, sums up the welcome in these words:
"We welcome all checker players and enthusiasts to our city. We hope that you enjoy visiting us as much as we will enjoy having you here and that as a result of your attendance at the National Mid-Century Checker Tournament at Paxton, you will return many times in the future and bring your friends."
|What promises to be the most grueling competitive
affair, in the history of American Checker Tournaments will get under way on
June 12, 1950 at Paxton, Illinois, 100 miles south of Chicago. The thing which
makes this tournament tough is the fact that the winner has been promised a
crack at the world title now held by Walter F. Hellman of Gary, Indiana who
succeeded Asa Long to the championship by virtue of his victory two wins to one
and 47 draws in 1948. For the spectators it will be a real picnic watching the
more than 100 contestants sweat it out, an enviable thing to do on a hot June
day in Illinois. A crowded game room with scores of games going on at the same
time, the silence is occasionally broken by a grunt of despair. One does not
have to be psychologist to realize that the serious expressions of the players
say they mean business.
It has taken these champs from Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Maine, and the dozen other states, months to prepare for the tournament. Countless hours have been spent going over old lines of play to refresh memory, devising new lines of play to spring on opponents in the tournament as a surprise, and playing occasional games with fellow enthusiasts in order to develop a sharp playing edge for the tournament. Not all of these men will win major prizes, but if determination to make it tough on the next guys means anything, then they are all champs. For ten long days perhaps longer the champs will battle it out until all but one man has been eliminated from the fray to whom the mantled wreath, "American Champion," will belong until another takes his place in 1952.
The favorite by far is Marion F. Tinsley, 23 year old master from Columbus, Ohio who won the fray in 1948 against a strong field of 205 players in Brownwood, Texas by decisively defeating Maurice Chamblee in the final round of play. But Tinsley is not a newcomer to Paxton, having appeared at an Illinois State Checker Tournament in a Navy uniform during the war. To say that Tinsley's rise to national checker stardom has been anything less than sensational is understatement. His opponents still bare the scars of battle! His first real stab at checker fame came in 1946 when he won the annual Cedar Point Resort tournament defeating Alex Cameron nationally known star whose devotion to the game can be traced back to Scotland. Cameron still faintly remembers Richard Jordan of Edinburgh, Scotland who is acknowledged by the world as one of the two greatest players that ever lived.
Not a week after the tournament Tinsley proceeded to pack his belongings for another jaunt. This time it was Newark and the 1946 National Tournament promoted by the American Checkerist Magazine. Tinsley proved to the checker world his playing ability by stopping William F. Ryan in the earlier rounds of play one to nothing and 3 draws, finishing in 2nd place when Ryan rallied his long experience for the supreme effort in the final round of play stopping the young master from the Buckeye state.
Then we cannot overlook Asa Long of Toledo, Ohio who held the world title for nearly 15 years before the accession of Walter Hellman in 1948. Rumor has it that Long will definitely be there to win the tournament and qualify for a try at his lost title. If he attends and plays many will witness the prowess which has led to his recognition as the greatest master of the checker endings the world has ever known. His style is a cautious one based on a long experience with sound lines of defense in the more difficult checker openings. Long has not been defeated in tournament play since he played in his first American Tournament, the 4th American, at the ripe old age of 16 years! Since that time it has been a string of long victories, the 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th American Tournaments. It will be interesting to see whether or not Long's great acumen will again stand the test of the greatest masters the country has to offer.
Another welcomed old timer will be Basil Case, Russelville, Alabama farmer, who for all intents and purposes demonstrated that Alabama farmers can be mighty tough on eastern city slickers by defeating Kenneth Grover of New York City 6 to 3 for a $500.00 purse in Birmingham, Alabama in 1949. Maybe the move state boys at the match had something to do with the difference in morale. ... Case is no stranger to these parts having spent his early youth in Chicago where he was tutored to stardom in checkers by P. H. Ketchum and Joe Duffy. The other old-timers will include Jesse Hanson of Tacoma, Washington; Tom O'Grady of Rochester, New York; Ray Gould of Portland, Maine; and Kenneth Grover of New York City.
While Harold Freyer is not exactly an old-timer, it has been quite a long time since he participated in an American tournament. His partnership with Uncle Sam for several years interrupted his playing aspirations, but Freyer is expected to hit the comeback trail at Paxton in an attempt to at least equal his performance in the 10th American in which he won 3rd prize, losing only to the winner of the tournament, Asa Long.
Walter F. Hellman and William F. Ryan will definitely be on hand for the tournament, but they will not discuss their plans to participate in the tournament. Hellman, the world champion is perhaps waiting to see who wins the tournament and becomes his opponent automatically for the world title match in 1951. If Hellman entered the tournament and swept the field, a pretty tough assignment, it would doubtlessly detract from his next world title match. William F. Ryan, of course, is perhaps the most well know checker personality in America today, author of several well written books, and Managing Editor of the American Checkerist magazine. Ryan and Hellman had quite a show of it in their 1949 match which ended in a 4 to 4 deadlock with the remainder of the 42 games being drawn, one of the most exciting matches in the annals of checker history.
The tournament will be a battle of youth and endurance vs. age and experience. Tinsley, Chamblee, and Hallett are the youngsters. Long, Ryan, Hellman, Hanson, Grover, O'Grady, Fuller, Gould, and Clayton are the old-timers, but it should be remembered that the youngsters swept the field in the last tournament. In this contest anything can happen and probably will. Prognostication is probably not the better part of valor! The element of endurance and surprise is nothing less than terrific. The most nerve racking thing about tournaments is the suspense at the beginning of each round of play as the pairings are drawn from the hat. The late master and President of the American Checker Association, H. B. Reynolds, probably had an experience along these lines which will never again be equalled. At the beginning of a round of play during the 9th American Tournament, Reynolds name was announced loudly as it was drawn from the had. As was the custom, Reynolds stepped up to the front, reached his hand into the hat, and as he drew out the name of his opponent, asked God to give him the easiest man in the tournament. The hush over the players turned into demonstrative blare when it was announced that Reynolds opponent was none other than Asa Long, the world champion.
Nor will checker fans forget too soon the remarkable, but humorous stand Morris Krantz of New York City put on against William F. Ryan at the Newark National Tournament. Krantz has a secret method of hypnotizing his opponents and nearly worked the same trick against Ryan, having him on the ropes in two different games. As fate would have it, Ryan had a whammy of his own and managed to get a hard earned draw, winning the session 2 to 1 and 11 draws. Krantz was not to be out done, however, and repeated his ritual against Alex Cameron in their playoff for 10th and 11th prizes, whereupon Cameron gave Krantz three men for nothing in what proved to be the decisive game giving Krantz 10th prize.
