The miracle of the victorious tyro -- answer

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The miracle of the victorious tyro -- answer

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:07 pm

Louis Kaczmarek is a devout Catholic layman who travels around the world with a statue of Mary. I heard him speak once in my parish. Kaczmarek wrote a book called *Mary and the Power of God's Love* where he attributes many miracles to Mary. But one of these is that even though he had never played in a checker tournament or taken checkers seriously, he beat a famous player by praying to Mary through the game.

I am more amused than inspired by the story (I have always considered praying to win a game a bit tacky -- if the other guy prays too, look at the bind we place God in), but it does make for a good piece of checkers trivia. Can anybody guess the famous player who makes a cameo appearance in a religious book?
Last edited by Pedro Saavedra on Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby rich beckwith on Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:15 pm

Another interesting piece of trivia, Pedro. My parish even once had a sermon with a checkers theme!

Anyway, getting back to your question.... there are so many famous checker players that it could be, but I will guess Charles Walker, who was known to conduct exhibition play.
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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:26 pm

If he prayed to Mary, how did he move his pieces ?
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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:46 pm

I will give more info. This was at a simultaneous exhibition, preceded by a blindfold game. As for the second question, I will quote from the book:

"Immediately I closed my eyes placing both hands upon them, bent my head down and commenced to pray a most devout Hail Mary -- as though it were my last one prayed on this Earth -- before every move. I was son convinced Our Lady would hear me -- even for this checker game -- that I knew, out of reverential respect for Her listening to me, it was necessary for me to black out all thoughts of the game, to forget X, to forget what my friends would think -- and never to think I would lose. Each Hail Mary was prayed the slowest I had prayed in my entire life, all the while concentrating only on the one word that I was the saying. By the time I completed my first Hail Mary, X was standing in front of me waiting for my first move. I did not feel a voice inwardly telling me to move any checker. I just moved the checker I naturally felt I should. He quickly moved his second and moved on to his next opponent"

I will add that Kaczmarek was in the U.S. Army at the time. And, of course, where I say X, the book names the player.
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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Palomino on Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:29 pm

Was it Millard Hopper?

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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:19 am

> Was it Millard Hopper?
> "Pal Bucker"

No, but you're getting warmer. Somebody who gave simuls in military bases, and whose name might have been known to some of the soldiers who played checkers casually.

That should bring one name to mind.
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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Palomino on Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:56 am

Would this have been during the Korean War era? I'll take my second best guess and say, was it Tom Wiswell?

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Re: The miracle of the victorious tyro

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:59 am

Pal correctly guesses:

> Would this have been during the Korean War era? I'll take my second best
> guess and say, was it Tom Wiswell?

It was indeed Wiswell! This was not a book where I expected to find Wiswell's name. I will give another quote:

"Mr. Wiswell wanted to autograph my book. He then wrote, 'May you win all your games in life.'" A young woman standing by said excitedly, "He's giving you an autographed book on how to play checkers and you just beat him. You should give him a book on how to play the game."

So it seems we find checkers where we least expect it.
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