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  A view from ACF Player's Representative Richard Beckwith : 2008-05-27

My experiences of FMJD meetings and 100-square checkers


FMJD meetings and 100-square checkers

I began 2008 with two trips to European cities to attend my first ever FMJD meetings as a representative of WCDF. The purpose of my attendance was to gather information on the October Beijing "Olympic-like" checkers event, as well as to meet the new FMJD exec and Henri Macaux of France, who is serving as tournament director for all the draughts sections competing in Beijing. The first two FMJD meetings in 2008 were held in Amsterdam (Holland) in February and recently in Salou, Spain.

In recent months, WCDF has received many inquiries for participation in Beijing. We now currently expect over 40 players from 19 different countries for the fall checkers event. There will be over 300 representatives in all with the 100-square and Brazilian/Russian 64 games included. The World Mind Sports Games will feature other strategy games, such as Chess, Go, and Bridge. I hope that an Olympic connection will raise the stature of our game in the eyes of potential corporate sponsors.

A 100-square tournament was in progress while I was in Salou. The game of 100-square differs from checkers in that there is a bigger board with 20 pieces aside, backwards jumping for single pieces is compulsory, and the kings move similar as a bishop in chess (rather than one square movements). There were 124 players from many different European and Middle East countries in this tournament (mostly Netherlands, and countries that were part of the former Soviet Union.). The competition included several women and youth players. (For anyone curious, tournament pictures are available at http://www.salou-open.nl/fotos.html) On one night, they offered a 9-round blitz 100-square tournament. I agreed to participate, although I have never competed in this style of play. I did win one round (and had a few other close games), but still finished last among 54 players. I was not surprised at this result given that I was competing against all these veteran players.

I did some sight-seeing in Spain. There are many excellent sights in Barcelona. Salou, where I stayed, is further down on the Mediterranean coast and offers many nice seaside views and beaches. I suspect another one of my "travelog" articles will be forthcoming.

Read more articles from your ACF Players Representative in the Rep's Corner Archive.

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