From the President's Desk: 2004-08-12

My Report on the Las Vegas 'Back to Back'!

I had a wonderful ten days out West. It was great to see many familiar faces, plus many new ones. I was encouraged to see several young men playing for the first time. I have to credit the Internet and on line game playing for bringing these new players into the game.

On day one, registration took place, several players joined the A.C.F. and several others paid their dues to make them a current member so they could enter the tournament. I decided to enter the Masters for the first time. What an education I received ! However the games I played and the experience I received are priceless. My only regret was that I did not get to play our 3-Move World Champion, Mr. Alexander Moiseyev, Mr. Elbert Lowder, Dr. Beckwith or Dr. Webster. It would be nice if we could play 2 game rounds, like in Europe, simply because we would get to play more opponents:-)

I finished last in the Masters with 10 points; but one has to begin somewhere and I have no where to go but up! To play well in the Masters you have to know published play or at least how to defend an attack in the openings that you draw from the deck. I lost one game early to Mr. Gerry Lopez on the 3rd. move I made, due to my lack of knowledge of opening book play. That is something I will work on this Winter. I will begin with the 9-13 openings and move on from there at some point in time. As Mr. Alex told me, it takes the 'entire package' of openings,crossboard and ending play to play better Checkers. He is so right.

I want to thank Mr. Joe Schwartz for his initial donation to make the two week, " back to back' tournaments a reality. Only one player out of ten donates anything to our Nationals. Too bad we don't have many more like Mr. Schwartz.

About mid-week of the tourney one player I know left early complaining of not being able to get any points from a round. Later in the week I heard many other similar complaints. I am now asking all members to send me input on how they feel on scoring of rounds and what changes they would like to see, if any. Eventually all data will be presented to the Executive Board for considerations, and will later be put to a vote through the entire membership for any suggested changes. Personally I would like to see each game count for something. To move the A.C.F. and Checkers/Draughts forward we have to look at the way things have always been done and decide if changes are in order.

We have one legitimate bid from Dublin,Ohio for the GAYP Nationals for 2005. The deadline for submitting a bid will be December 31st. 2004. I will appoint a committee of members from across America to review all bids. In the past only the ACF President decided the venue based on bid amount only. I want to see what is offered, accessibility,etc. before a decision is made.

I had to get back home and to work, but was in Las Vegas for the beginning of week # 2 for the GAYP Tournament. Several stayed over from week # 1 and many new faces arrived just for the GAYP Tourney. I have to admire our ACF Bulletin Editor , Mr. Al Darrow for 'stepping up' and entering the Masters.

Overall I had a great time and enjoyed all the players there. I took along some boards and regulation pieces and decks of the new 3-move cards and 'sold out' of everything I took. It would be a dream come true to have a company like the Cracker Barrel or Wal-Mart who would market regulation equipment and get rid of those ugly red and black sets that I have had to look at all my life. The A.C.F. needs a corporate sponsor. If any of you have an idea on this or a 'lead' for a possible sponsor let me know. I have a small committee working on this item, but more volunteers are always needed.

I think the A.C.F. has had a good year for Checkers, but more can always be accomplished. I enjoy being your A.C.F. President and look forward to serving the membership in 2005 as well.

Alan Millhone, President
American Checker Federation

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