Join the ACF | FAQ | Contact Us | ACF Forum | ACF Store |
Join the ACF Online!
Visit GoldToken, the official gaming site of the ACF
Featured Link: International Craftsmen

Welcome to the ACF Website!

  Biography: Jan Mortimer

Jan Mortimer
2002 U.S. Women's National Tournament Champion
Jan Mortimer was born at Balclutha on the South Island of New Zealand in 1952 and might be described as a relative newcomer to the world of competitive draughts. Although she played some games as a child, Mrs. Mortimer took up playing draughts in any serious way later in life. Her interest was sparked after acquiring a computer, through which she began playing on Internet gaming sites such as Vinco Online Games.

The competitive games that Jan Mortimer contested online improved her skills to the extent that she decided to travel to the United States to compete in the U.S. National Championship in 2002. Here, Jan looked forward to the challenge of playing some tough games and to meet many of her Internet friends and adversaries.

Jan Mortimer's success as the highest placing woman player in the U.S. National Championship on her first attempt, edging out well-known American player Wilma Wolverton of Missouri, was truly remarkable. With her success, Mrs. Mortimer earned the right to challenge for the Women's World Title. Through the encouragement of her many new friends, Jan decided to issue a challenge to Women's World Champion Patricia Breen in 2003. Her challenge was endorsed by the American Checker Federation, and the match took place at the International Festival of Draughts in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, in October 2003. Despite brilliant play in the second half of the match, Jan Mortimer lost to Patricia Breen by the score of 5-1 and ten draws. Her primary goal was realized, however - to increase awareness of women playing checkers.

Jan Mortimer is married with four children - one son and three daughters. She now lives in the central Otago region of New Zealand, which is famous for growing walnuts, fruit, and olives, as well as for its many sheep. She works in a family business where she runs a bed and breakfast guesthouse while also doing some part-time nursing at a local health centre. Jan Mortimer is known for her tenacity at the draughts board, and her recent success in America has demonstrated that she is very capable of playing at the highest level.

Before traveling to Northern Ireland in 2003, Jan Mortimer told match officials, "When I return from Ireland, I want to go into the schools here [New Zealand] and to also start a checker club in my area over the winter. My hope is to have more draughts played in New Zealand and also to get more women involved in the game. It's a game you can play from home with no real cost."

This biography is based on an excerpt by at the International Festival of Draughts.

© American Checker Federation 2007
This website was created by the ACF Website Team. Original site design by Clint Olsen.
Official ACF Logo design by John Acker and Lisle Cormier.
All checker board images courtesy of Vinco Online Games.