Champion Sam Levy
Champion Sam Levy, was one of the great checkers
game players from 1914 to 1938.
Another checkers/draughts player who excelled
in the game during the early 20th century but
did not live a long life to enjoy it to its
fullest was Sam Levy. He was born in Manchester,
England, in 1914. Sam Levy resided in the
surrounding area until his early demise.
Sam Levy learned some checkers game skills
fairly early but didn't actually become seriously
interested in the game until around 1933.
When he joined the checkers games circuit,
he was, of course, a relative unknown at
the checkerboard, but it did not take the
young Sam Levy long to acquire a real technique
and mastery of the checkers game. In fact,
his skill was so apparent that Levy actually
advanced to the finals of the English Championships
in 1934. This achievement was absolutely
amazing because not many would be able to
make such a phenomenal move in such a short time.
Sam Levy honed his checkers play as a member
of the Manchester Draughts (Checkers) Club
team, and through this association, Sam
met well renowned Internationalist, Harry
Moulding. They soon developed a good relationship
that extended beyond checkers games into
a solid friendship. At the same time, Moulding
became Sam Levy’s colleague and mentor.
Apart from his involvement in the checkers
games club, Levy also participated in the
mind sport in league play and as a member
of the checker teams of Manchester, Warrington
and Liverpool in 1934, 1935 and 1936, consecutively.
Moreover, Sam Levy displayed his skill very
successfully against his opponents, who were,
amongst the checkers experts, Leonard Claxton,
Harry French, Harry Moulding, Sam Cohen,
and George O’Connor. Sam Levy certainly
associated with some of Britain’s best
checkers game players of that period.
Another crown checker achievement for Sam
Levy was in winning the English Draughts
(Checker) Championship in 1936. Sam Cohen
came second in the scoring and George O’Connor
scored in third place. Furthermore, champion
checkerboard strategies and analytical prowess
helped him to also win the British Championship.
Then in 1937, he played a 40-game match
against Sam Cohen for the World 2-Move Championship
title. Levy always played aggressively to
win his checkers games, and was constantly
looking for new plays and improvements of
old checker plays. This trait certainly assisted
his play to win the Championship title by
In a quest for improvement in checkers board
play, champion Sam Levy became a student
of the new 3-Move Restriction style, which
was called The
American Restriction by the British.
Sam Levy quickly became equally engrossed
in this type of checkers game play and developed
some good skills as well.
After his match with Cohen, he challenged Asa
Long to a match at the new 3-Move Restriction
for the World’s Championship of this
new style of play. Levy believed that he
had a good chance at defeating Asa at the
checkerboard in this new method of play and
was not in the least intimidated by the great
American checker game player.
Champion Sam Levy was certainly prepared
to come to the U.S. to play against Asa Long
and arrangements were well under way when
Levy suddenly developed appendicitis. He
was treated and was seemingly recuperating
from his illness, when suddenly peritonitis
set in. He did not recover from this attack
but died unexpectedly in 1938.
Champion Samuel Levy had become a fine checkers
games player during his short career in the
sport, and it can only be hypothesized that
he may actually have been one of the greatest
draughts/checkers players to hail from England.
Unfortunately, champion Sam Levy never had
the opportunity to reach his full potential
as a world class checkers game champion but
had indeed still achieved a lot at the age
of 24, and still left a legacy behind for
others to experience.