There have been many other provoking blunders in American Tournaments which should serve as encouragement to those who believe that the champions are unbeatable, such as the time when A. J. Heffner lost the American Championship to Charles F. Barker in the 1st American in 1907 by stepping into a booby trappish two for two trade. But even this incident cannot equal the time when John F. Horr secured a winning position against Alfred Jordan in their 10th and final game of the semis, Horr having a clearly cut win four pieces against three. A few moments of apparently careful consideration and then a move, the only move which Jordan could have possibly hoped for. One move had turned a winning position into a loss! Such things are born of tournament fatigue. The champions are all susceptible in these moments.
Despite the best predictions, checker tournaments are like the horse races. Mighty tough to take into consideration the condition of the turf! The only prediction we can make is that the tournament will be enjoyed by all and especially by the spectator who is in constant touch with the kibitzers who relate the story behind the story for all those who would like to know what is going on.
Story Behind This
Newspaper by the Editor
|Have you ever bet on a long shot and just
happened to have picked the right horse? That's the way it is with this
newspaper. A lot of fans are betting on this newspaper to win a race of its
own! Even as you are reading, stop and think: More than 20,000 of those Tribute
to Paxton newspapers have been mailed out to all parts of the United States and
Canada to every known checker player. Why? Well, perhaps you're not a checker
player. Perhaps a friend gave you this paper and said: "Here, read this."
That's one of the ideas which gave rise to this promotion, to open the eyes of
those who do not know what they are missing. Checkers is a great game! The
thousands of people that play it each year and continue to play it ought to
This newspaper is being mailed out to every known checker fan to show the fan he is not a forgotten man. We want him to know that we are thinking about him, and we want him to think about the 1950 tournament. There have been 16 American checker tournaments. This is the 17th and the greatest, we hope, but it will depend on you and every member of the playing fraternity. It takes a certain amount of money to promote national tournaments so that the boys, who travel 2,000 miles to play and are lucky enough or good enough to win a prize, may at least defray their expenses. They deserve it if they finish anywhere close to the top. They have spent months preparing earnestly.
Everyone said that this newspaper idea was a great idea to raise funds for the tournament. So a team busied itself and the work was done.
Then in February, Mr. George F. Wales, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Checkerist Corporation, publishers of the American Checkerist magazine, wrote Mr. Rudy Munzinger, President of the American Checker Federation, and the members of that organization. The letter extended a sincere offer of cooperation on the part of the American Checkerist Corporation to help promote the 1950 tournament and the Tribute newspaper. Mr. Munzinger accepted on behalf of the ACF and the battle for a bigger and better tournament was on!
The American Checkerist Corporation has taken the material for this newspaper and shaped it into something which we believe the fans will enjoy, but even more important ALL of the net profit received from this newspaper will be given to the 1950 tournament fund. Something new has been done in this promotion: Copies of this newspaper have been mailed to those who have until now had little cause to support the tournament. We have sent these papers to supply the cause and we believe that you would like to do your share.
The story is not yet finished. That depends on you. If you appreciate receiving this newspaper then you should make it known by sending the American Checker Corporation at least $1.00 toward the 1950 tournament fund and this newspaper. If the game is made more popular as a result of this newspaper, you, the fans, are the ones who will enjoy the increased popularity. Do YOUR PART to boost the game of checkers!
Send $1.00 or more to:
George F. Wales, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Checkerist Corporation, in preparing for his entrance into the checker promotional field, decided that two things were of initial importance. The first was that a library should be acquired. The second was that a magazine would not only be desirable, but necessary in order to reach the general public.
When he learned that the library of Dr. H. C. Newland, famous collector and writer who devoted himself to checkers, was for sale, Mr. Wales purchased it in its entirety at least all but a small portion which had been disposed of previously.
The material which Dr. Newland had accumulated was tremendous both in volume and importance. For instance, there were fourteen tea cases filled with scrap books and checker column clippings from scores of newspapers from all over the world dating from 1857 to 1947, a span of 90 years.
The books in Dr. Newland's library were purchased separately and there were hundreds of them.
All of this material was delivered to the tower of the Rand Building, in Buffalo, New York, where the entire 22nd floor is occupied by the Collection.
The Rand Building is the finest in Buffalo. So the library has reached an eminence which, it may safely be said, no checker library has ever reached before.
When the material was delivered to the Rand offices it was unpacked, sorted, catalogued and the books given numbers. Then special sectional bookcases were ordered. There are seventy sections of bookcases filled with books on checkers and of course many duplicates.
The checker columns which Dr. Newland had collected were arranged in chronological order and wrapped in separate packages. In this condition the value was not great. So an employee was assigned to do nothing else but paste clippings in scrap books. In three and a half months, September 15th 1949 to January 5, 1950, thirty-four scrapbooks of 144 pages each, size 10x14, were finished, a total of close to five thousand pages.
Completed scrapbooks contain files of the following well known columns: The Leeds Mercury, 1880 to 1906, 9 volumes; The Leeds Budget, 1906 to 1913, 3 volumes; Winnipeg Free Press, 1926 to 1947, 4 volumes; Winnipeg Tribune, 1927 to 1945, 2 volumes; Turf, Field & Farm, 1870 to 1891, 5 volumes' Yorkshire Weekly Post, 1906 to 1930, 6 volumes; Los Angeles Times, 1916 to 1933, 3 volumes; Chicago Daily News, 1917 to 1929, 2 volumes.
This is only a drop in the bucket for if all of the columns are to be pasted in scrap books there will be a total of close to 250 books. At the rate of 35 books in 3 1/2 months or 10 per month, it will take five years to complete the pasting job. This time may be reduced somewhat, as a large number of the columns are in full page form and it is thought that these should be filed in full page binders.
This library is constantly being added to and will eventually be the most complete library on checkers ever assembled.
(Note the foregoing article appeared in the February, 1950 issue of the American Checkerist magazine.)
|Increased Activities In Mail Play For ACF Members||Organized Checkers|
|One man deserves credit for
having done a marvelous job in extending the services of the American Checker
Federation to players interested in playing by mail. The man in question? Mr.
