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  A view from ACF Player's Representative Richard Beckwith : 2010-07-12

National Tournament Week Approaching Soon!


Arrangements are progressing well for the 2010 “Richard Fortman” ACF 3-Move National Tournament in Springfield, IL on August 1-5. John Acker has worked hard at promoting this event (as well as at providing some special perks throughout the week), so I hope everyone can consider coming to compete and to honor Richard Fortman. Additional tournament info may be found at http://www.checkers2010.info/. The referee for the event will be Kim Willis with assistance from Roger Doll and myself.

Pairings will again be conducted via Swissperfect software, as was the case at the 2009 GAYP National. There was feedback last year about some rounds that featured less-than-optimal pairings. The technical support feedback I received acknowledged the pairing issues, even though the pairings were still FIDE-legal. The real source of the problem is more likely due to the fact that there were 16-18 players in a division competing in 13 rounds last year. Swiss pairings work optimally when there are twice (or three times) as many players as rounds. We will have fewer rounds this year in the 3-move event, so I don’t think the problem will resurface. Furthermore, Kim Willis has suggested that any proposed pairings made by the program be verified by the referee to ensure the pairings are consistent with the approaches prescribed in the ACF National Tournament rules. Additionally, I note that I have also had players object to tournaments run by manual pairings due to potential bias. FIDE-controlled pairings are potentially more fair since the programs can operate so that an individual doesn’t get consistently paired up (or get consistently paired down) if that player is repeatedly tied on points and has to be paired into a different point group. Pairing programs are standard at European draughts events.
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This year’s National will take on a bit of a “home game” feel for me. I grew up in central Illinois in Decatur, the next big town east of Springfield. I still have much family in the area, including a brother in Springfield.

Looking for something to do after the National Tournament? My old hometown has its annual “Decatur Celebration” downtown on August 6-8, beginning Friday evening and lasting through the weekend. This is a large street festival with numerous stages featuring all kinds of music, roving entertainment, carnival rides, food, and various crafts for sale. Entry is free, although I understand there is a new “wristband” fee this year for those intending to purchase food. Free concerts this year include artists such as The Charlie Daniels Band, Exposé, Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Ryan Cabrera, Tone Loc, and many more. See http://decaturcelebration.com/ for more details. There is paid parking close to the grounds, but you can usually park for free in the residential area west of downtown if you don’t mind walking in a few blocks.

Since I will be in the area due to the National Tournament, I will be back performing my oversize
checkerboard exhibition. I take on challengers passing on the street by playing a game on an 8-foot-by 8-foot checkerboard with oversize pieces. I will be located somewhere along the south side of Central park. This “Street Checkers” attraction started at the 1987 Decatur Celebration.

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

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