Checkers Game by Wiswell
After years of playing a game, whether it
is Checkers or other games, it is impossible
not to come through many varied experiences
that are both positive and negative in nature;
more importantly, the individual cannot help
but formulate checkers proverbs about the
game. Checkers game proverbs by Wiswell,
a personal perspective or philosophy on the
Tom Wiswell, who was a Grand Master and
Unrestricted Checkers Champion, developed
a series of his own Checkers Proverbs. Some
of these sayings are quite profound, while
others are rather humorous in design; however,
a number of these checkers proverbs leave
the reader with plenty of room for further
contemplation. Take another journey, keeping
your mind and heart wide open and maybe the
time has come to embrace something new.
A BETTER PERSPECTIVE
Years ago, I discovered that by standing up and looking
at the position from a distance, I got a better understanding
of the game.
This helped me a great deal.
A CLEAN SLATE PROVERB:
After you lose a tough game, there is only one thing
to do, set them up and start all over again.
A COMMON FAILING PROVERB:
One of the greatest errors in Chess or Checkers is
to think you have everything under control.
A DOUBTING THOMAS PROVERB:
If you want to be certain of your position, you must
begin by doubting it.
A MASTER'S TRIPOD PROVERB:
Some players have ability and knowledge,
but lack discipline; without the third leg
the tripod falls.
A MOVE AT A TIME PROVERB:
You walk a mile a step at a time; you play
a game a move at a time and you must win
a tournament a round at a time.
Chess and Checker matches and tournaments
require a great deal of patience.
This reminds me of a saying: How do you eat an elephant, a bite at a time!
A ROSE GARDEN PROVERB:
You can't harvest winning games, if you
haven't planted the seeds of victory.
A TIME FOR ALL THINGS
There is a time to attack and a time to
defend and there is a time wait and see and
you must know when to do what.
A WELCOME WIN PROVERB:
A blunder by your opponent in checkers obligingly
covers a multitude of your sins.
A WOLF IN SHEEP’S
The trouble with a loss is that it usually
will surprise you.
A WONDERFUL LIFE
When you are playing checkers and let your
mind wander, you may soon start to wonder:
What happened to my wins?
What happened to my draws?
It may be a "board
of recreation," but it demands
strict attention at all times.
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
Time, Space and Psychology figure in nearly
every game we play, yet most players fail
to take them into serious consideration.
You have to burn the midnight oil, if you
want to win checkers games.
BEAU GESTE PROVERB:
It’s a nice gesture to show your opponent
the draw play after you've beaten him.
BIG GAME! PROVERB:
Remember, when you are out hunting dragons,
sometimes the dragon wins.
BITE THE BULLET PROVERB:
Don't wear yourself out on the "must" moves:
save your time for the difficult moves.
BODY LANGUAGE PROVERB:
When you are in questionable position, don’t
alert your opponent by twisting and turning.
BOTTOM LINE PROVERB:
Never interfere with your opponent, when he is destroying himself.
Sometimes when I win a beautiful game of checkers,
I think I am either a genius or I'm lucky and
I know I'm not a genius.
BUILD WELL PROVERB:
A good game, like a good house, must have a strong
CHANGE OF PLANS:
There are checker games where you must change the
battle plan in the midst of the battle. For some, that
is psychologically impossible and they go down to defeat.
You will take charge of your game during the early
stages or your game will take charge of you during
the later stages.
DEFEATS BEFORE VICTORIES PROVERB:
You can’t make an omelet without breaking
some eggs and you can’t make an expert without
breaking some egos.
DEVELOP THE NEGATIVE PROVERB:
When watching the good players in competition, be sure to make
note of the moves that are NOT made. That makes all the difference
in this checkers game or the next.
DOUBLE CHECK PROVERB:
Moves that were once thought to draw, are now known
to lose; and moves that were once thought to win,are
now known to draw. Play is always in a state of flux.
EN PASSANT PROVERB:
Victory makes us poets; defeat makes us philosophical.
ERRORLESS PLAY PROVERB:
In Chess and Checkers, you can be ninety-nine
percent right and still lose; one bad move
can defeat ninety-nine good ones.
FALSE SECURITY PROVERB:
It is better that you lose an unsound game, than draw
it and still think it is safe. Later, you might lose
this same game in a more important event.
FOOL'S GOLD PROVERB:
The search for a foolproof system is always in vain.
GAMBLING GAMBLITEERS PROVERB:
Smart gamblers never gamble, and when a master sacrifices
a piece, you can usually prepare to resign.
GO FOR THE JUGULAR PROVERB:
Checker player should never pull his/her punches, especially
when (s)he has the strong side.
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES PROVERB:
I like to take the rejected and discarded lines and
play them for wins: one such game led to a world championship!
GOLDMINE OF THE BOARD PROVERB:
When I'm asked why I spend so much time on the checker
endgame, I reply: "That's
where the wins are."
