Sunday, April 13, 1986 - Reading Eagle Newspaper - Section E    Article about Earl Hangen of Reading, PA who was the captain of many mail play checkers ladders for many years.  He was the former ACF Mail Player Director, who corresponded and coordinated many ladders and kept records of all the mail play games which he would publish in the annual Mail ID's (Inter-District Mail Games booklets) Earl was the source center for all 3 mail play ladders: Badgers, Tribble, and Woods. Hangen's ID Mail Play Off Booklets was the source for new lines of play for the tuff 3-move openings.  (Another article from Earl's Scrapbook posted on ACF Forum by Jay Hinnershitz)

Ray Koehler included a checker primer with this interview article on Earl Hangen...  See Earl, Page E-6 below.

Ray Koehler misquoted several times, and according to Jay Hinnershitz he remembers the anxiety Earl felt when he thought of how fellow checkerist would view some of the misquoted comments.  One in particular was that Tinsley was offering $5,000.00 to anyone who could beat him across the board.  Of course, the words never left Earl's lips.  This was from back in the early checker programmer days (late 80's and early 90's) when ACF suggested an offer to anyone who could develop a computer program that could beat Tinsley.  In 1989 at the Computer Olympiad in London (a tournament for intelligent computer programs) Gil Dodgen used a Mac II to run Checkers 1.0, Dave Butler's program ran on an old eight-bit Atari, and Jonathan Schaeffer of the University of Alberta at Edmonton ran the baby Chinook checker program on a Sun SPARC machine.  There were six entries in the checkers (draughts) division. Chinook took the gold medal, Checkers 1.0 the silver, and Dave's program the bronze. 

In the spring of 1990 the University of Alberta hosted a checkers AI conference, which brought together programmers and the ACF.  They planned to allow computer programs to compete in the Nationals later that year, a first time for such an event.  Chinook and Dodgen's second-generation program, Checkers Experimental, played in the 1990 U.S. National Checker Championships, that summer. There are too many stories to tell about the 1990 Nationals, but you can read about much of what went on in Jonathan Schaeffer's book, One Jump Ahead -- Challenging Human Supremacy in Checkers.  This is a wonderful book to read!

September 26, 1992 Reading Eagle Newspaper - Lifestyle -