Multi-gamers in history

General Discussion about the game of Checkers.

Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:33 am

Ah, well, Lennox Lewis, British, former undisputed/unified world heavyweight boxing champion (I believe he was world champion three times) was a good and very avid chess player with an ELO rating of "around 2000". I don't know if this was a formal rating or not, but Lewis played a lot of chess (one of his trainers said to the detriment, perhaps, of his boxing...).

And, legendary boxing world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey (!) wrote the introduction ("The Intellectual Art of Checkers") to Tommie Wiswell's Learn Checkers Fast (1946, Fourth Printing). I don't know if Dempsey actually played checkers or not but he wrote about it as if he did.

This might not fit the strict defintion of "multi-gamer" but I'm not gonna argue.

Wouldn't want to fight either of them, but I'd gladly play checkers or chess... .

V/R,
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jimloy on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:42 am

Here is an interesting list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_all-rounders_in_games_of_skill

Christy Mathewson, of baseball fame, was reportedly a strong checker player (I think he gave simultaneous exhibitions). Gene Tunney, world champion boxer, was reportedly a strong checker player. By the way, Wood's Checker Studies has a game by Eisenhower, I don't know if it was the famous Eisenhower.

Joe Duffy, apparently upon hearing that the tournament was a "knockout tournament," entered the 1915 National Tournament under the name of Jack Dempsey. I think Joe Duffy is listed in the OCA archives as Jack Dempsey, and I probably typed those games for the OCA. I shouldn't have perpetuated Duffy's joke. The Jack Dempsey in Wiswell's book was surely the real Jack Dempsey.

More info: there was apparently a not-so-famous Eisenhower in checkers. And the link at the top of this posting doesn't seem to work, don't know where it went.
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby whitefork on Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:26 am

Christy Mathewson's checkers are in the baseball hall of fame. I love that.
3 shut-out world series wins for the NY Giants in 1905, nobody reached 3rd base. What a pitcher.

I've been reading Grantland Rice's The Tumult and the Shouting and he mentions Mathewson playing checker and chess simuls.
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:34 am

Whitefork and All,

Mathewson must have been very good (at checkers I mean; in baseball there was no question...) because Millard Hopper in Win at Checkers (1941; 1956 Dover Edition still in print!, page 9) after listing Andrew Carnegie, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Harry Houdini, and Will Rogers as checkers players, goes on to say that Christy Mathewson was an even greater checker player and was a regular visitor to the checker clubs in all the large cities. Hopper also says that when he (Hopper) was just starting to learn the game he met "Matty" at the old New York Checker Club on East 42nd St., N.Y.C. and that Mathewson's generous coaching in the "tricks and traps of the game" gave Hopper his first start towards "championship honors".

Wow.

I doubt if many, or any, pro ball players play checkers today; probably far too busy doing other things, alas... .

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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:00 pm

Mr. Al Darrow, the checker player and checker historian with a encyclopedic knowledge of the game (and a terrific library), sent me these lovely games between multi-gamer/author Irving Chernev and the legendary Willie Ryan and the equally legendary Sam Gonotsky . The notes/annotations are by Irving Chernev and Mr. Darrow himself; those annotations marked "(ad)" at the end of the note are Mr. Darrow's. I am posting these games with Mr. Darrow's permission to do so:

Black "Irving Chernev"
White "Willie Ryan"
Result "Draw. Chernev missed a win."

10-14 24-20 11-15 28-24 6-10 22-17 9-13 23-19
13-22 25-9 5-14 26-22 ((A) Ginsberg says this loses, although Banks' book shows
a beautiful draw. ["Banks' Scientific Checkers", 1st and 2nd eds., p. 86, var. 2]))
8-11 22-17 15-18 29-25
1-5 ((B) 11-16, 20-11, 7-23, 25-22 looks like a draw.))
31-26 11-15 17-13 4-8 (Ginsberg says 5-9 wins.)
26-23 8-11 30-26
11-16 (If 5-9, 13-6, 2-9, 19-16, 12-28, 20-16, 11-20, 21-17, 14-30, 23-5, 30-23, 27-2, drawn.)
20-11 7-16 26-22 (If 13-9, 14-17, 21-7, 3-10, 23-7, 16-30, 25-21, 5-14, Black best.)
2-6 21-17 14-30 23-7
3-10 22-17 16-23 27-11 30-25 11-7 10-15 7-3
25-21 17-14 15-18 3-7 6-10 14-9 5-14 13-9
10-15 9-6 18-23 7-11 14-18 6-2 21-17 2-6
17-14 11-7 12-16 6-10 16-19 10-17 19-28 7-11
((F) Star move to win and forms a beautiful problem. In the actual game Chernev played 7-10,
23-26, 10-19, 26-30, drawn.))
15-19 ((G) If 23-26, 17-14 W. wins.))
11-16 19-24 17-14 18-22 ((H) If 24-27 16-19, W. wins. If 23-27, 14-23, 27-31, 16-19, 31-27, 23-18, 27-31, 18-22. W. wins.))
14-18 24-27 18-25
((J) A relative of No. 2 in The J. Ash--R. Home Bridge Family, p.109, "Boland's Masterpieces".(ad))
27-31 25-30 31-27 16-20 27-31 20-24 ((K) Intersects the R. Home position near the end,
where the solution gives 19-24. (ad))
31-26 32-27 23-32 30-23 ((I) American Checker Monthly, Vol. IV, p. 308, Game 204.
((Dec., 1924) This was the seventh game of a current Brooklyn Checker Club match between
Chernev and a seventeen year-old Ryan.(ad) The solution at this point is the famous J. Sturges Double Corner Block with a extra King on 24.))