H. B. Robinson who oddly enough is an employee of the Post Office at Loving,
New Mexico. "Robby" has freely given of himself in the hope for expanded
activities and his unselfish, fine attitude throughout is the chief factor in
this increasing popularity. To be sure there have been others who started the
ball to rolling such as E. R. Churchill and Cecil Hinote, and Robby is the
first to tell you that these men deserve the credit, but we aren't fooling
ourselves. Robby has done a fine job. Here's Mr. Robinson has to say about
"Our aim is to encourage players of all classes to seek lasting friendships, which is hard to believe, but is true among mail players. It is to encourage the beginner as well as the expert, both members and non-members of the ACF. We aim to make mail play so interesting as to attract those not presently connected with our organization, and since it is necessary to be a member in order to play, there are few indeed, who begrudge the small amount of dues for membership in the ACF each year."
"I have to actually run a school for beginners who write to me. Those who do not know how to number a board, record games, or where to buy a book on checkers."
"I consider mail play a 'stepping stone' to broader crossboard performances in that the beginner learns more slowly through the postcard route, but surely more accurately. He does not cram through hours of grinding study directly from his books. He refers instead to his books in actual play and as a result his memory improves without his knowledge of many important lines of play. This makes play out of work.
"We keep the players interested continually by providing varied events, sufficient to please all. Through mail play we like to believe that we are helping to popularize the game, to increase interest, and to help develop crossboard ability.
"Anyone who is willing to invest from $1.50 to $3.00 per year in his hobby is eligible to participate in official mail play conducted by the ACF, and there are few who are not. I have a system which works splendidly: a friend tells another that in an organization such as ours he can expect to have fun and well regulated competition by a director who is not a tyrant, not a stickler for the rules, but one who likes to see his boys have fun. Of course certain rules must be adhered to, but we seldom if ever have any disagreements. The newcomer begins to understand that only in such organized competition can he find opponents ready and willing to play him at his convenience."
"After learning of these things, the beginner writes me a postcard seeking more information, and of course, I give him the works: all necessary information and immediate enrollment on the most popular ACF mail event, Wood's Ladder. I usually trust them to send me their dues by just making a casual mention of ACF membership, and what is more, these are usually remitted promptly. Thoroughly versed on mail procedure and very much interested in the game, immediately provided with the first opponent, I never again have to 'dun' him for his dues."
"Our regulation that all participants must be members of the ACF is a wise one. For if these were not so, we would have no organized mail play. It takes a certain amount of money to run any association, and what the ACF receives is strictly non-profit, spent for the benefit of the members in increased services. Our association is completely mutual."
"When I took over the job as Mail Play Director, there were 60 to 70 players on Wood's Ladder. Today there are over 165. I have witnessed the successful conclusion of countless mail tournaments starting with the 6th National Mail Tournament in June, 1947. At that time there were only four tournaments being conducted all at the same time. I earnestly enjoy watching some of these newcomers take on the older players, more than occasionally emerging victoriously. In my seat, you can see every move. Some show at times. A great game."
"Is Mail Play losing popularity? Anything but! We made more strides in our department last year than in any year previous to the time since the advent of mail play for the players who never have a chance to attend a crossboard tournament. It is these players whom we seek to serve."
In tournaments checker games are sometimes won by obvious blunder of the opponent, such as the time in the Newark tournament conducted by the American Checkerist when Morris Krantz won a game from Alex Cameron, the latter giving Krantz three men for nothing in what proved to be the deciding game. Now the editor had heard of instances in which players had refused to win games by such obvious blunders, and so in a coffee session several months ago, we put the question squarely up to Basil Case: "Basil, if a man gave you three men for nothing what would you do?" Replied the wily Case: "I'd give him two of em back!"
|As the 1950 tournament
approaches, the American Checker Federation begins its third year in existence.
In golf it's the PGA, in tennis it's the USLTA, in table tennis it's the USTTA,
in bowling it's the ABC, in checkers it's the ACF. The story of the ACF though
it is quite young is quite a story. It's first national tournament in 1948
attracted 205 entries, the largest national ever held in the United States. In
addition there have been two matches for the world championship and several
other interesting matches promoted directly through the aid of its members such
as the Case vs. Grover match and the coming Banks vs. Cohen match.
The ACF was formed by an amalgamation of the former American Checker Association and the National Checker Association and hence is the successor to a long and erstwhile prestige in the promotion of American checkers. Under the former American Checker Association 11 American championship tournaments and 2 international matches against Great Britain were promoted. The National Checker Association was noted for its progressive strides in the organization of programs for correspondence players of America and the worthwhile elements of these two former associations are combined in the present ACF. Mr. Ernest Churchill, a former official of the NCA, wrote an article recently in Elam's Checker Board in which he stated that the present ACF was nothing more than the old NCA under a changed name, but we do not believe this to be fair to the history of the game in this country. The American Checker Association promoted the game of checkers successfully for nearly 50 years, just about five times longer than the NCA. We believe that the ACF inherits the finer qualities of both organizations.
The chief problems in connection with the promotion of checkers in the past has been the lack of funds to organize and pay for a well executed national program. Despite this handicap, interest in checkers during the past few years has increased by leaps and bounds and it is hoped that many of the organization's financial problems will be solved through a recently drafted constitution and by-laws which required months of careful study and preparation.
Actually the success of any organization depends upon the activities it furnishes for its members and bit by bit these activities in the ACF are being increased. Correspondence tournaments, cross-board tournaments, team matches, individual matches, and the various club activities of ACF affiliates are the main sources of interest, and when these various activities are combined with the interest created through checker magazines such as the American Checkerist, Elam's Checker Board, and Checker Chatter, as well as the many books appearing on the market from time to time, something would indeed be wrong if the game did not become more popular.
Nevertheless, success of the various projects to popularize the game of checkers depends upon getting members, and the editors and publishers of this newspaper take this opportunity to urge all those interested in checkers to join the American Checker Federation in the pursuit of an interesting hobby.
Here is a roster of ACF officials throughout the country: President, Rudy Munzinger, ...; Treasurer, W. A. Craig, ..., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; National Mail Play Director, H. B. Robinson, ..., Loving, New Mexico; National Match Director, J. Dale Heath, ..., Rockford, Illinois; National Organizer, Maurice Chamblee, ..., Buffalo, New York; District Directors: Wm. J. Griffin, ..., Cambridge, Massachusetts; George B. Jones, ..., Pittsburgh, Pa.; G. P. Younginer, ..., Asheville, N. C.; J. E. Moody, ..., Mobile, Ala.; J. Dale Heath, ..., Rockford, Illinois; George E. Lane, ..., Waverly, Iowa; W. S. Beatty, ..., Santa Monica, Cal.; A. Skelding, ..., Listewel, Ontario, Canada; Dr. George H. Kinser, ..., Victoria, Texas.
