Jun

16

 I have taken Ms. Kenner's advice and just now ordered The Wonderful World of Mathematics for my grandson. Amazon had one original 1955 copy for $10.00. This got me to reminiscing back to 9-14-67 and an old hand typed letter I have in front of me from the late Checker World Champion Tommie Wiswell of Brooklyn, N.Y. In that letter and many others Tommie sent me he gives much sound advice.

I just found his earliest letter to me dated 9-8-67 and he thanks me for my order for catlin checker pieces at $3.50 per set and green and buff boards at $3.50 per. Today the ACF through our online store sells pieces at $22.50 and boards for $15.00 per. I still have those early board sets and all the books I bought from Tommie. Amazon is quick, but over the years something has been lost in that personal 'one on one' relationship that I knew dealing with Mr. Wiswell.

He wrote, "Thanks for the letter and check, mailed boards and checkers today. Books must be divided into various categories: For reference, for openings, end game study, midgame play, problems, general study." He goes on to say, " These are only a small number of the books I recommend for a complete library. Books are important because knowledge is power in checkers and the more good books you have the more ammunition you can acquire for the battle. You are not supposed to study them all, especially the reference books but to refer to them when you lose. The openings you should study as well as the endgame books. Some are just for enjoyment alone."

In 1980 Tommie wrote a deluxe hard bound book with Mr. Jules Leopold of NYC titled: The Wonderful World of Checkers and Draughts. Two world class players explain the game's fundamentals and explore both its simple pleasures and challenging complexities. Original cost on my dust jacket for this book was $10.00 and my copy is personally signed by Mr. Wiswell. This fine book is 175 pages and covers such tactics as the dyke, the bridge, the opposition, and the dog hole. In the discussion on how to win second position, it is actually shown that it is possible to see eighty moves ahead in a game!. In this book the reader learns how to conduct the game at each stage. Meanwhile, as he becomes increasingly aware of the myriad ideas that arise in play, he will begin to appreciate the beauty and depth of this 'simple' game.

Mr. Wiswell's advice carries over into the market when he advocates building a large library of reference materials and says, knowledge is power. In checkers or the market you have to know what you are doing and make moves in the right direction or you are doomed. Tommie speaks of knowing where to begin and end in a game. Keeping one's mind alert and sharp will greatly help in many endeavors in business and in life.

In the Chair's Education of a Speculator, he devotes one chapter to board games and their usefulness and 'carry over' into the market. One has to learn to think outside of the box and let your mind flow freely and without limits.


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