May 11, 2006 the Jackson Sun -
tourney draws big name to Strawberry Festival"
Checkers tourney draws big name to Strawberry
best checker player is Humboldt-bound today for the West Tennessee
Alex Moiseyev has held the world championship title for the last three years and will compete for the first time in the festival's checker tournament, held Friday and Saturday. The competition will begin at 9 a.m. both days at Regions Bank, off Main Street.
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
Moiseyev, 47, is a Russian native who immigrated to the United States in 1991 and now resides in Columbus, Ohio. He's been playing checkers since he was 7.
"Checkers is a combination of art, sports and science, and I like all of them," Moiseyev said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
Moiseyev is a computer programmer and is married with three children, ages 7, 10 and 23.
The Humboldt tournament started in 1945. It's expected to draw 45 to 50 people this year, said the event's chairman, Hugh Burton.
Players come from 12 to 14 states. They'll have a chance to win $2,000 in cash prizes competing in the minors, majors and masters categories.
"It is truly an honor for the world champion to come to Humboldt and play in the Strawberry Festival Checker Tournament," Burton said. "This is the greatest thing that has ever happened for the tournament."
Burton is a 39-time state checker champion. The Jackson resident said he's appreciated festival organizers' cooperation and hospitality in the six or seven years he's chaired the event.
"It's so great for your mind," Burton said of checkers. "It's a rarity to find checker players that have Alzheimer's. If you cultivate that mind, it's just like getting weeds out of a garden for a garden to grow.
"Checkers or chess; it's a thinking man's game," Burton said.
Moiseyev has known Burton for many years and is looking forward to coming to Humboldt. He believes he's played with most of those who are slated to be there.
"This is a good experience to meet new people and possibly make a new friend," Moiseyev said.
He usually participates in an annual checker tournament at Lebanon.
"I like adding new places on my checker map," Moiseyev said.
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- Tonya Smith-King, 425-9680
Originally published May 11, 2006 - The Jackson Sun