I’ve been reading with interest the definition of the word "master" in many situations. Looking through my checker library I found two books of interest and will make some observations. In 1909, William Timothy Call wrote his Vocabulary of Checkers. It is a small hardbound book that has become quite scarce. I decided to find the word 'master' in it and was surprised not to find that word listed, but the word 'expert' was instead.

But on the first page of his book is found the word “abecedarian.” Maybe it’s a new Scrabble word for many of you. Call’s definition: One who is learning the rudiments of the game; a new beginner. The stage of advancement are: abecedarian, beginner, novice, student, advanced player, expert, champion. I note the obvious absence of the word “master.”

Call says about the beginner on page 16 of his work: One who has started to learn something about the game as a science. The abecedarian becomes a beginner, then a novice, then a student.

Novice according to Call: An advanced beginner who has not had much experience in the game as a scientific diversion, no matter he may have indulged in it as an amusing pastime.

Thumbing through the book I find a term I have heard on some occasion: “scrub.” It is a colloquialism to designate the large class of adroit players who are not rated as experts. Tyro: A beginner or novice.

On page 190 of Learn Checkers Fast, we find the word “master.” Comparatively few players ever reach this high station in the game. Actually, the name is misleading, as no expert has ever really mastered the game to the extent he was immune to defeat. The author lists the following classifications of checker players: novice, amateur, near expert, expert, junior master, master and grandmaster.

Student: One who occupies an intermediate position between the novice and the expert class, particularly one who follows new play (lines of published checker play) with a critical eye.

My observation: I can see where beginners in the market (as myself) would begin at the bottom of the list and hopefully through study, listening to others, making mistakes, keeping a hand written manuscript, etc., would gain knowledge and put that knowledge to proper use in the market.


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