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Checkers Champion James Searight

(1869-1939)

Yet another Scottish checkers star by the name of James Searight shone in the late 19th century. He was born in Glasgow in July 1869 but didn't turn to the checkers game until he was about eighteen years of age. Searight studied the board game and learned to play checkers at the Hutcheson Conservatives Draughts Club during 1887-1888.
During his sojourn with the checkers club, Champion James Searight worked very hard at his cross-board play and used Anderson's book as a reference for checker theory. In 1889, he joined the Glasgow South Side Draughts Club wherein this new checkers player won their tournament that year and the following year.

In the 1890 season, James Searight served as opposition to several very strong checker players, with a very successful result for his strategy and game play as he beat A. B. Scott with two wins, one loss, and three draws, and W Campbell with three wins, two losses, and three draws. Searight's match with R Martins ended in a draw with one game each and three games in a draw as did his match with W. Bryden, wherein each player won one game but succumbed to three draws as well. Unfortunately, Searight lost his match against Robert Martins with no wins, two losses, and two draws, and he lost against W. Campbell with no win, one loss, and three draws.

However, despite his draws and losses on the checkerboard, Searight remained undaunted and continued to practice his game. In May 1891, checker master, James Ferrie, engaged young James Searight as a trainer for his thirty game match for the Championship of Scotland.

However, in the spring of 1892, James Searight also enjoyed his own ambitious exploit in a match of thirty games with D. G. McKelvie as his checker opponent. The purse for this match was £50 and the title was for the checker Championship of Glasgow. Checkers champion James Searight play was brilliant and resulted in a defeat for McKelvie. Champion James Searight won the championship with eleven wins, one loss, and nine draws.

Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the second of the Scottish Tourney in 1893. Champion Searight was beaten by the redoubtable master, A. B. Scott, with no wins, two losses, and three draws. After the tournament, James Searight played against W. Beattie in a small match but lost with one game to Beattie’s two wins, and four draws. But Searight had his revenge on A. B. Scott in the next Scottish Tourney, for James beat Scott’s checker play by winning with 3-0-2. In the second round of the checker game tournament, James met W. Bryden and the two opponents battled for the match win throughout eighteen games that stretched from Tuesday until Saturday. At the end of the match, checkers champion James Searight came out the victor with two wins, one loss, and fifteen draws, but as he now had to leave the tournament for his work, he and McKelvie divided the third and fourth prizes.

Champion James Searight was chosen for the international checker teams against England in 1899, 1903 and 1910, although he was unable to play in the last match. He also played as part of the Scottish "big five" contingent against the USA in 1905 and performed exceedingly well against his opponents scoring 9-1-26.

Even after his major successes in various tournaments and against the USA, champion James Searight continued to play checkers locally as a respected and gifted player.








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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