The American Checker Federation is a non-profit organization depending strictly upon the support of the members and occasional sale of the copyrights on tournament or match games. If it is to succeed therefore in building up a bigger and better national program, it must have the support of every checker fan in the United States and Canada. The dues are only $1.00 to $2.00 a year. Interested readers should contact an official of the ACF for complete information.
Players and fans are urged to make their reservations to attend the tournament at the earliest convenient date by writing R. M. Mason Chairman of the National Tournament Committee, Paxton, Illinois. In order to accommodate everyone attending the tournament it will be necessary to estimate the number of players. Mr. Mason is prepared to assist those who plan to make the trip in any way. Write him for reservations at the Hotel Middlecoff or Hotel Paxton. Also as a rejoinder to those who believe that tournaments are all work and no entertainment, the officers of the American Checker Federation and the City of Paxton are planning to hold a banquet in honor of the 1950 Tournament at the Hotel Middlecoff, Tuesday night, June 13th. Tickets will sell for $5.00 each and the checker celebrities of America, Paxton City officials, and the officers of the American Checker Federation will attend. Contact Mr. Mason for hotel or banquet reservations. From all indications the 1950 Tournament will be a most enjoyable affair, judging from the preparations.
Now when a move is give as 11-15, the term means that the piece on 11 is moved to square 15 (as numbering the board is the only basis for recording the game concisely). The diagrams below indicate the correctly numbered board and the pieces set for play. To keep things uniform, in starting every game the black pieces are said to occupy squares 1 through 12, and the white pieces occupy squares 21 through 32. A jump is recorded by giving the number of the square from which the piece jumps and the number of the square on which the piece is finally placed after the jumps. For example, the term 15-29 means that one piece has taken two of the opponent's pieces, jumping from 15 to 22 to 29, or 15-29.
|As the 1950
National Tournament rolls around many of us are thinking about the last one at
Brownwood, Texas in 1948, wondering just how the boys will play them this time.
As a whole the games in the 1948 tournament were of high caliber, and just to
back up our statements we are showing play published for the first time on
games from the 1948 tournament.
In game No. 1 we get a close look at the playing skill of the renowned Southern master, Basil Case, who as we have already pointed out defeated Kenneth Grover 6 to 2 in a match for the Southern title. Case's opponent in the first game is Mr. T. R. Morris of Big Spring, Texas a top flight contender for Texas state honors.
Walter Hellman shows the stuff that champions are made of in game No. 2, which we consider, incidentally, the finest compilation on the opening to have reached print in many decades. The 1950 aspirants would do well to take a good look see!
The highlights of Game No. 3 are shown in variation one, a 1948 version of Bunker Hill between Eugene Frazier and Marvin Rex. Frazier had an opportunity to play the part of the villain, but after 42 moves of perfect playing, threw everything away with one move! Mr. Rex, of course, took the opportunity and made the most of it.
In game No. 4, the tables were turned and Rex tried to play the part of a villain, but was duped by the clever stategies of R. H. Boeselt, second ranking player in the state of Texas.
"A gem of the purest ray serene," a fitting tribute in game No. 5 by Tommie Wiswell, which reminds us that complicated games are not always the most interesting. A simple game with one central idea is worth far more for the newly interested player.
A 25-22 is a heavy favorite and has been adequately covered by published play. The position after 18-14 becomes identical with one reached from 10-15 22-17 9-13 17-14, same, and should be given careful attention by the student since it can be forced from two openings.
B The "Modern" defense, although it is quite old. The players of the two move era preferred 15-19 here, as contrasted by the choice of 11-16 today. Just a brief indication of our changing values.
C Seldom adopted, and for that reason has escaped the attention of our authors and analysts. With the piece on square 21 placed on 22 which is what occurs from 10-15 21-17 9-13 17-14 11-16 this 24-19 move is the prominently featured line of play.
D Correct; black wants to stop the temporary advance of the white man on 22, and at the same time strongly invites a "bust-up" of white's strong formation.
E The only rejoinder.
F Forms a nice problem position. The position is far from serious for black, but it does require great care. Although the king row is intact, every black piece is on the side of the board.
G The beginning of an artistic draw, although 1-6 18-15 6-10* 15-6 2-18 22-15 5-9* 25-22 3-8* also draws.
H The alternative 6-10 14-7 3-10 15-6 1-10 would have lost by 31-26*! 4-8 22-18* 5-9 26-22* 10-14 25-21 8-11 22-17 9-13 17-10 white wins. M. Chamblee.
I A neat conclusion to a well-played game.
A An important position as it can be reached from four separate openings: (1) 10-15 22-17 9-13, (2) 10-15 21-17 9-13, (3) 9-13 22-18 10-15, and (4) 11-15 22-17 15-19. From the last named opening, the position is reached as follows: 11-15 22-17 15-19 23-16 12-19 24-15 10-19 25-22 8-11 22-18 (weak; 27-23 is better) 9-14 18-9 6-22 26-17 11-15, same position, colors reversed.
B The ancient defense dating back to the days of Richard Jordan's reign as world champion. However, Victor Davis has designed a powerful white attack which wrecks this defense for all practical purposes. The proper defense is: 2-7* 24-20 6-10 25-21 10-17 21-14 7-10* 14-7 3-10 32-27 5-9 26-23 (27-23 10-15* 26-22 1-6 30-25 6-10 25-21 9-13 etc. draws) 1-6* 30-26 9-14* 18-9 5-14 26-22 10-15 27-24 14-18 23-14 16-19 14-10 19-28 10-7 28-32 7-3 32-28 draw. Wm. F. Ryan (The Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers.)
C The continuation given in the old standard works, allowing black to draw. The correct play to win is 25-21* 6-10*-(D) 30-25* 10-17 21-14 1-6 25-21* 6-9 32-27*! 16-20 (11-15 no better) 26-23 11-16 24-19 2-6 31-26 6-10 21-17 9-13 26-22 WW. Victor Davis (The Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers.)
D The published defense here against 25-21 is 16-20, and it seems strange that Mr. Ryan does not deal with it in his encyclopedia in as much as the 6-10 move given in note C is not considered by published play. Through private inquiries and correspondence, this writer has learned that Mr. Davis has play to win against this 16-20, although it has never been published, i.e. 16-20 24-19 11-16 19-15 16-19 26-23* 19-26 30-23 correcting 30-25 as published in Master Play and Kear's Encyclopedia. I have never seen all of Mr. Davis' play to win, but Walter Hellman has stated in private that he believed it sound. M. Chamblee. The text move, 26-23 at note C, variation one definitely allows black to escape.
