Kondlo / KingMedina, OH, September 10, 2008 This week, the Midwestern city of Medina, Ohio hosts a decidedly international event: a 24-game match, played over the course of six days (Sept. 8-13), for the title of World Champion in GAYP (Go-As-You-Please) checkers.

Competing this year are Ron "Suki" King of Barbados, the champion since 1991, and challenger Lubabalo Kondlo of South Africa, who won the right to play by winning the 2007 US National Tournament as well as the 2007 GAYP Qualifier, sponsored by the World Checkers and Draughts Federation. Alan Millhone, president of the American Checker Federation, will referee the match.

Although Kondlo is a relative newcomer to the international tournament scene, due to political pressures and to the high cost of travel from his hometown of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, he has already proven his ability to perform well on the world stage. During the 2008 Ohio Checkers Tournament, held in Medina this past weekend, Kondlo tied for second place in a very strong field—among his seven competitors were two world champions and three other master or grandmaster players. King shared first place in the tournament with OH resident (and 3-Move World Champion) Alex Moiseyev, and is well-known both for his analytical skills and his ability to exert psychological pressure on his opponents.

As of Tuesday evening, the two grandmasters had played eight hard-fought draws. A tie match means that King retains his title, so players all over the world are watching closely to see if either player can find a weakness in the other's game, and score a win.


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