The brilliant and controversial Ronald “Suki” King has lost the World Go-As-You-Please draughts title he held for 23 years. Trailing 1-2 with four games remaining against Italian challenger Sergio Scarpetta, King failed to appear for the final round of four games today. The referee invoked the international rule of starting the clock and in King’s absence awarded two games to Scarpetta leaving him winner and the new GAYP World champion by a margin of 4-1 in wins and 17 draws.
The title match, played in the southern Italian city of Foggia, appeared heading for an exciting finish with Scarpetta capturing the fourth game yesterday to seize a critical 2-1 lead.
With scores of fans glued to their computers to watch the final showdown King failed to show up and two games were eventually awarded
by the forfeiture rules of the world checkers (draughts) body.
King reigned as supreme lord of the Go-As-You-Please format from 1991 and turned back Scarpetta two years ago when their title-match ended 2-2. In 2003, he lost the Three Move restriction world title when he was defeated 8-2 by Russian Alex Moiseyev.