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Checkers Champion
Amangul Durdyev

Champion Amangul Durdyev Winner
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev Winner
Amangul Durdyev
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev Checkers
Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev Waits for Checkers

Another rising checkers champion in the 21st century is Amangul Durdyev, a native of Turkmenistan. The young WGM ~ Women’s Grandmaster in checkers was born in 1987 and has already achieved acclaim in the checkers circuit.

Champion Amangul Durdyev is the only female checker playing member from a family highly accomplished in the game of draughts/checkers and she has already represented her homeland of Turkmenistan with distinction at the checkerboard. The young checker player is flanked by five brothers: Mustafa, Bagtiyar, Parahat, Bashim and Maksat and by her father, Hoja, all of whom are adept at the International Draughts and English Checkers as well as different variants of the game.

Amangul developed her early checker game skills by first playing the International variant of checkers, in which she became the Women’s Checkers Champion of Turkmenistan at the age of 14. Champion Amangul Durdyev also ranked as top youth player and won first place in 2001 at the World Youth International Draughts/ Checkers Championships held in Belarus, Russia.

In 2002, Checkers Champion Amangul joined her brothers at Loughborough University in England for the 6th Mind Sport Olympiad, wherein she placed second in International Draughts (Checkers) and ranked 9th overall in the MSO. The opportunity to play at an International competitive level offered Amangul a chance to further develop and refine her checkerboard game techniques.

However, the young checkers champion from Turkmenistan truly gained a presence in the checkers arena in 2003. Once again the Durdyev family participated in the MSO, held in Manchester, England. In the International Draughts Olympiad Championship, Amangul won gold in both the junior and senior divisions, as well as achieving gold in the Overall Draughts competition. Then her prominence and technical skill as a master checkers player was clearly displayed across the checkerboard during the Irish Open Championships in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

Amangul Durdyev was one of thirty-seven entrants in the Intermediate division in the 64 square English style of checkers games, wherein she placed 2nd with 30 points. At this time, her natural talent and skill in a checkers game was easily recognized.

The following year, the young checker champion Amangul Durdyev from Turkmenistan returned to Ireland to participate in the All Irish Open International Draughts Festival, where Amangul successfully played her style of checkers against various strong opponents. Her final tournament score was impressive, ending with a total of 29 points in the Senior Division. This final result not only gave checkers champion Durdyev the best overall score of the tournament in any division, but it also gave her the win with first place.

After her excellent game display at the checkerboard, the Olympic Junior Champion, was gradually blossoming into a first rate checkers player and prevalent thought was that she would soon be considered as a serious challenger for the Women’s World 3-Move title competition.

In 2005, Amangul Durdyev was one of only five competitors entered in the World Qualifying Tournament held at Prague. She competed against Jan Mortimer, Kim Willis, Alena Sorokina and Marie Riedlbauchova. Numerous other international entrants had previously shown interest in the World Championship match, but in the end simply did not appear for the game play across the checkerboard. Amangul and Jan took the lead in the first rounds of checkers play and displayed both skill and technique in their plays. Amangul Durdyev finished just ahead of Jan Mortimer and easily defeated the other female contesters. The final result ended in Durdyev winning the Women’s World GAYP Championship title, with Jan Mortimer finishing in 2nd place and Kim Willis placing 3rd.

The following year, a GAYP Championship match was to have taken place between Amangul and Jan to determine who would take the vacant GAYP World Title, but in the end, Jan Mortimer withdrew from the competition due to family commitments and the WCDF General Assembly awarded the title to checkers champion Amangul Durdyev and she became the Women’s World GAYP Champion in 2006.

Then as had been previously predicted, champion Amangul challenged Carlow Accountant and World 3-Move Champion, Patricia Breen, for the Women’s 3-Move Championship title. This was Breen’s fourth defense of her title since she first won it from Joan Caws in 1993.

Their 20-game checkers marathon match took place over a four day period in Buncrana, Northern Ireland, at the All Irish Open International Draughts Festival in October 2007. During this series of four games per day, checkers lovers witnessed numerous outstanding plays between the two champions; however, Amangul outplayed Patricia across the checkerboard in this historical checkers match to win the championship title with a final score of eight wins, two losses, and six draws. Buncrana crowned a new checkers champion during the festival championships. Champion Amangul became the first undisputed Women’s Champion in both styles of checkers play ~ 3-Move and GAYP. What will happen in 2008 when Jan and Amangul Durdyev meet to play for the checkers game title again?

Amangul at the Irish Open Checker Championships 2007
Amangul at the Irish Open Checkers Championships
with Hugh Devlin
Amangul at the Irish Open Checker Championships 2007 Patricia Breen
Amangul at the Irish Open Checkers Championships
with Patricia Breen
Amangul at the Irish Open Checker Championships 2007 Ron Suki King
Amangul at the Irish Open
Checkers Championships
with Ron ‘Suki’ King

Kim Willis from Eldon, Missouri

Kim Willis from Eldon, Missouri, is one of the few women in the US who play in the national checkers circuit. She is in her late 40’s but in a similar situation to Jan Mortimer of New Zealand, didn't start playing across the checkerboard until a few years ago, when she met ‘King’ Suki from Barbados online. It didn't take long before Kim was ‘hooked’ on the game and is now an avid checkers player, though she mostly prefers to play the American or English style of 64-square checkers. For her, this game is not a ‘child’s game’ but takes serious devotion, concentration, and skill to become a Grandmaster player of any worth.

According to Willis, "I'm not rich. I'm not famous. I just want to be the No. 1 seed."
When she first played checkers competitively in 1998, the novice player lost every game in the Niagara Falls tournament; however, while some gamers would react negatively to those results, it merely helped to egg Kim on to further develop the checkers game that she had quickly discovered as a new love in her life.

Now, nine years later, Willis has traversed the country numerous times and traveled across both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea in order to participate in national and international checkers tournaments and is considered a reigning American champion and one of the best in the world. She is ranked fourth in the world by the WCDF in the American checkers/English draughts arena.

In the last decade or so, Kim has invested a lot of time and money on these many tournaments that have given her an amazing sense of self and a new type of gratification inherent in this great game at the checkerboard. However, Kim is actively seeking sponsors who will share in her burden of traveling expenses. In 2004 she had hopes of attending the 8th Mind Sport Olympiad in Manchester, England and trips such that are costly endeavors when a person must pay for everything alone.

At that time in 2004, Kim had already crossed the U.S. to compete in seven state tournament competitions as well as the Women’s World Qualifier in Bridgetown, Barbados, where she placed 3rd out of a field of eight players. In August of that year, Willis was one of a few females to compete in the American Checkers Federation 2004 National and World Checker tournaments. At 46, Kim still believes that she hasn't acquired a master status as yet. “There are not many women who play, but the ones who do are usually Grandmasters. I do not call myself a Grandmaster. I am just a checkers game player."

Checkers Champion Amangul Durdyev Checkers Game Kim Willis Champion Darja Tkatsjenko

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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