World Title Match
The 3-Move Checkers Game, World Title Match
between Alex Moiseyev and Ron King, held
in Anderson, North Carolina, in May 2005,
was probably one of the most significant
checkers events of that year because of the
competitive history between the two checkers
Grandmaster players and the $10,000 championship
For Ron King the 2005 Checkers 3-Move World
title match was especially important.
Alex Moiseyev became the 3-Move World Champion
only after the American Checker Federation
stripped King of his title in 2001, a checkers
title that Ron had held for about 10 years;
however, when Alex Moiseyev had challenged
King to a match, the two simply could not
agree on the terms of the match, and this
was the main reason that it never took place.
The ACF allowed Moiseyev to play the next
checkers master in line for the title, and
when Alex won the match, the ACF declared
him the 3-Move World Champion. Unfortunately,
it was only the ACF that recognized Moiseyev
as the World Champion, as other world federations
such as the FMJD and EDA still considered
Ron King the World Champion.
Moiseyev and King finally played for the
checkers world title match in 2003, but
Moiseyev won by a large margin. Even on that
occasion, Ron King has said that he was unfairly
matched with Alex because he had spent exhausting
weeks before the games promoting the event
and was fatigued even before the world title
Even before the 2005 World Title Checkers
Match began, tension was in the air and set
the tone for checkers competition. They were
scheduled to play a 40-game match, facing
each other every day across the checkerboard
for ten days during four games. Every day
Ron King lived in the environment of checkers
because he worked for the Bajan government,
teaching checkers in schools and prisons
and promoting the game of American checkers
to the world. King said that although the
job may seem fairly unimportant as a career
in the U.S., it was a credible profession
in Barbados because everyone on that small
Caribbean island loved to play a good game
In an interview, King commented:
can find someone playing checkers at all
times of the day and night...you can always
get someone to play checkers with you...I
was sponsored by my government to come here...(his
dimple spread and his eyes danced)...Whenever
I need sponsors, I have no problem getting
them. Why would they do that if I were not
a winner? I was named Sportsman of the Year
in Barbados, and 275,000 people have to
vote on that. I think I have brought the
game of checkers to a new level."
about 50 people here watching these games,
but if this were Barbados, there would be
hundreds," Charles Walker, president
of the World Checker Draught Federation,
told the audience at the Monday games.
This time around, Ron ‘Suki’ King
did not have to do any of the work to prepare
for the checkers title match. "So
this is very serious to me," said
is really a war."
The King was indeed intense in his checkers
play facing Moiseyev across the checkerboard.
He would watch his opponent closely during
their games, but never smile. The referee’s
repeated reminders to Moiseyev about stopping
his clock after his moves caused the challenger
to complain about these reminders because
a referee’s friendly reminder to his
opponent about his clock had once cost King
a world title match before. Each checkers
player knew that he must make 24 moves before
his time ran out.
Alex and Ron in full contemplation
during the 3-Move Checkers World Title Match.
The checkers skill and strategy behind
this world title match was observed by an
audience of fans, who watched each move made
by both master players with quiet admiration.
Throughout the competition, both opponents
displayed real sportsmanship, and despite
some conflicts over checkers games in the
past, respect for each other’s checkers
craftsmanship was displayed throughout the
tournament match. However, as long time checkers
rivals, they rarely made eye contact and
jotted notes in booklets after each move.
Each of them lingered in thought for several
minutes before nearly every move.
However, after thirty-six games the final
day of the world title match in Anderson,
North Carolina, was not needed as Alex had
acquired a deciding margin over Ron. The
checkers masters were scheduled to play four
games on the last day, but decided to end
the match because it was clear Ron King could
not make enough of a comeback to win the
World Title Match from Alex Moiseyev. The
final result of the championship tournament
was Alex scoring eight wins, three losses,
and twenty-five draws. Moiseyev won the checkers
title match and retained the 3-Move World
Title until another time a challenge is made.
A 30 minute closing ceremony was held on
the Thursday afternoon and ended nearly two
weeks of games that allowed Alexander Moiseyev
to defend his world championship 3-Move Checkers
Title. Both checkers champions were presented
with a key to Anderson City; however, Alex
Moiseyev was presented with his winning check
in the amount of $6,000, whereas Ron ‘Suki’ King
was presented a check for $4,000. Alex also
presented Ron with a gold ring featuring
a checkers emblem in honor of his 50th birthday
the following week.
After the tournament finale, both Alex and
Ron commented on their stay in Anderson,
which was a city really trying to promote
the great mind sport of checkers.
has been very good for me," said
is a lovely town, but more importantly, it
has kind people." He was glad
to keep the World Championship in the U.S.
Ron stated that Anderson had been a bit "overwhelming” at
time I come back, I want to bring more and
more people to Anderson so they can see what
a great place it is...If I had known Anderson
was this nice, I would have brought my family...The
next time I come, I will have children with
me so they can see how good Anderson is."
commented that he had "maybe
underestimated Alex a bit." But...
"Next time, next time, next time ..." he vowed.
During the summer of this year, Ron "Suki" King
was again one of the contenders for the National
GAYP Championship in the Masters Division
held in Dublin, Ohio. The GM played against
a roster of nineteen other checkerists in
a tournament of eight rounds with four games
per round. His checkers skills and end game
tricks carried ‘Suki’ King
to another victory with 42 points and to
a purse of $1515. Ron also attained the World
GAYP Checkers Game Title, while Richard Beckwith
placed second and became the U.S. GAYP champion
of 2005. Richard, Jack Francis, and Alex
Moiseyev all tied with 36 points, but Richard
had 257 Honor Points, and Jack Francis was
only one Honor Point behind him with 256,
and Alex followed with 248 Honor Points.
The match was very close and brought forth
a high caliber of play at the checkerboard.
In October, Jim Morrison of Glasgow, Kentucky,
won the GAYP World Title Match Qualifier
held in Prague, Czech Republic. There were
14 entrants in the men’s division covering
USA, Turkmenistan, Germany, Czech republic,
England, Ireland, and Denmark. The men’s
tournament consisted of nine rounds with
two games per round and the top three finishers
in each division were awarded medals. The
champion of the qualifier also received a
trophy. Morrison won the challenging rights
to play King ‘Suki’ for
the GAYP World Title at a date and venue
that had yet to be determined. Later it was
decided by the WCDF to hold the World Title
Match at the International Checker Hall of
Fame in Petal, Mississippi, from Nov. 27
through Dec. 2, 2006. Alan Millhone would
referee the 24-game checkers title match.
Jim Morrison would represent the ACF and
had played for the GAYP title twice before,
holding the World Checkers Champion, Ron
King, close to the checkerboard.
Gathering of players.
Ron King receives
from Charles Walker