Checkers book

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Checkers book

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:41 pm

My checkers brethren, I have started what at first seemed like a simple enough endeavour....
writing a checkers book for complete beginners.
This has proven an arduous and time consuming task ..... but i am finally reaching an end to my journey.
I am wondering if anybody is willing to clarify the concept of "the huff" to me.
I have never seen the huff used in modern checkers, yet we print it on our official rules and in books for beginners.
Whilst teaching a few kids how to play the game this topic came up and I would like to include it in my book correctly.

Does the huff exist? is it just frowned upon? if my opponent made an incorrect move i just pointed out the correct move or
asked them to complete a jump in the past..... it never occurred to me to huff.
I would like an answer from any WCDF or/and ACF official please, as well as anyone else interested in contributing.
cheers,
Danny Alvarez
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Re: Checkers book

Postby tgf on Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:55 pm

I am like you Danny, never seen the huff in play, but time and again get surprised when hear it is still used in some countries.
Until now I did not know the huff existed in straight checkers, I only knew about Pool and Russian checkers.
There is a funny story on http://shashki.com/index.php?name=PNphp ... A&start=45 how the Russian champion Vasily Sokov lost to a wily old man in the park.
Image
Here Sokov played 29-18 (remember in the Russian checkers the king moves long) and immediately after the opponent's jump 18-23 to exchange the king. To his surprise the old man pointed to Sokov that he did not jumped 26x12 but instead jumped 26x16 and thus Sokov was supposed to jump 30x12 instead of the 18-23 he made. Thus he first huffed the king on 30 for not jumping, and then made his own jump 12x30 as Sokov did move 18-23. Of course this story is hard to swallow for an unfamiliar to Russian rules people but nevertheless it is amusing. By the way the Russian term for "huff" is "fuk" [fook] :)

As I said I do not know anything about the huff in Straight checkers, here is what I imagine it looks like:
Image
Black expected 18-14 so they quickly responded 12-16, but turned out the white made a sneaky move 1.18-15
As black had not jumped 11x18 they got huffed (the other term is to blow) removing 11 and then jumping 20x11 :)
Does this story hold water?
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Re: Checkers book

Postby MostFamousDane on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:53 am

The huff used to be a rule in checkers but was removed (in the 50 ?).
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Re: Checkers book

Postby liam stephens on Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:23 am

Yes, the huff was abolished many years ago.

However, when it was still the rule, some players, like Oldbury for instance, would take a delight in deliberately
leaving the Huff on, but if the opponent took off the piece he/she would lose.

Here is an example from a game.
If he huffs he loses:

11-15, 24-20, 8-11, 28-24, 3-8, 23-19, 9-14, 26-23, 5-9, 22-17, 1-5, 17-13, 14-18, 23-14. 9-18, 21-17, 11-16, 17-14!
and huffing the piece on 20 loses.
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Re: Checkers book

Postby George Hay on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:20 am

W. T. Call in Vocabulary of Checkers (New York 1909) has an interesting entry on the Huff

http://www.checkersusa.com/books/straig ... s_1909.pdf

The first specific instance that I know of when the Huff was abolished was in the 1924 U.S. National Tournament.

As quoted from the OMOCH Timeline: THE HUFF WAS VOTED OUT OF THE PLAYING RULES FOR THIS TOURNAMENT.

http://www.online-museum-of-checkers-hi ... /id34.html

I say good riddance to the Huff, I consider the abolition to the Huff as the final step in the evolution of Checkers.
How should not jumping or not completing a (multiple) jump be considered? Like any other illegal move! :)

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Re: Checkers book

Postby George Hay on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:27 am

Danny, good luck on your book, and please keep us posted! :)
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Re: Checkers book

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:31 am

HUFF rule was used in Russian checkers (64) in the beginning of 20 century. However it never used in official events, only social play of easy games among amateur players.

I can imagine some nice shots and beautiful combinations if we use this rule and purposely do not capture opponent man and force to remove own piece which may lead to win !

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Re: Checkers book

Postby tgf on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:10 am

In other words - jump is not mandatory but huff is
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Re: Checkers book

Postby George Hay on Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:27 am

Jake, your example of a Straight Checker Huff does indeed "hold water." Removing the piece is not a move in itself, but in addition to your move.
At least under Straight Checker Rules before the Huff was abolished, you had the option to Huff (remove) a piece that should have jumped, let the non-jumping move stand, or compel your opponent to jump. It was considered good sportsmanship to compel your opponent to jump. Checkers books that I am most familiar with are from the 1950's, and they have the Huff abolished in the Rules.

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Re: Checkers book

Postby jaguar72 on Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:03 pm

Greetings to all,

FYI, Willie Ryan, in what I think was his final book, The Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers (copyright 1940 and 1943 William F. Ryan), in the section entitled The Standard Laws presents cogent, well reasoned, and (being Willie Ryan) quite entertaining comments against the abolition of the Huff rule under the heading "The Necessity of the "Huff". Needless to say, Willie thought that Andrew Anderson's laws were perfect just the way they were written and that abolition of the Huff was idiotic and, perhaps, criminal.

There you have it.

Incidentally, the comments on the Huff were followed by another section entitled Blue Noses Want Smoking Tabooed which was, obviously, about attempts to ban smoking at matches and tournaments. You can pretty much guess where Willie stood on that subject! Ah, those dear, dead days of political incorrectness... .

Anyhow, his comments are well worth the read if you can find the book. Actually, the entire book is worth reading. As a matter of fact, everything Willie Ryan wrote is worth reading, even the poetry.

Regards to all,
Jaguar72
Last edited by jaguar72 on Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Checkers book

Postby liam stephens on Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:18 pm

Yes, Ryan's Encyclopedia is a wonderful book.
His extended article on TEMOC the TITAN and his adventures among the inhabitants of Pushburg is truly amazing.

BTW there was a perfectly good reason for the introduction of the Huff.
Originally there were 2 forms of Draughts, referred to in the literature as Jeu Plaisant and Jeu Forçat respectively.
In the former capturing was not obligatory. This was soon found unsatisfactory, because the best laid shots could be avoided.
This led to the introduction of Jeu Forçat where the Huff was introduced and capturing could be compelled under the Huff Rule.
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Re: Checkers book

Postby tgf on Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:10 pm

Question - if Huff rule meant to compel the take or forfeit the jumping checker, was there a third option to do neither and continue play?
-----------------------
Already found the answer in Ryan's encyclopedia - all three options viable
Last edited by tgf on Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Checkers book

Postby liam stephens on Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:34 pm

Yes - the player(exercising the Huff) had a third option - to allow the move made to stand.
Even today, if an illegal move is made and neither player notices it then the move is allowed to stand.
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Re: Checkers book

Postby jaguar72 on Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:02 pm

Willie Ryan quoting the great Tom Wiswell in The Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers, page 203, for the edification of all:

Don't "can" the Huff---Huff if you can!

And old Tommie knew a thing or two about checkers, eh??

V/R,
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Re: Checkers book

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:05 pm

thanks everyone for their contribution..... i was trying to find the oldest and most concise form of the the rules of checkers and in doing that and checking similarities and differences i came across a few old books that mentioned the huff.... lee's guide , anderson's guide, Banks Scientific checkers, and a few others. As I realize now, all those books were published before the abolition of the huff. I do appreciate the interesting convo and i will try and find the Ryan book :)
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