No "Checkers for Dummies" or "Idiots"?

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No "Checkers for Dummies" or "Idiots"?

Postby Mr. Checkers on Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:31 pm

:lol: If you visit your local Amazon or Barnes & Noble book stores (or their websites) you will not find any books entitled "Checkers for Dummies" nor will you find "Checkers for Idiots". In fact you will be lucky to find any books on checkers at all. One may conclude from this that checkers is indeed easily mastered, therefore no books are necessary. Many of our youthful computer generation of neophyte checker players feel no need to study checker books, so why print them. "Checker Trivia" question of the Day"? What do you feel are the major reasons for the absense of checker books on the shelves of these book stores? :lol: "Inky" (cont.)
Last edited by Mr. Checkers on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies"--Why?

Postby whitefork on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:27 pm

The lack of tournaments.
I can probably play in a chess tournament every weekend here in Massachusetts. There are a large number of clubs that meet weekly, and each one probably has a tounament going on now or will have one starting in a week or two. There are frequent weekend Swiss-systems tournaments with hundreds of players.

I use to go to the chess club in Malden and I played in tournaments for a few years. I sold a lot of my checkers books to the chess players. They were interested in the game and some started playing regularly.

But there's one tournament in Massachusetts (make that New England) a year, there are generally between eight and sixteen players, no publicity, and no prize money.

In my experience, the larger chess tournaments have several book and equipment dealers with a big inventory and the wares sell themselves. If I lose a game with the black side of the Najdorf Sicilian, I can probably find a book on that opening right there, and it's a strong incentive to purchase.

We checker players lack a market of comparable size.
How many copies of "Checkers for Dummies" do you suppose a publisher would need to sell in order to turn a profit? I don't know, but I bet it's a lot more than the number of players who enter a tournament each year.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby steve on Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:50 pm

the only reason they don't carry them is they don' sell!!! some 40 years ago on a trip back to cleveland while shopping with my wife at a large dept. store i came across about 80 copies of americas best checkers for $1 each.even worst is the fact that you can't even find them in some libraries.
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It wasn't always like this

Postby chipschap on Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:20 pm

The thing is, checker books used to sell, and sell well enough to keep at least a reasonably steady stream coming out. Now, other than private order books (i.e. excellent books such as Sixth, the International Match Book, etc. which are not marketed in your local store or on Amazon) there is very, very little available in the mainstream, and even those aren't usually seen in the stores very often.... you need to order them, too.

What has changed? I asked Alan M. this question once and he thought it was the advent of television; one might add video games today. An interesting question is, why didn't this have as profound an impact on chess?

I don't know the answer.... but I do know that scholastic chess is more active than ever, providing a steady stream of new players and new interest, and that collaterally of course drives book sales. There is nothing comparable in checkers, at least not yet.

Still ... why would people turn from checkers to television and not from chess to television? If that is the case, and if you look at it, the decline of checkers and the rise of television really does seem to correlate ... what does it say about the average checkerists of the time? That their interest was very casual?

These are interesting questions.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby m stewart on Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:44 am

In the early eighties the US Chess federation really went after the youth
and for that matter members in general.
The Bobby Fischer boom was over and the member ship had fallen off.
They came out with youth only nationals and 6 month memberships
for adults.
Schools added chess ,which in turn fueled state tmts and
nationals.
Here in Desoto County it started much later( 1994) with just 2 grade
schools playing each other.
Now every school in the county has teams from 3rd grade to high school.
But thats not the whole story, from what Ive read the checker federation had more members than the chess federation in the Fifities.
Really I think at that time Chess was only strong in New York and then
only even at best with checkers in that area.
Now people make a living ( not a good one!!!) playing chess in
parks and street corners!!!
While a World Champion like Alex, has to work a full time job
to make it!!!
OK, so whats the cure???
It will start where you live with people like Kim,Alan,Rich,Alex,Jim ,Clayton, AND YOU and ME!!!
Start a CLUB, hold a ACF TMT,work with YOUTH!!!!
Hold tmts in parks this summer,use the cheaper rate on members to
get them signed up!!!
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby m stewart on Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:56 am