E Wood's Checker Studies #8, page 39, variation 6-F at the 8th move gives 32-27* here to win correcting this 24-19 and 31-27. The suggested win by 32-27* leads only to a draw, however, i.e., 6-10* (corrects 11-16) 25-21 10-17 21-14 2-6* 30-25 6-10 25-21 10-17 21-14 1-6 etc. draws. M. Chamblee.
F Looks like the loser; 6-10 25-21 10-17 21-14 2-6 30-25 6-9 25-21 1-6 18-15 9-18 23-14 16-23 27-18 6-9 21-17 9-13 15-10 13-22 10-3 draw. Eugene Frazier.
When Tommie Wiswell, well known author of checker books, lecturer, and exhibition player coined a new phrase in his latest release, "Learn Checkers Fast," he really started something. The phrase? "To Play Well, Play With Wiswell." What did he start? A few variations in a minor key: To play strong, play with Long; to play fine, play with Ryan; don't fuss, play Guss; play the rover, a guy named Grover; you play the fox, when you play Jack Cox. You see, Tommie didn't take into consideration the natural American competitive spirit!
A well known newspaper columnist in Oklahoma City once wrote: "It takes thirty years of loafing to become a good checker player." That strikes we checker fans as kinda funny. Some of us have been working hard to become good checker players for thirty years and we ain't yet succeeded!" selected.
then 2-6 18-25 27-23 etc. drawn. Walter Hellman
Notes by Walter Hellman
A The text and 27-23 are considered the best attacks at this point. For the latter, see variation 5.
B An undeservedly neglected, sound, defense. The usual move, 11-15, followed by 18-11 8-15 allows a strong attack by 26-22! Although black has several drawable continuations. The main subject of the 26-22 attack is to induce 1-5 27-23 9-14 (Loses! 7-11 is correct) 22-17 13-22 25-11 7-16, a position usually reached from 10-14 22-18 11-15 18-11 8-15 26-22 6-10 22-17 1-6 23-19 9-13 27-23 13-22 25-11 7-16, after which white has a winning game by 29-25. Hellman. (Editor's note): According to Mr. C. H. Hollow, the origin of the 29-25 move which corrects all published play, can be traced to Mike Lieber and Sam Gonotsky. Mr. C. H. Smith of London was the first person to publish play on the line, however, and Mr. Smith credits the line to Sam Cohen, world two move restriction champion. Still later in 1946-47 Hellman, Tinsley, and the writer each discovered the strength of the 29-25 innovation, independently of one another. Hence, play on the line has originated from many different sources. A remarkable example of independent discovery!
Resuming the discussion of the trunk move, 10-14: The play which follows is very important, being the basic formation adopted in many three move openings, and its tendency to transpose to various lines of the Ayrshire Lassie should be carefully noted. In addition, the position at this point can be reached from three different openings: (1) 9-13 23-18 6-9 27-23 9-14 22-18 5-9 same; (2) 9-13 23-19 10-14 27-23 6-10 etc., same as example 1; (3) 9-13 24-19 5-9 27-24 etc.
C Perhaps strongest: 26-22 1-5 30-26 is variation 3, and 24-20 1-5 25-22 is variation 4.
D The key move in the formation. Note that 11-15 18-11 8-15 loses by 24-20 15-24 18-19 22-18 8-11 29-25 1-5 25-22 11-16 20-11 7-16 21-17*! (Correct to win, although many correspondence players have played 32-27 and 18-15 to draw.) 14-21 18-15 2-6 15-11 etc., white wins easily a man short. The author of this fine sacrifice is Andrew Anderson, who reached the position from 11-15 24-20 8-11 28-24 9-13 23-19 6-9 27-23 9-14 22-18 etc., same, colors reversed. (Editor's Note): Mr. Edwin F. Hunt also reached the position from the following order of moves in a friendly game many years ago: 9-13 22-18 6-9 25-22 1-6 23-19 11-15 18-11 8-15 (Looks very bad! 7-23 is better) 27-23 9-14 24-20 15-24 28-19 6-9 22-18 4-8 29-25 8-11 25-22 11-16 20-11 7-16 21-17*! etc. white wins. J. T. Terry vs. Edwin H. Hunt. It is a matter of speculation as to whether or not Mr. Hunt was aware of Anderson's play to win. Nevertheless, Mr. Hunt saw the effect of the sacrifice and thereby scored a nice win.
After the trunk move 1-5*, the student should note that the position can be reached also from 9-13 22-18 6-9 25-22 1-6 23-19 10-14 27-23 6-10 etc., same.
E White has much choice here, but the black game is sound on all lines of play. (Editor's Note): See variations 1, 2, 3, and 4 for alternatives. The published continuation and the only one given to my knowledge is given in Kear's Encyclopedia of Draughts, and is shown in variation 2. As far as I have been able to determine, Mr. Hellman's alternative lines of play are original with him. M. Chamblee.
F Now into an old, virtually abandoned line of the Ayrshire Lassie, i.e., 11-15 24-20- 8-11 28-24 9-13 23-19 6-9 27-23 9-14 32-28 4-8 22-18 etc., same, colors reversed.
G This move is suggested in Jordan's Guide by the author, Alfred Jordan, as being strong, but no play is given. Published play in Frazier's Ayrshire Lassie continues 23-18 10-14 18-9 5-14 26-23 , now 14-17 loses but 8-11 is given to draw, and 7-10, although unpublished, will also draw. There is a beautiful trap on the line which is worth considering, vis: 7-10 31-26 8-11 22-18 14-17 19-15 10-19 23-7 3-10 25-22 17-21 26-23 2-7 23-19 7-11 30-26 forming the position on the attending diagram. Continue: 11-16 20-11 21-25, etc., seems to draw. Sacrificing 12-16 seems to lose, however by a clever trap: 12-16 19-12 21-25 12-8 25-30 26-23 30-26 18-14*!! 10-17 8-3 26-19 3-7 white wins. Walter Hellman.
H 5-9 allows a coup by 30-25 10-14 25-21 7-10 20-16! 11-20 18-15 2-6 15-11 20-24 19-15, etc. white wins. Walter Hellman.
I The only move to draw; 12-16 and the exchanges will lose by 23-19 in reply, black winding up on the losing end of 2nd position at best. After 11-16, black is just in time to force a draw.
A Note that James Ferrie, one time world champion, and Mike Lieber arrived at this position from 10-14 24-19 6-10 22-17 1-6 25-22 9-13 27-24 (28-24 is much stronger here and probably wins) 6-9 22-18 13-22 26-17, same, in their games during the 2nd International Match.