GOOD WINS AND GOOD LOSSES PROVERB:
You can’t possibly win every checkers game,
so try to lose respectably or even brilliantly.
GRESHAM'S LAW PROVERB:
Good playing, in the long run, drives out and defeats
HAPPY ENDINGS PROVERB:
A good move may not seem to pay off in the opening
or in the middle game, but it will show its worth in
HE ALSO SERVES PROVERB:
The master knows exactly the right time to do nothing.
HE WHO PLAYS & RUNS AWAY
Knowing when to take the draw is the mark of a true
champion in checkers.
Most players feel they always have to be consistent,
but masters are more prone to change their opinions
about their lines of play.
HOISTED BY MY OWN PETARD:
I can stand falling into someone else's trap, but
to lose by my own play is unbearable.
Having a checker champion in a loss and winning it are
two different things: they are master escape artists
and know many ways to avoid defeat.
There are genius players who have "sixth sense",
but some of them do not have the other five!
Masters are like generals; it takes an emergency to
reveal their genius.
INACTION IN ACTION PROVERB:
Many checker games are won by the art of judicious
leaving alone of kings and men.
This negative habit often develops into a win.
What your instinct tells you, your brain should follow.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND PROVERB:
Chess and checker students lose games because they
can resist everything but temptation.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER PROVERB:
Knowledge alone cannot make a player, but lack of
knowledge can surely unmake one.
Odd little waiting moves are often the glue that holds
the game together.
LIVING DANGEROUSLY PROVERBS:
To infiltrate enemy territory is exciting and often
rewarding; but remember, spies can be shot on sight.
LOOKING AHEAD PROVERBS:
You make a blunder in a checker game for one of two
1. You were not looking far enough ahead.
2. You were looking too far ahead.
LOOKING BACK PROVERBS:
Exploring the lines of yesterday's masters may be
as important as knowing today's latest moves.
Players are usually at their most confident peak just
before they walk into disaster.
MAGIC POWERS PROVERBS:
Some masters at checkers seem to lead charmed lives
escaping certain defeat or winning hopeless games,
but behind their charmed lives are years of work and
MAKE HASTE SLOWLY PROVERBS:
Many players expect to understand Chess or Checkers,
in a comparatively short time; but they are doomed
to failure, unless they are geniuses. There are few
Bobby Fischer's or Marion Tinsleys.
MATURING PLAYERS PROVERBS:
You learn nothing the first ten years, compared to
the ‘re-learning’ of the second ten.
MEMORY MACHINES PROVERBS:
Don't try to rely solely on the books, for your memory
isn't good enough: try a little understanding.
MIGHT AND RIGHT PROVERBS:
Numbers do not always guarantee victory; real power
often resides in position and timing within a game
of Checkers or Chess.
Sometimes when I make a blunder, I wonder if my hand
is connected to my brain.
MUDDLING THROUGH PROVERBS:
You rarely stumble into winning games, but you can
easily stumble into losing positions, especially in
the middle game.
NEW IDEAS WIN NEW GAMES PROVERBS:
Your manuscript needs a continuous flow of new cooks
It should be a living, breathing document.
Start one today.
NINETY NINE PERCENT PERFECT ISN'T ENOUGH:
When a pitcher has a perfect game for eight and two-thirds
innings and then allows a hit, it is not a perfect
game and when you play perfectly for ninety nine percent
of the game and then make a mistake, you lose perfection
and the game.
NO GUARANTEED GAMES PROVERBS:
The good checker player knows when to play for a win,
when to play for a draw and finally, when to resign.
NO RADAR PROVERBS:
In many cases the player who is closest to the danger
does not recognize it until it is too late.
NO-RISK POLICY? CHECKERS PROVERBS:
There is nothing more dangerous than a lack of caution,
unless, perhaps, it's too much caution.
OLD BECOMES NEW PROVERBS:
The older the play is, the more apt it will be new
to your opponent.
I have won more checkers games with ancient lines than
with today’s latest developments.
OLD FAITHFUL PROVERBS:
I have often been asked why I always play 11-15 and
That's where the wins are.
ORIGINAL THOUGHT PROVERBS:
The player who remains slave to the books will not
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and this is
especially true of Chess and Checkers.
It will be months and years before you see the light,
but the long wait will be rewarded.
POINT OF NO RETURN PROVERBS:
We don't always make one sudden losing move; rather, we
drift and make one weak move after the other, thereby
feeding the seeds of defeat.
POINT OF VIEW PROVERBS:
Don't worry about how far ahead you can see, just
make sure you're looking in the right direction.
POST MORTEMS PROVERBS:
Why is it in the heat of battle that our play is seldom
as good as it is the next morning?
