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Ron King
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Checkers Champion
Ronald "Suki" King

Ronald “Suki” King Art

Ronald Suki King Art ~ from 1956 to Present

Perhaps the most renowned checkers player from Barbados is GM Ronald King, who has been nicknamed ‘Suki’ by many of his friends and admirers. He is a native of St. George, Barbados, and has been playing across the checkerboard since he was about six years old. He says that he first learned the great game amongst the back street clubs and rum shops of Barbados as a young boy looking for things to do.
Ron is married to Hazelin, and they have two daughters and one son. His daughter, Ronelle, is already also involved in the checkers game and has attended an international tournament with her father.

As with many checkers enthusiasts, King has traveled extensively within the West Indies, the United States, and across the Atlantic to Great Britain to play in the various styles of the checkers game. The Bajan King has traveled widely in promoting checkers and draughts, participating in contested matches within the USA, Barbados, Ireland, and England, and undertaking promotional tours in the Caribbean Islands, South Africa, and Ireland.

Early in his checkers career in Barbados, Ronald Suki King began playing the preferred freestyle game or Go-As-You-Please or GAYP format that is popular in the island. He quickly realized that the 8 x 8 checkers game he so enjoyed was the type of game that was prevalent in the United States, both in the GAYP tradition and the 3-Move Restriction style becoming more popular on the International checkers stage.

Ronald Suki King

King first traveled to the United States in 1986 to compete in his first major tournament where he shocked established American checkers masters with his easy, flamboyant style. The Bajan checkerist entered the National 3-Move Championship tournament in Tupelo, Mississippi, and surprised the spectators and gamers by placing fourth after Don Lafferty, Jim Morrison, and Asa Long. These Grandmasters were well established in their game and King was a ‘novice’ player on this circuit, only 30 years old, and totally unfamiliar to the regular faces within the checkers arena.
In 1988, Ron traveled to Danville, Virginia, to play in the 36th 3-Move National Championship tournament, and tied for 6th, 7th, and 8th places. The following year, the GM was back in the US in Tupelo, Mississippi, for the National GAYP Championship, wherein he defeated GM Elbert Lowder and won the tournament, though Lowder became the U.S. GAYP Champion.

The Bajan GM was back in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1990 to participate in the 37th 3-Move National Championships, but this time he faced a tough field of checkers contenders including seasoned player, Marion Tinsley, and only ranked 18th. In the next checkers season, ‘Suki’ was the challenger in the World GAYP Title match and played against the U.S. National GAYP champion, Jim Morrison. Ron defeated the Grand-master with a score of four wins, one loss, and eighteen draws to take the Championship title and become World GAYP champion for the first time. It was not to be his last time coveting that title.

That same year, Ron King traveled to Britain and participated in the 1991 English Draughts Open tournament, and defeated all his checkers opponents to become the English Champion. Over the next decade, ‘Suki’ King crossed many miles between Barbados, the U.S. and Europe playing the game he loved in GAYP and 3-Move national tournaments and championship matches.

GM Ron King was honored by the Barbados Draughts Association and awarded Sportsman of the Year in both 1991 and 1992. As well, in 1992, the Bajan government awarded the checkers master the Barbados Service Star, which is the highest national honor that can be bestowed upon a citizen for outstanding service and achievement.
Also in 1992, King came back into the national checkers arena in the U.S. and played against a solid field of checkers experts in the 3-Move Championship, held in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In this tournament play, Suki defeat Elbert Lowder Checkers 3.0, Hallett, Lafferty and Chinook to take first place; however, over the years, sources have since commented on Suki’s style of sportsmanship in this mind sport match. Richard Fortman was the referee who later wrote:
“1992 National 3-Move; Hot Springs, AR Aug 10-15th (Ronald Suki King, Lowder, Checkers 3.0, Hallett, Lafferty, Chinook, Laverty, Davis) Elbert should have won. He had the tourney in the bag with only Ron King in the last round with a game up and all he needed was a draw heat with Ron King in 8th Round. It was a 3 on 3 position, 2 singles and a king apiece. Elbert said, "agreed draw, but Ron replied, " let’s play." The Position was a draw. They proceeded and Ron slow moved Elbert to death, causing him to step into a silly endgame trap. Elbert got really upset over Ron’s method of play, slapped the checkers off the board, and threatened to quit checkers! What a heart break for Elbert!”
Richard also commented that if Elbert had only referred the decision of the play to the referee, then the ref would also have called it a ‘draw’. The game position at the time was a draw and it was certainly an unfortunate way to end the game. No win is worth bitter feelings and poor sportsmanship.

Back in paradise, Ron King defended his GAYP checkers title in a match against the great British GM, Derek Oldbury, in Barbados. The final score was a draw of five wins, five losses, and fourteen draws apiece. The game result of the draw position allowed King to retain his title of World Checkers GAYP Champion.

Checkers and Ronald King

The next year, King was busy within the International checkers circuit as he entered both the National GAYP Championship tournament in Danville, Virginia, and the English Open Draughts Tournament. He placed second behind Elbert Lowder in the GAYP competition but defeated his opponents once again in the English Open to retain the Championship title.