B The text seems to lose. 14-17 being correct as will be shown. Against Lieber, Ferrie played 2-6 and Heffner suggested a win by 29-25. We are unable to find this win, so it is possible that 2-6 may also be a safe draw here. Unquestionably best is 14-17 13-6 2-9 21-14 9-27 32-23 7-11 30-26* 5-9 24-20* 15-24 11-15 19-16, etc., drawn. Hellman.
C 8-11 loses an ending shown by Edwin Hunt: 8-11 31-27 5-9 27-24 12-16 24-19 15-24 28-12 10-15 12-8* 15-18 22-15 11-27 26-22, etc., white wins.
A This move is suggested in Kear's Encyclopedia (Supplement), as being strong. For play on 22-17 consult that work.
B Not 9-25 as white obtains a winning position by 29-22 8-15 28-24 7-14 23-19 16-23 26-10 4-8 32-27 8-11 27-23 11-15 31-26, and there seems to be no draw.
C If 7-14 first, then white gains an important tempo by 22-18* 18-22 26-10 4-8 29-25 8-11 (8-12 28-24 3-8 10-7 2-11 24-20 white wins) 25-22 16-20 23-19* 3-8 22-18 8-12 19-15 11-16 10-7 etc., white should win the ending. Walter Hellman.
D 28-24 7-14 22-18 15-22 26-10 16-20 29-25 (31-27 13-17 29-25 4-8 24-19 8-11 19-16 11-15 16-11 5-9 10-6 9-14 6-1 14-18 and black has a good ending if white tries to press) 20-27 31-24 13-17 25-21 17-22 23-18 22-25 18-14 25-29 21-17 19-24 8-11 24-27 11-15 27-32 20-16 etc., draw as white is too cramped to develop the advantage of having the move. Walter Hellman.
A 7-11 here draws, but is rather deceptive: 7-11 22-18 15-22 25-18, now 13-17 loses by 19-15; 3-8 loses by 18-15; but 3-7* 18-15 11-18 19-16 12-19 24-6 14-17*! is an unusual draw. Hellman.
B Best and forces a good draw; 7-11 is absolutely bad.
A A very important landing, as it can be forced from 9-13 24-20 10-14 22-18 5-9 27-24! 6-10 24-19 1-5 25-22, etc., also from 9-13 24-20 5-9 22-18 10-14 etc.
B The jump by 9-25 spells trouble for black. The following play seems well forced and culminates in a 1st position win: 9-25 29-22 4-8 23-18 8-11 26-23 5-9 30-25 10-15 19-10 7-14 25-21 3-7 31-27* 11-16 20-11 7-16 27-24 2-7 32-27* 7-11 24-20* 16-19 23-7 14-32 7-2 32-27 2-6 27-23 6-1 23-19 1-5 9-14 5-9 14-18 22-15 19-10 9-14 etc., white wins by 1st position.
C 22-18 10-14 18-9 5-14 25-22 14-17 22-18 17-22 26-17 13-22 19-15, now either 11-16 or 12-16 will draw. Hellman.
D 10-14 also draws here.
E If 31-27 13-17 25-21 then 9-14! 18-9 11-15 draws. Hellman.
A Perhaps best. If black attempts to steer for the trunk formation by playing 9-14 or 10-14, white does not have to oblige. After 10-14, for example, white can continue 32-27 6-10 19-15 etc., a strong white formation.
B 8-11 is the correct line of play here, after which 19-15 10-19 24-8 4-11 32-27 6-10* etc., is a Rubin vs. Ryan draw. Reverting attention once more to the text, 10-14: Published play leaves the impression that this move loses, the position usually being formed by 11-15 23-19 9-13 (forms the Will-o-the Wisp) 22-18 15-22 25-18 5-9 29-25 10-14 27-23 same position. However, if Mr. C. O. Skaar's play, given in note C, cannot be upset, we think that this conclusion needs revision. There can be not doubt, however, that 10-14 is weak.
C 11-16 is published to lose by 24-20. However, the following play on 6-10, if sound, may sustain the draw on this line: 6-10 19-15 10-19 24-8 4-11 22-17 13-22 26-10 7-14 28-24 3-7 24-19 7-10 30-26 11-16 26-22 1-5 32-27 16-20 31-26 2-6 18-15 9-13 22-18 5-9 15-11 12-16 19-12 10-15 drawn. C. O. Skaar.
Going back to note C, after 6-10 19-15 10-19 24-8 4-11, another good attack is 28-24 (instead of 22-17) 7-10 24-19 11-16 18-15 (32-27 3-8 draws) 1-5* 15-6 14-17 21-14 9-25 30-21* 2-9 26-22 (21-17 is good also) 9-14 32-28 3-8* 28-24 16-20 19-15 20-27 31-24 12-16 24-20 16-19 23-16 8-12 16-11 14-18, a critical line which seems to draw. Walter Hellman.
D Drummond has published 12-16 22-17 13-22 26-10 8-12 15-8 6-22 28-24 etc. to draw. Instead of 28-24, however, we fail to find a draw after 21-17 9-13 17-14 13-17 28-24 17-21 8-4 16-20 4-8 2-7 14-9 22-25 31-26 25-29 26-22, white should win. Hellman. This 2-7 leads to some beautiful play and puts up quite a battle.
E 28-24 7-10 24-19 12-16 etc., is also strong, but 19-12 10-19 23-7 3-10 14-32 31-27 32-23 26-19 10-15 19-10 6-15 may conceivably draw.
F After this white forces a beautiful 1st position win. Instead 1-5 forms quite a problem for white. See diagram:
Continue from the diagram: 20-16!(G) 11-20 25-22 6-10(H) 15-6 20-24 22-17 24-27 17-10 27-31 10-7* 31-27 7-3* 9-14(I) 18-9 27-18 6-2 5-14 2-7 18-23 19-15 23-19 7-10 or 23-18 7-11 white wins. Walter Hellman.
G 25-22 only draws.
H 14-17 21-14 20-24 15-11 8-15 19-1 24-27 14-10* 27-31 10-7 9-13 7-2 31-27 2-7 27-31 7-10 31-27 10-15 27-31 23-19 31-26 18-14 26-10 15-6 5-9 6-10 13-17 1-6 9-13 10-14 17-21 6-10 13-17 10-15 17-22 14-17 22-26 17-22 26-31 19-16 white wins.
I 8-11 prolongs the struggle, but white can win after 3-8 11-16 8-11 16-20 21-17 etc.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I consider Mr. Hellman's compilation on this opening as one of the finest contributions to checker literature in recent years. It is a fitting tribute to the current holder of the World's Championship. Maurice Chamblee.
