Sunday, November 30, 2008 - (United Press International, Inc.) - Entertainment News - "Checkers champion Fortman dead at 93"

Entertainment News

Checkers champion Fortman dead at 93                 Published: Nov. 30, 2008 at 3:28 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Former world postal checkers champion Richard L. Fortman has died in Springfield, Ill., at the age of 93, his daughter, Cindy Ponder, says.

The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) said Sunday that Fortman's death ended a career that saw the longtime Springfield resident tabbed as one of the world's foremost experts on the board game.

Among Fortman's contributions to the world of checkers were his "Basic Checkers" handbook series released during the 1970s and '80s.

Fortman also earned international notoriety for his ability to play the board game blindfolded or participate in up to 100 games simultaneously, all while winning most of his games.

The Times said Fortman, who died on Nov. 8 of unspecified causes, also engaged in the lesser-known art of checkers by mail.

The newspaper said Fortman is survived by his wife, Faye Nicohls; his daughter, Cindy Ponder; his son, Mark; his sister, Jane Russell; and four grandchildren.

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