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  Tribute: John Merrick The checker world lost a great champion on Tuesday, February 17, 2004. John Merrick, longtime Manitoba Champion, passed on at the ripe old age of 99 years.

John Merrick was an ardent checker fan. He was a member and subscriber to many checker organizations including the English Draughts Association, the American Checker Federation, Midwest Checkers, the Missouri Checker Association, Keystone Checkers, Elam's Checker Board, and others. He was the second best annotator of all time and frequently corresponded with Richard Fortman and Ben Boland on the subjects of checker problems, corrections, games, and annotating. Very few players could match his knowledge of the game.

While he was not able to attend many national tournaments, he was one of the three best Canadian checker players of all time. His most notable feat was serving as the captain of the Manitoba team when Willie Ryan came to Winnipeg to do an exhibition. He won a double-corner game (playing the white side) against Ryan.

I was John's friend and playing partner for 25 years. I will miss his counsel and his playing ability. He continued to be keen competitor all throughout his life. Our last session together two weeks ago was still a challenge. The score was tied 3-3 with many draws. I was ready to leave it at a draw and make some tea, but John said, "Let's play one more game for the championship." I was lucky to win that game. The final score was 4-3 (with many draws) in my favour.

Submitted by Leroy Adams.

MY TROPHIES AT LAST I LAY DOWN
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