Between 1994 and 2000, Suki King continued to trek back and forth between his Caribbean homeland, the States, and Europe joining many checkers masters at the checkerboard for numerous challenging games, each player testing skill against skill, technique against technique, and checkers strategy against checkers strategy:

  1. In January 1994, Ronald Suki King challenged World 3-Move Champion, Derek Oldbury, but upon Oldbury’s death in July, Suki played British Open Champion, William Edwards from Wales, for the World 3-Move Match Title, and succeeded in winning the match with a score of 14-1-13.

  2. Later that year, he placed 6th behind Lafferty, Chinook, Tinsley, Bruch, and Cooper in the 3-Move National Checkers Tournament in Garland, Texas.

  3. All-Irish Open Draughts (checkers) Championship winner in 1994.
  4. In 1995, King won the English Open Tournament yet again to retain his title; in May Suki King officially challenged the Canadian computer program, Chinook, to a match for the Man vs Machine World Championship Title, and the match could possibly take place some time in 1997.

  5. He also played in the 1995 GAYP National Checkers Tournament in Gilbertville, Kentucky, and placed second behind Champion Jim Morrison, just ahead of Elbert Lowder and Bajan compatriot, Jack Francis; then King defended his GAYP Championship Title in August by defeating challenger, Elbert Lowder, in a tournament match also held in Gilbertville, with a final score of eight wins, two losses, and nine draws.

  6. Apart from his time at the checkerboard, Ron has distinguished himself in other ways such as being the recipient of the Kiwanis Club National Award in 1995.

  7. In March 1996, challenger, Don Lafferty, traveled to Bridgetown, Barbados, along with referees, Charles Walker and Jim Morrison, to play against the Bajan GM in a 40-game match for the 3-Move World Championship Title, but the competition ended with a draw of five wins, five losses, and thirty draws, so Ron retained his checkers title.

  8. Later that year, he defended his World GAYP Title and defeated GM Jim Morrison in a 24-game match by a score of two wins, no losses, and twenty-one draws; this match was held at ICHF in Petal, Mississippi.

  9. At the 1996 U.S. and Southern Championships, the Chinook program finished in first place by embarrassingly large margins, leaving the human world champion, Ron King, far behind and defeating him three times; Chinook scored thirty points against Ron’s twenty-two points; however, King was still awarded first place (human) in the tournament ahead of Richard Hallett, Jim Morrison, and Jack Francis, who ended in a 3-way tie for 2nd/3rd place.

  10. In 1997, Ron joined his Bajan checkers comrades, Jack Francis and Malcolm Grimes, in the National GAYP tournament hosted in Greensboro, North Carolina, but he couldn't quite pull off a win this time; Ron ranked 3rd in the competition, though he tied with John Webster at 24 points but John beat Suki in Honor Points by six; Jack Francis tied with GM Elbert Lowder for 3rd /4th place with a score of 22 points and 176 Honor Points each.

  11. The Bajan GM also traveled to Great Britain in ’97 to participate in the English Open Draughts tournament for the fourth time, and he played the checkers just right at the checkerboard because he came away as English Champion once again with a successful victory of the Championship.

  12. During this year, Ron also defended his World Championship 3-Move title against a seasoned checkers player from Ireland, Pat McCarthy, but the Irishman could not unseat the King from his throne and walked away with only the memories of the checkers match as his reward.

  13. There was also a Man vs Machine exhibition match held in Providence, Rhode Island as part of the 14th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and this competition featured Ron ‘Suki’ King against Chinook; they played a brief two-game match wherein each game had a 30 minute time limit for each side, and although both sides played skilful checkers, both games ended in a draw.

  14. In 1998, the same year that Alex Moiseyev defeated Elbert Lowder for World Title, Ron King set a new Guinness World Record for simultaneous play at an exhibition match in Houston, Texas, where he played 385 opponents at the same time, and succeeded in winning every single game.

  15. U.S. 3-Move Champion, Richard Hallett, challenged the King to a match for the U.S. GAYP World Title during 1998, but again Ron played a strong checkers competition to retain his title.

  16. Another achievement in 1998 for the checkers Grandmaster was that he was also honored at the Caricom Heads of Government meeting at St. Lucia as one of the top twenty-five sports personalities from the Caribbean region as a result of his successful endeavors on the checkers stage.

Unfortunately, the checkers King did not fare as well in the 1999 U.S. National GAYP Championship match, held in Niagara Falls, New York as he had previously done in other more recent tournaments, for Ronald Suki King was beaten by Alex Moiseyev, who placed 1st as Champion, Richard Hallett, Jack Francis, and Malcolm Grimes, who ended in a 3-way tie for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places, and Elbert Lowder, who ranked fifth. Ron tied with John Webster and Michael Barker also in a 3-way checkers tie with twenty points to rank in sixth place in the competition.

Checkers in the West Indies The Bajan Invasion Checkers in 2003 2006 Checkers At Stonehaven, Scotland
Checkers Game in the West Indies The Bajan Checkers Team Northern Ireland Checkers Draughts 2006 Checkers At Stonehaven Ron King
Checkers Champion Ricardo Pierre Haiti Checkers Champion John (Jack) Francis Barbados Draughts and Checkers World Checkers Champion Alex Moiseyev Alan
Checkers Champion Shang Wong Louiceus Checkers Champion Ronald “Suki” King Checkers Game World Title Match Irish Checkers Champion In Action
Checkers Champion Dickson Maughn Checkers Game 3 Move Title Checkers Champion 3 Move Tournament Checkers Champion Kondlo

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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