May 8, 2004 The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald - "Checker champion finds Dubuque "quiet, friendly"

Don Deweber 2008.jpg (112075 bytes)
"Mr. Checkers" 5/24/08

Checker champion finds Dubuque 'quiet, friendly’
by Mary Nevans-Pederson

Moiseyev visits friend.

Alex Moiseyev joked about his stay in Dubuque Friday being overshadowed by a presidential visit. After all, Moiseyev is a world champion ... of checkers.

Moiseyev, 45, of Dublin, Ohio, spent less than a day in Dubuque but loved what he saw.

"It's not too small, but it's quiet and friendly. I wish I could live here," said Moiseyev, who reclaimed the world title of "three move" checkers for the United States in 2002 and will try to defend it again in 2005.

Moiseyev came at the behest of Don Deweber, aka Mr. Checkers, who has amassed a vast collection of books and memorabilia on his favorite game at his Hillcrest Road apartment. Recently, Deweber donated his checker library primarily to Loras College and the Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library, with some volumes going to Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque and to Moiseyev. Friday, Moiseyev picked up his books.

The two men, who met in 1996, pored over the checker books, numbering in the thousands, now on shelves in the Loras rare books library. Deweber carefully pulled out rare or unusual copies, including his oldest book, a leather-bound book on checkers written in Granada, Spain, in 1650 by Ivan Garcia.

"So much energy comes from books," said Moiseyev, running his hand lightly and lovingly along a row of book spines. "It's not only information in these, but the thoughts, the souls and spirits of the authors."

He called Deweber's collection one of the best on checkers in the world.

Though he hated to part with the books he has found and protected for years, Deweber is happy that they will continue to be treasured.

"It's nice to know someone who appreciates them will get them and use them," he said. He still maintains an extensive checker museum in his apartment.

Moiseyev holds the world title for "three move restriction" checkers, wherein the first three opening moves are dictated by the random drawing of cards. Most Americans are more familiar with freestyle checkers. Ron King, of Barbados, holds that world title.

Copyright 2004 Telegraph Herald The above article taken from the  Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, May 8, 2004.

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