?THE SUN was setting on the southern Italian city of Foggia, and along with it the amazing 23-year World-Go-As-You-Please (GAYP) draughts title reign of brilliant Barbadian Ronald “Suki’ King.
It ended controversially, as King failed to appear for the final four games in his matchup against Italian Sergio Scarpetta.
As King’s clock was set and fans at the Nicotel Gargano Hotel gathered, as well as many online, to witness the final four decisive games, the clock just kept ticking. A no-show by King, who was trailing 1-2, resulted in the Italian being awarded the title 4-1 with two games not played and 17 drawn.
There was no immediate explanation for his absence but subsequent reports indicate that King was trying to resolve a number of contractual issues.
Scarpetta, whose 2-2 draw with King in 2012 maintained King’s domination of the championship, led 2-1 after winning a White Dyke line initiated by King.
The top Barbadian and world player had drawn level 1-1 the previous day and encouraged his fans that he might extend his two-decades-old lease with a similar feat in the tourist destination.
While Scarpetta appeared well supported by a team, King seemed at the other end of the draughts board, not in his best form, and lacking in both playing preparation and technology support.