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Asa Long

Checkers Game Player
Asa Long Continued

During 1974, checkers game player Asa Long also played in his only Florida Open, but as he lost several rounds to players Marion Tinsley, Derek Oldbury, and Elbert Lowder, player Asa Long finished in eighth place.

Over the next few years, player Asa Long participated in a series of tournaments and checkers challenges, and was indeed successful in some of them, while in others he was not as fortunate. In 1980, he entered the 32nd U.S. Open hosted in Longview, Texas. His checkers skill held strong and he won over Leo Levitt, Richard Hallett, Elbert Lowder, Martin, and checker grandmaster, Ed Bruch. In that same year, Asa played solid checkers in the Illinois Open at Effingham and tied for first place with checkers player Don Lafferty. In 1981, Asa challenged Marion Tinsley for the World 3-Move Restriction Title at the International Checkers Hall of Fame in Petal, Mississippi, but checkers player Asa Long lost to Marion with a score of no wins, three losses, and thirty-four draws. Then during 1982, Asa Long entered the 33rd U.S. Open in Tupelo, Mississippi, but unfortunately, he lost a critical sixth round heat to Derek Oldbury and ended in fifth place behind Marion Tinsley, Elbert Lowder, Richard Hallett and Don Lafferty but ahead of Derek Oldbury and Levitt.

However, in 1983, now aged 79, checkers player Asa Long played in the 4th International Checkers Match between the U.S. and Great Britain. This tournament was held at Petal, Mississippi, and once again, Asa Long displayed his checkers ingenuity and technical skill by winning eight games, losing none, and drawing twelve.

Asa Long at 82 Yrs Old

Player Asa Long at, 82 years old
"The Iron Man of Checkers”
prepares to play future World Champion, Ron King,
at Tupelo, Ms., in the 1986 National Tournament.
In 1980, he became the "oldest" to ever win the National Tournament at age 76.
Then, in 1984, he eclipsed his own record, winning it again at age 80.

The 34th U.S. Open, played at Tupelo in 1984, saw Asa Long score one of his greatest victories at the age of 80. As a result of an awesome checkers game comeback, he became known as “The Living Legend” because he was able to come from two points behind in the final round to defeat player Richard Hallett. He also outplayed other checker greats Don Lafferty, Ed Bruch, Jim Morrison, Markusic and Fuller. In this same year, Asa tied for third and fourth place with Gene Zuber, just behind Elbert Lowder and Don Lafferty in the Northern States Tournament in Waseuon, Ohio.

Asa Long again challenged Marion Tinsley in 1985 for the World 3-Move Title, but the win went to Tinsley hen the match ended with a score of six wins, one loss, and twenty-eight draws for Marion.

In 1986, checkers champion player Asa Long registered as a contender in the 35th U.S. Open held at Tupelo, Mississippi, and finished third behind Don Lafferty and Jim Morrison with no lost rounds. This time, Asa’s checkers prowess successfully placed him, if not in an overall win situation, at least ahead of such notable checkers players as Ron King, Elbert Lowder, Richard Hallett, Albrecht, Cravens, Markusic, and Freyer.

The following spring in May of 1987, Long entered the first World Invitational Tournament and defeated Ron King, Elbert Lowder, Markusic and Martin in a series of checkers match plays. He also successfully beat the Irish Champion, Hugh Devlin, twice in this tournament with the result that Asa won the tournament title.

Although the checkers master was approaching the winter years, he still entered the 36th U.S. Open hosted in Danville, Virginia, in 1988, but was forced to withdraw after the first round due to an accidental fall that caused him a fractured ankle. However, this mishap did not deter the checkerist at all; in fact, in 1989, checker player Asa Long played in the 5th International Match between the U.S. and Great Britain held in Weston-Super-Mare, England. Once again, he displayed his excellent checkerboard techniques and strategy by ending with a perfect score of 5-0-15.

However, Long’s checkers career was not yet over. In 1990, Asa played in the only Southern States Tournament of his career. Here, he tied for third and forth place with Cravens behind Richard Hallett and Ron King with no lost rounds.

Champion Checker Player Asa Long then entered the final U.S. Open of his long career played in Tupelo, Mississippi. He successfully finished officially in third place in the tournament behind Tinsley and the Chinook computer program, but in second place in human standing behind Marion Tinsley by winning three rounds and drawing five with no losses. In this amazing tournament where man and machine was matched in the great game of checkers, Asa Long’s checker ability placed him ahead of other great checkers players as Richard Hallett, Don Lafferty, Elbert Lowder, Ed Bruch and the Checkers 3.0 computer program.

His success in this tournament displayed his versatility and daring in the game of checkers, as not many individuals would be willing to pit their human knowledge and skill against a computer program that was hailed as having ‘solved checkers’.
January 1992 saw Asa Long at the age of 88 play his last competitive checkers match in a 20- game exhibition contest with the Chinook computer program at the International Hall of Fame. This great match ended with a tie score of 1-1-18, where photos and the checkers games appeared in the March 1992 issue of the “Checkers” magazine.

Asa Long passes away in 1999 after a long, mercurial checkers career that spanned an amazing life with from his early achievement at the age of eighteen by winning, against all odds and popular belief, the 5th national Tournament in Boston, Massachusetts in 1922 to setting another record in 1980 by being the oldest at 76 to win the National Tournament, and then again to beat his own record in 1984 by winning the tournament at age 80.

Asa’s record and legacy is listed in the Draughts section of the Guinness Book of World Records, 1995 edition, on page 236.

“Youngest and oldest national champion, Asa A. Long (b. 20 August 1904) became the youngest US national champion, aged 18 yr 64 days, when he won in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on 23 Oct 1922. He became the oldest, aged 79 yr 334 days when he won his sixth title in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA on 21 July 1984. He was also world champion 1934-8.“

The following Capsule Record gives a great indication of player Asa Long’s amazing checker career:

  • 15 US 3-Move Restriction Open Tournaments covering 74 years, 1916-1990, winning 6 and winning one U.S. Open 11-man Ballot Tournament
  • 4 International Matches between USA and Great Britain, 1927 to 1980
  • 6 World 3-Move Restriction Title Matches, 1934 to 1985, where he won two, lost three, and drew one, and then won one World 11-Man Ballot Match
  • Won the 1984 British Open

  • DeerLake Online Store Items

    Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
    When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

    Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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