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Clayton Nash

The Future of Checkers/Draughts Game.
Youth Checkers Championship Tournament.

Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 1 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 2 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 3

Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 4 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 5 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 6

Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 7 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 8 Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship 9

2007, Hardenberg Municipality School Teams Checkers Championship Tournament.
The photos above reveal novice International Draughts players in action.

Undoubtedly, since before the new millennium the game of checkers and International draughts was of interest to serious young competitors, but since the beginning of the 21st century, a greater emphasis has been placed on the board games as a wonderful mental stimulus as well as a challenging past time activity in all age groups.

Moreover, the opponents who face each other across the checkerboard no longer only come from the Netherlands, France or Russia or indeed other European countries that have a long tradition within the mind sport. The interest in checkers and its counterpart, International draughts has stretched its fingers to the far reaches of the world. In some places the board game is still a novelty, but the checkers youth tournament challenge has begun.

Youth checkers championship in the Philippines

Youth checkers championship tournament in the Philippines.

European Youth Checkers Tournaments European Youth Waithing European Youth Checkers Tournaments Games

European Youth Checkers Tournaments

Challengers at an International Youth Tournament in Delft
Challengers at an International Checkers Youth Tournament in Delft.

The faces of concentration at the checkerboards.

Pim Meurs, Dutch Checker Player

Pim Meurs, Dutch Checker Player at a 2004 Youth Tournament Championship.

U.S. Youth Minor Checkers Clayton Nash U.S. Youth Minor Robert Maxwell

U.S. Youth Minors
Checkers players, Clayton Nash and Robert Maxwell compete in Barbados youth tournament championship.

In the summer of 2004, youth Clayton Nash, 20, and Robert Maxwell, 16, had both earned a place to play for the 2004 Youth World Championship in Bridgetown, Barbados. Checkers, Clayton Nash, won the youth qualifier tournament in Honea Path, South Carolina, while Maxwell finished second in the event. Both checkers players are confident heading into the tournament.

"I feel very confident that I can bring home the Youth World Title", said Nash. "I may not know what I am up against, but I do know that I have worked very hard to earn the rank of 'master level.' All I can do is bring my best and hope that is enough."

"The United States is by the far the strongest checkers country in the world. I am convinced that Clayton Nash and I will come home bringing back titles of first and second place", said Maxwell, who only competed in the Youth Tournament.

Clayton Nash also remained in Barbados to compete in the First International tournament between the United States and Barbados, as well as the Barbados Open checkers tournament.

"I'm mainly preparing and training to face off against the other Barbados masters. That is main focus"
, said Nash.

Another American checkers Master player, Michael Holmes, who also played on the U.S. team in the International tournament in Barbados as well as the Barbados Open commented that he had noticed the checkers talent in checkers player Clayton Nash.

"I've played [Nash] a few times in tournament play and I believe he is already a strong master". said Holmes.

Both young checkers players are fierce competitors across the checkerboard, but away from the board they hold each other in high regard and appreciate each other’s checkers skills, especially playing together on Team U.S.A. in the International youth tournament.

Clayton Nash has since moved into the senior division of checkers play and has tasted the challenge presented in the All Ireland International Draughts Championship at the Festival of Draughts in Ireland in 2006. Nash played against Master and Grandmaster players of a high caliber and will soon begin to dominate the checkers scene as others retire from the stage.

That same year, in September, U.S. National Women’s checkers player, Kim Willis, was appointed US youth director for the ACF. As a result of her 3rd place in the Women’s Qualifier in Barbados, she received great recognition in her hometown. Shortly thereafter Kim began a program to teach the game of checkers in elementary schools. The local WalMart donated checkerboards to her program. Kim’s aim through the ACF was to help children to sharpen their thinking process and to encourage a new interest in the game.

U.S. National Women’s checkers player, Kim Willis

In 2005, Kim was involved in creating the U.S. National Youth GAYP tournament comprised of 8 rounds per division with three divisions based on age and four games per round. The tournament was held in Dublin, Ohio, but unlike the large youth, junior or cadet championships in Europe, there were only a handful of entrants in two divisions.

U.S. National GAYP Youth Tournament

U.S. National GAYP Youth Tournament

Kim Willis, Clayton Nash, Tiffany Stanley, Erin Stanley and Trey Stanley.

Ryan Pronk became the senior youth champ and won the National Youth Championship Tournament title, whereas 10 year old, Trey Stanley from Greensboro, North Carolina won the junior championship title. All tournament participants received prize winnings, certificates and trophies for their involvement in the national checkers program.

Ryan Pronk
Ryan Pronk

Trey Stanley
Trey Stanley

The following year, Kim organized and directed the 2nd Annual National Arthur Niederhoffer Youth GAYP Tournament, held in Medina, Ohio. Clayton Nash assisted with the tournament details. There were two divisions in this competition: a) 16-21 and b) under 16. The winner of the senior division would be declared the US National Youth Champion and the top two places would qualify for the World Youth Championship. The tournament was held in the checkers 3-Move Restriction style with 8 rounds, using the game point system for scoring. Ryan and Trey were the winners of this tournament as well.

