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.