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  A view from ACF Player's Representative Richard Beckwith : 2008-10-23

WMSG Recap / New Problem Book

The first World Mind Sports Games concluded last week. Alex Moiseyev brought home a gold medal, one of only two medals in all the games for USA. (There was also a bronze in bridge). The race for 2nd (and for challenging rights) was very close, as only one point separated the next six players. Ron King took the silver despite losing 5 games (3 on time forfeits!). Raivis Paegle of Latvia also had strange fortunes by medaling despite losing his first four consecutive games of the event. Obviously these gifted players had many wins throughout the competition to secure their high finish. There were no other real surprises in the Top 12, which featured three Americans in the Top 8, three Durdyevs in the Top 11, and Top 10 finishes by William Docherty and Hugh Devlin. Javzan Gerelchuluun of Mongolia nabbed the ladies challenging rights by one tiebreaker point over Patricia Breen.

There was plenty of strong competition from other countries, especially Italy, Israel, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Germany, who all had a Top 20 finisher. (I personally had my hands full with the Italians!) Alex Moiseyev remarked during the week that this was one of the strongest fields he had seen in 10 years. Alex is heading up an effort to have all the tournament games annotated into a book to commemorate this historic event.

I was impressed with the professionalism of the whole event. There was tight security just to enter the playing venue. All the players used digital time clocks and had standing name cards featuring their country's flag. My thanks go to those officials who made the tournament happen: Ian & Joan Caws, John Morgan, and also Ingo Zachos, who helped with the daily bulletin while trying to compete.

Overall, it was a fabulous trip to China for me. We had great weather and great sights all week long. I visited the Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Summer Palace, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Panda Zoo, and the Olympic venues. Hopefully we can do it all again in 4 years.
Jim Loy has just completed a large checker problem book, which will be added to ACF store (or you may order direct from Jim).

Checker Problems Vol. I -- Correcting the Ancients, 766 problems, 272 pages, $20 in USA.

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

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