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Russian Grandmaster
Iser Kuperman

This Russian Grandmaster Iser Kuperman also displayed his prowess in a session of simultaneous games at the ‘Just Play’ street festival where the participation of the former checkers World Champion and Grandmaster. The checkers game was advertised well in advance of the championship to draw as many spectators to the event as possible. At the age of 82, grandmaster Iser Kuperman demonstrated his years at the checkerboard by placing 2nd in the memorial tournament and finishing only three points behind first place winner, Grandmaster Shang Wong Louiceus.

The following year, Russian Grandmaster Iser Kuperman was back in Montreal as a special tournament guest and checkers player in the 13th Pan-American International Championship, which was dedicated to the Grandmaster and former checkers World Champion as the guest of honor because he was the championship’s most illustrious champion ~ Iser had participated in 10 out of 13 competitions and won four of those championships. Kuperman joined the field of sixteen experienced checker players from Canada, the West Indies, and South America. After having played numerous opponents across the checkerboard for about 70 years, the Russian American checkers player was closing out his checkers career with a 4th place win in his last Pan-American Championship.
Romain Tchicaya vs Iser Kuperman
Romain Tchicaya
Iser Kuperman
Alex Mogilyanski, Iser Kuperman & Willem Blyheid
Alex Mogilyanski,
Iser Kuperman,
& Willem Blyheid

Even though Russian Grandmaster Iser Kuperman spent a lot of time involved with the American Pool Checkers Association and the Pan-American International Championship tournaments, he still found time to remain closely affiliated with friends across the Atlantic Ocean in the checkers arena and still participated in various World Championship matches.

The former Russian World Champion played in the European World Checkers championship in 1986 against Aleksander Dibman, a former opponent, but was defeated.

During the 1990’s, though an aging checkers Grandmaster, Iser Kuperman played in a Dutch league for the WSDV in Wageningen and it was through these years that his friendship with Geert van Dijk and Pierre Ghestem, both former World Championship opponents, deepened. Unfortunately, in later years, these relationships were limited to email contact.

Between 1992 and 1998, Iser Kuperman contested at least ten matches in the second division of the KNDB in the Netherlands, wherein he won seven with two draws. In the 1995-6 season, he played in four checkers matches and won them all.
Russian Grandmaster Iser Josifovitsj Koeperman (Kuperman) was indeed a legendary figure in the International World of Draughts/Checkers. During the course of his lifetime and a checkers career than spanned close to 70 years, Kuperman would have played in 3000 tournaments or so. He was a checkers enigma ~ an energetic man who loved the game of checkers whether he was facing an opponent across the 100 square checkerboard or the 64 square game board. Friends and acquaintances stated that Iser Kuperman was a charming, outgoing grandmaster player, full of vim and vigor, and a great sense of humor, which was also often quite endearing because of his wonderful broken German/Russian accent. He was a social person who usually displayed his amiable personality, and over the years it was apparent that he had become a respected and loved checkers Grandmaster and friend to many in the checkers arena. To this day, Koeperman/Kuperman has held a special place in the hearts of Dutch and Russian Grandmasters such as Ton Sijbrands as seen by the numerous exposes on his checkers career as Grandmaster and also in the various discussions of Iser’s games on the Internet and in books. A book called “Fate of A Champion” was published in the United States in both English and Russian; it discussed the life of the great Russian American Grandmaster, though now this book is listed as a rare edition.

He was once asked if he would ever give up playing checkers and his response was typical of his sense of humor ~ “if I die!”
Kuperman was also noted to be an excellent storyteller and he would entertain friends and checker associates alike with his version of the wildest stories, as they emerged in a mixture of seven different languages.

In an interview with I. Van Wijngaarden for the Zabugorie newspaper in 2005, Russian Grandmaster Iser Kuperman told the reporter, “I am a very happy man for I have no enemies. I have outlived them all.”

Grandmaster Kuperman

Throughout his phenomenal checkers career, Grandmaster Kuperman became known for his unique style of play, which was usually set in the offensive mode at the checkerboard. He had no ‘blueprint’ for his game play, but would rather use pure a road of pure improvisation, which oddly enough always seemed to lead him along the right path. There was clarity and consistency in his checkers games and opponents would often praise him for his streamlined and clear positional method of play. Kuperman was more of a strategist than a tactician and as a result of his thousands of games at the checkerboard developed many sharp combinations and techniques.

During his checkers career, Iser Kuperman strategized, analyzed and wrote his observations and theories on countless matches in more than 42 books that were published in many different languages including Braille: English, French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. Over the years, more than a million copies have been sold.

Grandmaster Kuperman

In an interview, Kuperman once lamented that since he had published many of his combinations, he had greater difficulty defeating his checkers opponents because they had now had a chance to study his games and their inherent strategies.
1990 Iser in theatrical production “Volendam”
Iser in theatrical production “Volendam”
1995 Kuperman and Grandmaster Players World Championship
Kuperman and Grandmaster Players World Championship
Iser Kuperman vs Aleksander Dibman World Championship Harderwijk
Iser Kuperman vs Aleksander Dibman
World Championship
Vitalia Doumesh vs Iser Kuperman Salou Open, Spain
Vitalia Doumesh vs Iser Kuperman
Salou Open,
Iser Kuperman vs Hans Kreder
Iser Kuperman
Hans Kreder
Iser Kuperman vs Ndiaga Samb ORAP ~ Den Haag (The Hague)
Iser Kuperman
Ndiaga Samb
ORAP Den Haag (The Hague)
Iser Kuperman Championship 2002
Iser Kuperman, special presentation by Gerard de Groot
ORAP ~ Den Haag Checkers Championship 2002


Iser Kuperman & Alexei Tsjizjov
Iser Kuperman
Alexei Tsjizjov
Iser and Ton Sijbrands ORAP ~ Den Haag
Iser and Ton Sijbrands
ORAP ~ Den Haag
At the closing ceremony of the ORAP Checkers Championship, Iser surprised everyone present by giving a charming speech, truly depicting his heart for the checkers game.

Geert van Dijk & Iser Kuperman enjoying a friendly meal

Geert van Dijk & Iser Kuperman enjoying a friendly meal,
and later, friendly emails. On March 3, 2006, the Checkers and International Draughts arena lost one of the best checkerists in the world. Iser Kuperman passed away while undergoing major hip replacement surgery. However, this great checkers player who was the first to be called ‘Grandmaster’ left behind an amazing legacy from his remarkable performance marked by extraordinary adaptability to his natural insight and improvisation on the checkerboard. He played the game with foresight and intuition, but this was backed by his checkers skill and techniques as well as his own progressive and sometimes unusual strategies, a style that once created a culture shock for the traditionalists in the International checkers arena.
Iser Kuperman touched many lives during the 70 or so years his play graced the checkerboard and his warm, humorous personality and great checkers game will never be forgotten.

Checkers Champion Iser at Dinner

Thumbs up to you, too, Iser!

Champion Iser Koeperman World Champion Iser Koeperman
Pool Checkers Player Iser Koeperman Russian Grandmaster Iser Kuperman


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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