PREVENTIVE PLAYING PROVERBS:
Some players seem to have the knack of getting out
of trouble, but it is even better if you have the knack
of staying out of trouble.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY PROVERBS:
Do not retain a lot of useless information; keep your
manuscript lean by selectivity and the study of transpositions.
Study The Dyke, The Defiance, The Pioneer and similar
openings, because you are then studying many openings
from one to get you into a solid game of checkers.
READER'S DIGEST PROVERBS:
Do not try to remember more play than you can digest;
it is better to know less and understand more.
That is real progress.
Your intuition may, at times, lead you to the right
move, but it won't really help until you find out why
RECKLESS AND WRECKLESS?
The checker player who moves without a motive is an
accident going somewhere to happen.
Your best quality is not in never losing, but in losing
and coming back every time you lose.
REVERSING ROLES PROVERBS:
He liked to set traps, but he always turned out to
be the trapped, not the trapper.
ROAD TO FAME PROVERBS:
Oddly enough, a checkers master is known for the moves
he does not make.
When you sit down to play a master, fasten your
seat belts, for it’s apt to be a bumpy road
SEIZE THE MOMENT PROVERBS:
A passive move is best met with an aggressive reply
between great players are quite elusive
and not so easily pinned down. All of these
players can visualize far ahead and their
knowledge is encyclopedic. Often I feel
the differences are in the form of composure,
self-control and faith.”
SHOCK TREATMENT PROVERBS:
A good scare may eventually help you to
make a good score.
SONDHEIM AND SHAKESPEARE
Don’t let your love for the game of
checkers keep you from listening to some good
music or reading a great book every day.
Do not play all the lines that you know, but know all the lines that you play.
STEP INTO MY PARLOR PROVERBS:
When your opponent allows you to make a
very inviting move, remember the story of
the spider and the fly.
Some players possess hardly any talent except perseverance and occasionally they become champions.
STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT
Exploit an advantage in the position immediately,
before your opponent regroups and equalizes
When the time is right, you must seize the
moment or forever hold your peace.
STYLISH PLAYERS PROVERB:
When I was a student, many years ago, I not only studied the games of the masters, I studied their styles; there is a difference. The great ones always had a unique quality that bore the mark of a genius: a Capablanca or a Wyllie.
TAKE THE DRAW AND RUN PROVERB:
If you insist upon trying to win a draw
in a checkers game, you may succeed...for
THE ATTRACTION PROVERB:
Chess and Checkers must be learned and relearned,
over and over again. That's what holds us,
often for a lifetime!
THE BIG GAMBLE PROVERB:
There will be times in the game when your
only chance is to take a long shot, knowing
you may draw, but also knowing that you may
lose: A throw of the dice in a game of skill.
THE BITTER END PROVERB:
Some games are lost in the first five minutes,
but far more are lost in the last five minutes.
THE BOTTOM LINE PROVERB:
(1) Knowledge is not much good without wisdom
and wisdom is not much good without knowledge.
You need both to be a winner.
(2) A game without danger, doubt or defeat
would hardly be worth playing.
You must risk the slings and arrows of warfare to enjoy.
(3) A gross mistake is a hundred and forty
four times worse than an ordinary mistake.
(4) Never say die.
Good checkers players may resign, but they
never give up.
(5) The easiest way to solve a tough problem
is nearly always wrong.
HE COMPLETE PLAYER
Knowledge in the opening, judgment in the midgame and genius in the ending.
THE COMPUTER AGE
In spite of all the computers, the playing
of Chess and Checkers is not basically different.
Those who oppose the computers across the
board will have to know much more play and
that is all for the best.
THE COPY CAT PROVERB:
After your surprise attack wins for you,
some clever players adopt the same play and
score with it!
Moral: Know the defense as well as the attack.
THE ENDLESS ENDING
You have to spend five years on the opening,
ten years on the midgame and a lifetime on
THE FOLLOW THROUGH PROVERB:
Once you get a win, you have to know how
to execute it or your opponent may execute
THE ILLUSION PROVERB:
You are in the greatest danger when your
game appears the safest.
THE LONG AND THE
Good checker players appreciate "economy".
They try to avoid long ‘Raggedy Ann’ endings, yet they can handle them when necessary.
THE LONG HUNT PROVERB:
Strange as it seems, you often find your
best play when you are not looking for it.
In the past, I have discovered some of my "cooks", while checking old play.
So keep on looking, you never know what
gold you will find.
THE LONG MATCH PROVERB:
One win is just the first battle in a long
THE LONG WAY HOME PROVERB:
Cut short your search for the shortcut;
the long way is the short way and the right
THE MIDDLE WAY PROVERB:
The winning players are not too cautious
or too aggressive; they have discovered the
golden mean in a checkers or chess game.
THE MOVE IS THE MESSAGE:
Every time your opponent moves he tells
you something, but you must listen closely.
THE NEW LOOK PROVERB:
Sometimes originality is just a new way
of looking at an old line of play.
