Checkers Great Don Lafferty – Great Checkers Player Don Lafferty
Don Lafferty (full name: Don Morgan Lafferty) was a checkers Grandmaster with a 1996 ACF Rating of 2586. He was born on August 5th, 1933 in Barren County, Kentucky, and developed an early interest in the game while still a young boy from games played with both his uncle and grandfather.
Lafferty was later coached by Horace Steen, who was also instrumental in the early checkers training of Walter Hellman in Gary, Indiana in the early 30s. He would later receive a bachelor's degree in math and physics from Western Kentucky University, which was located at Bowling Green, Kentucky.
As a result of later graduate studies at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Lafferty also earned a master's degree in Math and Physics and a Rank One Teacher's Degree. His primary occupation was as a high school math and physics teacher in Kentucky, a job he would retire from in 1988.
Don Lafferty was a checkers player who made many friends in the world checkers scene, and among the great players that he counted among his closest friends and checkers mentors were checker greats such as Walter Hellman, Marion Tinsley, Edwin Hunt and Asa Long, all of whom he credited with his lifelong love and inspiration for the game, as well as for his numerous considerable accomplishments in the field of checkers.
Lafferty also gave credit to his good friend, Richard Fortman, for endless hours of valuable checkers play and help throughout the long years of his checkers playing career. Fortman was also responsible for researching and writing Lafferty’s biography and records of his career.
Among Don Lafferty’s numerous accomplishments was his 1982 victory against Derek Oldbury for the World GAYP (Go as you please) championship. Lafferty won this event by a narrow margin with a score of 1 win, 0 losses, and 23 drawn games. In 1984, Lafferty was called upon to defend his championship title by Paul Davis, a match that he won by a wide margin with 5 wins, 0, losses, and 15 drawn games. He would again defend his title in 1986 against James Morrison, although the game ended in a draw with a score of 0 wins, 0 losses, and 24 drawn games. Lafferty later went on to defeat Elbert Lowder in 1989, with a score of 4 wins, 3 losses, and 16 drawn games.
In his much celebrated matches against the Chinook checkers program, Lafferty won 8 games, with 7 losses and 109 drawn games.