April 2, 2007 - Heartland News - "Checker tournament draws talent from the Heartland and beyond"

Marion, IL

Checker tournament draws talent from the Heartland and beyond
By: Carly O'Keefe

MARION, Ill. - It may be a game, but folks at the Illinois State Checker Tournament take checkers very seriously. A few dozen folks from across the country gathered in Marion, Illinois over the weekend to compete. "It's a tremendous mental challenge," said F. Alan Millhone, president of the American Checker Federation.

It's especially challenging for most competitors because there's some pretty tough competition. Russian-born Alex Moiseyev has written a book on checkers, and he's the current world champion. "He can play checkers blindfolded. He can sit down and not even look at the board and beat you," said Gene Ellison of the Illinois Checker Association.

Moiseyev says he wants to keep that title, and although he's the reigning champ-- he has to work to stay on top of his game. "You have to spend time studying books of game play and practice," Moiseyev said.

While Moiseyev and the others work hard to improve, it is just a hobby--and first and foremost, it's fun. "It's a game that you can learn to play in a couple of minutes, but you could spend 10 lifetimes trying to master the game," said Millhone.

Published on: Monday, April 2, 2007 6:50 AM EDT

2007 Illinois Results

April 2, 2007 - thesouthern - Southern Illinois -"Checker players compete in annual tournament"