World Checkers Tournament
The World Checkers Tournament, WCT (or Checkers Tournament of the World, for short), takes place every 5 years and is regarded as the most prestigious checkers tournament in the world. Winning this competition is the goal of all professional and amateur checkers players as with it comes the recognition of being the 'top knob', which is checkers slang for 'boss'.
Nobody knows when the World Checkers Tournament began and its history is shrouded in mystery. The World Checkers Tournament was started by Barry Gibbon in 1950, in the village of Adel, near Leeds, UK. Its first incarnation involved only two competitors, the at the time 40 year old Gibbon himself and his five year old brother Timmy. Timmy's victory came as a shock to all those who witnessed that first final and it is reported that Barry went into hiding for the next 59 months and 29 days, only reappearing at the next WCT.
The tournament comprises four simple rounds, the first three of which follow a league system with the fourth and final round being a straight knock out round.
Known as the 'Intro' round, 1000 competitors compete in 124 leagues with 8 competitors in each league. The members of each league are randomly selected. The remaining 8 competitors who have not been designated a league are left to play tennis or baseball for the remainder of the tournament.
Each of the competitors plays every other competitor in their own league. A win gains the competitor 3 points. A loss also gains the competitor 3 points. When all the matches have been played the points are tallied and the top 4 players from each league progress to Round 2.
It is usually the case, due to the unique scoring system, that each league ends in a tie, with all the players having the same number of points. In this scenario the players compete in an egg and spoon race with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places progressing to Round 2.
All those who did not progress to Round 2 are entered straight into Round 3.
This round is simple. Each of the 496 competitors in this round are presented with a brick. They then must throw the brick at least 15 feet into the air and catch it on their face. Those who successfully manage to perform this task progress into the Final. Nobody progresses from round 3.
They just play Checkers until someone wins.
Traditionally the prize is 200 ice cream scoops awarded to the winner. The runner-up receives a book of 2nd class stamps.
1950 - Robert Johnson
1955 - Barry Gibbon
1960 - Barry Gibbon
1965 - Barry Gibbon
1970 - Timmy Gibbon
1975 - Sinclaire Bauble
1980 - Newton Tomb
1985 - Rebecca Dunkin-Burrow
1990 - Sinclaire Bauble
1995 - Joss Acklund
2000 - Jeremy Twiddle
2005 - Pauly Possum