Draughts head declares changes ahead following eye-opening world championships

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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Draughts Association (ABDA), Trevor Cranston, said the country’s maiden participation at a world event has prompted the body to introduce a number of components to the game not currently being enforced here.

According to Cranston, the country’s two representatives at the recently held Open Challenge World Cup in Draughts contested in Curacao, Bernard “Premier” Willock and Anthony Gomes, found themselves at a disadvantage simply became some rules are not being enforced at the local level, something he is adamant will change.

“Immediately, we will be doing some training programmes and in our local tournaments we will be using the recording system. We do use the clock in our local tournaments but we are going to make sure it is a comprehensive training in terms of the clock. In the masters division we do use the clock but we are going to introduce it also in the seniors division and so going forward, we are going to be very comprehensive in terms of the recordings and using the time clock,” he said.     

Recording is a process in draughts where a player is allowed a limited amount of time to record, via writing on paper, his or her previous moves.

Willock still managed a top 25 finish from amongst 64 participants, while Gomes ended the tournament in the 44th position. Willock won four, drew three and was beaten twice in his nine matches.

Cranston said the experience has provided the participants with valuable knowledge as to how the game is contested at the highest level.

“I think it’s a great learning experience for our players where Mr Bernard Premier Willock, he came 24th so Antigua was actually in the top 25, and Mr Anthony Gomes, he came 44th in the tournament. We had 16 countries participating and basically, there were 64 participants in this tournament. I would like to say congratulations to the Russian player, Mr Alexander Georgiev and you had players form Poland, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Suriname and these are top world class players,” he said.

Julian Roberts also travelled to Curacao as team manager. The tournament will conclude on November 17th. The team was expected to return to Antigua on Monday evening.

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