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  A view from ACF Player's Representative Richard Beckwith : 2008-09-18

Recap of Ohio Events and a Look Ahead


Alex Moiseyev and Ron King were the big winners in the recent Ohio checker events, with each winning one match and splitting first place in the Ohio State Open Tournament. The festivities began with Alex Moiseyev defending his Ohio state match title against yours truly 2-0 with 10 draws over Labor Day weekend. The other "headliner" match featured Ron King defending his GAYP world title against Lubabalo Kondlo of South Africa by a score of 1-0 with 23 draws. Both matches were all draws up until the final few games.

The Ohio Open Tournament featured quite a cross section of players with Alex Moiseyev, Ron King, Lubabalo Kondlo, Irma Sierra (Mexico), Louis Cowie, Gene Ellison (IL promoter), Jan Bulstra (NC), and more. (Too bad "Pal" Bucker became ill and that the legendary Ed Bruch did not attend.) Alex and Ron tied for first, with honor points not applicable due to the round-robin format. Lubabalo and Michael Holmes tied for a third with a strong showing. John Acker (Ohio State student) won a close B division. Another "Ohio Book" is planned for 2009, although the King-Kondlo games may be available sooner in a smaller format.

A film crew was on hand for the state tournament and subsequent GAYP match collecting shots of games in progress, as well as many players' thoughts in a separate interview area. I'm not sure when this documentary will be ready. I will work with the local film company in the coming months to add some "fill in the gaps" commentary. Their upcoming plans to shoot the lives of King and Kondlo in their home worlds of Barbados and South Africa should be a real eye-opener! This is not the first documentary attempt of a checkers event, as a short documentary was prepared at the 2000 Toledo National (my "archived" Player Rep Corner of 8/26/2005).

Many thanks go to Joe LoConti and Alan Millhone. Joe has been an unsung hero of Ohio Checkers for many years with his financial support of the annual Ohio state tournament. He was also instrumental in bringing his son's film crew to Medina. Alan donated a week of his time (and personal expenses) to referee the match, and was a host for Lubabalo's trip to USA.

There are still plenty of big time checker events left in 2008. Most notable is the first ever World Mind Sports Games held in the Beijing Olympic Village, where the checkers section anticipates some 50 players from 20 different countries. See http://www.wmsg-draughts.org/ for coverage. On our home turf, South Carolina will host a new "World Checkers Open" in November. (See ACF calendar for pre-registration info). We also have our old faithful events such as the Illinois 101, Kentucky state, Nebraska, District 4, and the District 5/Alabama.

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

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