There are valid reasons why the game of checkers is growing in popularity every year, reasons based on the challenge of checkers as a means of testing the ability to perceive ideas accurately. In a world such as ours today in which scientific advancement outpaces mankind's efforts to adjust the accepted principles of morality and the laws of pure logic in understanding the far reaching effects of the newly applied forces of the universe, there is a need for a return to pastimes more conducive toward developing broad understandings of mankind's future. History has shown us that man fears that which he cannot understand, and the fears of mankind invariably lead to destruction. We, the many who ardently follow the game of checkers, have discovered that developing the ability to analyze the significance of moves in games with opponents brings into play qualities of the mind which are otherwise neglected in everyday life. This ability to correctly visualize positions from ten to twenty-five moves in advance, the unraveling of an almost mystically conceived strategy as if the mind exercised some unexplainable control over the vast armies of the playing board, are the essence of man's desire to reach into the unknown seeking god-like power to understand his own everyday problems more clearly. The feeling of triumph gained from the correctly executed stratagem is the same feeling which has fascinated men's minds since the beginning of time.
For many years interest has been expressed toward understanding the comparative merits of checkers and chess. However, it is difficult to reach any completely acceptable conclusion, for as each man is possessed of a different blend of motives, abilities, and environment, so it is that each will see greater beauty in one facet of a jewel than in another. The various richly fashioned chess pieces obviously indicate the complicated manoeuvers of play, whereas the simple design of the checker piece appears as a crude shell obscuring the beauty of the pearl within. The game of chess lends itself to individual artistry. One may study the games of Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker, and Tarrasch, detecting individuality in the styles of each just as the capable art critic detects differences in the strokes of a master's brush from those of another. This is not so in checkers. Individuality is subdued to the necessity of making forced moves in critical positions. There is no retreat once a plan of attack has been initiated. Chess is an art, but checkers is a science.
An interest in checkers is beneficial not for the mere developing of proficiency as a player, but for the training of ability to reason in terms of comparative merit when making an important decision. Leading educational authorities have acknowledged these factors and have recommended the game as an educational device. During the war thousands and thousands of service men sought occasional mental recreation through a friendly game of checkers in USO's all over the world. These men and many more less active individuals from all walks of life have found an appealing mental pastime in the game of checkers.
Round 1, game 3 Everett Fuller vs. J. W. Flanning
A At the time of the Hunt vs. Long match in 1936, and even prior to that time, this attack was considered as white's strongest. In fact the attack was brought into prominence in the 8th American (National) Tournament. However, this view has changed considerably and it is regarded now as nothing more than a fair attack due to the innovation discussed in note C. The alternative 22-18 is a good attack, although less known, and 27-23 9-14 is the trunk of the 9-13 24-20 10-14 opening.
B The established defense. Black seeks to simplify the position by removing the men from both apex squares, ie. squares 7 and 26. At this point, 1-6 allows white to play the formidable 25-22.
C Mr. Fuller in an adventurous mood adopts a seldom played line. Usual is 1-6 or 3-7, vis: 1-6 25-22 3-7 28-24 12-16* (introduced by Frank Miller in the 2nd NCA tournament and is a highly important move, as it was the chief reason the 19-15 attack at note A was more or less abandoned as an attack) and so on as given in variation one.
D This varies from published play between R. D. Banks and Joe Duffy, where the play continued: 25-22 9-14 30-26 14-18 29-25 2-6* 28-24 16-20 32-28* 3-7 24-19 8-12 28-24 7-10 15-11 (26-23 12-16) 5-9 22-15 12-16 etc., eventually drawn.
E Mr. Fuller initiates a fine drawing combination, a worthy token of his ability.
F Black cannot maintain the grip on the white pieces, as white is in general too far advanced with the threat of crowning a second king.
Round 9, game 3 Marvin Rex vs. Eugene Frazier
A As indicated in note C of the trunk game, this is the improved defense afterwhich black has a sound game. The old defense, 8-11, is indeed difficult as shown by Grover vs. Hanson (see Let's Play Checkers).
B Nothing published on this move which as the after play will show is quite tricky. Alternatives are 30-25, 30-26, and 24-20, black having a fairly easy game in any event.
C An innocent looking move, that should have been Mr. Rex's downfall. Richard Fortman, who was watching this game, noted afterwards that 7-11 would have drawn easily. After the text, white has a beautiful problem win which is depicted in the attending diagram.
D An unusual example of the option jump, culminating in a nice stroke. Mr. Frazier no doubt made this move with a determined thrust.
E The perfect waiting move, and, as will be seen at F, is the correct procedure in completing the win.
F The purpose of Mr. Frazier's 30-25 at E can now be seen. After this exahange, black is left without any "advanced" pieces, and the advantage of white's developed position can be seen.
G With a fifty-fifty chance to pick the correct move, Mr. Frazier picks the wrong move allowing a draw, which Mr. Rex lost no time in pursuing. The following would have brought on the desired result: 11-7* 2-11 17-22* 11-15 21-17 15-59 23-27 19-24 and white can prevent the development of black's retarded single pieces; white can win. Chamblee.
H 11-15 would have been an easier draw.
I 18-22 is stronger, but white cannot force a win. The following play is interesting from the standpoint of endgame tactics: 18-22 15-19* 23-27 16-20 17-14 19-24 27-32 20-16* 14-10 16-19* 22-26 11-15 10-7 15-18 7-2 24-28* 2-6 18-23* 26-22 19-24* 6-10 24-20* (note 24-27 22-25 followed by 25-30) 10-15 20-24 and white cannot win the ensuing bridge position. Maurice Chamblee.
The game is an excellent example of the necessity for exacting play in forcing the win in checkers. Mr. Frazier played his position perfectly for 42 moves from note D to note G, after which one improper move spoiled the entire combination. Much is to be said for the manner in which Mr. Rex handled his pieces after his position became bad. All he wanted was one good break, and when it came, Rex took full advantage of it.
R. H. Boeselt vs. Marvin Rex, Round 5, game 3
A A published loss, although Master Play leaves the impression that the line may possibly draw. A review of more up-to-date analysis can be found in Wood's Checker Player (Vol. 7, game 999, 1943), and Wood's Checker Studies (No. 1, 2nd edition, page 41).
B 5-9 and 6-9 are the alternatives, but the text gives the best "fight."
C Mr. Boeselt adopts a new unnatural order of moves in an attempt to possibly confuse Mr. Rex. 3-7 24-20 16-19 (Master Play gives 6-10) 25-21 has been published to a white win by Nathan Rubin in the Los Angeles Mercury. (Also see Wood's Checker Player, Game 999.)
