Checkers Tournament Balt Cup
Alex Baljakin 2007
The Balt Cup Grandmasters checkers tournament
was a first for Vilnius, Lithuania and International
referee, Rima Danileviciene, officiated the
competition. The roster of checkers masters
was not extensive but still included noteworthy
players such as Guntis Valneris, Alexander
Getmansky, Ron Heusdens and Raimonds Vipulis.
Alex Baljakin played a strong Balt Cup tournament
match and succeeded in defeating his opponents
across the checkered game board to win the
Balt Cup tournament with fourteen points.
During some down time at the checkers competition,
Alex Baljakin showed his fellow checkerists
that his passport was valid until the year
2061, instead of perhaps 2016. Lucky fellow,
he won’t have to ever renew unless
the Dutch government catches up with their
The following month in late February, Baljakin
participated in the 21st Cannes International
Draughts/Checkers Festival and 2nd Individual
European Championship Blitz in Rapid Draughts/Checkers.
Alex Baljakin showed his
fellow checkerists that his
Baljakin participated in the 21st Cannes International Draughts/Checkers Festival.
2nd Individual European Championship Blitz in Rapid Draughts/Checkers.
Again experienced and familiar checkerists
who followed the tournaments and competitions
in the checkers circuit represented the roster
of checkers Masters.
After 11 rounds in the European Rapid games
Blitz, Alex Baljakin placed 5th and made it into
the eighth finals, where he defeated Ron Heusdens
and then Alex moved into the Quarter Finals
in the checkers tournament. Here he won his
checker games over Misans to advance into the
Alex Baljakin vs Patrick Martin Cannes
International Checkers Championship Blitz.
Contemplating the checker move in the European Blitz.
Alex Baljakin in European Championship
In these elimination rounds, the players facing
each other across the checkerboard were Baljakin
~ Valneris and Tsjizjov ~ Georgiev. Alex Baljakin and
Guntis played three checker games to a draw,
and Valneris won the match on Honor Points.
Alexei Tsjizjov defeated Alexander Georgiev
in a two game checkers match. In the final
game of the Blitz, Tsjizjov beat Valneris with
a score of one win and one draw. Alexei placed
first, Guntis took second place, Alex Baljakin
finished 3rd and Alexander Georgiev ranked
4th in the European Rapid checker games Blitz
Unfortunately, Alex Baljakin was not as successful
in the Cannes 20th International checkers competition,
where he placed 7th; however, once again the
final scores were mere points separating the
DVSB Nederlands Kampioenschap Dammen Soest 2007
During this provincial checkers championship between
the different clubs, Baljakin represented the VBI Huissen
Club and placed fourth overall.
Following this regional checkers championship
in late March, Baljakin joined fellow checkerists
in the 8th Barnsteen
Open Checkers Tournament held in May.
The Dutch-Belarussian Grandmaster readily displayed
his checkers game prowess by defeating his
opponents with a total score of 65 points and
a Werenstandspunten of
119 and thus winning the competition. Hans
Jansen placed 2nd with 65/98, while Ron Heusdens
finished 3rd with 58/90. Mark Podolsky ranked
4th with 62/83. Apart from many challenging
games across the checkerboard, the tournament
masters also enjoyed the camaraderie and fellowship
as well as plenty of good food to nourish the
Alex Baljakin displaying checkers moves.
Presentation of 4th place prize.
Alex Baljakin displaying checkers moves 2.
Alex Baljakin and Barnsteen Checkers Opponents
The Barnsteen checkers game tournament certainly
had a positive end for Alex Baljakin and for a change,
he was smiling at the award ceremony. In past
competitions, Baljakin was always very composed,
and yet very serious, but this checkers competition
depicted the other side of the Grandmaster.
The tournament roster featured numerous high
caliber checkerists, so the 1st place finish
was indeed a great achievement for the Dutch~Belarussian
Harry de Waard
Rienk van Marke
Ron Heusdens Award
Alex Baljakin at the Barnsteen checkers tournament 1.
Alex Baljakin at the Barnsteen checkers tournament
Alex Baljakin at the Barnsteen checkers tournament 3.
Alex Baljakin at the Barnsteen checkers tournament 4.
Alex Baljakin at the Barnsteen checkers tournament 5.
DNC Den Haag Open International Checkers Tournament
The checkers tournament circuit next took
Alex Baljakin and fellow opponents to Den Haag
for another competitive match against 20 ‘A’ class
masters at the checkerboard. Strategies, tactics,
innovative endgames and occasionally perhaps,
an oversight of a better checker move led the
checker Grandmasters toward the ultimate win
and first place checkers game champion reward.
In this competitive match, Alex finished 3rd
after 9 rounds of checker play. He was one
of the top three competitors to score 14 points
and his score of 1337 overall placed him with
the bronze award. Flaubert Ndonzi finished
second with 14 points and 1347 overall, while
Guntis Valneris claimed 1st place with 14 points
and 1388 overall. Once again the differential
between the checker scores was very small and
the final outcome could have gone either way
for these checker champions. Alexander Schwarzman,
Alex Getmanski, Ron Heusdens and Hans Jansen
all finished behind top ranks with 13 points
each and close overall scores.
Alex Getmanski and
Ron Heusdens and