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Nijmegen Open International Damtoernooi Checkers Tournament

Immediately following the Den Haag Open, in fact back to back with this competition, Alex traveled to Nijmegen checkers tournament to contend in the checkers match from July 22 until July 28. Once again the ranking leaders were very close in scores. Alex Baljakin was one of eight players to finish with 14 points and the final ranking was based on their WP standing. Baljakin, who had won this Nijmegen checkers tournament in 2000 and 2004, placed 6th with 14 points and 124 WP behind Mouradoullo Amrillaev. Guntis Valneris was the defending checkers champion in this competition and won the Nijmegen checkers match again with six wins and four draws for a total of 16 points and 128 WP. Sven Winkel placed 2nd and Flaubert Ndonzi finished 3rd.

Nijmegen Checkers Tournament

Cor van Dusseldorf vs Alex at nijmegen tournament
Cor van Dusseldorf vs Alex Baljakin at nijmegen checkers tournament.
Alex Baljakin vs Rik Keurentjes
Alex Baljakin vs Rik Keurentjes

4th Hiltex Zeeland Damtoernooi 2007

During the 13th-18th of August, Baljakin then took a checkers sojourn to GOES in the Netherlands to participate in the 4th Hiltex Zeeland checkers tournament. In this competition he challenged familiar opponents across the checkered game board and was presented with an opportunity to seek new avenues to winning the checkers venue.
Though Alex faired well in his nijmegen checkers tournament strategy and analysis of his opposition, he wasn't quite able to acquire the final total checkers points for 1st place. This position of honor was captured by Kees Thijssen, while Guntis Valneris finished 2nd.

27th Open Checkers Championship of Amersfoort
Damkampioenschap van Amersfoort

Pim Meurs vs Alex Baljakin
Pim Meurs vs Alex Baljakin
3rd Round
Alex receiving 3rd place award.
Alex receiving 3rd place award.
Schwarzman vs Baljakin
Schwarzman vs Baljakin
7th Round
Amersfoort Kopplepoort
Amersfoort Kopplepoort
Amersfoort Kopplepoort Land Gate
Amersfoort Kopplepoort
Land Gate

Damtoernooi Checkers

In the fall, Alex Baljakin traveled back to Amersfoort for yet another checkers competition. The opposition were familiar competitors and with time through the years it would make sense that he, as well as his comrades in the field of checkers, would have discerned different game styles, strategies, ‘tricks of the trade’ and individual idiosyncrasies so that winning at the checkerboard became a true challenge. Were the checkerists given an advantage in knowing their opponents so well or did this background and experience only make the matches that much harder to obtain a win? Likely it did increase the challenge in cross board play because all participants would need to continue improving checkers skills and devising new methods and tactics in order to defeat the opposing force. Relying on fail-safe positions and standard moves could often lead to an unsuspecting trap in the mid or endgame. Thus, the more often these checkers Grandmasters played in opposition, the more they would need to visualize the board and keep their strategic options open.

It would also be important to utilize down time and not just be walking around the room analyzing other checker games, but actually enjoying other activities to give the tired old brain a rest. As with many of the locales wherein the checker competitions were held, there were numerous opportunities to take a break with other endeavors. Of course, over a period of time, even these towns and cities became as familiar as the checker counterparts in the games.

Amersfoort is a city with a medieval history and offered the visitor whether Dutch or another nationality a unique atmosphere and quaint architecture. It was built like a fortress in ancient times with defensive walls, towers and ports to protect the citizens within. The Kamperbinnenpoort was built back in 1425 as part of the defensive belt around the city and the Koppelpoort was designed with a similar purpose and this land gate where the doors are now gone carries the Great Seal of the city. Within alcoves on or under the galleries in these medieval ports, artisans used to have shops.

Even for the checkers masters, this medieval city offered activities, cafes and other endeavors beyond the checkerboard. Something as simple as taking time out for a quiet evening meal or cup of coffee with checker colleagues would be a welcome break from gazing at checker pieces and two-tone squares for many hours at a time.

Amersfoort ~ City of Medieval History & the Checkerboard

Steeple of Our Lady
Steeple of Our Lady
Muurhuizen ~ muurtoren: Wall Houses & Towers
Muurhuizen ~ muurtoren:
Wall Houses & Towers.
Oude Stadsmuur ~ Old City Wall
Oude Stadsmuur ~ Old City Wall
Monnikendam viewed from different sides.
Monnikendam viewed from
different sides.

Baljakin visualized, analyzed and played his best tactical checker moves, but both he and Alexander Bulatov fell one point short of the leader, Bennie Provoost, who finished in first place with 12 points and 59 WP. Bulatov and Baljakin scored 11 points each, but Alex Bulatov beat out the contender by one WP to take 2nd place with 64WP. Alex Baljakin placed 3rd in the checkers competition at Amersfoort in this Dam Genootschap with 63WP. The final result was so close in this tournament between the leading checkers masters.

Winners 27th Amersfoort Open Checkers Championship

Alex Baljakin (3rd), Ben Provoost (1st), & Alex Bulatov (2nd)
Winners 27th Amersfoort Open Checkers Championship.
In 2008, Alex Baljakin began his checkers season by winning the silver cup in the Balt Cup tournament. Alexander Georgiev finished in first place. The road that Alex travels throughout the year leads to many different places in the Netherlands and across Europe and provides the checkers Grandmaster with many opportunities to face experienced gamers across the checkerboard. The Dutch~Belarussian has already acquired a variety of trophies, plaques, awards and prizes from his achievements in the checkers field.

Alex Baljakin wins Silver~Balt Cup
Alex Baljakin wins
Silver~Balt Cup
Alex Baljakin vs Raimonds Vipulis
Alex Baljakin vs Raimonds Vipulis
Rima Danileviciene
& Alex Georgiev looking on.
Alex Baljakin receives the Silver trophy for 2nd place.
Alex Baljakin receives
the Silver trophy for 2nd place
in the Balt Cup
Open checkers tournament.

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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