Black "Irving Chernev"
White "Sam Gonotsky"
Result "Gonotsky won"

9-14 24-20 5-9 22-18 10-15 ((A) Most leading players prefer 11-16 here, but this is just as good.))
28-24 ((B) Better than 27-24. 25-22 allows Black a powerful game by 7-10 or 15-19.))
15-22 26-10 7-14 25-22 1-5 22-17 14-18 23-14 9-18 30-26
3-7 26-22 ((C) Probably safest although 32-28 will draw. If 17-14, Black replies 6-9 and has the better game.))
18-25 29-22 ((M) During the opening and early midgame development, no distinctive formation pattern arises.
The situation might be described as extremely open. From this point horizontal distribution of forces predominates.
Much like two enemy forces opposing each other across a "No Man's Land" -- a kind of trench warfare approach.
I call this midgame development Entrenchment. Sooner or later the forces must breakthrough for kings or run out of moves. (ad))
6-10 ((D) If the piece on 32 were on 28 the setting would be the same as a position brought up from a popular line
of the 9-13, 24-19 opening, colors reversed, thus: 9-13, 24-19, 11-15, 28-24, 6-9, 23-18, 1-6, 18-11, 7-22, 26-19, 8-11,
25-22, 11-16, 19-15, 10-19, 24-15, 3-7, 30-26, 7-11, 15-8, 4-11.))
27-23 10-15 23-18 12-16 ((E) Black gets a weak game after this. 11-16, 20-11, 7-16, 18-11, 8-15, 24-20, 16-19, 17-14, 19-23,
22-17, 15-18, 14-10, etc., drawn.))
31-26 5-9 17-14 9-13 ((F) 16-19, 14-5, 19-28, 5-1, 15-19 leads to a long ending, but White seems to have a winning advantage.))
14-9 7-10 26-23 ((G) Of course if 9-5 or 21-17, 10-14 draws.))
10-14 32-28 ((H) 9-5 is interesting.))
13-17 ((I) 16-19 doesn't work now: 16-19, 23-7, 2-11, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 14-23, 2-6, 23-26, 6-2, 26-30, 2-7, 30-25
[8-12 no better], 7-16, 25-18, 16-12, 8-11, 12-16, White wins.))
22-13 15-22 9-6 2-9 13-6 ((M) Both sides have broken through. Often a sacrifice is required [e. g., Cowen's Coup. See "Boland's Checkers in Depth" for many examples]. Often a draw is achieved, here the prognosis is a White win. (ad))
22-26 6-2 26-31 2-7 ((J) 2-6, 31-27, 24-19, 27-18, 19-3, 14-17, 21-17, 18-2, 28-24, 11-15, drawn.))
8-12 7-3 4-8 3-7 31-27 7-10 27-18 10-17 18-23 ((K) 18-15, 17-14, 16-19, 21-17, 19-23, 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, White wins.))
17-14 16-19 24-15 11-18 28-24 8-11 24-19 23-16 14-23
((L) A neat finish. Gonotsky. American Checker Monthly, Vol. IV, p.307, game 202 (December, 1924.)
This Right Hand hold, Oldbury calls Parameter 15F (Parm 15 since Man + King holds 2 Men + King and F because the holding man on 20 occupies Diagonal F (Oldbury's Diagonals were defined in his "Move Over".) See a fuller discussion of this parameter in Oldbury's "Complete Encyclopedia of Checkers", p. 509-11. Probably the clearest discussion of this concept is found in Pask's "Key Endings", p. 81-2. I like the concept, but I can understand why it isn't everyone's cup of tea. (ad))

Thanks, Mr. Darrow. It is always a pleasure.