Checker books do sell!!!
Robert Pikes books sell real well!!!
Ive seen his little puzzle book at several big time book stores.
The one book that Richard Pask had with Everyman Starting out in Checkers
has sold well too.
Maybe getting Alex signed up with a company like Everyman or
Robert Pikes Sterling Publishing.
I think Checkers for Dummies would sell big!!!
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:31 am

I have always thought that it has to do with the fact that there is only one version of chess around the world, but every country has its own version of checkers. When I sit with a stranger at a park to play chess we do not have to discuss the rules. When I sit with a checker player I met in a non-checker venue we need to check out which kind we are playing, and the other person often does not know there is more than one kind.

The United States is more and more a nation of immigrants. Fifty years ago, while the African American community played Pool Checkers, the bulk of the majority culture played English Draughts, and almost all of the books published referred to this version. Today Hispanic and Russian immigration, and the greater economic ascendancy of the African American Community, has made the days when "checkers" meant English Draughts a thing of the past. That makes life harder for publishers of popular books and makes checker events more specialized (in this the Internet is a blessing).

My state (Maryland) has no organized checkers (meaning Engish Draughts) activities, though it is rather active when in comes to International Checkers or Pool Checkers. In other parts of the country the reverse is true. The market for any one kind is not that large, though there are many players who play at least one kind of checkers.

One related incident. Jack Birnman, a master at International Checkers, tried to get a gaming company interested in marketing 100 square boards and sponsoring an exhibition tour for him. At first they were excited at the prospect. Then they discovered that they could not patent the game because it was older than the company and they totally lost interest.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Alex_Moiseyev on Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:43 am

Pedro,

let put things in other way. How many families in United States have a checkers board with pieces at home and are familiar with the rules of game ? I think the right answer will be - many millions.

Do you agree with this answer ? If yes - all our other conversations are just only wasting time. We don't do our job well enough.

Alex
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:15 pm

Alex says:

> let put things in other way. How many families in United States have a
> checkers board with pieces at home and are familiar with the rules of
> game ? I think the right answer will be - many millions.

Which rules? English Draughts? Russian? Pool? Spanish?

There are many versions and we are a diverse country. You and I love them all (you as master and I as dabbler) but most people know only one.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Patrick Parker on Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:42 am

rules come in the box......

i find only in the south people play pool checkers unless the variation migrated........

however here people that play pool checkers call our variation straight checkers ........
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Mr. Checkers on Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:07 pm

:lol: Patrick before one pigeonholes "Pool Checkers" as being basically played in a certain region of the United States they may want to check that out with Dr. Ervin Smith (President of the American Pool Checkers Association). I think they will find that "Pool Checkers" is played in several major populated areas of our country. Roger Blaine (secretary of the American Pool Checkers Association) will also be helpful in providing them with that information--zotshot@hotmail.com. :lol: "Inky"
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:01 pm

Patrick says:

> i find only in the south people play pool checkers unless the variation
> migrated........

When I lived in Chicago there was not an active club where English draughts was played. Oh, there were a few players in town (I remember William Stacy and Marvin Katz by name -- this was thirty years ago). But there was an active pool checkers club the south side and many of the Russian immigrants played Russian checkers. In Maryland there no activity of our kind of checkers, but International is played extensively. And in heavily Hispanic areas they often play Spanish checkers.
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Patrick Parker on Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:34 am

wasnt chicago also...a migration point for southern blacks during hte middle part of last century......

give or take on when
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Re: No "Checkers for Dummies" or &quot

Postby Pedro Saavedra on Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:54 am

Patrick says:

> wasnt chicago also...a migration point for southern blacks during hte
> middle part of last century......

Yes, but also for Russian immigrants in the 1970s when I was there.

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