Slocum strokes



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
What follows would have been impossible without huge, early, technical and historical contributions from:
The Late Floyd D. “Brownie” Brown
The Late Milton “Milt” Johnson
The Late Irving V. Windt
The late Ben Boland
The late Tom Wiswell
The late Joe Charles
The late Bob Crue

______________________________________________


Much appreciated information was more recently contributed by:
Al Darrow Jay Hinnershitz Liam Stephens
Lissa Waite Amy Dawson Kelly Brown
Al Lyman Bob Newell
Richard Pask George Hay

_______________________________________________


INVITATION
To keep this project evergreen, please send comments, corrections, and additions to the editor at wjsalot@comcast.net for which your contributions will be gladly acknowledged on this page.
The intent is to keep this collection almost “instantly updated”.

PREFACE
Many checker problem books have been written for the entertainment and edification of rising checker “players”.
In contrast, these pages may be the first to seek the audience of potential checker problem “composers”.
The objective here is to captivate, elevate, inspire and perhaps addict rare individuals who may be susceptible to making problem composing the avocation of their lifetimes.
Believe it or not, checker problem composing is a step up from playing the game of checkers. At least that is what we composers think.
You cannot start checker problem composing until you understand how the game is played. You must learn the objectives and rules of the game itself before you can approach the higher objectives of problem composing.

What follows assumes you are already familiar with the game and its lexicon.

A Different Facet of Checkers
Stop fraying nerves; start sewing beauty;
Stop acclaiming wins; start creating art;
Stop battling foes; start baffling friends;
Stop critiquing games; start composing problems.


OBJECTIVES
Some essays on checker problem composing have been published by individual composers over the years. A few are repeated at the end of this document. Their authors did not delve much beyond their own experiences. They did not “detail” the principles and processes of problem composers. They did not “demonstrate” the concepts, objectives and mechanics of problem composing. They did not “categorize” the attributes, nor “measure” the success, nor “examine” the inspiration, evolution, or evaluation of problem compositions. They did not “provide” examples to support every conclusion, and lessons to be “learned” from every example.
It is a tall order, but this presentation “will try” to fill those gaps by simultaneously addressing 1) the “Composer”, 2) the “Composition”, and 3) “Lessons for Composers”, as follows:


  1. The “Composer” Objective: Bring together, for the first time, the complete works of a past master composer, plus various biographies and commentaries written about him. George H. Slocum (1855 – 1914) was chosen for this study because of his ongoing reputation, in some quarters, as perhaps the best ever at checker problem composing.




  1. The “Composition” Objective: Utilize input from many experts, past and present, to dissect Mr. Slocum’s entire output, good and bad, thereby deducing his strengths, weaknesses, and thought processes in some detail.



  1. The “Lessons for Composers” Objective: Get in Mr. Slocum’s mind and extract and evaluate, from a composer’s perspective, what went into each Slocum composition and what determined its success or failure.

This presentation is not complete. Completeness is an elusive goal. The intent here is to maintain a continuing effort, with the help of others, until that goal is achieved.



ARRANGEMENT
This information is presented primarily in chronological order so as to better track the evolution of Mr. Slocum’s life, compositions, and the responses they evoked from the checker public.
Separate indexes are provided to facilitate studying Slocum’s compositions in different sequences according to their popularity, where they were published, type, theme, finish, size, number of moves, etc.
For consistency, each problem is preceded by historical and introductory commentary by the editor, unless otherwise credited.
For uniformity, each problem is diagrammed so that it is White’s turn to play, with White moving up the board, even if the problem was not originally published that way.
For easier reading, the solutions immediately follow the diagrams, except, for the benefit of solvers, they are not on the same page.
The solutions presume the reader understands the conventional numbering for each move. The playing squares on the diagrams are correspondingly numbered.

  • Red moves are hyphenated. White moves are not.

  • A move preceded by an asterisk is a “star move”, meaning it is the only move that will achieve the specified result. A non-optional jump is never starred.

Solutions are annotated by the editor, unless otherwise credited.



  • Likely steps in the composition process are identified.

  • A composer’s perspective is emphasized.

Solutions are followed by a bibliography of all known, pertinent references. Comments published in those references are also included insofar as they are known.



INDEX BY “DIAGRAMS”

A Measure of Slocum’s Legacy

As Slocum compositions became recognized, collections of them appeared:


  • In 1909, W. W. Horsfall published a collection of 22 of them.

  • In 1923, F. R. Wendemuth published a collection of 20 of them

  • In 1970, Floyd D. Brown contributed his collection of 42 of them.

  • In 1992-1993, Bob Crue published his collection of 54 of them (pointed out by Jay Hinnershitz), but 3 were duplicates (#67, #77, #79) and one was not by Slocum.

They are at the core of this expanded collection of 114 Slocum problems.