V/R,
Gary Jenkins
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keeping it in the family

Postby whitefork on Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:14 am

In 1961 Boris Spassky won the USSR championship at Baku with 10 wins, 9 draws, and 1 loss. His sister, Irena, had won the USSR championship in checkers. http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Ri ... assky.html

I don't know if I have any of Irena Spasskaya's games or what she's played recently.
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Chess and baseball

Postby whitefork on Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:27 am

US Chess Champion Jackson Showalter is sometimes credited as inventor of the curve ball (highly controversial) and was supposed to have been a very good amateur baseball player.

http://1heckofaguy.com/2009/03/11/jacks ... ficionado/
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jimloy on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:05 am

Dan Harrington, a couple of times World Champion poker player, is also a master at chess (I accidentally typed checkers) and backgammon. He is a distant cousin of both professional golfer Pádraig Harrington and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington.
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:21 am

Jackson Whipps Showalter ("The Kentucky Lion"...Pillsbury played him many times in chess; he was a world class player) invented the curve ball??

Wow! Now there is a factoid with which you could win some bar bets, I reckon.

Thanks Whitefork!!

V/R,

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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby whitefork on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:46 am

Note the disclaimer - highly controversial - the consensus is that Candy Cummings first threw the curve -
http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v ... 6&pid=3130

So, pick your bar and your mark carefully and avoid the guy in the biker colors with all the tats.

If you want a real factoid, Tim Wakefield (the old man of Boston - a spry 42) will be the first knuckleballer to pitch in the All-Star game (7/14/09) since Charlie Hough in 1986. I don't know if Tim plays checkers, but we love him up here all the same.
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:25 pm

Ah, well, very good advice Whitefork. I should probably stick to less controversial stuff like who invented the parallel twin or maybe the causes of global warming... . Or maybe I should stay outta bars... .

And speaking of famous multi-gamers (chess, bridge, possibly checkers) does anyone know who uttered:

"This is my cat. Her name is Chess. I need no passport."??

And why?

Bonus points for the name of his other cat.

V/R max,

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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby whitefork on Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:28 am

That's Alekhine. Now, his cat, that I have to look up.
1935 international team tournament in Poland: http://www.chessthecat.com/articles/alekhine.htm
One source says AA had 2 cats, named Check and Mate. Other sources say he owned 6 cats at one time.

"Every life needs 9 cats" as the T-shirt says.
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:54 am

"Every life needs 9 cats." as the T-shirt says.


I'm five short.

V/R Max,

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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jimloy on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:16 am

Here is another Pillsbury game:

[Event "Master Play, Switcher, p.328K"]
[Black "Steele, J."]
[White "Pillsbury, HN."]
[Result "draw"]
11-15 21-17 9-13 25-21 8-11 17-14 10-17 21-14 6-10 22-17 13-22 26-17 15-18 24-20 4-8 29-25 18-22 25-18 10-15 28-24 15-22 23-18 2-6 32-28 6-10 27-23 22-25 30-21 10-15 14-10 15-22 23-19 7-14 17-10 11-15 20-16 15-18 19-15 12-19 10-7 3-10 15-6 1-10 24-6 18-23 6-2 8-11 2-7 11-16 7-11 16-20 11-15 23-27 draw

Let me add that I found this game while researching for my latest book, The Checker Games of Richard Jordan, as there are several Jordan games in Master Play. I have been typing Master Play into my computer for over a year now, but I only have one volume (Single Corner) finished, because Master Play contains so many errors and X's (for jumps, which I need to clarify for pdn) and because of all of my other projects. But, back to the future!
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Re: Multi-gamers in history

Postby jaguar72 on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:02 am

Mr. Loy,

Thanks for posting this (and for the, no doubt, considerable research time you spent in finding it...). Anything by HNP is always a treat. I am just getting around to playing through this one (only a month after you posted it!).

I wonder how many of Pillsbury's checker games were recorded and/or published? His chess games of course are readily available from many sources but I have not seen his checker games except here on the forum (but I don't, alas, have an extensive checkers library).

Anyhow, thanks again for posting. As you well know, Pillsbury was a authentic (and tragic...) genius and his chess games are always exciting, those with Emanuel Lasker especially so. If only... .

The terrible ifs accumulate... . W. Churchill

V/R,
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