2006 National GAYP Youth Tournament

Alex Holmes vs Forest Reece Erin Stanley vs Trey Stanley
Alex Holmes
Forest Reece
Erin Stanley
Trey Stanley
Kim, Clayton (hidden), Teal Stanley and Under
Kim, Clayton (hidden), Teal Stanley and Under 16 players.
Kim, Erin, Trey, Alex, Alan Solomon and Forest Reece
Kim, Erin, Trey, Alex, Alan Solomon and Forest Reece

The 3rd Annual Arthur Niederhoffer National GAYP Youth Championship was held in Las Vegas in 2007. Clayton Nash and Kim Willis were the organizers and also the referees. Both players devoted a lot of their own time to promote the checkers game and to encourage participation from all age groups so that the game gets greater exposure at the younger level.

In this youth tournament, there were three divisions:
Senior 16-21 “A” Class 12-15
“B” Class under 12.

All youth had to record their own games, though they could have some assistance from a senior player, but not with the checkers game itself. Expert youth used clocks as well. Any youth under 16 who was a qualified checkers player at the Major or Master level could play up to the next level in the tournament. Shane McCosker of Northern Ireland won the senior level and a $3000 purse, while Ryan Pronk, in 2nd place, became the US National Youth GAYP Champion for 2007 and he won a prize of $1000. He said that he would likely not enter any future checkers tournaments until he was finished with his university education, as his studies took priority. Colton Cardie placed first in the junior division of 11 and under and became the US National GAYP Younger Champion.

“The youth of today who play Checkers/Draughts are the future of our game and the future of the ACF.”
Stated Alan Millhone, President ACF Jan. 31/05

Through Kim Willis’ efforts, the national checkers youth program, though it attracts a small attendance, is still going strong. The following article is a clear indication of the future of this great game.

Denver 9 year old rules when it comes to checkers!
Headline in the Denver Post
February 2,2008

Colton Cardie carefully eyes the field of play. He squints. He sits on his hands. He flexes, stretches. He then flicks a whippet of an arm and executes a perfect triple jump, thoroughly demoralizing his stunned opponent. In checkers, it's good to be the king.

At age 9, Colton is the reigning world youth champion of a game that's far more complex than most people ever imagine, including the growing number of those who keep losing to him.

The national and world checkers tournaments are relatively small affairs, whose limited attendance is balanced by the intensity of the organizers and players. Hopefuls gather for days at a time, with early round victories scoring points that send the leaders into the finals. A referee sits at the players' elbows.

Back home in suburban Denver, Colton pulverizes his Playstation peers, the teen wannabes, the 30 something pretenders and his septuagenarian superiors. Bring your board or challenge him online and in a matter of seconds Colton will have you seeing red in the blackest of moods.

At a family Christmas party in December, an acquaintance noticed Colton's checkerboard and asked to play. Colton was not aware this man possessed a Ph.D. in chemistry. The distinguished doctor of science was not aware that Colton possessed a world trophy and a wicked pyramid defense.

Two games, two defeats, the doctor took it well.

Colton hones his game with a higher class of competition, namely his grandfather and personal trainer, John Cardie. Cardie is a lifelong checkers teacher and competitor, offering strategy seminars at local libraries and on cruise ships and has self published a book called “How to Beat Granddad at Checkers.”

There is a library shelf's worth of checkers strategy books and a generation of players who argue the complexities of the game make chess look easier than, well, checkers.

Checkers fascinates true gamers, argues John Cardie, because, first, you must jump an opponent if you can, requiring strategy planned out 10 to 20 moves ahead and second, once you touch a checker, you have to move it.

“Would you rather do a crossword with a pen or pencil?” Cardie asks. “Chess is like doing a crossword with a pencil and eraser; you can bring something back if you make a bonehead move. In checkers, you make one wrong move and it's all over.”

Colton Cardie won the national youth championship last summer in Las Vegas and plans to defend his title this summer. Truth be told, only seven players attended the national championship tourney in Colton's age group, but one of them was the fabled grandson of the president of the American Checker Federation, the official sanctioning body.

Young Solomon Reece of Ohio plays a brutal game of “speed checkers.” Although tournament checkers gives each player five minutes to decide on a move, Reece attacks the board the second his opponent moves.

“It's really intimidating,” Cardie said.

A flustered Colton lost to Reece in the early round of the tournament, then employed Grandpa John's refined “sit on 'em” strategy: Sit on your hands. Look at every piece on the board. Don't move your hands until you've decided.

Beating Reece for the national youth championship gave Colton the right to return to Las Vegas in September for the world “challenger” title the challenge winner gets to demand a playoff with the reigning world champ. But no players in his age group showed up, the Czech champ bailing out at the last minute. And since the reigning world youth champ turned 19, Colton became world champ by default. “I hate to see checkers going the way it's going right now,” John Cardie lamented, “I'd like to get more people involved. It's my passion.”

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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