#1 #2 #3 #4



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#5 #6 #7 Dual #8



W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W
#9 #10 #11 #12


W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W

#13 #14 #15 Duals #16



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#17 Unsound #18 #19 #20



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#21 #22 #23 Dual #24 Dual



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#25 #26 #27 #28


W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W

#29 #30 Dual #31 Dual #32



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#33 Corrected #34 Dual #35 #36



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W
#37 #38 Unsound #39 Dual #40 Dual



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#41 #41A #42 #43


W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W


#44 #45 Unsound #46 #47



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#48 #49 #50 #51



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#52 #53a #53b #54



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W
#55 #56a #56b #57


W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#58 #59 #60 #61 Dual



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#62 #63 #64 #65



W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#66 #67 #67a #68



W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W
#69 #70 Dual #71 #72


W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W

#72a #73 #74 #75



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#76 #77 #78 Unsound #79



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W
#80 #81 #82 #83



W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W R to Play; W D
#84 #85 #86 #87


W to Play & D W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W

#87A #88 #89 #90



W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & D
#91 #92 #93 #94



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#95 #96 #97 #98



W to Play & W W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W
#99 #100 #101 #102


W to Play & D W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W

#103a #103b #104 Dual #105



W to Play & D R to Play, W W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#106a #106b #107 #108



W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W W to Play & W
#109 #110 Duals



W to Play & D R to Play, W D


Index by “Where Published”

A Measure of Slocum’s Worldwide Reputation


If anyone has publications not listed below, and if they contain one or more Slocum problems or related news items, please send details to the editor at wjsalot@comcast.net . Alternatively, let the editor beg, borrow, steal, buy, rent, or lease the publication from you.

  • The column on the right lists the total number of Slocum problems in publications that have been completely reviewed.





  • If a rectangle in that column is blank, the publication has not been completely reviewed, so it may contain more as yet undiscovered Slocum information.




Publications

Composition Numbers

Quantity

ABC of Draughts, Fred Passey

65




Aberdeen Free Press

4,98




American Checker Federation Bulletin

3,11,18,25,53a,56a,60, 65,67,101




American Checker Federation Web Site

25

1

American Checker Monthly

63,79




American Checker Player

94

1

American Checker Review


1-4,7-8,10-13,15,17-23, 25,27-30,32,33(4times), 34-35,38-40,42-44,46-47, 49,53-62,72A,77,78,79, 80,82,83,84,85,86

54

Atwell’s Scientific Draughts

3,25,52,66,74,94

6

Australian Town & Country Journal

25(3),81(2),90,94,96,98, 102




Banks’ Morris-Systems Checkerist

3,65,79,102

4

Banks’ Scientific Checkers

102 (2 editions)

1

Boland’s Bridges

24

1

Boland’s Checkers in Depth

6,35

2

Boland’s Familiar Themes

26,40,43,53,56a,76,79, 90


8

Boland’s Famous Positions

53

1

Publications (continued)

Composition Numbers

Quantity




Boland’s Masterpieces

26,52,101

3




Brisbane Courier

3,16,26,102







Boston Globe

25,33,69,84,102







British Draughts Journal (1952-58)

25

1




California Checker Chatter

78







Call’s Midget Problems

11,40,78,84,102

5




Call’s Vocabulary of Checkers

29,53a,53b

3




Canadian Checker Player

25,40,60,62,79,87,102,106b,108

9




Checquer Board

1,25,26







Chequer Chiaroscuro

24,25,26,28,44,73,77,94

8




Checker Players Delight

28







Checkers in Ten Lessons, Wiswell

24

1




Chess & Draughts Complete Guide

25

1




Chicago Daily News

28, 66-67,69,90,105







Chicago Evening Lamp

14,16,24







Chicago Inter-Ocean

5-7,8(2),9,11,22,25(2)-26, 28-29,36-38,44-45,48,51-53, 60-61, 63,67,72,75,76,81,82, 87,88, 89,92,93,95,99,100, 101,103a,103b,104,109,110







Churchill’s Compilations

48







Cohen’s Sunday Citizen

25







Compleat Draughts Player

3,65,67a,77,108

5




Crossboard News

26







Draughts Players Quarterly Review

52,73,79,81







Draughts Review

79,105 (2)


3




Draughts World

3-4,25,28,53(2),56a,60-61, 63,65(2),66(3),67,81,90,91, 94(2),96,98,102(2),105







Duffy’s Standard Positions, Part 1

84,102

2




Elam’s Checker Board

25(2),26,29,53,69,77,102(4), 103a,103b







Publications (continued)

Composition Numbers

Quantity




English Draughts Journal

3,52







Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania

7,25(3),63,65,69(2)







Freeman-Barker Match Games Bk

25

1





Glasgow Weekly Herald

26,31







Gould’s Book of Problems

25

1




Guide Post

56a,102(2)







Hall’s Instructive Positions

78

1




Hill’s 1891 English Tournament

26

1




Hill’s Manual of Game of Checkers

8,60

2




Hopkins’ Home Checker Companion - Our Boys at Home

102

1




Horsfall’s Problem Book

1,3,16,24-26,28,44,51, 60-61,65-67,90,94,96, 98,102,105,106a,107

22





Int’l Hall of Fame Presents Checkers

56b, 81







Irish Draughts Ass’n Newsletter

25,28,50,102

4




Jordan’s American Checker Player

3







Kear’s Encyclopedia,1st&2nd Editions

25,63-64,69

3




Kear’s Encyclopedia, Alexander’s Rev

25,94







Ketchum’s How to Win

28,51,56b

3




Keystone Checker Review

1,3,6-8,11,16,24,25(2), 26,28-29,35,40,41A, 42-44, 51-53,56a,56b, 60-61, 63,65-66,67(2), 67A,69,72-72a,73,74, 76,77(2),79(2),81,84, 90,94,96, 98,101,102, 105,106a-106b,107


51




Lancashire Checker Newsletter

25







(Edw) Lasker’s Chess and Checkers

26

1




Leeds Budget

56a,94







Leeds Mercury

101,102







Lees’ Guide

11

1




Lees’ Scottish Draughts Quarterly

77,90

2




Lewis’ Gem Problem Book

11,102








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