Tinsley on Losing Checkers

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Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby B Salot on Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:48 pm

This is trivia, but true. I bring it up to ask a couple of nagging questions that I should have asked more than 60 years ago.

I first met Marion Tinsley in 1945. The unusual encounter was recorded on Pages 11 and 12 of the January 1988 issue of the International Checker Hall of Fame magazine "Checkers".

So when I saw him again at the 1947 6th District Tourney in Indianapolis, I was not bashful about striking up a conversation. By then he had played in five checker tourneys, winning four of them and placing 2nd to Willie Ryan in the 1946 National Tourney at Newark. Naturally he was strongly favored to win in Indianapolis too, which he did without losing a game.

Before play started, I facetiously suggested to him that, since he had become so hard to beat, the tourney directors ought to even the odds by changing the games in this tourney to "Losing Checkers" (the game sometimes called "Give Away", where the rules of Checkers are followed except the object is to lose).

Tinsley's response surpised me. He said, "I'm better at that than I am at straight Checkers!" I asked him to explain. He gave me a short lecture about "Losing Checkers" being easier than straight Checkers; about the key being to throw one of your opponent's pieces into the "Doghole"; and when you do, it's all over.

Since then, I have contemplated his remarks many times. There are no draws in "Losing Checkers". Even if both sides consistently play the best moves available to them, one side will successfully lose (i.e., win) every time.

Now here are the nagging questions that I should have asked then, but am asking now:

1. With perfect play, which side wins and which side loses at "Losing Checkers"?

2. And how can the answer be proven correct?

Bill Salot
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby B Salot on Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:29 pm

I owe you all two apologies:

First, I am sorry for posting this topic in triplicate. It wasn't intentional. I don't know how I did it. Maybe I hit the return arrow too often. I wish the extras could be deleted.

Second, I am sorry for insulting your intelligence by claiming that there are no draws in "losing checkers". A kindly gentleman sent me a private message to diplomatically advise me that most 2 x 2's are draws in "losing checkers", and offering to send me literature on the game. Thank you sir! I had thought that, since all 1 x 1's were wins, the other settings must be wins too.

That settles it for me. If I can't win by losing, I'm going back to straight checkers where I can lose without trying.

Merry Christmas!
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby Patrick Parker on Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:28 am

i think that the programmer of cake made a suicide checkers program
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:45 pm

Mr Salot I think you were right in assuming that there are no draws in suicide checkers or giveaway or whatever we want to call it.
I have played that online a few times and it is interesting.

regards
D. Alvarez
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby john reade on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:04 pm

Danny,

I've only just seen this.

You can get a draw at losing checkers.

See below for a drawn position. (Either side to move.)

Image

2 kings against 1 is a win (at lodsing chewckers) for the side with 2 kings!

1 king against 1 king is a win for the side wich hasn't got the move.

John.
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:21 pm

john reade wrote:2 kings against 1 is a win (at lodsing chewckers) for the side with 2 kings!
depends on move indeed.
I am playing checkers, not chess.
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby john reade on Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:03 pm

Yes, you give one of your kings when it produces a 1against 1 position where you haven't got the move.
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Re: Tinsley on Losing Checkers

Postby Danny_Alvarez on Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:49 am

yes i see what you mean :) i guess that since the few games i played had never resulted in a draw, i thought they weren't possible. My mistake. Thank you very much John :) I wish i could say i was better at losing checkers, alas i dont do much better lol

cheers mate
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