Ron King – Another Checkers Great with His Own Style
Ron "Suki" King is a checkers player who was born in St. George's, Barbados in 1956. He developed an early interest in the game after learning to play it in numerous back street clubs and rum shops in his neighborhood.
King’s first visit to the United States was in 1986, when he competed in his first major tournament. Many of the more experienced American checker players were absolutely amazed at his flamboyant playing style, and King nearly managed to win the National Championship with his first few games. He has since won the U.S. Championship in both the GAYP and Three-Move variations of the game, and has also won the World Championship Title.
Ron King's 2003 victory in the Three-Move World Title Match was particularly noteworthy in that it represented the first time that any player had managed to play that many matches in the history of the game of checkers. The match was played against Alex Moiseyev and was King’s eleventh such match.
Throughout his long and distinguished checkers playing career, King has traveled extensively around the world with the goal of promoting draughts. He has played many matches in the United States, his native Barbados, Ireland, and England, and has even embarked on several promotional tours in the Caribbean, South Africa, and Ireland.
Ron King is perhaps best known for setting a new Guinness World Record in 1998, for simultaneously playing–and beating!–385 opponents at the same time, in Houston, Texas. Perhaps more infamously, King is also known throughout the checkers playing world as the Muhammad Ali of the game, owing to his penchant for taunting his opponents.
Ron King is the recipient of numerous honors and awards in his native Barbados, some of the more notable of which are the awards that he received for Sportsman of the Year in 1991 and 1992. It was also in 1992 that he was granted the Barbados Service Star, which the highest national honor is given to the county’s citizen for outstanding service and achievement. Among the other awards that King has also received are the Kiwanis Club National Award in 1995, and an award for one of the top 25 sports personalities from the region, as awarded by the Caricom Heads of Government meeting at St. Lucia in 1998.
Among Ron King’s numerous checkers achievements are:
- The winner of the English Open Championship in 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1997
- The winner of the Irish Open Championship in 1994, 2001, and 2003
- The winner of the British Open Championship in 2002