2008 "Elbert Lowder Memorial" 11-Man WTM

(Moiseyev vs Laverty)

Albemarle, NC is the birthplace of Elbert Lowder, a fitting tribute to Mr. Lowder

July 3rd thru July 5th 2008
Sleep Inn & Suites – 621 SR 24/27 East Bypass, Albemarle, NC 28001

Congratulations GM Alex Moiseyev!    

Alex clip.jpg (121580 bytes)

Final Score: 5W- 0L- 7D

Grand Master Alex Moiseyev of Dublin, Ohio left Albemarle over the Fourth of July weekend with two world titles.  His new 11-Man World Title, and his 3-Move World Title since 2002 which he continues to defend.

Moiseyev defeated Tim Laverty of Sanford in the 2008 Elbert Lowder Memorial 11-Man Checkers World Title Match held at Sleep Inn July 3-5.  Moiseyev and Laverty split prize money of $510, with Moiseyev receiving 60 percent. They also received complimentary hotel rooms and meals from various local eateries, all part of the tournament sponsors' venue package. 

Laverty was confident and prepared, but with this being his first attempt at a world title, his inexperience and nervousness may have played in Moiseyev’s favor.  While one round lasted four hours – two hours each side – other games lasted only an hour or less.  Moiseyev jumped to a commanding early lead, winning the first five rounds (5 Wins - 5 Draws).  Laverty is considered a worthy 11-Man opponent, he played respectably but was only able to draw round 6, games 11 and 12, making it impossible to even draw the remaining match.  He conceded the last day of play.  Moiseyev had five wins and seven draws to capture the title.

Apparently Alex brought his ‘A’ game to town, driving eight hours and 470 miles from Dublin, Ohio to Albemarle, but arriving early Thursday morning around 1:30 AM.  He made it for the 9:00 AM opening ceremony where Albemarle Mayor Elbert "Whit" Whitley welcomed the contestants, guest, tournament official, and our tournament to the city and wished us well.  Immediately following the close of this meeting Alex insisted on we take him out for breakfast at Mac's Breakfast Anytime, before starting the match.  Alex picked this place over Ryan's Family Steak House - breakfast buffet just two doors to Sleep Inn, so he must have remember it from the Albemarle 11-Man National.  He had a "Breakfast for Champions"  - four eggs sunny side up, country ham, home fries (potatoes), grits, slice tomatoes, toast, orange juice, & coffee.  After breakfast Alex smiles and said, "He was ready to play, he told me that his match with Elbert which he arrived late and started the match immediately, like 30 minutes after driving into Richmond, which he didn't play well at first, and fell behind in the match, only coming back to draw.  This world title escaped Moiseyev in 2002 when he challenged Elbert Lowder in an 11-Man World Championship Match.  Lowder won with six wins, six losses, and eight draws in the 20-game match, although a draw match, it wasn't enough to dethrone Elbert.  In retrospect you could say, "He definitely didn't repeat that mistake and he definitely came to play checkers in this title match.”

Lowder, an Albemarle native, was a five-time U.S. National Champion of which included 3 US Championship wins and a 34-time North Carolina champion.  Lowder died in December 2006, still 11-Man Checkers Champion.

Elbert Lowder's older sister, Mrs. Helen Louise Cranford of New London, NC was present at the tournament opening ceremony.  She is three years older that her 82 year old sister Mrs. Sarah Ramelle McDonald of Jackson, MI and they are the only two surviving children, from the large Lowder family of which Elbert was the youngest child.

We had a small number of checker players and enthusiasts to trickle in and out, through out the match.  They would watch, leave, and return, but none stayed the entire match or seen all the games.

Months prior to the event I solicited the city of Albemarle, Stanly Co. Chamber of Commerce, and Convention & Visitors Bureau for help and funds to hold it here.  Mayor Whit Whitley offered to open his office and conference chambers which are located in their new government center.  This would make an ideal setting for a WTM, only to find out that is was a smoke free facility.  Both Alex and Tim are smokers and we even had to forego the hotel conference room because of this restriction.  We had adjoining rooms and move some furniture out to make room for playing table and chairs.  I kept the refrigerator load full of bottle water, drinks, and plenty of snacks. 

Yes, we had to occasionally open the windows since both usually had their favorite brands burning continuously.  I recall Alex wanted the air conditioner turned up and I thought Tim liked a cold room, which he does, therefore we had it cranking full blast.  Tim was dressed casually in t-shirt, shorts, and his dangling sandals as he played.  I recall they agreed on a break and Tim returns with this large double bed comforter off his bed. This made the funniest sight, Tim wrapped up in a puffy quilt and all you could see was his face as he studied the board.  I cut down the a/c, opened both the door and window to get the smoke out and un-chilled the room.    

I would like to tell you about their games, strategy, and their attack and defense tactics, but I know so little about this level of checkers.  We will have to wait for these two Grandmasters 11-Man Checker Champions to analyze and annotate their own games, which both have agreed to do.  

I enjoyed this wonderful match and got to know both champions as good friends.  We had daily meals together and I enjoyed several private dinners with each before and after the match.  My wife and sons visited and we enjoyed a late dinner with Alex. He decided to get a good nights rest and drive back to Ohio the next morning.  Tim left for Sanford earlier that Saturday afternoon, saying he enjoyed the match and thanked me for sponsoring the 11-Man WTM.

We had newspaper coverage from The Stanly News and Press.

We plan to publish a tournament booklet on all annotated games, pictures, and history of 11-man checkers.

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2008 Tournament Dates