One of the other mind sports at the SAWMG is draughts.
The draughts main tournament is played on 10×10 boards with 20 white stones against 20 black stones. Another variation is played on 8×8 boards with several rule sets. Here in Beijing the 8×8 tournament is played with the Russian rule set.
The Sport Accord Mind Games is one of the big events on the calendar for the world draughts organization. They organized world cup tournaments as qualification tournaments for the SAWMG and the top of the draughts world played in these world cups. The tournaments were so strong that even former world champion Alexander Schwarzmann couldn’t qualify. He is here in Beijing and plays simultaneous games against Chinese kids who have the chance of a lifetime to play against a real world champion
One of the interesting technical aspects of the draughts tournament is the electronic boards. Every move is automatically recognized by the board and relayed to the Internet. So they do not need game recorders as we still need for go. The challenge is to get this working on all 20 boards and with kilometers of cables through the convention center, but so far the system is working well. The games on the Internet are attracting many thousand spectators even with the big time difference between Asia and Europe. They even have computer programs to analyze the games online and show who is in lead in the game and most likely to win the game. The score is automatically updated after every move and the analysis is so good that players are not allowed to see the computer monitor. This kind of analysis is still impossible for go, but might be an interesting idea for the future.
All continents are represented at the draughts tournament of the SAWMG with players from countries like Latvia, Mongolia, Russia , China, Netherlands, Brazil, Cameroon with Europe and Africa as favorites to win the tournament. The big favourite for draughts at the SWMG is current world champion Alexander Georgiev, other favourites are Jean Marc Ndjofang (Cameroon) and my personal Dutch favorites Roel Boomsma (18 year old and world champion juniors talent) and Pim Meurs.
For more details you can click on their dedicated website : www.swmg.fmjd.org
– Martin Finke