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES
You must learn to pause and study the position
closely as it will save you from many a defeat.
THE QUIET MASTERS
The greater the players, the more they observe
and the less they say; they file away the
best play for future rainy days.
That's why the Tinsleys and the Kasparovs
are never without a good cook when one is
File away your good play and be ready for ‘The
THE RAZOR'S EDGE PROVERB:
It isn't only the number of games you win
that count, it's the number of drawn games
you don't try to win.
In short, don't overplay what you consider a slight edge.
THE RECIPE PROVERB:
After winning a good checkers game, I always
‘Where did I go right?’
THE RIGHT MIXTURE:
Every player needs confidence with a dash
of self-criticism and skepticism.
THE RISING STAR PROVERB:
Move by move, game by game, match by match,
tournament by tournament, that’s how
you become an expert, a master or even a
Go for it!
THE STARS OF TOMORROW?
If more good checkers or chess players wrote
more good books, we'd surely have more good
THE THREE I’S
I don't think that the programmed knowledge
of the computer will make the individual
player an expert or a master.
What really helps us improve is our intelligence,
our imagination and our intuition.
THE UNBEATEN PATH
The conformist expert will probably draw
many games, but the non-conformist expert
will probably win many games and become a
THE UNEXAMINED GAME PROVERB:
Little errors untended, I've discovered
too often, have a way of turning into big
ones, especially in games of checkers where
one is a little too confident.
THE UNEXPECTED PROVERB:
Unless you are prepared to expect the unexpected,
be prepared to expect the unexpected defeat.
THINKING GAMES PROVERB:
The wood pusher thinks ‘every
other move’, while the master
move’ and that makes all the
TODAY AND TOMORROW
The styles of play may vary, but the basic
ideas of winning and drawing in checkers
TODAY IS NOW PROVERB:
Yesterday's wins and losses are yesterday's
wins and losses and the yesterdays are now
Focus on what you can do TODAY!
TROJAN HORSE PROVERB:
Learning how to refuse proffered material
that may be tainted is an art so a good player
should cultivate it.
UNCERTAINTY IS CERTAIN:
If you fear the unknown, the unexplored
and the unpublished, don’t play chess
UNITY AND STRENGTH
It is important to keep your forces together,
yet flexible, ready to attack or defend,
as the game develops.
Any general will tell you that a divided army is hardly headed for victory.
UNSOUND PLAY PROVERB:
A win by an unsound combination, however
showy, fills me with artistic horror.
Checkers Proverbs by, Wilhem Steinitz.
UNTIMELY RESIGNATIONS PROVERB:
Some games are lost by asking for a draw
when it is too late and some are lost by
resigning too soon; some checker players
even resign when they have a win!
USE YOUR HEAD, LOOK
Always look as far ahead as you can and
then look one more move.
V FOR VICTORY PROVERB:
Vision, plus versatility and valor lead
Some players never fall for the same trap
twice, for they are very good at finding
new ways to lose.
WE ARE ALL MORTAL PROVERB:
Was there ever a master who did not acknowledge
the fact that, now and then, he was still
a first class palter.
WHAT WE DO AND DON’T PROVERB:
Checkers games are lost by errors of omission
as much as by errors of commission.
WHEN FORCE BECOMES
The blunderbuss attack seldom, if ever,
works in Chess and Checkers. Subtlety is
the real secret of success and is more apt
to win, whereas the clumsy combination is
bound to fail. It is seldom necessary, or
even useful, to bully your way to a win.
WINNING IS NOT EVERYTHING
The longer I live, the more importance I
attach to playing on the square and the less
importance I attach to "winning at all
WISDOM AND PRECISION
Chess is the philosophy of life.
Checkers is the mathematics of life.
Checkers Proverbs by, Tom Wiswell.
YOU MUST FIGHT BACK PROVERB:
If you let a loss demoralize you, the Game
of Life is not worth playing. You have to
set them up and play another game!
YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS PROVERB:
The master doesn't beat you, he let’s
you beat yourself and you simply cooperate.
YOUR MANUSCRIPT PROVERB:
The player who records his losses today,
won't repeat them tomorrow.
A good checkers player should be part fox,
part elephant, part bloodhound and part mule.
If one was to read over these tidbits of
philosophy again and again, digest them and
then commit them to memory, a solid equilibrium
would easily be attained and available when
the journey to becoming a Checkers Grand
Master was begun. So if you’re intrigued
by a great game of checkers, but have only
just begun to experiment your strategy on
the battlefield, don’t be afraid, but
simply forge ahead. Be humble when you make
mistakes, but don’t be afraid to learn
from them by recording each one in a checkers
journal to be used as reference in the next
battle. Be willing to experiment, be subtle
in your strategies and utmost, be patient.
Perseverance will be your friend; rashness
will only be your foe.