Jack the giant slayer
They say: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”
Few understand this adage quite like Jack Francis.
For years Francis has had to play second fiddle to World Go-As-You-Please and national champion Ronald ”Suki” King.
Francis, a veteran of over 20 years, finally defeated King 1-0 when he captured the national championships last weekend.
It was his seventh national title to go along with the ones he won in 1991, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2009.
However, it was his first ever victory over King in competitive play.
“I have finally come to grips with Suki’s strengths and weaknesses,” Francis told MIDWEEKSPORT in an interview.
“Up until now I had never beaten him in competition. I had beaten him in friendly matches and at times before I had him in strangleholds, but he always escaped.
“It is an extra special feeling to finally defeat him and go on to win the competition,” he said.
Francis’ achievement hasn’t come without controversy however, with “Suki” having publically complained about the format under which the tournament was played.
Despite his obvious elation, Francis said he was disappointed “Suki” had tried to discredit his victory.
“Suki’s claims are rubbish,” he added. “Both he and I were at a meeting one week prior to the start of the competition where the new rules were revealed, and he didn’t have any contentions with them.
“If he had a problem, he had more than enough time to let his feelings [be] known.
“It has only become a problem now that I have defeated him and reclaimed the national title.”
In recalling the game which led to his solitary win, Francis explained that it was a White Dyke opening which was transposed to the Bristol Formation.
He insisted that the win had given him newfound confidence. “I consider myself the most feared Go-As-You-Please draughts player in the world,”?Francis said.
“Having defeated “Suki” has given me extreme confidence and right now my confidence is so high that I don’t believe that anyone can defeat me.”
Francis will now set his sights on the American Checker Federation’s (ACF) Go-As-You-Please tournament which is slated to be held from July 29 to August 3 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at which King is the defending champion.