Anderson gets in the game

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Organizer Joe Redd explains the three-move start technique on Monday that will be played during the Checker/Draught Three-Move World Championship  tournament.

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KENDRA WAYCUILIS Anderson Independent-Mail

Organizers Tom Martin and Joe Redd announce on Monday that the Checker/Draught Three-Move World Championship tournament will be held in
Anderson from May 23 to June 3 in the City Council chambers at City Hall.


By Wendy Weinhold

April 25, 2005

When local veterinarian Tom Martin watched a hot dog eating contest on a national sports television network this past weekend, he felt lost ó and a bit sick to his stomach.

"If they will broadcast that, then why is a brain game like checkers, with its family oriented fun, not on television?" asked Mr. Martin.

That could change this May if Mr. Martin and Joe Redd get their way while the Checker/Draught Three-Move World Championship plays out in Anderson. They announced on Monday in City Council chambers that downtown Anderson will play host to the checker worldís No. 1-ranked player, Alexander Moiseyev of the United States, and No. 2-ranked Ron "Suki" King of Barbados. The pair will play four games a day for 10 days to decide the new champion.

The three-move championship May 23 through June 3 will be the first of its kind played on American soil in the past 40 years. The variation on the two-person board game differs from the commonly played "Go-As-You-Please" form because it opens with a player drawing a card to determine the gameís opening set of moves, Mr. Redd said.

Mr. Martin said the organizers bid $10,000 to claim the World Checker Federation-sponsored event, and they would ask local businesses to contribute to the costs of hosting the tournament that will be played in City Council chambers in City Hall. Mr. Redd was working with Main Street merchants to coordinate a checkers exposition, comparable to a poker run, in the week before the championship.

While still popular in Ireland and Europe, the game has lost some of its favor in America in an era of entertainment dominated by video games and television. Tournament organizers arenít sure if they can convince a national television network to broadcast the matches from Anderson, but the event will be broadcast on local-access TV.

Mr. Redd and Mr. Martin said their main hope is that the tournament can bring the community together.

"I think if you go to small town America, people donít look at checkers as dorky," Mr. Martin said. "Kids donít know much about it, but if you mention it to their grandparents, youíll see a glimmer in their eyes."

Wendy Weinhold can be reached
at (864) 260-1248 or by e-mail at



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