D Natural, but allows the neat draw which follows. Note the following important play in forcing the win: 24-19 6-9-(E) 25-21 (25-22 also wins) 1-6 29-25 4-8 25-22 8-11 31-27* 11-16 26-23 6-10 21-17 7-11 14-7 3-10 19-15 10-26 30-23 11-15 18-11 16-19 23-16 12-19 32-28 9-14 17-10 5-9 11-8 9-14 8-3 14-17 3-8 17-26 27-23 white wins. Fillmore vs. J. Brown.
E 4-8 25-22 6-9 29-25 1-6 (now same as Wood's Checker Studies, No. 1, 2nd edition, page 41, variation 3 at the 10th move) now 32-27 6-10 is a published white win by R. J. Allen. However, instead of 6-10, black should draw by 8-11 as 19-15 is met by 12-16 and 25-21 is met by 11-16 26-23 6-10 31-26 etc., leading to the Boeselt vs. Rex draw given in the trunk. The white win can be restored, however, by playing 31-27* instead of 32-27 at the sixth move of the above play, thereby transposing the line into the white win shown in note D.
F Mr. Boeselt has played in a master ful fashion after note C and secured a brilliant draw, two pieces short.
Continue: 1-5 23-19-D 14-23 21-17 9-13-E 19-16 13-22 16-7 10-14 7-2 5-9 2-6 9-13 6-10 14-17 10-14 3-8!-F 14-21 8-12-G black wins. Tommie Wiswell.
Notes by Tommie Wiswell
A This is what black has been playing for and it loses for white. 19-15 10-19 23-7, then black has the option of jumping either way, but white draws. This 19-16 move has been played around New York City to a drawn conclusion.
B This type of jump, which leaves the oppostition without a suitable waiting move, is frequently quite strong and in this case wins beautifully.
C Completes the position for a lesson in "Dama Magic" or "Damagic." The longer one is associated with the game of checkers, the more one realizes that the best problems arise in actual play. The pity of it is that most of the time the player cannot see the solution to the problem or game, and as a result what should be a draw winds up as a win for the opponent and vice versa. Many routine games are in that category. Perhaps something is missed, and but for the work of a keen eyed analyst, the value and beauty of the concealed win or draw would be lost to the entire playing fraternity.
D White's best and only hope. Of course, if 30-26, then 10-15 26-22 (20-16 11-20 18-11 14-17 black wins) 9-13 18-9 5-14 black wins. T. Wiswell.
E This move wins and corrects several New York experts who played 11-15 17-13 15-24 13-6 etc., to a draw. 3-7 also allows white to draw. The text hardly looks promising at first glance but it is always best to remember that it is the second, and sometimes the third, glance that opens our eyes to the truth and right way to play the position. In this case the win is concise clear-cut, and intructive.
F In checkers as in life, the simplest things are the most difficult. Alfred Jordan, the famous British master who became so intrigued by the caliber of "checker playing" in the USA that he became an adopted "native son," had an expression of saying "When in doubt, play 4-8." We shall revise this and say when in doubt play 3-8!
G White must now lose his king in a trade by 21-17 22-25 30-21 13-22 and black, with the move on all pieces and three kings in the offing has no difficulty in forcing an ultimate surrender. As Morris Krantz has so often said, "A Broadway play costs four dollars and eighty cents, but you can see a hundred plays for nothing, when you play checkers."
of Wm. J. Wood
We proudly present twelve of the finest compositions of Wm. J. Wood, first American composer to be awarded the American title in 1939, and the first American composer to hold the World's Title. Recognition of the above and the fine analysis required for many of his problematical end game positions have won for Mr. Wood and honorary membership in the Canadian Checker Association. Wood's two by two "First Position in Embryo" is an all time classic which is highly recommended as an exercise for improving the end game. Note that the solutions are not given to these problems. If you can't solve them all, drop a post card to Mr. Wood, 25 Burton Ave., Waukegan, Ill., and he will be happy to supply all the answers.
J. Dale Heath whose picture appears on page 1 is one man who believes that if a man says he can play checkers, that man should be "put to the test." Although Mr. Heath has been active in organized checkers for only 2 1/2 years, he has already been instrumental in collecting over $10,000 toward prize funds for the various matches and tournaments conducted under the auspices of the American Checker Federation.
Prior to Mr. Heath's accession to office as National Match Director of the ACF, it had been more than 11 years since the last world championship. Mr. Heath could not understand the inactivity of the champions, because to him the champion player represented all the hopes of the fans throughout the country, and when there is no activity among the champions, then there is nothing for the crowds to cheer for. So the man did something about it. After several months of indecision as to which association to join, whether to join the ACA or the NCA, the problem was solved for him; he joined their successor, the ACF. Heath found a ready and willing co-worker in President Rudy Munzinger, also of Illinois, and the two of them as a team have been hard to beat in the promotional field.
The job of raising money for the various tournaments and matches was a tough one. Letters had to be written, and at times it required several letters to completely sell a prospective contributor on the idea of giving to help the game's programs. It is easy to overlook the amount of work which must be done in order to make a program successful. Many have tried and few have achieved the results required. However, after the incessant milling of letters, endless cups of coffee, and several cartons of cigarettes, plus patience and faith in the things which keep the many interested in the game, a promoter may achieve some measure of success. That is how Mr. Heath did it. He delivered!
In checkers, the initial "F" does not stand for "failure." To illustrate the point: Walter F. Hellman, William F. Ryan, Marion F. Tinsley, Edwin F. Hunt, F. F. Smith, Charles F. Barker, M. F. Tescheleit, John F. Horr, champion checker players all! Perhaps some of the boys had better change their initials before this 1950 tournament?
The Tribute to Paxton newspaper is most famous for Walter Hellman's analysis of 9-13 23-19 5-9, in which he introduced his famous Paxton Defense (9-13 23-19 5-9 22-18 10-14 27-23 6-10 25-22 1-5).
The tournament was double elimination. Maurice Chamblee won the tournament, with Alex Cameron second, Kenneth Grover third, and Harold Freyer fourth. Marion Tinsley took fifth, with 11 wins, 1 loss, and 23 draws. Walter Hellman and Asa Long chose not to play. It would seem that the American Checkerist published its last issue in June, 1950. Hellman defeated Chamblee for the World Championship in 1951. The ACF Bulletin began in 1952.
The 6th problem by W. Wood seems to be a draw: 11-7 (perhaps the move that was meant) 2-11 3-8 11-15 8-11 15-18 11-20 and the position is a draw in Chinook's ten-piece database. I will publish my solutions to the other problems, eventually.
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