September 1, 2008 - Cleveland - The Plain Dealer - "Medina Township hosting one world, two state checkers championships"

Medina Township hosting one world, two state checkers championships

Monday, September 01, 2008     News (link)
Grant Segall
Plain Dealer Reporter

Medina Township- An area best known for honey and candles is becoming a global hub of checkers - at least for this year.

Over the next two weeks, the township will host two state championships and one world championship. The world match will pit a defender from Barbados against a challenger from South Africa.

How did Medina become a mecca for checkers?

Credit Richard Beckwith, a top player from Willoughby. For many years, he has helped host the annual Ohio State Checker Tournament in the township. This year, he pledged $6,000 to add the title match of the World Checkers and Draughts Association, held every two years.

Beckwith and other local buffs are raising donations to cover the bid and maybe a little more. The money will go for expenses and prizes.

Many people look down on games like chess as wonkish. Many chess players look down on checkers as wonkishness lite.

But checkers, despite its simpler rules, may be the deeper game, said Beckwith: "It's easy to learn but difficult to master."

The first event, the Ohio State Match Championship, began Saturday and is expected to end today. Beckwith, a former title holder, is trying to dethrone the current champ, Alex Moiseyey of Dublin, Ohio, in a variation of checkers called three-move restriction-style. The players have no choice about the first three moves of their games.

The Ohio State Checker Tournament, also in the restricted style, will take place Saturday and Sunday and be open to walk-in participants.

The global match will follow Sept. 8-13. It's called the Go As You Please World Title Match because it takes place in the unrestricted style most of us learned as children. Champion Ron King will face challenger Lubabalo Kondlo in 24 games.

This is a big year for Ohio checkers players. In October, Beckwith and Moiseyey will be two of four players representing the United States at the first World Mind Games, to be held in Beijing, China, at the Olympic Village.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-4187

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