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Bill Cosby Cubes Checkers

Bill Cosby is in New York to host the final round of the Bill Cosby Cube Checkers Challenge.

The event is close to Cosby's heart, because all proceeds from the tournament and $2 of the revenue from every purchase of Cube Checkers at FAO Schwarz will be donated to The Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation.

Ennis, 27, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, was murdered Jan. 16, 1997, in Los Angeles. On Aug. 11, 1998, Ukrainian immigrant Mikail Markhasev was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Head of the foundation is Phil Caputo, who was Ennis' best friend. Adds Cosby, "I used to find Phil under the bed. Sometimes, I would find Ennis under the bed and Phil in the bed."

There are two small differences between regular checkers and Cube Checkers:

  • You get two moves per turn instead of one.
  • The game piece is a cube numbered 1-6. Your second move is to flip one of your cubes to the next highest number. You can only jump your opponent if your number on the cube is equal to or higher than your opponent's cube.

When you get to the highest number, which is 6, that game piece becomes a "king," as in regular checkers. Normally, you win Cube Checkers when you capture all of your opponent's pieces.

Cosby told CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen that the toy he most coveted when he was child was a cap gun.

"I remember the cap paper would come up, and you smelled this sulfur," said Cosby. "Sometimes, it would miss and you fired and hit nothingÂ… You could burn your hand."

But even more desirable as a plaything in his Philadelphia neighborhood was a big empty cardboard box, Cosby said, which generally would be used as a sled until it fell apart.

Cube Checkers (CBS)
How would Cosby advise tournament participants to get that competitive "eye of the tiger" before their games?

"Eat cactus," Cosby deadpanned.

Finally, Jonathan West, 8, issued a challenge for a game to Cosby, who observed, "He's going to live another 75 years, telling people that he beat Bill Cosby in chess. Who do I say? 'I beat Jonathan West'."

American Airlines and Hilton Hotels sponsors the Cube Checkers Tournament with FAO Schwarz.

The Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation benefits young people with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. The foundation also promotes the early recognition and compassionate understanding of alternative means for teaching and learning.

You can find out more about te foundation by calling (323) 654-7917 or by visiting its Web site at

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