Burlington Checker Club's Beginning

I met Mike Ross from Burlington in an Internet Checker Game-Room in the Summer of 1999.  Around Spring 2000 he suggested that we should meet and play checkers, which by this time, through chatting during the games he realized there were several of us game-room players in the area. We agreed and he found the John Robert Kernodle Senior Activities Center on 1535 S. Mebane St. Burlington, NC was available.  He invited me, JR Smith from Greensboro and "Money Man" from Winston-Salem, and the three of us met and played.  From there as I recall, it grew by Harold Wade, then Bob Rose, and Allen "Cowboy" Simpson who all met regularly at 5:00pm until 8:00pm.  The center is operated by senior volunteers so they started closing at 4:00pm and reopening at 6:00pm and we would sometimes forget or get there early and  just play on the tailgate of a pickup until they opened again. AY Saul and Karl Kelly became regulars with Benny Vaughn, Albert Swinney and Lynn Oliver.  By 2004 the Stanley family was attending, (Bill, Teal, Trey, and Bill's friend Ricky Dunn) and Bill McClintock from Greensboro.  I would often swing by and pick up Walter Gardner for an early dinner at Apple House Cafeteria and afterwards we would head out for the checker game. The Kernodle Center often wanted to close early if nothing else was going on except checkers. The office administrator would ask us to wrap it up around 7:30pm, so still wanting to play we would use Bob Rose furniture store or Wade's garage. We also did this when the center was closed because of bad weather.  We started using Judy Ross' office which was located in the Burlington Executive Plaza on 236 N Mebane Street.  It was nice with a large conference room which was ideal for playing checkers, so we began using it in 2006 because of the unlimited closing time. We gained more Greensboro players and lost some Burlington and Elon players through death until it seemed more convenient to split the travel distance.  McDonalds in Whitsett  was selected as our new location in 2007.  We have been there ever since because I suppose its due to less travel for the majority of players and perhaps to promote public awareness to checkers, we play in a very public place, and of course the always open, flexible, and unlimited playing schedule.  We have added players, lost players to death, and often have out of town guest players.  We occasionally pick up a player who sees our checker action and friendly fellowship and wants to join the fun. 

Summer of 2012 McDonalds closed temporarily to tear down and rebuild their new store.  This renovations project took 4 months, so we met next door on July 26 at Bojangles on 6403 Burlington Road, Whitsett, NC until McDonalds reopened in late November and our first return meeting was November 29th, 2012.  We have been meeting there ever Thursday since the new store opened with the exception of some Thursdays where tournament or holiday dates conflict and interrupt the group because of only a few would be able to play.  We all remember Bill McClintock playing Thursday evening at Bojangles, laughing and enjoying winning his share of games October 4th but leaving a crushing void in our group buy leaving this world October 6th to be with his Lord and Savior.  These pictures were taken shortly after the new store opened by a corporate representative December 6th, 2012. 

Anyone is welcome who wants to sit down and play a game while enjoying a cup of coffee, or after a coke & burger, just watch a few games.

We play weekly, every Thursday from 4:00pm until 10:00pm. Some players get there earlier and stay later.  We offer practice and competitive checker games in a supportive environment to improve knowledge, skill, as well as fun and friendship. Call the list of phone numbers below for information about who plans to be there.  We would love to have more players, especially youngsters and women. We have included our club in the Greensboro New-Record SCENE GoTriad Calendar under recreation events, http://www.gotriadscene.com/event/detail/441556487/Burlington_Checker_Club.

Of the 150 NCCA (North Carolina Checker Association) members, 33 are active Burlington Club players who attend the meeting when its convenient. We are also affiliated with the ACF (American Checker Federation) which is the governing body of USA checkers.  We have a website www.nccheckers.org and here is a link to 2011 Club Photos.  

Mike Ross 336-584-8652 or cell 336-214-4219, Bill McClintock 336-674-5402, JR Smith 336-288-6620 or cell 336-209-5656, Teal Stanley 336-273-7314 or cell 336-215-7066,  McDonald's: 336-449-0790

Checkers is a simple game to learn and play, because the rules and pieces are few and uncomplicated, and the moves are diagonal with only a king jumping. When you play checkers on a professional level it is the same game but gets much deeper when visualizing as many moves ahead as you possibly can. Visualization is a learned skill, moving the pieces in your mind. This takes time and practice which many individuals don't have the time or desire to develop, but those who do benefits from the hidden beauty of checkers and enjoy a satisfaction only known by those who have developed this skill.  Another attribute a good checker player needs is memory.  He must memorize thousands of patterns or positions, which come from playing, practicing, and studying. The game has a deceptively deep complexity and beauty that is rarely discovered in casual play.  I suppose this is the reason few new players come to love the wonderful game of checkers.  It takes time and the desire to be competitive when you play at this higher level.  You will definitely get beat if you are not prepared, equipped with memory, knowledge, and visualization because your opponent has dedicated many hours developing his checker game.

2012 Tournament Dates  |  Local Clubs