Macon County

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - Macon County Times (Lafayette, TN)  - "Former Macon County Sheriff will compete in state checker tournament"

Published: February 24, 2011

"Former Macon County Sheriff will compete in state checker tournament"

Former Macon County Sheriff and long-long resident Hollis McClard, right, will compete in the Tennessee State Checker Tournament in Lebanon March 4-6. A former Southern States champion himself, McClard is shown with world champion, Russian, Alex Moiseyev. The world champion is now living in the United States and works as a computer analyst.

Copyright, 2011, Macon County Times (Lafayette, TN) Heartland Publications, LLC All Rights Reserved.



Macon County Times (Lafayette, TN)

McClard jumping at the chance in state tournament
Melissa Proctor; Mct Reporter   
Published: March 3, 2011

Hollis McClard has been playing checkers since he was a little boy and it's turned into more than a hobby. "I've been playing checkers since I was little. Then after my grandmother moved in with us, I started playing against her. In the four or five years I player her, I never beat her," McClard said.

McClard will play in the Tennessee State Checkers Tournament March 4 - 6 in Lebanon. The Tennessee tournament is the largest in the world. "People have traveled from all over the United States and Europe to play in Tennessee. There is just more competition here," McClard said.

On average, there are 40 to 50 competitors at the tournament playing in three different divisions, which are the masters, majors, and minors.  McClard will play in the majors division this year.

"I played in the majors in the Southern States Tournament and went up to the masters but I'll play at the majors level this time." McClard explained that there are many people who could play in the masters but choose to stay in the majors.

"I've been going to tournaments for seven or eight years and I've played in Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois and the nationals in Vegas," said McClard.

"Checkers is a game that keeps your mind sharp. There is a 97-year-old man that is planning on coming up from Dallas to attend the Tennessee tournament.

Four years ago, he beat me by one point to win the Alabama state tournament," McClard said.

It is a game of strategy and the best way to win is to always plan your moves ahead of time.

"You have to be thinking five or six moves ahead at all times," added McClard.

McClard highly recommends parents encourage their children to play checkers.

There are some good websites to play on including

McClard has plans to start teaching children to play the game.

Another good website to get information about upcoming tournaments is Other information found there includes the list of winners after each tournament.

Josh Armstrong, age 19, was the Alabama state co - champion in 2009 and has been taught for years by McClard.

"He started coming to tournaments when he was about 12 and I've taught him some moves along the way," McClard said.

"It's a mental game. You have to be determined to win. If you go in thinking you'll win, you will be more prepared," said McClard.

McClard spends a couple hours a day playing checkers on the internet with professionals.

McClard added that there are some good checker players in the county but some don't go to a lot of tournaments.

Copyright, 2011, Macon County Times (Lafayette, TN) Heartland Publications, LLC All Rights Reserved.

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