2013 WTM 11-Man Ballot (Laverty vs Moiseyev)  
November 8th through 11th, 2013 at the Econo Lodge Hotel, 2133 Hanford Rd, Burlington, NC 27215  (336) 227-1270 
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The 2013 11-Man Ballot World Title Match between International Master Tim Laverty and Grand Master Alex Moiseyev finished a day earlier than scheduled with GM Moiseyev retaining his coveted 11-Man World Title Championship. They drew their twelfth game at precisely 3:57PM, Sunday afternoon concluding the match which IM Laverty desperately needed a win to stay in the contest. The WTM was originally scheduled as a 16 game event with 4 games played each day over 4 days of the Veteran's day weekend, with an optional extra day of 4 games as a tie-breaker on Tuesday in case the event was a tie match after their 16th game. This obviously didn't happen as Laverty lost his first two games on Friday.  He played from behind the rest of the match, later losing two more games, his seventh and eighth games on Saturday.  Laverty dropped another game, his fifth loss on his tenth game on Sunday.  This made it vitally necessary to win the next two game before the days end to continue the match into Monday with the slightest possibility of an upset, or the match would be concluded as it was with Moiseyev scoring 5 wins - 0 loses - 7 draws.  Laverty gracefully conceded the victory to GM Moiseyev and commended him for his excellent play.  This match will no doubt become known as the "heart attack match" since both contestants had recent recoveries from heart attack surgery, Laverty underwent a quadruple bypass on the 19th of August at Duke University Hospital, and Moiseyev had his operation September 30th at Ohio Riverside Hospital.

GM Alex Mosieyev's current win was recognized by the World Checkers Draughts Federation, and the American Checker Federation, the governing body of checkers in the USA. And of course the North Carolina Checker Association who sponsored this WTM.  We raised $1,300 for the total expense of the WTM which was dispersed as venue expense and prize fund.  Moiseyev received hotel, meals, and gas expense as an incentive to make the trip from Ohio, leaving a $700 prize fund contractually stipulating that it be split (60% / $40%)  to the winner or (50% / 50%) as a tied match. Traditionally the challenger pays for the venue, travel, room, & board expense for the Champion.

This was IM Tim Laverty's third attempt to dethrone GM Moiseyev, playing for the title in 2008, 2011, and this match which ended with the same final score as 5W-0L-7D all three times. This is an unusual consistency between these two 11-Man Masters. Another unusual characteristic of both players was the fact that both being past heavy smokers. They have stopped smoking and the match was void of this hazard which was pleasantly surprising, however; both commented they still though about it, had flash backs, and dreams about smoking.

GM Moiseyev won the title back in 2008 by defeating IM Laverty as the ACF National Champion in the 2008 Elbert Lowder Memorial  (Moiseyev vs Laverty) 11-Man World Title Championship Match in Albemarle, NC the birthplace of Elbert Lowder.  Moiseyev's first attempt at this title was in 2002 when he played GM Lowder at the 11-Man Ballot World Championship Match (Moiseyev vs Lowder) October 11-14th at the Parks and Recreation Center, Richmond, Kentucky.  This was an exciting and even contest resulting: 6W-6L-8D which was not enough to dethrone Lowder.  GM Elbert Lowder from Sanford, NC dominated the 11-Man Ballot for 19 straight years until his death 12/14/2006 leaving a title holder vacancy.  GM Moiseyev is the sixth recognized 11-Man Ballot World Champion since its first match back in 1885, and he has defended his title 4 times since July 5th, 2008.

A brief closing ceremony held at the Econo Lodge wrapped up this WTM.  Both players received a 2013 11-Man WTM memorabilia coffee cup, a congratulation to the winner and praise for their fine sportsmanship, along with their share of the prize fund. Alex Moiseyev commented that he was happy with his performance and his renewed confidence.  He enjoyed his stay in Burlington and requested we have dinner at K & W Cafeteria, his favorite of several restaurants we visited over the duration of the title match.  On the way, Tim invited Alex and myself to his home on Oakley Street, Graham, NC to visit and meet his friend and roommate Bruce Moser.  Alex left after dinner, heading for Dublin Ohio a little after 6:40 PM, at least an 8 hour driving trek.

I also want to mention Econo Lodge made a special effort to meet our venue request by setting up the playing room and displaying our counter sign.  Manager, Brian Durham provided the conference room daily with a fruit basket, plenty of snacks. They kept the refrigerator supplied with bottled water & drinks and free coffee in the lobby.  We appreciated the service and attention.  We are especially appreciative of those who contributed! We also appreciate Times-News for giving our tournament excellent news coverage with editor, Chris Lavender and photographer, Scott Muthersbaugh capturing the competitive action.

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