After a year's hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the ACF National Tournament is slated to return in October, 2021, and it's all thanks to the efforts of Joe McDaniel and his family.
It's shaping up to be one of the great competitions of checker history with a prize fund of epic proportions, running into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The tournament will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 4-7, 2021. You can read full details in the tournament flyer by clicking here.
Mr. McDaniel granted The Checker Maven an interview, which we're pleased to publish today. Joe had the following opening comment.
"Since 1943 I have been fascinated by checkers. The fact that on the surface it appears to most everyone to be a simple game, for children and very old folks. This is one thing that intrigues me.
I am not a really good player. If I finish half way in the minors in a major tournament I am happy."
Well, Joe, we're not so sure about you being a "not really good" player, but here's the rest of the interview.
Q. After a year's hiatus due to Covid, the 2021 ACF National Tournament looks to be one of the most spectacular offerings in tournament history, with $32,000 in guaranteed prizes. How did this come about?
A. Most of the prize money for the 2021 national tourney is from my wife and me. ACF will provide $9,000 and individual donations will be about $1,500. My sons have given $16,000.
We are also giving $5,000 for the Kondlo/Bernini GAYP match which will happen right after the tourney. We will also give $4,500 for the World Qualifier here in Tulsa in November.
The total cost for the tourney and match will be about $47,000. This includes helping with the hotel rooms for several individuals. Also, the cost of entry fees and ACF membership will be around $3,000. Missouri Checker Association fees will be around $300.
The love of the game has motivated me to be the major sponsor.
Q. Tell us more about the decision to honor a great champion, Alex Moiseyev.
A. We believe Alex M. deserves to be the honoree based on his accomplishments. He is arguably the best player in the country.
Q. What do you expect to see in the way of participation? Do you anticipate much in the way of youthful contestants?
A. We had 56 players in the last national 3-move in Branson in 2015. Hopefully we can have the same number in Tulsa. We are personally contacting several young players.
Q. Do you expect any difficulties with Covid restrictions?
A. If Covid is still a threat we may have to postpone the tourney into 2022.
Q. How can the checker community help out with this tournament?
A. We are asking for contributions in the letter we have sent to over 100 players. If you wish to help with the prize fund, send your contribution to: 1416 S. Marion Ave., Tulsa, OK 74112. Make checks payable to Joe McDaniel. Contact email@example.com you have any questions.
Thanks, Joe, for this fascinating information, and for everything you do for the great game of checkers. We all look forward to this year's tournament.
We asked Joe for his favorite checker problem, and he mentioned one by grandmaster problemist Brian Hinkle that we've previously published. Rather than repeat that problem, Brian generously provided us with another of his sparkling compositions.
Give this one a try and you'll understand why Joe picked one of Brian's problems as a favorite. When you're ready click on Read More to see the solution.
Problem, solution, and notes are by Brian Hinkle.
18-14---A 20x27 10-6 1x10 14x7 3x10 17-14 10x26 28-32 30-25 32x21 31-27---B 21-17 27-24 17-14 24-20 14-10*---C 20-16 10-7 16-12 7-3 12-16 11-7 16-12 7-2 4-8 2-6 8-11 6-10 11-16 10-15 16-20 15-19. White Wins.
A---The natural 24-19? allows Black to draw with fine play: 31-27* 18-14 27-24 19-15---D 24-27 14-9 27-23 17-14 30-25 22-18 25-22 11-7 23-19 9-6 20-24 7-2 24-27 2-7 27-31 6-2 31-27 2-6 27-23. Black will draw this tricky bridge a man down because of the pressure from the 3 Black kings.
B---Black's best defense is to go straight to square 20 because it gives White a chance to go wrong with the tempting 14-18? as shown in note C.
C---14-18? 20-16* 11-7 4-8* 7-3 8-12* 3-8 16-19*. Drawn.
D---19-16 30-25 28x19 25x9 17-22 9-6 19-15 20-24 to a draw.